Spending more time at home puts those in abusive relationships at risk, that’s where support from local domestic violence shelters can make a difference. While shelters receive funding from many sources, they still rely on donations for essential supplies. As we follow the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order these essential items are now even more limited. Additionally, due to COVID-19 concerns most shelters aren’t taking in-person or drop-off donations, especially those of used items, for health and safety reasons.
MCAO attorney Maureen Feeney from the Family Violence Bureau saw this need and stepped up to help. “Based on reporting and statistics from around the world, we are anticipating that there will be an increased need for domestic violence services and shelters in the coming weeks and months. Even under normal circumstances, it is hard for victims to remove themselves from unsafe environments, and right now, it is especially challenging, given that there is such a strain on the availability of basic supplies.”
With help from fellow attorney Shay Beasley, the two called around local shelters and compiled a list of items that were needed the most. They then shared that list with other employees in the Family Violence Bureau and encouraged them to participate. “This is an uncertain and stressful time, and collecting basic items to donate to families in crisis seemed like a simple and constructive action we could take as a bureau.”
The Family Violence Bureau along with support from friends and family have collected an impressive amount of diapers, baby wipes, books, coloring/activity books, crayons, makers, puzzles, towels, underwear, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. “Our hope is that these donations, even small ones, might help victims choose to remain in safe situations and away from their abusers.”
While organizations are currently not accepting gently used or drop off items, they have created Amazon Wish-Lists, where items can be purchased online and shipped directly to the shelter. For those doing some spring cleaning at home, set aside gently used items that could be donated to shelters at a later time. To help support victims of domestic violence during this very difficult time, browse the list of shelters to find one in your local community.
For anyone in need of support call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 22522, or chat safely online at TheHotline.org