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Monday, June 28, 2010

With a Little Help from My Friends

Today I bringing you the news of the Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter (LAWS) Gala 2010 occurring October 16th, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. I am very excited about it! First let me tell you a little about LAWS.

Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter was founded in 1984 by three Loudoun County women, incorporated as Loudoun Citizens for Social Justice and otherwise referred to as LAWS for business purposes. LAWS is a private, non-profit agency with a volunteer Board of Directors that provides leadership, oversight, fundraising, advocacy, and accountability.

Over the past 26 years, LAWS has grown from a small, shelter-based emergency response entity to one of the most comprehensive and holistic domestic violence and sexual assault programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, with an annual operating budget of $1.1 million and through a dedicated team of 29 staff and more than 70 volunteers, LAWS provides essential services to hundreds of children, families and other individuals in need. These services include:

Legal Services
Domestic Violence Services and 24-Hour Crisis Hotline
Shelter Services
Youth and Children's Services
Sexual Assault Services
Teen Violence Prevention Program
Nurturing Program (educational prevention groups and counseling)
The Resourceful Woman Thrift Shop (women and children in our services receive clothing though the shop)
The Child Advocacy Center (law enforcement, legal, and psychological services work together to assist children of abuse)

I am very proud to be affiliated with such a stellar organization. I came to be involved with LAWS after a family loss due to domestic violence. Jim's young cousin was murdered by her ex-husband. I am sorry to be so blunt but there really isn't a way to sugarcoat that. That tragic event rocked my family to the core. After conducting my own research on domestic violence, I learned the very sad facts about its prevalence. I knew I had to get involved. Some of you may know that I am Vice Chair of the Board for LAWS. I also inherited the Gala Chair this year.

The LAWS Gala is bigger this year than is previous years. It has to be to meet our needs. The Gala is the largest fundraiser for LAWS. It needs to raise enough to continue the services they offer. Grants and other monies available to LAWS is not enough to cover the costs for this comprehensive not-for-profit. Why is that? Because some monies available to organizations like LAWS is transient. Grants may be awarded on a time-limited basis and public monies may evaporate. Often times when the money leaves, so does the service. Not in LAWS case. They have managed to keep the services that are crucial for the welfare of women and children though fundraising.

A critical need has arisen in the past couple of years ~ the need for a new emergency shelter and transitional housing. The emergency shelter is available for women and children in imminent danger or that have been made homeless by the domestic violence. Last year we had to turn away more than 40 women and their children because there simply was no room for them at our aging 12-bed facility. That meant we had to say “sorry” to one out of every three women who had come to us looking for somewhere to sleep and feel safe. LAWS helped them is other ways of course but still to be turned away at that juncture is beyond sad.

The emergency shelter is designed for a brief stay so that others may be served. Often these families have no place to go to begin resurrecting their lives. That's where transitional housing comes in as there is the capacity to stay longer. During this time the women work with staff to secure permanent housing, get finances in order, and stabilize their children's worlds. Currently their is no transitional housing dedicated to these women and children.

This year's Gala is entitled Raise the Roof. This is to signify that all remaining money after supporting the current programming will be dedicated to building or buying a new shelter with transitional housing. Our goal is to have this available to our clients by 2012.

The Gala will be held at the lovely Lansdowne Resort in historic Leesburg, Virginia. You can make a fantastic night of it by staying at the resort and enjoying all the amenities Lansdowne has to offer. For every Gala attendee that stays the night, Lansdowne will give a donation to LAWS! How wonderful is that?!

There will be fabulous entertainment! Gregg Karukas, the extraordinary jazz pianist, will tickle the ivory first. Then the premier Washington, DC based dance band, Diamond Alley, will take the stage so all may dance the night away.

Our emcee for the evening is the critically acclaimed CBS Evening News reported Sharyl Attkisson.

Wonderful food and drink, fantastic entertainment, dance the night away.... all for a great cause.

How can you help? You can help in several ways! You can help simply by attending or having your company become a Sponsor or by donating an item or service to the silent auction or by making a donation to LAWS. Sponsors and auction donors will be featured out the LAWS Gala website!

If you would like to donate an item for the auction, just email me at paula@lawsraisetheroof.com. I'll be very happy to help get your donation to the Gala! All donations for the auction are tax deductible!

If you have any questions I can answer for you, leave a comment or drop me a note. I look forward to working on this with you.

I want to thank all my blogger, Facebook, and twitter friends who have graciously agreed to spread the word ~ Sherry & John, Cheryl, Jeanette, Katrina, Kristin, Julia, Sarah, Crystal, Cassandra, Janell, Roséline, and Karen! Your support means a great deal to me :)

If this event moves you, please join in the Facebook and twittering of the post.

Together we can do this! Thank you very much!!

1 comment:

  1. I tweeted this post, a great cause and I admire you for all the work you are doing to help others. Janell


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