It’s the nearing the end of 2017, so it’s a great time to start thinking about your end-of-the-year giving. That is, if you’re not already looking for places to help someone in need this holiday season. Since we’re not originally from central Ohio, I only recently learned about the YMCA Van Buren Center. It’s the largest homeless shelter in Columbus and has separate facilities for men, women and families. Here, people experiencing homelessness can receive a clean bed to sleep on, hot meals and health care as well as assistance in other areas.
YMCA of Central Ohio and its community of volunteers are kicking off their Give Her Hope campaign, which helps reunite women and children experiencing homelessness at the Van Buren Center. Even a short stay in a shelter can have a big impact on a child. The money raised during the Give Her Hope campaign helps give the women and children staying in the Van Buren Center the opportunity to get back on their feet and into more permanent housing.
Here’s a little video of one woman’s story and about what they’re doing over at the Van Buren Center:
The Van Buren Center houses 250 women, 30 expectant mothers and 277 children. On any given night, there’s an average of 20 pregnant women spending the night in the shelter. In addition to this, infant mortality increases by 200% when a child is born into a shelter program. You can see why it’s so important to get these families the resources they need to stay together and into housing.
I touched on this last week when talking about adoption-related options for giving. It may not seem like women experiencing homelessness is related to that, but in all actuality, it is. A lot of women who eventually decide to create an adoption plan for their baby or child do so for financial reasons. This isn’t the case all the time, of course, but it is fairly common for this to be a factor in their decision. No mama should ever have to make the decision of make an adoption plan based solely on her financial or housing circumstances. That’s why I’m so excited to share the Give Her Hope campaign with you.
From now until December 31, you can contribute to the Give Her Hope campaign. 100% of every dollar that is donated goes straight to helping women experiencing homelessness in our community. The funds will be used for things like bus tickets, security deposits, care packages and other types of assistance – a family’s first critical step toward recovery, healing and stability. And every dollar counts. Sometimes as little as $200 is what’s needed to reunite a family.
If you donate $10 to this campaign, you’ll also receive one of these purple Give Her Hope bracelets. It’s a great reminder of the hope you’re giving these women and the difference you’re helping to make in their lives. And they make great gifts too. If you feel led, you can make a donation here.
If you decide to donate and receive one of these bracelets, make sure you use the hashtag #giveherhope17 on Instagram to help spread awareness for the campaign.