Morton Family Foundation donates $50,000 to support woman and children in Haliburton County

This is the third year in a row the Peterborough philanthropist couple has donated $50,000 to YWCA Peterborough Haliburton

David and Patricia Morton. (Photo courtesy of Morton family)
David and Patricia Morton. (Photo courtesy of Morton family)

For the third year in a row, Peterborough philanthropists David and Patricia Morton have donated $50,000 through the Morton Family Foundation in support of the YWCA’s services for women and children experiencing gender-based violence in Haliburton County.

YWCA Peterborough Haliburton operates the Women’s Centre in Haliburton County and Haliburton Emergency Rural SafeSpace (HERS).

“We are deeply moved by the continued support from Patricia and David in the Haliburton County community,” says Kim Dolan, executive director of YWCA Peterborough Haliburton, in a media release. “As the demand for our services continues to change in the COVID-19 recovery period, the Mortons’ compassion for others ensures that we can serve the rural women and children in Haliburton County, providing them with the resources and support they need to feel safe again.”

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The Women’s Centre offers the resources women need to escape gender-based violence and find safer ways to move forward with their life, including access to transition supports such as safe transportation, clinical therapy, a family law lawyer, and court support and guidance.

HERS provides safe and supportive temporary accommodations for women, with and without children, who are fleeing abuse in Haliburton County. The service, designed to be available on an as-needed basis to help reduce costs, offers space for as many as two families at a time. With HERS, women can move away from the abusive situation in their home without leaving their support systems, jobs and schools, and families and friends behind. HERS has been fully occupied since January 2021.

According to YWCA Peterborough Haliburton, rural women in Haliburton County have reported far more serious and complex abuse throughout the pandemic. Like women’s organizations across the province, the YWCA faces heightened demand and increasing costs.

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This is the third straight year the Mortons have donated $50,000 to support the YWCA’s services for women and children experiencing gender-based violence in Haliburton County.

“We feel fortunate to be able to continue to support such a worthy cause because isolated rural women are especially vulnerable to domestic abuse and gender-based violence,” says Patricia Morton on behalf of the Morton Family Foundation, “And shockingly this abuse is now significantly on the rise throughout rural Canada, as in rural Haliburton County. Thank goodness our YWCA is here for these oppressed and endangered women, and dedicated to providing the essential safety and vital support services to help them move forwards to build much better lives.”

“As a man I am just appalled and disgusted by violence against women and children,” David Morton adds. “I am grateful at least to have this opportunity to extend a helping hand to the brave women who, with the wonderful support of our YWCA, are striving hard to empower themselves.”

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Members of the community who wish to donate or find ways of supporting YWCA services in Haliburton County can visit or contact Ria Nicholson directly at 705-743-3526 x113 or

The Mortons are well-known philanthropists in the Peterborough community, having made generous gifts to organizations including Trent University, Peterborough Humane Society, United Way of Peterborough & District, and the Morton Community Healthcare Centre in Lakefield.

In April 2020, during the height of the first wave of the pandemic, they encouraged the community to donate to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) Foundation by matching donations up to $50,000.