Anney’s Closet to Mark 10 Busy Years of Community-Building

May 23, 2023 / by United Way

Victoria, BC (May 23, 2023) – On Saturday, May 27, Anney’s Closet, a volunteer-run “free store” for women who are transitioning to new, usually independent, living situations, will celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore, the organizing force behind Anney’s Closet, is thanking the community for its ongoing support with an appreciation barbeque on May 27 from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm in the parking lot of WestShore U-Lock Mini Storage (1621 Island Highway)—the location of Anney’s Closet.

“We are thrilled that we will have the opportunity to thank our sponsors, partners, and community members for their support over the last ten years,” says Sandra Sterling-Weicker, President of Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore. “Without them, Anney’s Closet would not exist.  We would also like to thank WestShore U-Lock Mini Storage for their incredible generosity in providing us with lockers for Anney’s Closet for the past 10 years.”

Anney’s Closet “shoppers” are often aging out of foster care or fleeing violence, domestic abuse, or other unsafe living situations and are looking for support as they outfit their new homes.

Women are typically referred to Anney’s Closet by advocates at local partner agencies, social workers, youth and family counsellors, and school counsellors who watch over girls in foster care, girls pregnant or parenting at a young age, or women living in a recovery or transition house.

The household items available at Anney’s Closet are donated by downsizing seniors, community-minded individuals, and friends of Soroptimists—the global volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.

Volunteers unpack and sort new donations, carefully curate them and display them in Anney’s Closet shop-like setting, assist shoppers with choosing items, wrap and pack items, and transport them to vehicles.

“I am delighted to wish Anney’s Closet a happy 10-year anniversary,” says Erika Stenson, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) Executive Director. “UWSVI is proud to be a funding partner of Anney’s Closet, knowing that ‘shoppers’ are acquiring household items that can transform a house into a home—a place of safety and comfort, and an incubator for fresh beginnings.”

Members of the community who wish to attend the anniversary event on Saturday, May 27 are asked to confirm their attendance at

You can learn more about Anney’s Closet at

 About Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore

Soroptimist means ‘best for women’. We are an organization of women helping other women to be their best. Our local chapter, Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore (SIVW), is part of a global volunteer movement in over 121 countries, with 72,000 members globally. We believe that by joining with other women and engaging in awareness, advocacy, and action in the service of our community and society, we can make the world a better place for all. We are committed to investing in programs and projects that create a sustainable, measurable change for women and girls, such as Anney’s Closet, our annual Dream it Be It Conference for young girls, Stella’s Suppers (a dinner we cater for elderly shut-ins) and a number of education awards, to name a few of our projects. For more information on SIVW, please visit our website at

About United Way Southern Vancouver Island

For 85 years, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) has served the local community and remains dedicated to supporting people in areas where they need it most. We believe everyone in the Greater Victoria region, which includes 13 municipalities and 11 First Nations and the Southern Gulf Islands, should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Last year, UWSVI supported close to 63,000 individuals on Southern Vancouver Island in building better lives. That is almost one in six people in our region being helped by a United Way initiative or funded program.


Erik Lambertson
Director, Marketing + Communications
United Way Southern Vancouver Island
Office: 250.984.2269 ext. 265