By HEAL Staff Writer Jessica Martinez
When escaping a violent home or situation, a person rarely has time to plan. Many leave with nothing but the clothing on their backs. They are often hurt, scared, and emotionally drained.
Imagine the daily necessities many of us take for granted: clean clothing, pajamas, toiletries, even diapers and formula for babies. Children are forced to flee without their favorite teddy bears, toys, and blankets.
That’s where the Nest, Lincoln County’s first and only domestic violence shelter, comes in. The Nest provides secure and confidential housing to women and children in its 6500 square foot, 14-bedroom facility. Although they do not house men, the trained advocates at the Nest also assist males seeking help and can refer them to appropriate shelters and other services.
The Nest provides not only shelter, but also food, toiletries, transportation, and clothing, if needed, through Sweet Charity. The resale boutique is open to the public and its proceeds directly fund the Nest, the store also provides necessities to Nest residents free of charge.
Nest residents go through a program during their stay at the shelter with the primary purpose of helping them create a new life free of violence. When women are ready to complete the program, the Nest assists them in making sure they have everything they need. At this point in the process, Sweet Charity provides women and their families with items needed for their new homes, including bedding, dishes, and furniture.
“Thanks to community efforts, we are able to provide everything a family needs to make them feel clean, safe, warm and comfortable,” explained Susanne Francis, Nest Operations Director.
To help provide their services and, specifically, the items needed by the survivors of domestic violence who seek their shelter, both the Nest and Sweet Charity are always accepting donations.
The Nest’s ongoing wish list includes: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, diapers, baby wipes, tampons, pads, deodorant, hair products, and dog and cat food (did we mention they also provide shelter to family pets?).
Sweet Charity always welcomes the donation of gently used items. Because they are not a thrift store but a “resale boutique,” Sweet Charity appreciates that donations be clean and free of rips, tears, and stains. In addition to clothing, items sought for donation include kitchen utensils, bedding, furniture, home decor, and appliances. These donations help families affected by domestic violence either by being given directly to survivors or by being sold and the proceeds benefitting the shelter.
Donations to the Nest Domestic Violence Shelter and Sweet Charity are tax-deductible. For more information about donating to the Nest, call (575) 378-6378. Sweet Charity may be reached at (575) 378-0041.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, the Nest Domestic Violence Shelter offers a toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866) 378-6378.