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giving back

The donor: Isabella Tatar and friends

The gift: Helping raise $50,000

The cause: Inspirations Studio

The reason: To help women impacted by poverty, homelessness and trauma

Isabella Tatar was doing some volunteer work at a women’s shelter in Toronto when she came across a unique program called Inspirations Studio.

The studio teaches pottery to marginalized women, helping them develop artistic skills and become entrepreneurs. The women sign each piece they make and they also help sell the works at the studio’s shop or through commissions. Each year the program works with up to 30 women and trains another 50 people through pottery classes.

Last year, the shelter reorganized and the studio had to find a new location as well as additional sources of funding. Ms. Tatar joined a group of six volunteers who launched a fundraising campaign that raised $80,000 to keep the studio open in 2018. They’ve now launched another fundraising drive to keep it going through 2019. This time they hope to raise $50,000 and secure further funding from government agencies.

Ms. Tatar, who works as a consultant on Indigenous issues, said the women aren’t just making mugs and plates. “It’s actually a way that women have been healing,” she said. “They find space to create something and find meaning again and get back on the road to economic independence.”