October is Domestic Violence month. They say one in four of us are affected some way by it and it’s why you’re seeing the purple ribbons this month. Every 15 seconds a woman is battered (it’ll probably take you twice that time to read this blog entry). October is kind of an everything month (there are only 12 months to share) and breast cancer seems to get a lot of the attention and sometimes DV gets overlooked. (Related news.)
First Step is a local shelter in Wayne County and they are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year. Over 14,000 crisis calls, 7,000 nights of shelter and 20,000 hours of counseling are provided almost every year. I’ve volunteered with First Step, generally I’d be on call a few times a month (8-12 hour shift) and get called to hospitals (police stations, etc.) and talk to people and their families after they’ve been assaulted, I’ve also done things with the kids such as day care, field trips, etc. I originally started doing this at a shelter in Lansing; taking the kids on field trips and watching them while the Mother’s were in meetings/sessions. Field trips were just the older kids (ones who walk on their own), but when were were just watching the kids it was from infants on up.
First Step always having fund raising events so keep your eyes out for those, it’s a way to donate and have fun at the same time (sometimes it’s a movie night with auctions, shopping at department stores [you get a discount and they get a cut]). Shelters are always looking for donations, please don’t just think of them around the holidays, they need donations all year round. They always need volunteers to help. My links here just point to First Step, please search around for services in your area.