Area Cato managers recently partnered with Crosswind Ministries to donate clothes to domestic violence victims.
Booneville Cato Manager Dawn Smith and Corinth Cato Manager Macee Taylor met recently with Crosswind Ministry Executive Director Bobby Capps to donate 21 boxes of clothes.
Smith explained the donation was part of a corporate initiative to take “zeroed out” merchandise and use it as part of the Cato Cares program. She said her search led her to Capps and Crosswind’s FAITH (Family And Individual Transitional Housing) program.
“This year Corporate wanted the donations to go to a domestic violence program. I had to research to find a place locally. What a blessing to find this program. I feel really good about it,” said Smith.
Taylor said she was excited when Smith contacted her to combine their local efforts. She said she responded with “let’s do this.”
While the program can help people in different situations, Capps said they primarily see women fleeing from domestic abuse.
He said many of the victims have left their abuser more than once, but cannot find the strength to stay away, are too afraid of the retaliation or return for any number of complex reasons. Capps also said the program works well for women who chose not to go to a safe house.
Brett Butler, Crosswind case manager and associated with Mississippi United to End Homelessness, said they have seen every version of situations where women are fleeing domestic violence. He said many women prefer the FAITH program with its transitional housing for practical reasons such as situations where they have jobs to which they need to have close access. The case manager pointed out that these women have truly emergent needs.
“Many of these women have fled with just the clothes on their back,” said Capps. He pointed out the usefulness of the donations as the apparel does more than just clothe the women in the program. Women that need a nice outfit for a job interview was one example he pointed out. Another example was the fact that it helps boost confidence and self-esteem.
“Some nice clothes go a long way toward restoration of dignity,” Capps explained. He said much of what an abuser does is to dehumanize the victim.
FAITH participant and domestic abuse survivor Amy Roach was on hand to agree. She said having the nice clothes helped make her feel “like a human being again.”
“You are stripped of everything in those situations. I was in a deep depression for years. I was good at hiding it, but my kids knew,” she said.
Thanks to the donations, Smith and Taylor said there will be a wide variety of items to choose from in sizes extra small up to 28W —with tops, bottoms, dresses, undergarments and even some accessories. The two managers expressed a great enthusiasm that their company donations will be available to help a worthy cause.
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