For many of us, Christmas is a time of celebration and family. For others, this time is a reminder of the pain they've suffered, a time of being alone, or fear of not being able to provide for themselves or their families.

For many of us, Christmas is a time of celebration and family. For others, this time is a reminder of the pain they’ve suffered, a time of being alone, or fear of not being able to provide for themselves or their families. Unfortunately, these uneasy emotions are often a reality for victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Each year, along with the support of our community, Citizens Against Domestic Violence works hard to ensure the victims served are able to provide for themselves and their children, allowing them to experience true joy during the holiday season.

Last year 60 families involving over 100 children were assisted through CADV’s Christmas Program, providing gifts, food and other daily necessities. The need seems to grow every year. Christmas is fast approaching and sponsors for the program are needed. Please put yourself in the shoes of the families helped by CADV.

The following is a few words of one of the women assisted by CADV.

“I started over about a year ago. We came to the shelter with nothing, but have been blessed and given a new and wonderful beginning. CADV helped us find housing and then furnish our new home. It was a start, it was beautiful, and it was ours. I knew I would not be able to give my children gifts at Christmas this year. That was okay, Christmastime had been tight in the past, now we felt safe. I participated in group counseling sessions every week. During a session in November filled out an application for assistance with Christmas. CADV went above and beyond by providing my children’s Christmas wish list to a donor. I can’t even express the joy in my heart as they ripped open the gifts under the Christmas tree. They both had endured so much, and to have the weight lifted off of my shoulders of not having enough money to buy them Christmas gifts was a true blessing. A simple act of kindness, such as Christmas gifts for not only the boys but a few for me, really touched the three of us, and made us feel like a family again. Thank you so much.”

The public's help is needed to continue breaking down barriers that prevent members of the community from creating and maintaining a violence free lifestyle.

How you can help

CADV is looking for people to “adopt” families in need. There are a variety of ways you can adopt a family. Whether you are an individual, family, neighborhood, church, civic group, business, or a group of co-workers, you are encouraged to participate. There are families of all sizes — from single women to families of four children. If you are unable to “adopt” a woman or entire family, CADV would appreciate any donation of new individual items from the Christmas Wish-List.

CADV’s Christmas Wish List

Gift Cards (Walmart, grocers, Outlet Mall/clothing stores, movie theater, restaurants, etc.)

New Children’s Gifts - games, toys, books, coats, pajamas, socks, shoes

New Women’s Gifts – candles, jewelry, makeup, lotions, socks, pajamas, purses

New Family Gifts – games, family/child friendly DVDs

HE Liquid Laundry Detergent

Fabric Softener/Dryer Sheets

Diapers – All sizes

Pull-Ups – All Sizes

Non- Perishable food items

Frozen foods, turkeys, hams

Christmas Dinner food baskets/boxes (includes all fixings to prepare their own Christmas dinner)

Laundry baskets

Toilet paper, paper towels and trash bags

Gift wrap, boxes, bags, bows and tissue paper

Anyone interested in adopting a family or dropping off donations can call CADV at 573-346-9630.