“And may the appalling hate of others fuel you to step more deeply into your work as a warrior of love, justice, and freedom in the fight against oppression and bigotry.” -Cleo Wade
2017 is a year we will hold in our collective memory for its unrelenting turbulence. Together, we endure the tension as we await the next shocking news report, the next jarring communication. We steel ourselves and fight the normalization of unfathomable acts and language, weighing their demoralizing impact upon our nation. In the face of such dispiriting violence, how can we find the resilience to abide and the strength to prevail?
At the Women’s Freedom Center, survivors of abuse contemplate this question every day. In spite of exhaustive danger, unpredictability, and isolation, women dip deep into their inner reserves to envision a future beyond the next harrowing event. Their courage to take action and trust in the possibility of safety and well-being is an inspiration to us all.
Your support will turn the possibility of safety into reality.
Together with our donors, we have done some powerful work in our community this year. Their financial gifts made it possible to open a second shelter for women fleeing domestic violence and sexual assault; respond to over 1,700 crisis phone calls, provide hundreds of hours of support and advocacy, emergency financial and housing assistance, access to legal representation, transportation and childcare to 638 women, 17 men, and 478 children who have been abused. At this year’s current pace, we expect those numbers to double.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that each of the numbers counted is a person in our community, one of us, in need of support, resources, or understanding as she taps into her own resilience, strength, and creativity. One woman with whom we worked recently stopped by to give us a thank you letter and gift. She invited us to share with you why she donated:
When I made that call to the Women’s Freedom Center and asked for help, they picked me up from the police station and then my daughter from school and opened their doors for us. I had nothing with me, no credit cards, cell phone, clothes, nothing and my husband was threatening to have me deported. I had no one – I had just lost my father from a heart attack and my mom from a brain aneurysm.
Everything was happening all at once – I had a domestic abuse case, a criminal case, a divorce case and an immigration case. The Freedom Center advocated for me at court, assisted with my immigration status, connected me to resources and benefits and helped me find a nice place to live – I don’t know what I would have done without their help. I’m very, very grateful for a place like the Women’s Center. I now call it my home.
I stop by the center once in a while to get advice from these lovely people. It’s not just a facility, but real people with love, respect, and empathy. My daughter and I recently donated a piece of art that we had made to the Women’s Center – it’s something really special that comes from our adversities, overcoming difficult times and also feeling free and loved.
We are asking you to make a gift this year. Join us to help make our community one in which violence is not tolerated. Allow your money to become a revolutionary force for change that says you believe in a future of freedom.
Your gift will contribute to this vital work in the coming year:
- Answering thousands of crisis hotline calls, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week
- Financing the operating expenses of our shelters and other safe housing
- Providing advocates to support survivors of sexual or physical violence in emergency rooms, courtrooms, and as they navigate social services and other community resources
- Purchasing food, clothing, transportation and basic necessities for survivors and children
- Youth outreach through partnerships with K-12 schools and community groups
- Community education in the form of workshops, presentations, and professional trainings
Your support is needed now more than ever to meet our goal of raising $25,000 by the end of the year.
Together, we are stronger than we could ever know.
Wishing you a peaceful new year,
Vickie Sterling, Executive Director