Saturday, March 5, 2011

Houston Area Women's Center 23rd Annual Race Against Violence

This morning I ran a 5K, but who cares about that. What I want to tell you about is the reason I ran. I ran to help support the Houston Area Women's Center. This run was not big as the ones I have previously ran which makes me a bit sad. Even though many don't want to talk about or maybe just seem to think or act like domestic violence does not exist, it does, and it happens. I am writing today to get you to pass the word along. Victims of domestic violence look just like you or me, I, a young single mother. Even though I never have been to the Houston Area Women's Center and maybe you do not know, I at one point in my life lived at a shelter. I was taken in by strangers with with small baby boy needing some help. I had no-one or nowhere to turn to. I have been a victim of domestic violence. I am no longer ashamed to to tell you or anyone that. Why? Because I have been freed from that and am no longer dependent, scared, or lost. I found my way. The shelter helped me with clothes, shelter, and food for both my baby and I. Whatever your need they try to help everyone. I saw many ladies of all ages come in, with kids. They all had the same story as I did, they needed help, shelter, and food. I just ran this race and donated. I hope that you will find it in your heart to help this organization. No amount is too small. Thank you for supporting the Race Against Violence! Online donations will be accepted throughout the month of March. Donate here.

Your support of the Houston Area Women’s Center Race Against Violence will help make all of the following wishes come true. Your gift transforms lives! Please give generously. * Last year, we sheltered over 1,200 survivors. Our shelter is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Women and children up to the age of 18 can stay in the shelter for up to 90 days. Our provide every client with a safe place, warm bed, food and support services. Shelter housing, meals and support services per person, per night - $43 * Children who witness domestic violence quickly forget how to have fun. Vacations, holidays, and birthdays are ruined by violence. Our wish…to take our kids on exciting excursions that counteract the trauma they have endured. A field trip for children at the shelter - $50 * When a child witness/victim testifies in a criminal case, they must often do so without having any family members present in the courtroom. Our wish…to have a reassuring advocate at the child's side during the trial and testimony. One day of advocacy in court with a child - $150 Our wish….with your help, to never have to turn away anyone who needs our help.

The Houston Area Women's Center has been a member of the community since 1977 and part of the United Way family since 1981. Over the years, we have grown from a grassroots effort run by volunteers to an organization employing over 100 staff members. Volunteers continue to make us who we are by contributing their time, expertise, services and goods to ensure that our agency remains client-focused. We are proud of our ability to direct 88 cents of every dollar towards client services (for more information on our program efficiency, visit Charity Navigator). We look forward to the day when the need for our services no longer exists.

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