12 Days of Giving – Day 8 – Battered Women’s Shelters

Not fun to discuss.

But after Monday Night Football, I went to a favorite hangout of mine.  And my friend, S,  who is a hairdresser, bartender, mother, and grandmother, and a former victim of domestic abuse, vented to me and one other patron.

She relayed, healthily, the story of how her son-in-law recently, and in the past, had abused her, her daughter, and her grandchildren by the transitive property.

My friend, S,  had been through this before, on her own with her own former a-hole spouse, so she understands her daughter’s predicament, and how much she must protect her daughter, her five grandchildren, and even herself from the abuse (physical, verbal, emotional, and property damage) that her son-in-law is inflicting.

I instantly grabbed my phone and Googled “Battered Women’s Shelters.”

There are so MANY resources out there, both locally and nationally; however, women are often socialized to fly under the radar and make things better without outside  help.

That is simply an injustice. To everyone.

So here is what I stumbled across with fewer than 7.42 minutes of effort.

1.) Valley Trauma Center – “Interpersonal violence can affect anyone. No one should suffer alone. If you have been assaulted, you have the right to information and support. We are here to help.”

2.)  Safe Passage Live – “Safe Passage clients have a 95% success rate in breaking the cycle of domestic violence and creating a new life for themselves. They are our Role Models sharing their life stories to inspire other women and children to a New Life!”

3.) LAPD Online Communities  – “Domestic violence is more than just a ‘family problem’; it is a crime. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recognizes that domestic violence is a major problem in Los Angeles County and throughout the United States. Each year, more than two million women are victims of domestic violence, and one million children are physically abused.”

4.)  AARDVARC.ORG  –  “This site is for victims of violence, their families and friends, and the agencies and programs which serve them, both public and private. The goal of this website is to assist efforts to aid and support those trying to remove themselves from abusive situations and build healthier, stronger lives. ”

5.) Violence Unsilenced – (National) – “Survivors submit their personal stories of abuse in their own words, and two are posted live on the site each week. Readers take an annual pledge to listen, and the intention for the comment section is a space, supportive safe.”

This is a large and unspoken about problem; we need to end that.

To be just: do not strike your spouse either.  Abuse is not one-way nor gender-specific.

PLEASE speak up. What can YOU do to assist a battered woman?

Know it or not: we all know one…

 Sidney Patrick writes at My Mother in Law is Still Sitting Between Us… Find her on Twitter

12 Days of Giving – Day 4 – Recreational Music School

Today Jessica Giles of Giles Smiles shares something that is important both to her and her children. Welcome Jessica!

I wanted to share my love for a non-profit music school that my child attends.  Recreational Music School is an amazing organization of teachers who are passionate about sharing the arts with everyone, no matter the age or ability to pay.

The owners, David and Leslie, maintain high quality classes and try their best to help anyone, who is committed to the music, continue lessons even through financial hardships.

When times are tough in the public school system the arts are often the first classes cut, but did you know that kids who study music actually do better in school?(Science Daily Feb. 10, 2009)

RMC’s understanding of the deeper benefits of having music in one on one instruction and group lessons is certainly apparent in their practices. Lessons are tailored to student’s needs, and one’s budget.

The school is located in the heart of cultural arts schools in NTC at Liberty Station, Point Loma alongside ballet schools, museum galleries and theater companies.

To continue to reach out to the community they need help gathering monetary donations and supplies ranging from instruments to office supplies. A list of items they need can be found here. Donations can be made directly on the website or in person to David Gereghty.

Our family feels music is a basic piece to the puzzle of our lives, and Recreational Music Center fits perfectly.

12 Days of Giving – Day 3 – Mama’s Kitchen

As a younger woman, I was living in San Diego. My job wasn’t challenging, and I wasn’t challenging myself. Let’s just say that after work every day I found myself watching two episodes of Martin before going out to party with friends. Fun? Yes. Rewarding? Not so much. I don’t recall the catalyst, but I began to look for ways to contribute to the community. How I found Mama’s Kitchen? I don’t know, but I sure am I glad I did. I volunteered for 7 years until I moved from San Diego to Burbank.

Mama’s Kitchen was established in 1990 as a San Diego nonprofit organization to offer nutritional support to people with AIDS who were too poor, depressed, or ill to prepare meals for themselves. Highly organized, Mama’s Kitchen has hundreds of volunteers who come to the Kitchen to pick up for their clients three hot meals a day, seven days a week; my route was Wednesday and varied from 8-14 clients. The service to their clients is at no charge whatsoever, sustaining 1200 people a year in San Diego County.

2004 brought a new service for those who were ill, but not home bound: Mama’s Pantry. They offer bags of healthy groceries once a month to people affected by AIDS. Clients come to the Pantry and “shop” for non-perishables of a wide variety.

The Critical Illness Nutrition Program began in 2006, providing home-delivered meals to those with cancer, under 60, who were too ill to prepare their own healthy meals.

In 2009, they extended their services to children with parents who were suffering from AIDS, and were unable to feed their children healthy meals. That year, they served 43,000 meals to 75 children who were also nutritionally in need; the majority of those children were aged 13 or younger.

My experience with Mama’s Kitchen was fun, warm, and rewarding. Even though getting to know our clients wasn’t under the sunniest of circumstances, they shared warm smiles, hugs, and gratitude.

“Since our first day of operations we have never turned away anyone qualified for our services and we are determined that we never will.”

Contact Mama’s Kitchen to find out how to volunteer or donate to their nutritious cause.  You can  help with deliveries, food prep, pack grocery bags, food drives, or even answer phones. And they can always use a monetary donation.

Sidney Patrick writes at My Mother in Law is Still Sitting Between Us… Find her on Twitter