Celebrating Forty-Two Years of Service to Our Communities
Quick Notes Have we mentioned we’re on social media? What’s the easiest way to get in touch with us in between newsletters? Check out our social media pages! Find us on: Twitter: TWC_19_47 Instagram: TWC_19_47 LinkedIn: The Women’s Center, Inc. Facebook: The Women’s Center, Inc. of Columbia and Montour Counties YouTube: TWC Education Dept.
Upcoming Events: Participant Holiday Party Stalking Awareness Month Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Sexual Assault Awareness Month
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Volume 21, Issue 2
PURPLE PURSE CAMPAIGN Approximately, 99% of victims of domestic violence are not able to leave because of financial abuse. It is insidious and it is so deeply imbedded into domestic violence that it is hardly distinguishable. In some ways, it is the worst form of abuse because these victims know that they want to leave, but are unable to do so. From the end of the September throughout the month of October, The Women’s Center, Inc. was selected as one out of only 250 other organizations of our size to participate in the Purple Purse Campaign. The goal of the Purple Purse Campaign is to raise awareness and funds to end of financial abuse. Actress Kerry Washington (Scandal), has been instrumental in this campaign. She has been working with the Allstate Foundation for 3 years to publicize financial abuse and its horrific effects on domestic violence victims. She has done PSA’s, spoken about the campaign on talk shows, and she designed the dark purple purse that was gifted to our agency for participation within the campaign. The purple purse is a symbol of the financial abuse victims endure. In order to raise funds, our agency partnered with student organizations at Bloomsburg University including: W.I.S.E. (Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment), Ladies First, BUEA (Bloomsburg University Equality Alliance), and the Bloomsburg University Chapter of I AM THAT GIRL. The student groups helped us campaign on campus through collecting donations, selling Purple Purse tassels and spreading awareness about the topic of financial abuse. The purple purse designed by Kerry Washington, was auctioned at our Anniversary Luncheon along with a second purple purse that was donated by The English Garden in Riverside. The funds raised from our silent auction, along with funds raised by our University groups, and individuals in the community amassed over $2,000 and we couldn’t be happier! Thank you to everyone who donated!
PULP PROGRAM HOLIDAY SEASON HELP WANTED! This holiday season we are looking for volunteers to help us organize and wrap holiday gifts, volunteer at our Holiday Participant Party, or just help with any additional maintenance we have around the Shelter. We have a painting project that we are in need of skilled volunteers to complete. If you’d like to help, please call (570)-784-6632 and ask for our Volunteer Advocate.
Over the last fiscal year our agency has had the pleasure of being selected as one of three sites for a pilot program through a grant obtained by the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project. The goal of this project was to help domestic violence victims secure affordable, reliable utility service through the development of a program to assist victims leaving a transitional shelter and moving into their own residence navigate the process, review contracts, and determine how or whether to choose an electric service provider. Over its first year PULP: • Cleared or deferred approximately $58,000 in utility debt • Restored or preserved 58 utility accounts • Handled 124 cases for 72 individual clients • Trained 134 advocates • Intervened in UGI Gas rate proceeding and gained improvements to the systemic handling of utility issues for victims of domestic violence
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH In addition to the Purple Purse Campaign, we had several exciting events going on throughout the Columbia/Montour community to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We organized a chapbook of poetry from poetry submitted by the residents at North Central Secure Treatment Unit as well as several art displays. Each of these was featured at McBride Library in Berwick. A special event was hosted to feature the work. Additionally, North Central Secure Treatment Unit held a Domestic Violence Awareness Open House even and included our agency in the day of festivities!
The Women’s Center of Columbia & Montour
This grant has been an amazing opportunity for many victims who are affected by growing utility bills as a result of their batterer. Additionally, as an agency we were able to provide victims a referral to an attorney who could provide comprehensive legal counsel, advice, and/or representation. This particular group of attorneys is familiar with the issues being suffered by survivors and we are grateful that our clients could receive services that empowered them to establish and maintain affordable, stable, and reliable utility services (PULP, 2016).
ANNIVERSARY LUNCHEON Our annual Anniversary Luncheon took place on Thursday, October 27th at the Pine Barn Inn where we honored numerous community members who helped our agency immensely over the last fiscal year. We are so grateful for the amazing work the people below helped us accomplish!
2016-2017 Zabrina Finn, Ex Officio Ex Officio - all committees
Dr. Alana Atchinson, President Executive; Chair
Laurinda Voelcker, Vice President
Dr. Shavonne Shorter Boe Kline Kristen Rice Lynn Fait Betsy Malatesta Donald Pursel Tim Sebastian Dana Lockridge Nancy Hudak Father Howell Sasser Will Rowan Dr. Thomas Moreland Pastor Joel Zeiders Adrienne Mael Jasmine Davis DA Thomas Leipold Officer Robert Anderson Penn Kashar Lissa Bryan-Smith
Kyle Cosoleto-Miller Jim Martin Stacy Gaugler Laina Lusk Randy Ruckle Nicole Bardo P. Rilee Benjamin Denise Cook Maxine Querry Renee Fawess Susan Wehrle Sergeant Kenneth Fagan Officer Clay Fahringer Officer Jake Walker District Justice Marvin Shrawder District Justice Craig Long Oren Helbok Elizabeth Marx Taylor Farr
Personnel; Chair, Executive
Eric Lesneskie, Treasurer Budget & Finance; Chair, Executive, Personnel, Planning
David Kovach Membership/Nominating; Chair, Budget & Finance; Executive Tim Pelton Public Relations; Chair, Membership/Nominating Michael T. Currey Membership/Nominating, Personnel Annie Seif Fundraising; Public Relations Toni Barrile Fundraising; Personnel Dr. Kayleigh Taylor Membership/Nominating; Budget & Finance Renee Fawess Fundraising; Public Relations
To Contact The Women’s Center: Administration Hotline 570.784.6632 570.784.6631 Toll Free Fax 1.800.544.8293 570.784.6680 24-hours / 7 days
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December/January 2017 Issue
Current Resident or
The Women’s Center would like to extend a sincere Thank You to all of the generous businesses, organizations and community members who have made contributions to help us better serve victims and their children: Mandi Vivacqua ~ Mason Family ~Larry Witmer ~ GHP Garden of Giving Soroptimists of Montour County ~ Christine Smith ~ Tim Pelton ~ Marilyn D. Frear ~ Morgan Coates Ann Kielbasa ~ Dr. Raj Chopra ~ BU Student Veteran’s Association ~ Benton Senior Center P.I.N.E.R.S ~ Sonal Harris ~ Ed Sanders III ~ RCV United Methodist Church ~ Dave Ford Reverend Dr. Elizabeth McCormick ~ Amy Kolinovsky ~ Wendy Creveling Mary Ann Strine ~ First Columbia Bank & Trust ~ Community Christ Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment ~ Louise Nogle ~ Bloomsburg University Equality Alliance Amy Kellner ~ Kathy Mulka ~ Chi Alpha Epsilon ~ Dunkin Donuts English Garden ~ Berwick Lions Club ~ Stuart Tank Memorial Association Wesley United Methodist Women ~ Rob Cooney ~ AnneMarie Shankweiler Sandra Latour ~ Anonymous ~ Michelle Brown ~ Sue Oberkerker ~ Rohrbach’s Orchard Ann Sheatler ~ Bloomsburg Kiwani’s Club ~ Leslie Levan ~ Sandra Drew Monica Johnson ~ Nadine Kramarz ~ Alicia King Redfern ~ Kristen Rice ~ Maxine Williams Jan Dubbs ~ Renee Fawess ~ Tyler S. ~ Bri Williams ~ Danielle Miess In honor of Ron Crawford ~ In honor of Emma Cook ~ Debbie Harper ~ Morgan Coates Mary Shankweiler ~ Lynn Fait ~ Dr. Amy Taylor Teats ~ Allison & Harper Bressler