Hi, I’m Sara.
In 2018, I joined the Branches team as the Director of Development. Since then, it has been my privilege to share with our community the uniquely resilient stories of domestic violence survivors. With that in mind, I want to introduce you to three important people I’ve met along the way:
Alexis knew the moment her boyfriend’s mood changed. He just got this look on his face. They were traveling late at night, and she held her breath as he veered the car across the yellow lines. Eventually, he became so violent, she was thankful when he kicked her out of the car. He sped away leaving her stranded without her purse or cell phone, but she was still thankful it hadn’t been worse. Unsure of what to do, she went into the restroom where she found a Branches brochure. Fortunately, Alexis called the hotline. She was able to get help right away. Within a few hours, she was on her way to the Branches emergency shelter.
Jennifer didn’t know how much more she could take. She knew that it wasn’t right the way her husband treated her, but she didn’t know what she could do about it? He had run up all the utility bills in her name and sabotaged the good credit she had once built—since he controlled all the finances, it felt like there was nothing she could do. Every day it felt like the walls were closing in a little more. One day, Jennifer saw online that Branches had a rapid rehousing program for people in her situation. With a little help from her Branches case manager, she made the decision to start out on her own again.
Luke can’t sleep. He tried to put his head under the pillow and all the way under the covers, but he can never seem to completely quiet the sound of shouting or the crashing furniture. Every day at school, Luke thinks about what he could do to fix the situation. Sometimes, he’s so lost in thought about it, he doesn’t hear the teacher call his name or tell him to get in line. He's afraid she thinks he's a bad kid. His mom told him that she’s thinking about going to a domestic violence shelter. He hopes it will be easier to sleep there.
Here’s something else I’ve learned along the way—you are the hero of their story. It is your contribution that makes the work advocates do possible. Every donation stays local and helps someone like Alexis, Jennifer, or Luke. This work has become my passion over the years and daily I meet advocates who show up for victims of domestic violence that feel the same way.
That’s why I’m asking for your help this giving season; because I see every single day the difference your dollar can make.
Your $25 donation means that when Alexis, injured and overwhelmed, was desperately trying to find a safe place to go, we were able to offer her a warm bed. Or when Jennifer was starting a new life in a home free from violence, we were able to give her cleaning supplies for her fresh new start. And, of course, your $25 donation means that Luke will never have to go to sleep afraid again.
This giving season, I hope you’ll be the hero in someone’s story—you may save a life.