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Winter clothing drive under way
Donations to help domestic violence victims
By Bill Conrad, firstname.lastname@example.org
As the only domestic violence shelter in Collin County, Hope's Door serves about 500 women and children each month, some of whom own little more than the clothes on their back.
To help prepare the shelter's clients for winter, the Collin County District Clerk's office is holding a winter clothing drive to collect coats, gloves, scarves, hats and blankets. The idea was the brainchild of District Clerk Andrea Stroh Thompson, a former board member at Hope's Door.
"When it gets to holiday time, Hope's Door can have a lot of difficulties," Thompson said. "The whole courthouse is participating, and we are also asking for participation from all the local bar associations. We see the legal side of these cases, and I think this is a good opportunity for us to help these people on the humanitarian side."
Items are being collected through Nov. 7 at the District Clerk offices on the first and third floors of the Collin County Courthouse, 2100 Bloomdale Road in McKinney, as well as the Plano Passport Office at 900 E. Park Blvd.
Adela Plasek, the director of community relations at Hope's Door, said items such as winter clothing can give a woman the confidence that she can make it without the help of her abuser, who often has complete financial control in the relationship.
"This allows us to give the support to the women that need help and allows them to become self-sufficient," Plasek said. "They have been told throughout their relationship that they can't live without their abuser. ... This is not just a gift, this gives them a sense of freedom."
Hope's Door operates an emergency shelter as well as other housing for its clients. The shelter also offers counseling for both the abuse victim and the abuser. Plasek said 86 percent of abusers who undergo counseling won't go back to their abusive behavior after two years.
"If you are ever going to stop domestic violence, you have to go to the source of the problem, which is the abuser," Plasek said. "It is a great program and it is working very well."
In addition to the winter clothing drive, Hope's Door is also preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas with food and toy drives. From Nov. 1-16, food donations will be accepted at the shelter's offices at 860 F Ave. in Plano. New, unwrapped toys are also being accepted until Dec. 5. They may also be dropped off at the shelter's office. Plasek said toys for all ages will be accepted, but she requests that no stuffed animals or violent toys such as guns and knives be donated.
For information, visit hopesdoorinc.org.
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