July, like too many months before it, turned out to be heavy on need and low on resources. With the 35 beds already filled at our emergency shelter with women and children fleeing potentially lethal situations at home, Hope Alliance had to help the additional 181 souls seeking shelter find a different safe place to stay. Each call on the hotline was another story of domestic or sexual violence from either a victim needing help or someone that loves a victim trying to find assistance.
With an expected reduction in funding due to the dreaded “sequester,” Hope Alliance is relying even more on the generosity of our community to provide the support that allows us to continue providing free services to victims and their families.
With so much need, how can one person or group help the situation? Each of us has the ability to help in some way, whether through our wisdom, our wealth, or our words.
Wisdom. Your life has led you on many paths that have taught you many lessons and introduced you to many people. If your life’s journey has brought you an amazing network of people and information, please consider becoming a board or committee member.
Wealth. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to help close the funding gap caused by the sequester, but most can help in smaller ways. These smaller ways can have a huge impact on the women and children living in our shelter. For example, $100 buys a child a bike and helmet so they can be a kid while living in the shelter. $250 can buy groceries for the entire shelter for a week, which is a total 735 meals. $400 could give a woman and her children the deposit needed for an apartment where they can start a healthier, violence-free life.
Words. If you haven’t the network to be a board member or the extra funds to donate, please consider how much your words can make a difference in the efforts to end domestic and sexual violence. Words can be used in many ways. Speak out against domestic and sexual violence. Tell your friends, family and coworkers about the prevalence of these crimes in Central Texas. Explain the importance of prevention along with intervention. Speak up if you know a victim that needs help. Sometimes just letting a person know there are resources out there is all he or she needs to take the major step of leaving an abusive home or telling someone about a sexual assault. Your words can start a movement of change.
Together, we can bring the attention needed to end domestic and sexual violence.