On this quiet day, I take a moment to reflect on the donations drives we have been doing since February. To date we have visited 10 domestic violence residences throughout New York City. Voices of America, The Center Against Domestic Violence, Safe Horizon…….well we have been to residences from Rockaway Beach to the Bronx.
Alot of work goes into navigating the world of domestic violence service. Residence directors may love a program but have neither time or space. Scheduling is critical. We have experienced going to residences with fewer women than expected because housing openings became available. Most of our visits are planned months in advance. But with advance notice we can make these Empowerment Days something extraordinary.
Once we have the date, then we begin – sizing and sorting the bags and bags of donations. And what donations they are! Bras, Panties, Nightgowns – EVEN Swimwear has been donated! All items are new and unused and ready for new ownership!
The most powerful experience is hearing the responses from women. Many of the women are still living with the same items they left with. They share that these items are desperately needed. Our donations go from the smallest to the largest sizes so every person can receive 5 or more garments.
We arrange the lingerie in such a way that the women feel as if they are shopping. There is lots of laughter and chatting, with women taking the time to really make the choices that make them feel good!
We have more shelters to go, with swimwear donations coming up next and I am so happy to share this goodness with women in need!