It is the time of year where we start to think about kids returning to school after summer break. In our community, the churches have really stepped up to see that every child has the school supplies needed. There is a school supply drive during the summer, called ” Stuff the Bus”. The supplies collected are divided among schools. Some churches hold “Back to School Bashes”, and hand out school supplies to anyone who needs them.
This year, our church purchased several boxes of backpacks. People took backpacks, and returned them the next week, packed with supplies.
While I absolutely love this project, I know there is a silent population that may not get what they need. The families who are experiencing domestic violence are on my heart. These will not be the families to step out and participate in a community event. They are in survival mode. Victims with children may have had all of their money taken by the abuser, in an effort to control. They may be dealing with trauma symptoms, and barely hanging on to what strength is needed to take care of children.
I have been in that place. I was blessed to have my parents there to offer support as I recovered and rebuilt from scratch. I also had the support of our local domestic violence center. There were days when I ended up at the center, scared for my life and the safety of my kids. School supplies were not on my mind…survival was key. Thankfully, my kids were provided with supplies at those times, by the Domestic violence center. Everyone in my life did not know what we were going through. Even though we talk about standing up and speaking up, it is not that easy. Victims are mentally beaten down so far that talking about it may be farther down the road.
Little AoA was reminded of our experience with the domestic violence center, and thought it would be nice to make up some backpacks just for them. We did just that! She was really excited to take them to the center. I am happy to be able to pay forward, the support we received!