Letter from the Director
Season’s Greetings to All! I can’t believe the holidays are already upon us. We are 2 months into the new fiscal year and time seems to be flying by. We are busy with preparations for our upcoming Children’s Christmas Party, Board of Director’s December meeting, and our staff celebration. In doing all of these things, we keep in the forefront of our minds that there are families who are not together at the holidays and that things are sad at home. We do our best to make sure the holidays here for our in-house clients are safe, happy, and full of hope for the future. We couldn’t do any of these things without your help.
I would like to take a moment to ponder on some thoughts that always get to me this time of year. I miss home. I have lived in the same house for 12 years. It is my home with my husband and our animals. But what I miss is the nostalgia of my childhood home. I miss not falling asleep on Christmas Eve because Santa was coming. I miss my grandma sleeping on the sofa in our living room, facing the Christmas tree, and telling us kids to “get back in bed” when we would try to sneak a peek at 4:00am. I miss all of my brothers and me being under the same roof. I miss my mom and dad saying we can open presents after they have their coffee and then learning to make their coffee to hurry the process. I miss my cousins coming over to play games. I miss my dad playing his guitar and singing for us. That is Christmas and home for me. Whenever I hear, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” I always get tears in my eyes.
The families who stay with us over the holidays do not have home for Christmas. Our families will forever have Diane Peppler Resource Center as part of their future Christmas stories. “Do you remember that time we stayed at the shelter for Christmas?” That is going to be part of someone’s forever Christmas memory. We have the opportunity to show these families the kindness that everyone deserves. These families are seeking a new normal for themselves. As they traverse through the difficult days ahead, hopefully they can put the painful days behind them and move forward into a brighter outlook.
We believe in the magic of Christmas. We believe if you have been good all year, Santa will bring you something special. We believe that Santa knows where you are, even if you are not at your home. We need some special people to be Santas for our clients. If you would like to help be part of someone’s Christmas story of their time at the shelter, please give me a call at (906) 635-0566. All Santas can apply.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national level. The activities conducted were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, Celebrating those who have survived, and Connecting those who work to end violence.
These three themes remain a key focus of DVAM events today. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since with National Coalition Against Domestic Violence providing key leadership in this effort. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The first Monday of October 2017, the Sault Ste. Marie City Commission helped us celebrate by making a proclamation that the issue of domestic violence is important to each and every commissioner and it will not be tolerated. Even though DV Awareness month is celebrated in October, we believe this issue is important to educate on throughout the entire year.
Please join us on October 9th for the Annual DV Walk as we raise awareness with our sisters in the movement, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Advocacy Resource Center. We will start registration at 5:00pm and the walk starts at 6:00pm. We will be meeting at the Niigaanigiizhik Building on Ice Circle Drive. The first 300 registrants will get a hooded sweatshirt. We will have food and beverages, hope, love, and fellowship.
Together, we can end domestic violence
On Saturday, September 16th, the Soo Film Festival will be featuring the award winning film “Stuck in Traffic, Modern-Day Slavery in Michigan”, accompanied by the short “Anna” dealing with the same subject.
“Stuck in Traffic” is a 40 minute film that exposes the Michigan connection to the multi-billion dollar industry of Sex trafficking and explores how traffickers exploit and control their victims. It is a stark reminder that the impact that this deplorable trade has upon our communities, our children and our families cannot be ignored.
We urge you to watch this film and participate in the Q &A panel that follows. Parents and community leaders need to understand and be able to recognize the signs, so they can help our children and vulnerable adults to avoid becoming modern day slaves.
“It’s happening to somebody right now as we speak, and it needs to stop. We cannot look the other way. because when we look the other way evil is perpetuated… and this is happening to somebodies daughter, perhaps somebodies son, is being abused abused today” Tom Watkins