Staff and volunteers at SafeHope have been busy trimming a Christmas Trees, trees that last winter helped a domestic violence victim get just what they wanted at Christmas — a gift for her son, one that the victim could not afford on her own.
“I’m so excited (my son) got a bike! He really wanted one and I was just talking to my friend about not being able to save enough to buy one for him before Christmas,” she told SafeHope staff and Christmas program organizers. “We set a New Year’s resolution together to be healthier and we’ve already started. He’ll be so surprised!”
Safehope, which serves McPherson, Marion and Harvey counties, is once again launching The Angel Tree Project to help families with gifts, clothing, food, and personal need items. One tree will be in McPherson — at Dillons, 1320 N. Main St. Two will be in Newton — one at each Dillons store.
“Community support has always been tremendous for The Safehope Angel Tree Project, as necessary resources are provided that give support and hope during this holiday season for the families served,” said Chris Allen, community engagement coordinator for Safehope.
That tree is a gift card tree. Gift cards will be used to purchase gas, food and other basic needs items that survivors rely on in their daily life. Because of the continued needs, Safehope will continue receiving donations afterward also; other items are always appreciated, such as non-perishable food, diapers, blankets, and personal need items.
To sponsor a child or family for Christmas, call 316-283-0350. Angel Tree gifts should be donated by Dec. 10.
According to SafeHope, victims often have had to leave all or most of their belongings behind to start anew while sheltered at a safehouse. Safehope is considered a “safe haven” for both shelter victims and rural outreach victims.
“The Safehope Angel Tree Project helps ease the financial stress for the victims and their children,” Allen said.
During the last three months, staff provided services to more than 459 victims and responded to over 475 helpline calls.
Families receive such services as case management, community resources, children resources, housing, employment, continued education, medical needs, financial budgeting, transportation, legal resources, life skills, substance abuse and basic needs. Immediate services are crucial to support victims with safe options emotionally and/or physically for the children and survivor/victim.
Safehope, formerly Harvey County DV/SA Task Force Inc., provides a confidential 24-hour helpline, emergency shelter and support services for victims of domestic and sexual violence and their families at no cost, as well as outreach and advocacy programs designed to create stronger families and safer communities.
For nearly 30 years, victims and their children accessed these services through the Harvey County DV/SA. In 2016, the agency expanded to respond to needs in Marion and McPherson counties. Safehope now has staff and outreach offices in all counties, with its Newton office at 316 N. Oak St. and McPherson office at 122 W. Marlin St.
The Safehope Helpline is available 24/7 at 316-283-0350 or 1-800-487-0510. Information can also be found on the website at www.safehope.net or on Facebook at @SafehopeDVSA.