This past year has been a particularly impactful one throughout our country as we have witnessed big changes in our world. We’ve addressed some tough issues in the past 12 months, which is why this holiday season has been one of reflection for many of us.

So as we turn the page toward a new year, we might find ourselves asking, “How can I make a difference?” The task may seem daunting, but making a positive change in your community can take any form that makes the most sense for you. Even if you don’t have time to volunteer, you can help bring safety and support to someone’s life.

Organizations such as DOVE Center often accept in-kind donations, basic items that domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors need while accessing shelter. DOVE keeps a regularly updated wish list on its website that includes basic needs like yoga mats, cell phones, chargers, new towels, and sheets. Simple items such as these can bring back a sense of normalcy to a survivor. For someone seeking safety from abuse or assault, nothing is quite the same anymore, and getting access to something as essential as a cell phone can become difficult.

You can bring relief and comfort to a survivor by giving a simple gift card. This kind of donation is so very helpful because it enables survivors to buy the things they need without sacrificing safety. A mother living in an emergency shelter can provide necessary items for her kids since a gift card will allow her the funds to shop for them and use a payment source that is hidden from her abuser. A sexual assault survivor can buy online what he or she needs from a safe place while getting the chance to heal and cope with past trauma.

Some survivors just need some help putting gas in their car or food cards to cover meals while relocating. Replacement clothing items can also be incredibly important to someone in a shelter who may have nothing but the clothes on their back.

A gift card of any amount is helpful to a survivor and can give them something that not any gift will bring to their lives: the freedom to get what they need in a way that doesn’t compromise their safety or peace of mind.

Let’s make 2017 a year of kindness and support to one another in our community. By lending a hand in small ways throughout this next year, we can work together to bring peace and safety to families throughout southern Utah. To learn more about how you can help survivors and make a difference, visit dovecenter.org.

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