Archive for January 2009

Victim Advocates and Police Department Team Up to Help Families During Holidays

January 15, 2009

The Victim Advocates at the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County (FCC) solicited help for three families they had been working with who were going through a tough time during this holiday season.  The domestic violence victims, who were working with our Advocates, were reportedly all very concerned that they did not have the resources this year to give their children a Christmas.  After contacting Betty Dewey of the Essex Precinct of the Baltimore County Police Department, the Police Department volunteered to collect toys and other gifts for the three families in need.  The gifts were delivered to the families in time for the holidays.  Below is a letter from one of the mothers to our Victim Advocates:

I would like to thank you for thinking of me and my children during these difficult times.  The gifts were greatly appreciated.  It’s nice to know that there are so many people who are caring and giving.  Thank you for being God’s helpers.  Your gifts and support has made a huge impact on my life.  I wouldn’t have been able to handle things so far without the support and knowledge from the Family Crisis Center.

Thank You So Much!

The Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County and The Baltimore County Police Department of Precinct 11 work together through the Domestic Violence Partnership Program, which was started by Betty Dewey. 

The Victim Advocates at the FCC offer assistance to any adult family member experiencing physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a spouse or intimate partner.  Victim Advocacy services include victim crisis counseling, telephone counseling, home visits, connecting victims to legal resources and educational materials, court accompaniment, victim support groups, safety planning, and lethality assessments.

Post Christmas Shelter Update – Thank You

January 12, 2009

The following is a thank you letter and shelter update on the Christmas activities at the shelter from the Shelter Director, Rebecca Foster, at the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County.

A four year old came into the office with her mom and younger brother yesterday. She was being very animated about the fun she had had at the Christmas parties and was giving details about all her Christmas gifts. All of a sudden she stopped, became very serious, and proceeded to tell her family’s “secrets”. Her mother quickly responded, “You don’t know that!” The little girl shook her head solemnly, and far above here years said, “Yes I do. I’ve been holding it in my heart.” It made me sigh and wonder what else this little girl’s heart was holding.

While this may be a strange way to start a thank you letter, it best explains what we do and who you help. Your donations touch the lives of our families in ways that cannot be explained. They feel cared for enough to begin to talk about the parts of their lives that are not easy to talk about. We then try to help put the pieces back together.

The Holiday Season brought many smiles to the faces of our families. We had lots of pizza, food, and more food. Cookies were decorated with piles of candy. Santa not only brought gifts, but posed for pictures with everyone. JoJo the Magic Clown entertained us. One preschooler bravely tried to hold back the tears when she thought JoJo was going to send her to China with the top of his wand – he could make coins disappear from people’s ears – certainly he could do more magic and send her away. There was karaoke. (Let’s just say that some people can sing.) Candy jars were delivered for the moms. The older children were excited to see Ray Lewis and get an autographed picture. They are still talking about the ride in the limo with movies playing and a bucket of candy for each one on the way downtown. Our holiday season was busy!

Cool clothes that fit, MP3 players, boom boxes, remote control cars and DINOSAURS, learning toys, ride on toys, dolls, coloring books, and stockings announced the arrival of Christmas morning. One child couldn’t believe that Santa could get a bike down the chimney – especially since they didn’t have a chimney. Gift cards kept dreams alive.

The children’s program received a new HDTV and a Wii. They have been busy bowling and playing basketball every night. At first the teens were too cool to play. It wasn’t long before they couldn’t contain themselves and jumped in. Now there is quite a waiting line to play.

The women were grateful for their gifts. They were not expecting to be taken care of so grandly. Many were only concerned that their children would have something under the tree. A bag of personal care items and nice Bath and Body sets were the moms’ stockings. The pots and pans, dishes, and baskets of household items may not seem exciting to many, but offer our families hope. As a mother of three was showing me pictures of the house she will be moving into at the end of this week she said with tears in here eyes and a quiet smile, “A new house with new dishes…it’s a new start.”

That statement says it all. Your donations of both financial support and gifts have offered our families not just a temporary place to stay, a new toy or clothing, but a “new start.” Thank You. We could not do this without you.

Rebecca Foster