We chose to learn more about the local battered women’s shelter, how this agency serves those in our commmunity, and how we could better serve others through what we learn from the agency.
We researched the agency on their web-site, and learned about what the material needs are of the many families they serve. They had a “wish-list” posted for items they needed donated, such as clothes, bed and bath items, and cleaning supplies. Most of the victims (mostly women and children) of family violence leave their homes suddenly and arrive at the shelter with no more than the clothes they are wearing.
We decided to call our HFPE meeting “Open Your Hearts to Service.” And sew & donate tote bags filled with bed/bath items from the “wish list”, as well as sew & donate a pillowcase in each tote. We would also collect women’s and children’s clothing for those in the shelter.
We provided sisters with the opportunity to sign-up and bring bed/bath items from the “wish-list” to donate for 2 sundays before HFPE meeting. 2 members of our board sewed 25 drawstring totes to put the items in for donation, and we also had sisters sewing pillowcases(from fabric donated by sisters) the night of our meeting to add to the bags for donation. We collected clothes for women and children to also donate. We arranged for the shelter to send a representative to give a talk at our meeting, and were surprised to have the CEO of the organization spend a wonderful evening with us, teaching us about the issue of family violence, what the shelter does for victims, and answering all of our questions. It was so enlightening.
We had so many donations of clothes and so many more donations than we expected of bed/bath items that all of the items would not fit in the speakers SUV to return to the shelter. We had to arrange for delivery of the extra items (a minivan full) on a later date! The sisters really responded to this particular need in our community, and the speaker was so grateful for all our donations.