A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentuckians open their hearts, wallets to help abuse survivors through Shop and Share fundraiser


By Mary Kuhlman
Public News Service

Domestic-violence shelters throughout the Commonwealth have their hands full this month – but for a good reason. They’re busy sorting and distributing nearly $600,000 in food, personal products, gift cards and other items donated by Kentuckians during the “Shop and Share Fundraiser” that was held Feb. 2.

The event is coordinated by the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where Lisa Gabbard, its certification training programs administrator, said one shelter alone collected $30,000 in goods.

Food and other donations from Kentuckians are helping domestic-violence shelters use their resources to fill the gaps in other services to help survivors. (Photo from KCADV)

“That’s less grocery shopping they have to do, that’s less that they have to rely on other donations,” she said. “So, when folks come into shelters, they’ve got food, they’ve got school supplies for kids, they’ve got personal products for someone who may have fled in the night with nothing but the clothes on their back.”

Gabbard said they’re grateful for these donations, which allow shelters to fill the gaps in other services needed to help survivors of abuse. According to the National Census of Domestic Violence Services, Kentucky’s programs served 962 adults and children on one day in 2017. However, because programs lacked the resources, nearly 60 requests for services were unmet.

Gabbard said it takes more than courage to leave an abusive situation. For one survivor, she said, donated food and personal items were the foundation for rebuilding her life.

“She had stayed at our shelter in Elizabethtown and talked about how those items being provided to her were so helpful to her and her children,” she said, “and how she’d been able with the services she received to kind of get back up on her feet and finish school and be employed, and those sorts of things.”

More than 120 grocery stores participated in the fundraiser, which also included the support of the governor and First Lady’s Office, Kroger, Food City, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana and Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Council.

More information is online at kcadv.org, and the national census figures are at nnedv.org.


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