By Wendy Holdren
The Women’s Resource Center is asking for donations to help support the “Clothes to Home” project.
During emergency room exams, clothing from sexual assault victims must be kept for evidence; this project’s sole purpose is to provide fresh clothing for adults and children to wear home or to a shelter.
For the past decade, WRC has worked to keep a consistent supply of bags to area hospitals.
The Beckley Area Foundation has provided a $4,000 grant for the program and One Voice is working with three local churches to help collect supplies, but the help of the community is still greatly needed.
These “Clothes to Home” bags contain a new outfit, sample size personal care items like deodorant, body wash and shampoo, a small journal and pen to keep track of important information, such as the investigating officer’s information and the forensic kit number, and pamphlets with information about WRC and support services.
If the emergency department uses all the bags before the next delivery can take place, victims have to leave the hospital in a hospital gown.
“When victims leave the hospital, they go home in hospital gowns if the ‘Clothes to Home’ project isn’t sponsored in the hospital or if the hospital has ran out of bags,” said Leslie Mateer, sexual assault services coordinator/ prevention educator.
“Victims have already suffered enough, so we want them to have fresh clothes to be able to leave the hospital with.”
Mateer said no donation is too small — “Every piece counts.”
Even if someone can just donate a pair of new socks, that can be put with someone else’s donation of a sweatshirt, until enough items can be compiled into one bag.
Both monetary donations and clothing and personal item donations are being accepted.
Monetary donations can be sent to WRC “Clothes to Home” Project, P.O. Box. 1476, Beckley, WV 25802.
Clothing is needed in all sizes, from small to 3x, for women, men, boys and girls. Needed items include new sweatpants, new sweatshirts, new solid color T-shirts, new underwear, new socks and new lounge or sports bras.
Personal items needed include deodorant, body wash, lip balm, shampoo, lotion, sanitary wipes, pens and small notepads.
Call 304-255-2559 for more information about donation drop-off locations.
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