Why we do what we do
I really understand why we do what we do when we hear from shelter staff, victims, and survivors.
Mother Anne and I spent two-hours with leaders, pastors, and victims on a Zoom meeting with the American Baptist Women. They asked – are pastors trained? And the answers from lots of women – was a resounding NO. We have plans to schedule further meetings open to more people with specific, targeted, tangible action-steps and trainings.
Another day, I spoke with a woman who broke down in tears talking about a trauma that had happened more than 40 years ago. Her pastor hadn’t helped, her family said she had to deal with it herself, because the abuser was her husband. Neighbors and friends thought she was exaggerating. She ended in the hospital, with severe trauma, and her young child was murdered while she was there. She mourns that baby boy to this day. She told me to tell women: “You are strong. You are Worthy. You are not your past.”
Gretchen and I met virtually with a shelter/domestic violence services organization and shared what we do and found out more about what they do. This connection will be fruitful for our people in the future. They are hopeful that we will be able to invite some of their women to the next retreat.
Items for Review
When you hear from Janet, about the New Day program, please notice that we have had four recipients of our New Day Grant Program. Gary helped with one client’s special needs. Thank you. Gretchen will give a summary of the pickups and shelter donations. She deserves our thanks – and possibly some volunteers to assist with making shelter deliveries or donation pickups. Let her or me know if you have ideas about how to help with that.
Janet also has a new request from one shelter asking us to help with dressers for the women’s rooms. They need 12, and they need to be sturdy and of a specific size. She and Gretchen are working with some potential vendors and I will make an appeal to churches/women’s groups for funding once we know more.
Nine out of Every 10 victims of sexual violence are women. (RAINN.ORG) According to a December 2020 article in Perspective, this is a “A Pandemic within a Pandemic — Intimate Partner Violence during Covid-19” You can read more here.
We strive to bridge that gap between people who wish to help, and those who need assistance. Shelters are still closed, people are still in need of respite, spiritual, and physical needs items. Our donors and volunteers make that difference.
What more can we do
We can update and share our HAWS Video. I am working with Mother Anne and some potential experts to make this happen.
We can prepare virtual workshops. I spoke with past board members, and friends of HAWS who have subject expertise, who are willing to work with us on putting some together.
We can add volunteers in Social Sharing to help spread the good news of hope and resources, and to help distribute educational materials to increase awareness.
We can communicate more with our constituents, and foster relationships with other service providers. I would like to add a blog post and an email monthly and would like to meet in person or send small tokens to our donors to let them know we appreciate them. (Perhaps a small keychain fob with our logo, or even HAWS Pens-I’d love to hear your thoughts.)
I appreciate all you do
Your networking and sharing our work, and resources for victims is exactly what we need to do the things we do, and to plan for how to respond in the future. Thank you for telling people about domestic violence resources, thank you for showing them how they can make a difference, that you for your tangible actions that keep HAWS functioning. This quarter, I want to thank Gretchen for coordinating all the pickups and deliveries. I want to thank Gary for help with one client’s need. Through his help we were able to extend special assistance that made her life better! I want to thank Janet for all the work she is doing as our new treasurer, and in working with grant applicants. And I want to thank Dawn for considering doing some of our Facebook social posts; getting our story and good news out to people online.
I am looking for a desk for the office space we have at St. Michael’s I have an idea of what would work and if anyone has one, I would like to talk it over. If there isn’t a used one around, I’d like to purchase a small one so the space is more functional. We have a locking cabinet in a secure room, and we are storing items for shelters in the space. We want to move as much of that out regularly so it can be used as quickly as possible.