It takes a village to support YWCA Dayton’s domestic violence shelters.
The nonprofit operates the only domestic violence shelters in Montgomery and Preble counties and staffers say the need for daily care items for clients remains high. Because it has been difficult to find available affordable housing in our area, some women remain in limbo in shelter and transitional housing for prolonged periods of time as they search for options.
In 2021, the YWCA took more than 6,000 crisis hotline calls and served more than 225 clients in domestic violence shelters. Afraid for their life and safety, many women are forced to abruptly leave everything they own behind when seeking shelter.
According to Nycia Lattimore, YWCA Dayton Crisis Services Manager, donations from the community are critical to caring for domestic violence survivors. “In their journey as a domestic violence survivor, sometimes they are challenged with leaving everything that they own behind,” Lattimore says. “It may just be a towel to you but it may represent their entire life.”
Here’s what they need:
- One of the items most requested by clients, yet least donated, is new underwear in a range of sizes. “For women and their families who have experienced domestic violence, underwear donations ensure basic needs will be met any time any day,” says Lattimore. “For sexual assault survivors who go to the hospital for a rape kit, YWCA also includes new underwear in care kits because their clothes can be taken and collected as evidence.”
- Body wash
- New bath towels and bath sheets
- Hair care products, especially those that work well for Black women for a range of styles and textures.
- Baby wipes
Donations can be dropped off any time at 141 W. Third St., Dayton, and donors can park with flashers in front of the building. Additionally, the YWCA has an Amazon Wish List that can be used to order and ship donations directly to the Central Building and can be found linked at www.ywcadayton.org/how-to-help.
Other ways to help:
- Volunteers can help with anything from serving lunch and sorting donations to providing support as a sexual assault survivor advocate. Interested volunteers can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-461-5550 ext. 108.
- Clubs and businesses give important support when they hold donation drives. Drives can be for any items on the wish list or interested groups can contact email@example.com to learn more.
- Groups can also become Birthday Buddies, which is YW’s initiative to host monthly birthday parties for children living in shelter. Groups can sponsor a party by gathering items on a checklist for a birthday party for kids living in shelter, volunteering to lead activities with the kids, donating toward the cost of the party. Venues can also offer their space to host the party. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: email@example.com.
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.