Winter Needs for CASDA, PAVSA Go Beyond Clothing
TWIN PORTS – During the winter season, organizations that help those who are recovering from the effects of assaults and abuse have unique needs. Those needs may not always be what you think they need.
If you are thinking about donating clothes, you may want to reconsider or choose carefully.
“Everybody wanted to clean out their closet during COVID,” says JoAnne Sanders, Shelter Program Coordinator with the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse in Superior. “We’re pretty stocked on a lot of things. We’ve actually had to turn donations away, unfortunately, because we’re so stocked on so many things.”
Sanders adds they are looking for items that can help people feel more at home. That can include towels, slippers, cleaning products, and select clothing. “We want people to come in and feel safe. One of the things that we do when we go home is that we get into comfortable clothing, so we want that for them when they come in.”
It’s a similar situation at the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault in Duluth. Executive Director Sara Niemi says they don’t need clothing, rather they are in need of donations that they can send out as part of the virtual programs they have been running during the pandemic, which have included journaling and art projects.
“So some of the items that are helpful for that are journals of any kind, new journals,” says Niemi, “and markers or color pencils that are new, and then also 8 by 10 canvases are always great for us to be able to put in those bags.”
Niemi is also encouraging people to volunteer their time to help them run their services. “COVID has really impacted our volunteer base. For lots of reasons, some folks have had different struggles in their life or reasoning behind not being able to volunteer or not as readily available to volunteer. So we’re always in need of volunteers.”
Their next training sessions for volunteers will be in the spring. More information on PAVSA can be found here.