Today, Family Services received a donation in the amount of $1,300 from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem to support the women’s shelter.  Wendy Browne, director of congregational care, and church member Janice Kraft personally delivered the congregation’s gift to Joetta Shepherd, director of the Safe Relationships division at Family Services’ Gateway offices. The church’s gift will help provide a safe environment in which victims of domestic violence can begin to rebuild their lives.

The holiday season is particularly hard on families and children who have escaped a violent situation or been displaced as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault. Many arrive at the shelter without provisions or possessions. Family Services’ women’s shelter offers a safe haven from the continued threat of violence, and community partners provide support that helps victims move forward with dignity.

“The shelter for battered women resonated with our church members. We wanted to our gift to bring hope to victims and be a blessing to our community,” said Kraft.

The generous donation is the result of the church’s fundraising efforts through the Bloom Hand-Crafted Art Fair, held annually in early November. Kraft coordinated this year’s event, which welcomed 40 artists. Each year, the congregation designates a community service agency as the recipient of the proceeds.

“We are deeply grateful to the Redeemer Church for selecting the women’s shelter,” said Shepherd. “Community support is vital to our ability to provide immediate safety and security to victims in our community.”

Family Services has operated the women’s shelter, the first in Forsyth County, for more than 40 years. In addition to receiving temporary housing, women and children have access to counseling and medical, legal, employment, financial, educational, and housing assistance. In 2014, the shelter aided 300 people, 100 of whom were children.