While my employer tries to keep United Way top of mind all year long through various fund raising opportunities, every fall there is a campaign drive where they generate the majority of their giving. This year as my employers is preparing the campaign; a few of us were invited to tour a few of the agencies that receive our donations.
All I can say is WOW! We toured the Boys and Girls facility, a domestic abuse shelter and heard presentations from a sexual assault crisis center as well as an agency that helped low income people with transitional housing. Did I know that there was need before this? Absolutely. Did I know statistically some of the things that were going on? Sure I did. However, to see the impact first hand and to hear from women who used these services was very moving.
Here are some of few take aways from my tour.
- I am going to stop complaining about paying for field trips for my kids. At the Boys & Girls Club the majority of the kids they serve live in households that make under $20,000 annually. A significant portion make under $12,000 annually. The thought of how many times those mothers' need to say no to those sweet little faces made my heart break.
- 1 out of every 3 girls will be sexually assaulted by the time she is 18. To put that in perspective, my Girl Scout troop was made up of 30 girls. That means that 10 of those girls will be assaulted by the time they reach 18. That is unfathomable to me.
- The shelter that we toured provided shelter for 368 women in 2010. There were another almost 1,000 that received counseling services. Let me tell you, while they did everything they could to make the facility nice. I can’t imagine sharing a room the size of a dorm room with my family of 4+ or sharing with another mother and her child. My heart breaks for the women who have the need to use the facility. The journey they must have taken to get there and the lack of resources available to them is unimaginable to me in my very comfortable life.
Very thought provoking and I'm going to be searching my heart to see what else I can do to help those who don't have the resources available to them that I do.
I'll be linking this up over at Living So Abundantly and Life in a Cookie Jar.