Submitted by SafePlace
Denise recently re-discovered her love of cooking, so while staying at the SafePlace emergency shelter, she’s been spending a lot of time in the communal kitchen preparing meals. According to Denise, “I came to SafePlace hurt, sad, and at wits end after living for a long time in an abusive relationship. I’m not going back this time,” she said. “Being at SafePlace is the best thing I’ve done for myself in years.”
Providing support so survivors can get back on their feet is what the 222 Market ‘Giving Tree’ is all about. The businesses at the 222 Market and SafePlace are partnering this holiday season in support of a safer, happier future for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in our community. “This is a powerful example of what happens when communities partner together to support survivors,” said Sarah Lloyd, Executive Director at SafePlace. “The business owners at 222 Market take incredible ownership of our community, and they continue to show up for those in need in countless ways.”
In the year since their grand opening last fall, the businesses at the 222 Market have immersed themselves in the community and culture of Olympia. “We really wanted to find a way to give back,” said Shina Wysocki, co-owner of the Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar. “The businesses here all agreed that we wanted to do something to say thank you to our community, which has been so supportive of us this past year. We thought a Giving Tree would be a fun way to come together as a community and to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence at the same time.”
Everyone is welcome to participate in the 222 Market ‘Giving Tree’ donation drive. There are three trees at the market, decorated with tags that specify various items for both individual survivors and items needed for the SafePlace shelter such as towels and sheets. Anyone wishing to participate can take a tag off the Giving Tree and return the item either to the 222 Market or directly to SafePlace at 521 Legion Way SE (SafePlace business office hours are Mon-Thurs from 9:00 a.m.-noon or 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.).
“The majority of supplies we use year round in the shelter are donated in December, so what comes in now will continue to make a difference in peoples’ lives throughout the year, ” said Kellie Patton, Director of Development at SafePlace. “Almost 20,000 meals have been prepared so far this year in our shelter. We have a lot of need for donated items to keep things running smoothly day after day. We rely on donations for everything from consumable items such as shampoo, diapers, and hygiene supplies to bedding and raingear in order to meet peoples’ most basic needs.”
Don’t know what the best way to provide direct support to a survivor is?
“Gift cards are a wonderful way to directly support survivors,” said Kellie. “Oftentimes when someone is in an abusive situation, the ability to make even the most basic choices has been impacted. When we give a mom a gift card, she is empowered to get what she needs to take care of her children. It seems like a small thing, but when someone has been in a situation where they may not have had a say in how their children were cared for, it is huge.”
The Giving Tree will be up through December 25 at the 222 Market, or you can visit the SafePlace website and click on the holiday wishlist. Donations may be dropped off at the 222 Market during normal business hours or at the SafePlace Community Service Center located at 521 Legion Way SE, Olympia on Mon-Thurs from 9:00 a.m.-noon or 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.