YWCA "Holiday Store" Providing Hope, Gifts for Families

By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, which was the Battered Women Task Force, is turning to the community to fill both its holiday store and hearts full of hope.

Francisco and Luz Guillin from Revere, Mass. load a last minute Christmas gift for their 6 year old daughter at a Target store in Saugus, Mass., Monday, Dec. 24, 2007. (AP)

TOPEKA -- Because domestic and sexual violence do not stop for the holiday season, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment (CSE), formerly the Battered Women Task Force, is turning to the community to fill both its holiday store and hearts full of hope.

For the past eight years, the YWCA CSE has hosted a special store for victims of domestic and sexual violence served in the CSE shelter or outreach programs.  Individuals utilizing the organization’s services visit the store to gather gifts for their children free of charge.
Children also have an opportunity to pick out something special for their mothers.

Children are especially impacted when home violence erupts; particularly when it results in a break from routine or an alternate living arrangement. “This is an especially difficult time for the families we serve,” said Becky Dickinson, CSE Director.  “Through community donations, we can help victims of violence, who have been through so much, have a brighter holiday.”

Last year, the CSE Holiday Store was able to provide gifts to over 100 families in need.  This year, staff aims to touch more lives through the spirit of giving. So far, donations have been lower than in past years.

Community members with children of their own are encouraged to have their children help pick out gifts.  Children know what’s hot in the market place and by shopping with them; parents can utilize the opportunity to open communication about healthy relationships.

Another option businesses might choose is for employees to donate to the CSE Holiday Store versus the typical gift exchange.  It can provide employees a sense of unity by giving to a good cause and deviates from the traditional plan to something more community-focused.

Items requested for the CSE Holiday store are included.  Items can be dropped off at the YWCA at 225 SW 12th Street during regular business hours.  Large donations can be picked up by calling 785.354.7927.

YWCA CSE Holiday Wish List
In keeping with the YWCA CSE mission, no violent toys, books, games or movies please. All donations should be new and unwrapped.

Children's Wish List (0-10 Years of Age)
• Gift cards
•  Non-violent toys
•  Books
•  Dress-up sets
•  Gloves, scarves and coats
•  Board games
•  Building blocks or Legos
•  Character twin sheet sets
•  Arts and craft supplies (coloring books, crayons, paints, etc.) •       Blankets

Preteen and Teen wish list (11-17 Years Old)
•  Gift cards
•  Hats, gloves, scarves, coats
•  Hooded sweatshirts
•  Sports equipment
•  Young adult books
•  Board games
•  Movies
•  Teen room decor
•  Art supplies (sketch books, colored pencils, etc) •       Bath and body items Gifts for teen boys are especially needed

Women's wish list
•  Gift cards
•  2012 Planners
•  Small kitchen appliances
•  Throw blankets
•  Hats, gloves, scarves, coats
•  Phone cards
•   Makeup and skin care products (especially items not specific to skin tone)
•  Bath and body items
•  Jewelry and watches
•  Photo albums and picture frames

•  Stockings
•  Wrapping paper
•  Gift boxes
•  Ribbon
•  Batteries
•  Small baskets or decorative boxes for gift sets

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
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