Have you ever envisioned yourself as a hero by empowering others?
I know many of you reading this have children who are about to be on summer break. Your kids probably have many summer activities planned while you are at work. You most likely drive them to events, programs, sports, or friends’ houses many times a week. How many trips to the grocery store do you make during the summer?
The families staying in our shelter don’t have the same financial resources or freedom many of us do. Financial abuse is present in 98% of domestic abuse cases, and because all of our services are free, our residential clients tend to have no or little income. Many of our clients can’t afford the gas to drive their children to childcare or summer programs. While there are several free or low-cost summer programs for children in Boise, there are not enough of them to keep kids busy in a safe, healthy environment while mom is at work or attending a job training. This can often mean moms are paying extra for childcare in the summer. Many of the children staying in our shelter also miss out on the free lunches provided during the school year which means mom has to come up with the extra money to buy additional meals during the week, or their children simply go without.
You probably don’t think twice about driving your child to a summer program or picking up groceries to make sandwiches for lunch. Imagine if you couldn’t do that for your family. Something as basic as using a grocery gift card to shop for a child’s favorite lunch treat or buy fresh fruit for a healthy snack, or purchasing a tank of gas with a gas gift card making it possible to drive a child to a summer program at the library, can be incredibly empowering to a mom on the road to freedom from abuse.
We have many heroes in our community, like many of you reading this. Next time you are at a grocery store or gas station, please consider gift cards for our clients. It may seem like a small gesture but you are giving our clients their freedom back and that is priceless.
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