CTV Calgary and our partners are teaming up to raise money and awareness to help women and children this holiday season with the Give the Gift of Safety campaign.

On December 12 we take to the air all day to encourage Calgarians to make a donation and make a difference in a local family’s life this Christmas.

The programs at the YWCA are instrumental in ensuring all women and children are safe and sheltered this year and they count on volunteers to help them reach this goal.

Radenka Ilic has been a counselor at the YWCA's domestic violence shelter for 15 years.

Ilic says she has seen women from every culture and every economic background walk through the shelter doors.

“Even when I had a woman whose partner was a recognized member of the community, she was just trying to protect his image and she said when she came here, Oh my god I can’t believe that all these years I was actually protecting him, not my children,” said Ilic.

According to Statistics Canada, 3000 women across the country are living in a domestic violence shelter on any given day.

The Y’s Sheriff King Home hosts 42 women and their kids and officials say the Give the Gift of Safety initiative is especially important this time of year.

The holidays can be a stressor that exacerbates violence and makes it especially important for women to have a safe place to go.

Experts say preventing violence can actually save society money.

The estimated cost of domestic violence is staggering. If you factor in health care, court costs, social services, lost wages and the productivity the costs are about $4.2 billion a year.

YWCA CEO Sue Tomney says it is all about taking care of families.

“For many of us, we're fortunate enough to be able to do that. There’s no difference from women who aren't able to do that. They want just as much to be able to take care of their families and I think it's exacerbated by all of the pressures that come around the season. It really magnifies how important it is to be able to take care of our families. So this is the right time and so fortunately I think we all take a step back and think about how fortunate we are and thankfully the community looks at how they can help those who aren't fortunate,” said Tomney.

Join us as on Wednesday December 12th as we broadcast live from 5:30 am to 7:00 pm at Golden Acre Garden Sentre. Your donations will make a difference in the lives of women and children in our community.