By Melissa Hollatz
I just got back from dropping off the first batch of toiletries at Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, the beneficiary of our November toiletry drive (www.nextdoor.org). We’ve collected two full bins already, and we still have through the end of November to continue our collections.
What a great group of Junior Leaguers we have to give so generously – our donations really make a difference to the women and children who flee their abusers and are unable to bring anything with them. There were three women in the lobby when I went by, and they looked just like anyone I pass on the street every day. It’s horrible to think of how much violence goes on that we just don’t know about. Sadly, Next Door’s shelter ran at around 97% of its capacity last year, and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down.
Did you know last year Next Door answered over 10,000 calls to their hotline, served hundreds of women and children in its shelter, and thousands more through its advocacy work, drop in safety planning, and other programs? Thank you to everyone who contributed to the drive (and, by the way, if you’re looking for a holiday gift for someone who already has everything, I think a donation to Next Door in their name might be just the ticket!).
Next Door just did a teen survey where 2/3 of the teenagers surveyed said they knew of people in abusive relationships, and where 17% admitted to committing abuse themselves and another 20% were experiencing it. Terrible statistics, and it makes me think of what important work Next Door is doing and it makes me proud that we can help. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed.
Melissa is a Board Member at Next Door Solutions and a member of the Done in a Day (DIAD) Committee. Along with fellow League members Liz Webb and Kate Yagen, Melissa is coordinating the drives for DIAD this year.