Generous donations helped make the season a little brighter for women and children who sought refuge at Family Services Shelter over the holidays. Area businesses, churches, and individuals coordinated fundraisers and collection drives that resulted in much needed items for displaced families and allowed the Safe Relationships division to replenish valuable resources for ongoing support of domestic violence and sexual assault victims.
“As evidenced by the tragic news reports in November 2015, cases of assault, abuse and violence increase during the holiday season, often by more than 10 percent. Even as Family Services continues its collaborative work toward eradicating family violence in our community, we must be ready to provide aid and safety to women who are in trouble. We are dependent upon the community to help us in this effort,” says Joetta Shepherd, director of the Safe Relationships division at Family Services.
Family Services saw generous response to its holiday wish list, shared with the community just after Thanksgiving. Numerous organizations and people across the Forsyth County used the holiday season to raise awareness about the issues of domestic violence as they collected toys, children’s clothing, small household items, women’s toiletries, and linens for temporary Shelter residents, many of whom fled dangerous situations with little to no possessions.
“These donated items help immediately and also when our families are able to move on and rebuild a better life for themselves and their children, free of violence,” says Shepherd.
Shepherd says that every gift is a blessing in the midst of devastating circumstances and that financial donations are especially critical to the daily operations of the shelter and to the management, who provide crisis intervention, safety planning, and referrals for medical, legal, employment, financial, educational and housing needs. Last year, more than 200 victims received residential support, 100 of whom were children.
“We would not be able to help so many people without the support of those who responded to our request this past holiday season,” says Shepherd. “With help from individuals and organizations, we are able to continue helping victims of family violence and sexual assault transition to a safer, more hopeful future with dignity.”
With tremendous gratitude, Family Services thanks:
- Alabaster Place Inc.
- EWGA Piedmont Triad Chapter
- Meadowlark Middle School
- Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church
- Delia Ledesma
- Tami Church
- Rural Hall Elementary
- Andrea Morris
- Alice Long
- Karen Parris
- Sherrie Aycock
- Calvary Day School
- Redeemer Presbyterian Church
- The Russell Agency