SAFE Shelter Center for Domestic Violence Services is seeking the community’s help to raise $300,000 to continue serving a growing number of victims of domestic violence in the metro Savannah area during the COVID pandemic.
The organization is currently facing a 35 percent reduction of funding from across-the-board cuts in state aid and the cancellation of all fundraising events.
“Last year we helped more than 1,300 victims, including about 500 children, receive services,” said Cheryl Branch, executive director. “This year, domestic violence calls have risen nearly 20 percent since March in Chatham County due to the COVID virus. If history repeats itself, SAFE Shelter will experience another sharp uptick in the victim population as the summer heat progresses.”
Since 1979, SAFE Shelter has offered lifesaving and life-changing services and programs to victims of domestic violence and their children free of charge. On average, it costs about $150 a week to feed a mother and three children, and that does not include the cost of additional victim assistance like mental, legal and social services.
“For victims of domestic violence, quarantine means there’s nowhere to go.” Branch said. “In up to 60 percent of situations in which there is intimate partner violence, the perpetrator also abuses children in the household.”
SAFE Shelter’s annual giving gala was scheduled for November 21 but has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID pandemic. The event typically raises more than $200,000 through corporate sponsorships, live and silent auctions and individual donations.
To meet the shortfall, Branch is asking the public to help SAFE Shelter continue its vital work by honoring someone with the meaningful gift of a financial donation.
Tribute donations can include memorials or recognizing special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. SAFE Shelter will acknowledge gifts with a special message from the gift giver if included with the donation. As SAFE Shelter is an independent, unaffiliated 501©3 organization, all donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by the law.
Tax-deductible contributions may be mailed to SAFE Shelter, P.O. Box 61119, Savannah, GA 31420. For more information and to donate online, visit http://safeshelter.org/donate/