Giving Hope to Woman and Children Living in Domestic Violence Shelter
While thousands of American children will celebrate the holidays at home with their parents, others have to spend it at a domestic violnece shelter with their abused parent. During the month of December, 2010 more than 500 children in Florida spent time in a shelter.
"You just get away because your abuser is out of control and is out of hand and you have to run," said Dr. Judy Wilson who is the CEO of the center in Ocala.
They run, to a place they can call a safe haven.
Like the domestic violence sexual assault center in Ocala.
Wilson said many times the women and children come with whatever they could grab.
"The credit cards are torn up, money is taken away, the bank account is deleted and that happens frequently on a regular day so they have no money," said Wilson.
The woman at the center feel it isn't safe for them to talk on camera.
We did speak to one woman off camera.
She said that last Christmas her abuser didn't let her buy presents for her own two kids.
She was only allowed to shop for his children, but this year will be different.
"They don't think there is anything ahead in the future because they've been told over and over, you can't go on without me. Then when they have such a great Christmas it's another way to give hope that there are people out there that can help me get through this situation and my future doesn't have to be full of violence," said Wilson.
Everyone living at the shelter writes their very own wish list.
Then employees and volunteers try to make their wishes come true by getting donations from citizens and organizations.
One older boy who lives at the shelter already knows the one thing that will make his holidays a little brighter.
"He was in a terrible situation that he did not create and things were looking pretty bleak for him and the only thing that would give him any hope for the future would be a skate board," said Wilson.
Thanks to the Marine Corps League, that boy will soon have some hope.
"Whatever his issues are i hope that this helps put a smile on his face and make him able to deal with the situation that he is living in a little better," said George Robinson who is the Toys for Tots Coordinator of Ocala.
The goal is to bring happiness to each woman and child, this holiday season.
You can donate unwrapped or new gifts of all ages.
In the past years, the shelter hasn't received many donations for older boys ages 14 and up.
To donate call the hotline 352-622-8495. You can chose what you want to donate or you can ask what is needed.