It was almost ten years ago when my girlfriend called me crying hysterically because her boyfriend had abused her–leaving bruises in the shape of fingers on her neck. I never thought this could happen to someone I knew. I never dreamed I would ever see a friend so scared and sad and in such pain. It was that day I vowed to do something to help women, like my friend; women who are victims of domestic violence.
I was fortunate enough to be friends at the time with AND’s current women’s advocate, Rita. I was able to learn more about the issue of domestic violence and she taught me how to help my friend–by telling her she was not alone and that there were services available to help her. It was then I began volunteering for her former domestic violence agency–donating discontinued hair products I was selling and organizing toy drives. My desire to help didn’t end there.
In 2004, I took the Domestic Violence Advocate 40-hour training. When Rita’s former agency abruptly shuttered its doors in 2009, a grassroots group of community members and professionals decided we could not let this issue go unaddressed in our community. And the wheels were set in motion to start A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park. We proudly opened the doors in 2011.
For the past 8 years, I have been honored to serve as President of the Board of Directors of AND. I take pride in the accomplishments our advocates, therapist, Board of Directors and staff have made. We have helped many women and children, and the support we have garnered from this community is unparalleled.
Thank you for your support. Please help AND continue its mission and help us put an end to domestic violence.