Sanctuary for Families Mentors – Amazing Women!

“This is a Film Set”

or so the signs told me as I drove throughout New York City trying to get to Sanctuary for Families, the most recent recipient of items from Sue Rock Originals Everyone.  I have had a long standing relationship with Emily LoBue, Senior Director of Volunteer Service at Sanctuary and we had created a wonderful way of donating to the women in their organization.  

Survivors of domestic violence are in a very critical condition.  Many times it is difficult to share many donations with them due to their need for safety, security and privacy.  Some of these women are on the run from another state, running from a spouse who has searched for them cross country.  They need support, but most of all they need anonymity.  In these circumstances, donations are presented to the agency responsible for the residence and are distributed in kind.

However, this Mother’s Day we had the beautiful opportunity to donate to a powerful group of women who have graduated from a powerful program – the Sanctuary for Families Mentors Group.  These are women who have lived in the residential setting.  They are now stable, working thriving women who have taken on the role of advocates for others who are now living through what they have survived.  They advocate for these women in a variety of ways – some speaking out, others manning tables – always training, studying, and fighting to understand new ways of supporting the lives of women who are leaving a cycle of violence.

They had just had their graduation in which the previous year’s mentors “passes the torch” on to the new graduates.  I was coming to their first group meeting to share SROE with them and share some of the wonderful items collected.  

As I entered the room with bags and boxes of donations, I looked over at the various faces – of varying colors, shapes and sizes, I thought about the unifying theme of them all – they are survivors and willing to assist others in making the change to healing.  

This year’s donation drive would not have been possible had it not been for the following amazing folks – the team at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Family Justice Center who created numerous knit backpacks and excellent correspondence bags!

Jeanne Heifitz, a Brooklyn based textile fine artist who created exquisite head/scarf wraps and hats

– Sue Kyhos of Maryland who hand knit some of the most beautiful items, having heard about us on the internet

and Materials for the Arts – an arts organization which provides items of all kinds to arts organizations based through the New York City area

Each year we do this work it brings more joy to us – this year we look forward to learning from these women to make sure that our work impacts their lives in the ways that we hope/



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