SALISBURY — The baskets kept coming.
Pulling them from the trunks of sedans and passenger seats of SUVs, representatives from the Wallace & Graham law firm marched 30 “survivor” baskets full of toys and toiletries into the Family Crisis office on Monday morning. Council at 502 N. Long St.
By the time each basket was unloaded and stacked, the sofas and tables in the association’s waiting room were barely visible. After delivering the baskets, the law firm presented Renee Bradshaw, executive director of the Family Crisis Council, with a check for $3,000. Bradshaw was amazed by the gesture.
“It is indeed a wonderful thing that they have done,” Bradshaw said. “Ladies and children will greatly appreciate being able to start with the items they need. It took a lot of work and it means a lot to me. »
Family Crisis Council works to empower victims of rape, sexual assault, incest, and domestic violence to take control of their lives.
The law firm donated the baskets and money through its Wallace & Graham Gives charity program. The company says it donates $50,000 a year to a number of local organizations working on causes such as education for disadvantaged youth, mental health counseling for veterans, sustainability and Moreover.
Wallace and Graham brought the baskets to the Family Crisis Council during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an annual campaign that aims to raise awareness of the causes and risk factors of sexual assault and to empower individuals to take action to prevent this from happening.
The baskets will be given to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault when they leave the Family Crisis Council’s community living shelter. The shelter is often the only place many victims have to go after leaving an abuser or a dangerous situation.
“The main goal of the shelter is to give them a safe haven and then start working with them moving forward,” Bradshaw said.
The baskets are intended to provide victims with the products they might need when making a fresh start. Half of the baskets are for mothers and contain items like Clorox wipes, pad sets, blankets and other hygiene products. The other half is for children and is filled with soccer balls, cups, snacks and games.
“We hope the survivor packages and our donation will help victims of abuse feel deeply supported in this community,” said Whitney Wallace Williams, firm partner and chair of the Wallace & Graham Gives Committee. “We want to give victims the resources and courage they need to end the cycle and pursue a new end to their story.”
The survivor baskets and donation were proposed and executed by Wallace & Graham paralegals Renee Wilcox and Brianna Earnhardt. Both have a special appreciation for the work of the council.
Wilcox’s father worked in law enforcement as a police chief and his family recognized the impact a successful women’s shelter has in improving the mental and physical well-being of victims of violence. Earnhardt’s mother spent her career with the Rowan County Department of Social Services and knows how critical victims’ access to resources can be during their most difficult times.
The baskets will be another resource deployed by the Family Crisis Council to help survivors leaving its shelter. The council also tries to facilitate the process by providing mattresses, bedding and local resources for housing, food and employment.
“We try to help them with whatever they need to get up,” Bradshaw said.
Temporary accommodation for victims is one of the many services provided by the Family Crisis Council. Formerly the Rape, Child and Family Abuse Crisis Council of Salisbury-Rowan, the non-profit organization was incorporated in April 1978 and received a grant to develop a service center for victims of domestic abuse. From the opening of the nonprofit organization’s first shelter in 1990 through December 2016, the Family Crisis Council has housed 2,478 women and 767 children at its shelter.
The Family Crisis Council helped more clients last year as documented cases of sexual assault increased. In 2020, there were 179 calls to 911 from Rowan County regarding sexual assaults and related offenses. In 2021, this number has increased to approximately 226 calls. Last year, Family Crisis Council served just over 700 clients, including 89 people who stayed at its shelter.
The Family Crisis Council operates a 24/7 helpline for victims and can help victims of sexual abuse with safety planning, housing options, managing cases and tips. The non-profit organization helps victims file protective orders electronically and provides attorneys who accompany victims through criminal and civil proceedings.
“We really work with people from the moment of victimization to the moment we call the survival hood,” said Spencer Dixon, resources and media coordinator for the Family Crisis Council.
All services offered by Family Crisis Council are free.
Family Crisis Council is funded by grants, foundations, governments, and individuals. The council is hosting the Stomp Out Sexual Assault 5K at 9 a.m. on April 23. The race will take place at Knox Middle School with runners running on the Salisbury Greenway. All proceeds will go to the Family Crisis Council. Registration is done online at runsignup.com.
The council is also planning its sixth men’s fashion show on June 4 at the Salisbury Country Club. More details will be available closer to the event.
More information about Family Crisis Council can be found online at fccrowan.org.