I began getting involved in Reach Out Speak Out about five or six years ago. Full disclosure Jan, the founder, is my cousin. Unfortunately like many others it was close to my heart having been the victim of domestic violence myself. Thankfully, with the help of my family I was able to leave the situation and move on to have a wonderful life with my husband and three children. Although I moved on, the scars never go away. Most people do not understand that part of it. It lasts forever. The simplest things can remind you of the past.
I was very open with my children about my past history of being a victim domestic violence. I wanted them to know the warning signs and be prepared if they were ever in the same situation.
I Began With…
I began with a family gift card drive for Reach Out Speak Out every Christmas. My children were all in high school and had jobs. I explained to them about the importance of the charity, and they became willing participants in the gift card drive. You would think it took some prodding, but I must say they would be the ones who’d end up saying when are we sending the gift cards to Reach Out Speak Out. Now as my children get older and get married and become more established in their lives, they have really taken their role in the charity very seriously. They have involved their significant others and their families as well. They all understand the importance of helping people get out of these situations and getting their lives back on track. So now we do the family/extended family gift card drive and we also contribute to the Purple Passion by contributing to the gift baskets that get raffled off. I think this year we sent 6 or 7 baskets to help our friends in need. I even got my boss involved by paying the FedEx cost to ship the baskets as I live in Cleveland, Ohio.
Victims Need Help
Victims of domestic violence are often unable to help themselves. My family and I are proud to be able to assist them by giving to Reach Out Speak Out.