Many people look forward to the holidays. The food, the company, the décor, the smells, and the precious memories that most remember so fondly.
There is another side to that coin, however, the holidays can bring up trauma in many ways, especially for domestic abuse survivors. For some, there are specific holidays and memories that have been tainted by acts of domestic violence, or if they have left their abuser and have to start over, this can be a very lonely time.
Besides the trauma, it can also be a huge stressor on our survivors. A form of domestic violence is financial abuse, and many of our survivors flee to Women In Distress with nothing more than the clothes off their back, often times cut off from financial access. They are starting over, not with a clean, fresh start, but dealing with the tentacles of domestic violence and getting back on their feet financially. The stress brought on during the holidays can even add pressure to provide a “normal” family holiday meal to the children in shelter.
This year for our 2022 Holiday Campaign, our generous community came together to help our survivors have a joyful and stress free holiday season. We were able to collect gifts for 591 survivors and their children. As you can see in the pictures below, our room was stuffed full of toys and love! These were no ordinary gifts, but the best of the best including bikes, large doll houses, cool electronics, and lots of stuffed animals to keep our children company!
This would not be possible without YOUR help! The amount of donations received by the community was absolutely incredible. Many companies, groups, and stand alone community members made sure that our survivors enjoyed the holidays. We also had several volunteer groups to help our survivors “shop” and pick out the perfect gift for their children, and themselves. It’s a wonderful feeling to give back, and this season our survivors felt very well cared for as they saw the community show up for them in a heart warming way.