'Hope' for Domestic Violence Victims
Bluefield College employees, along with members of the school’s women’s basketball team, are helping females who escape domestic violence situations find hope in the aftermath through a community outreach project called “Baskets of Hope.”
December 5, 2012
Connie Saunders (front left), director of Women in Search of Empowerment (WISE) accepts one of a dozen "Baskets of Hope" donated by the Bluefield College women's basketball team and BC faculty and staff for women who seek refuge from domestic violence during the holidays.
Sponsored by the local outreach center WISE (Women in Search of Empowerment), the “Baskets of Hope” venture is designed to support women who find themselves making the courageous decision to leave a home of domestic violence during the holiday season.
“The holiday season, unfortunately, is one of the busiest for our domestic violence shelters,” said Cheryl Shippey, director of BC’s New Opportunity School for Women. “These ‘Baskets of Hope’ will be a true blessing and message of hope to the brave women who are in adomestic violence shelter during this time.”
To contribute to the cause, BC employees and women’s basketball players gathered and donated items to fill at least a dozen baskets, stuffed with personal necessities like body wash, shampoo, conditioner, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a hair brush, pajamas, socks, candles, and a flashlight.
“I am very proud of the Bluefield College community for its response to this project,” said Shippey. “The response is a demonstration of the care and compassion our faculty, staff and students have for those in the community dealing with difficult situations during the Christmas season.”
The “Baskets of Hope” will be delivered to women’s shelters in 13 West Virginia and Virginia counties, including Mercer (WV) and Tazewell (VA) counties near Bluefield College. Inaddition to the hygiene and emergency items, the BC family filled their baskets with inspirational readings, special Christmas messages, and words of encouragement.
“Women will come to the shelters even on Christmas Eve,” said Connie Saunders, director of WISE and coordinator of the ‘Baskets of Hope’ project. “They don’t know they’re coming right now, but when they do, they’ll come with nothing, just the shirt on their back. But now, they’ll have something. They’ll have a ‘Basket of Hope.’”