Sweet Dreams Fund
If we can’t end the violence, we can at least help provide a new beginning. Support domestic violence shelters with donations in cash or kind. Even the simplest of gifts can mean a lot to women and children escaping abuse.
In early June of this year, my wife’s family experienced something so unimaginable that even those not related to them were left numb to the core. I have written a few blog posts about what transpired in case you’re interested, here:
After the Tragedy – Anguish and Anger
During the Trial – May the Gavel Precede Justice
After the Verdict – An Open Letter
Thank YOU! – Sweet Dreams in Action
This is a page devoted to springing hope from tragedy and to try and offer some peace to those who were devastated by what happened. On June 8, 2009, Macy (age 5) and James IV (age 3) were slain at the hand of their father…a man they were born to trust and a man who the courts inexplicably entrusted their lives with for an unsupervised visit. Also killed was their beloved grandmother Margaret who’s only crime was having an unbreakable bond with her grandchildren.
By the grace of God, their mother Marci was spared his physical wrath but the emotional pain she endures on a daily basis is something we can’t be expected to comprehend. Thousands of people attended the wake for these three beautiful souls and to say their final goodbyes. Tears flowed freely and countless embraces tried in vain to squeeze the pain away. I felt helpless and I vowed to do something beyond granting words of sympathy.
I take solace in knowing that these children were guided through the gates of heaven hand-in-hand by the grandmother who loved them so very deeply but this does nothing to quell the anger I feel over something so tragic and inexplicable.
This is when I decided to do something about it. To channel the anger into something more positive. I called a number of domestic violence shelters and asked what their biggest needs were outside monetary donations. The answers were surprising to me and the concept behind my Sweet Dreams Fund was born.
When women make the decision to break away from domestic violence and seek shelter they often arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs and children in hand. On more than one occasion I was told by domestic shelter administrators that they could really use pillows because they have to constantly recycle used pillows as women and children come and go.
It takes a lot of courage and a lot of sacrifice to leave an abusive relationship and turning to a shelter can’t be easy. But it is a safe haven. And I wanted to do something to help make what may be their first night of peace as comforting as possible. With your help, we can do just that.
Every penny that is contributed to my “Good Night’s Sleep” Sweet Dreams Fund is used to purchase new pillows, pillowcases, plush bears, crayons, and coloring books in bulk which are then donated to an increasing number of domestic violence shelters.
When women and older children arrive at the shelter, they will be given a fresh, clean pillow and a pillowcase. Younger children will also receive a soft plush teddy bear, a coloring book, and a box of crayons just for them. Best of all, they get to take these items with them when they leave.
If you think that this sounds trivial just speak with a domestic violence shelter and your opinion will quickly change. These women often arrive with nothing and even the smallest gesture can warm the heart and provide an added level of support for their decision to end the cycle of violence.
Leaving with something they can call their own, something that provided them with some comfort, will have a positive emotional impact and I’m committed to seeing this happen as often as possible.
I will be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to help raise money for the Sweet Dreams Fund and I kicked off the fund raising with my Flirty Girl Fitness Challenge.
My hope was to raise $500 by shaking my booty but the support was overwhelming. In the end, we more than DOUBLED our goal and raised more than $1100 for the Sweet Dreams Fund through the Flirty Girl Challenge. You have no idea the impact this will make on women and children escaping domestic violence. Thank you so much and I’ll be keeping you all posted on the next fundraiser.