For many families “Back to School” means new clothes, backpacks, and shiny binders bought in advance of returning to see friends and teachers. But for parents of domestic violence child survivors struggling to keep their children safe, the start of a new school year is anything but normal.
The structure, support, and nurturing environment of school is critical for children affected by domestic violence. We know keeping up with schoolwork is challenging for most families, but it is especially difficult for those living in emergency shelter. Having the proper school supplies for a successful new year will help our young survivors keep up and hold on to the one constant in their lives when everything around them is changing-school!
Prices of everyday necessities are on the rise, including school supplies in which the average family household spends roughly $848. This year, our community came together fiercely to support our survivors, especially in trying times of inflation and supply chain issues.
We are so grateful to have an annual drive with so much success. Our last two drives have looked a little different due to Covid, and this Back To School Drive was different, and special. This year we got to give back to our community with a drive that was so impactful because it was honoring our community, but also honoring the life of Joanne DeLizza. Joanne dedicated her life to helping others. She was an amazingly helpful and kind person who would go out of her way to respond to any need she heard, felt, or perceived. Joanne became an enthusiastic supporter of the mission of Women In Distress after Board of Trustee Member Lois Herman introduced her to the agency. Joanne’s commitment to the mission of stopping domestic violence for everyone through intervention, education and advocacy was so profound that she directed a major gift to Women In Distress in her estate plan. We are so grateful to Joanne, and her family who are avid supporters of Women In Distress.
Women In Distress collected back to school items from July 1st to August 4th. We received incredible donations from our impact partners, local and global businesses, and generous community members. The monetary donations raised over $6,000 and served 114 families with 234 backpacks valued at $50 each (estimated) for a total donated value of $11,700.00 to our survivors and their children.
We could not have served and helped as many survivors as we did without YOUR help! We can not say thank you enough for everyone who hosted donated, shared the information, and the individuals that volunteered to organize and pack the backpacks. We are so grateful to have worked with Chase, We Florida Financial, Rock Nation, JM Family Enterprises, UKG, Valencia Palms, Real Estate Masterminds, Polen Capital, The Geneva Group, and the Greater Federated Women Club of West Broward who all sent their volunteer groups to participate in the drive.