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Supporting domestic violence shelters in the winter

Domestic violence advocates share ways to help

DANVILLE, Ind (WISH) — One of the largest domestic violence shelters in Indiana said there is an increase in calls to its emergency line in the winter, which leads to an increased need of volunteers and donations.

Sheltering Wings is located in Hendricks County. Advocates there said the increase in calls is likely because people are cooped up inside with their abusers.

“If you have a passion, we have a project,” said Jenna Harris, the Sheltering Wings Communications and Annual Giving Officer. “So, if you want to help us answer phones or you want to help us go through donations that come in or just keep our facility clean. There’s always a place for you to volunteer here.”

Paige Vanzo, the Development Director at the shelter, said, that despite call volumes increasing in the winter, there is a fairly consistent need all twelve months of the year.

“Over the course of the year in our emergency shelter, we will serve about 250 people here under our roof,” Vanzo said. “The sad thing about domestic violence shelters in our area is that there’s not enough room for everyone who needs help. So, what we do is we have a danger assessment tool that we go through with folks so we’re able to help people in very dangerous or the most dangerous situations, but we will never turn anyone away without help or support.”

The shelter is often in need of monetary donations, as well as items like cleaning & laundry products, hygiene supplies, children’s gear, household necessities, snacks, and office supplies.

“When someone comes into the shelter all we want them to focus on is their safety so we provide all of their necessities,” Harris said. “Food. Clothing. Laundry detergent. Those are all things that we don’t want them to have to worry about while they’re here, so we rely on donations from our community to help make that possible.”

Sheltering Wings provides victims of all genders and ages support.

This includes housing through their emergency shelter, life skills education, and children’s programming, including therapy. The team works with community partners to help survivors find housing when they are ready and does prevention and education programs to help stop abuse before it starts.

The advocates at Sheltering Wings said there is room for you on their team. Those looking to join the team can apply for a full-time position here or apply to volunteer here.

The shelter is always in need of monetary donations. Vanzo said the average donation is $250, but every donation helps provide shelter and services to those who need it most. Readers can learn more about donating here.

For hose who would like to donate items rather than money, the shelter keeps a wishlist on the website and provides a direct Amazon wishlist for people to buy from.