One woman. One horse. 48 states for Domestic Violence Awareness

Check back often for the latest updates and stories from Meredith and Apollo as they journey 10,000 miles on a four year ride around the USA.

Giving back

Recently one of my family members decided to move to an assisted living facility.  Although their previous home was not large, the moving process resulted in a lot of belongings that needed to be disposed of somehow.  There was only so much that could be gifted to family and friends, so the dilemma remained... what to do with the rest of it? 

I was very touched that in considering potential solutions, my family remembered my DV plight and was inspired to help others who are daily facing similar situations.  I left a domestic violence situation with literally just the clothes on my back.  While I am fortunate for having had a loving family to take me in while I got back on my feet, it was challenging to have to get a whole wardrobe including professional clothing for a new job, furniture, dishware, etc.  Even just the bare minimum of living supplies could have been very expensive.  Luckily the local DV organization DVSAC provides free donated items to people such as myself, for which I am extremely grateful.

So to give back, my family found several DV and other charities in the neighborhood which took donations of clothes, furniture, books, etc.  Not only did the charity recipients benefit, but my relative was able to quickly dispose of the excess stuff, get a tax write off, and most importantly, get a warm feeling in their heart.

If you are in a similar situation of being able to give, be it from a move or spring cleaning, here's a few helpful questions to ask your local charities:

- Will the items I donate be given to people in need? If so, who qualifies? Domestic violence survivors, low income families, homeless, etc?

- Will the items I donate be sold? If so, how is the income from the sale used, and what programs are funded?  How much percent is used for "running the office" (staff, building lease/mortgage, utilities, etc) and how much actually goes towards the programs?

- And don't forget to verify they'll accept what you want to donate and that you can get a receipt for your taxes!  For example, not all charities take book donations or furniture. 


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