WAKEFIELD – Despite the financial challenges facing local, small businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on within the state, some are still finding ways to be charitable and boost the community around them. Recently, one such local outlet hosted a special fundraiser in an effort to support the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County’s (DVRCSC) annual Gifts of Hope program, which provides gift cards to clients around the holiday season.
Marianne Sullivan of Consignments Ltd. In Wakefield recently raised $1,500 for the Gifts of Hope program from a special sale of items in her store. Despite serving on the DVRCSC Board, Sullivan said she’s always appreciated the services and programs the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization provides for the local community.
“The work of the DVRCSC is so important to our community,” she said. “Prior to becoming a board member, I always supported and admired the Center, but since joining the board I have become even more acutely aware of their absolutely essential services. COVID has made their work even more needed and more difficult. I wanted to do something concrete to help, and the clearance sale seemed like a great way to raise both awareness and funds.”
The money generated from Sullivan’s sale will go on to help feed and house a family who have escaped violence in their home during the winter.
“Marianne is an engaged member of our Board,” said DVRCSC Executive Director Mary Roda. “We appreciate her initiative to promote and support our vital services by having a special sale at Consignments Unlimited, designating the DVRCSC as the recipient of the money raised. Thank you, Marianne!”
DVRCSC offers much in the way to support those facing domestic physical, emotional and/or mental abuse, as well as those vulnerable to discrimination. These programs and services include 24/7 support hotlines, court advocacy, support groups, educational and technical seminars and programs, among other outreach. Last year, for example, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center hosted a “Queer Prom” for local L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ youth who might otherwise be hesitant to attend traditional dances at high schools.
As the pandemic has continued, much of DVRCSC’s services and programs have moved to the virtual realm, and the sad reality of long-term quarantine and isolation has resulted in an uptick in local domestic abuse cases. Therefore, now more than ever, the essential services provided by the organization are needed.
The Center’s Gifts of Hope annual program is one such service. With generated and donated funds, DVRCSC purchases gift cards to local grocery stores, pharmacies and toy and clothing stores, to clients, allowing them the freedom to choose gifts for their families, a choice previously denied to them. The program does not fund DVRCSC’s operating budget and 100 percent of proceeds are passed directly to clients.
“I want to thank every one of my customers who gave through the sale,” Sullivan concluded. “And I’d ask that anyone who can please donate to DVRCSC.”
Gifts of Hope is hosted annually in honor of Mary Gregory, a devoted counselor at DVRCSC until her death. The program reflects the kindness and generosity Gregory displayed.
Gift card donations towards Gifts of Hope can be dropped off or mailed to DVRC – Gifts of Hope, 61 Main St., Wakefield, RI 02879. Additionally, monetary donations can be made online at dvrcsc.org/giftsofhope.