People who have experienced sexual and domestic violence often find themselves in need of items we can sometimes take for granted every day. You can help a survivor directly by contacting your local rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs to find out their current needs. Our member programs across the state often have wish-lists which include new or sometimes gently used items. Below are some items that are commonly needed.
Gift cards are one of the simplest and most impactful in-kind donations you can make. They enable programs to help survivors with their most basic needs, particularly in times of crisis. Gift cards for groceries, gas, clothing and phone cards are much appreciated and always in need.
Local programs are often in need of household items and toiletries but it is best to contact them first as needs may vary from time to time and these programs have limited storage.
Survivors may be in need of seasonal clothing for themselves or their children. For those living in a shelter, they may have escaped a situation that is too dangerous to return for additional items. Some may need professional clothing for job interviews and work. Children may be growing so fast that they are a different size than when they left home. Rape crisis centers often collect loose fitting clothing like sweatshirts and sweatpants for survivors who have had to turn over their clothing as evidence.
Residents moving to apartments may have left all of their furniture behind and will need bedroom furniture, living room, kitchen and dining furniture, dressers, storage furniture, desks, tables, lamps, and bedding. If you have furniture to donate, please call ahead. Never bring furniture or large items without checking with the program first. They may have no space to keep it or they may have an arrangement with a local warehouse or thrift store to accept it on their behalf.
Holiday Gifts and Treats
Many shelters and programs accept gifts for families in shelters and for children of residents. Typical holiday gifts may include toys, warm weather clothing, or gifts for adults. This may be a community service project for a school or a mission project for a faith community. Again, be sure to coordinate your efforts with a local program. They may have a cut-off date or a holiday party for distribution.
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