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From the Director's Desk: A BIG REQUEST
It is so hard to believe that we are halfway through 2021. I want to take a moment and reflect with gratitude for everyone who works tirelessly on behalf of our mission: our staff who are laser-focused on survivor safety and needs, volunteers donating their skills and time to our mission, and finally, the donors who make it financially possible for it all to come together. Creating a safe space 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year is no easy task. Thanks to our staff, volunteers, and donors, it happens here at DVCC's New Beginnings Campus.
As our community is opening up following an unprecedented pandemic, requests for services continue to grow. With that, we ask you to consider how your donation may impact survivors. Often, they flee with next to nothing. Our goal is to empower them to take a chance on something new and different; however, it means leaving behind many parts of the only life they know. When we have new items on hand for survivors, their confidence visibly grows. We have limited space for storage following the generosity during the past 12 months when folks have had lots of time to clean out their closets while quarantining at home. We have great community partners with storage capacity and thrift stores who donate gift cards for clothing items we cannot store in our limited space. Please consider purchasing new items for someone starting their life over if you are able. DVCC's wish list is a great place to start if you are unsure of what our greatest needs are. Imagine how amazing it feels that someone thought enough of you to give you something brand new when your abuser told you no one would help you. We know it is a big request, and we hope our community can step up to empower and build confidence for those in need. We appreciate your support.
Friday, July 30 is considered International Day of Friendship. Celebrate with these ways you can show the people you love the most just how much they mean to you.
While normally “back to school” is reserved for children, it turns out that this time of year is important for every age. That’s because you’re never too old to continue learning, and it can help you live up to your true potential in everyday life.
Just because it’s the middle of the year doesn’t mean it’s too late to set and achieve big things yet this year. While reevaluating your existing goals, throw in some hard-to-reach newer goals and set your sights high.
Life happens, and focusing on all aspects of your health is easier said than done. Take small steps in each area to start building solid habits!
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From the Archives:
“PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOT!” A note from Jill McDonald
2020 was a year none of us will forget. I cannot express how in awe I am of our staff, board, volunteers, and most of all the survivors who have persevered through the pandemic. Our team received over 1000 more calls this year than in 2019.
2020 brings to mind the Friend’s episode where they move Ross’ couch “PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOT!” As luck would have it, we already were testing a chat-based crisis line and online support groups. We moved right out of the planning phase into going live by March. We did the same with our telehealth. We added protocols to keep social distancing in our shelter for anyone that needed services. Simultaneously, we added additional self-care items to our facility to help with the added trauma that experiencing domestic or sexual violence during a pandemic caused.
In 2020, our team responded to 75 sexual assault victims in our service area. We are so grateful to our multidisciplinary team members in our community for their support. When Covid-19 cases spiked, nearly half our staff quarantined due to close contact or were sick themselves. Our community team volunteered to help with a response if needed. Thankfully, we didn’t have any additional cases impact our team. However, it was amazing to know they were ensuring victim services would carry on. Imagine how terrifying it would be to go into a hospital to report rape during a pandemic! Our partners recognize the need for support for survivors as they report the crime committed against them.
One highlight of 2020 was being recognized as Nonprofit of the Year by the Minot Alliance of Nonprofits. A second happy memory for the year was the generosity of our end of year campaign for toys and Twice Blessed. Our community continues to illustrate that they support survivors of domestic and sexual assault through donating nights of safety, toys, necessities, and so much more. Your support makes hope, help, and healing available for all survivors and their children in our community.
Domestic Violence Crisis Center Meets The Challenge
For 43 years, the Domestic Violence Crisis Center has been providing increasingly innovative and comprehensive services to victims and their families in our service area including Minot and the four counties served of Ward, Renville, McHenry and Pierce. DVCC provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and trafficking.
The flood of 2011 was devastating for many, but for those who were in need of DVCC services it was an extreme hardship. At this time, DVCC was forced to temporarily close its shelter and office and lost the two apartment buildings that were housing families transitioning to their new beginnings away from violence. DVCC accepted the biggest challenge of their history; to build a campus where all services could be provided at one, centralized location. This was an innovative idea allowing victims and their families to be safer than when the services were at 4 separate locations scattered throughout the community. A true continuum of care for victims has been created by DVCC.
DVCC took on the project to build the “New Beginning” Campus. While this project was needed, it also required significant funding. DVCC had many donors from the community as well as several grants to support a large part of the project, but it was still necessary to complete the project to take out a significant debt in the form of a construction loan. This loan created the largest debt that DVCC had ever faced. In addition, DVCC continued to provide record numbers of services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking.
DVCC was given a challenge by Roger and Michelle Tollefson and Mark Tollefson in memory of his wife, Lori Tollefson. This extremely generous family pledged to give a donation of $250,000 each towards the existing construction loan if DVCC raised the remaining balance of $165,000. The funds would pay off the construction loan in full. It’s through community actions like this that change can actually take place, and this is one of those moments when everyone in the community was given the opportunity to make a difference.
On October 17, 2016, DVCC celebrated the completion of the Tollefson Challenge. Enough funds were raised with pledges to pay off the construction loan. DVCC is grateful to the Tollefson family for providing this wonderful opportunity and to the Minot Community for the financial contributions to meet the challenge. DVCC is truly blessed by this outpouring of support.