For over a month, Wheaton organizations and houses – Peace House, Sexual Health Advocacy Group (S.H.A.G.), Emerson House and Renaissance House – have partnered to educate the campus community about domestic violence and raise money to support local women shelters in Providence, RI and and Attleboro, MA.
Jessica Kruger ‘17, who initiated the Campus Wide Empowerment Drive, stated that the drive “was born out of a desire to give back to our community.” Kruger reached out to Nykia Leach ‘17, one of her close friends who is on the executive board of S.H.A.G., and asked if her group would be interested in collaborating together. Similarly, Kruger reached out to the representatives of the themed houses.
The four organizations decided that they preferred to raise money to create ‘goody bags’ full of things women transitioning into domestic shelters need instead of just sending a check to a shelter. Two shelters, Sojourner House in Rhode Island and New Hope in Attleboro, loved their idea and will be receiving the personal goody bags.
The organizations were able to meet and surpass their goal of $500. Kruger also began a GoFundMe campaign that has raised 80% of their goal of $300. The campaign will open until April 8. Apart from raising money, when these organizations set up their tables in the Balfour-Hood landing, they collected items such as tampons, pads, disposable razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and travel size shampoo and conditioner to fill the goody bags.
They plan to purchase even more of those items with the money raised and to make around 300 goody bags to give directly to the women transitioning into shelters. To finish off their Campus Wide Empowerment Drive, the four organizations plan to invite the Wheaton community to help fill the goody bags at their final event. This event will also be an opportunity to reflect on the power of students dedicated to social service.