Purdue Calumet students will let mothers whose circumstances have been upended by domestic violence know that people are thinking about them.
Students and mentors in the Center for Learning and Success partnered with Lake Area United Way recently to put together gift bags filled with necessities and treats for women staying in three of Northwest Indiana's domestic violence shelters: Haven House, St. Jude House and Caring Place, LAUW Community Engagement Manager Megan Sikes said.
Working on it as a Mother's Day project, the students amassed everything from toothpaste to glittery nail polishes for the care packages.
"We worked with the CLAS students during a reading project in Hammond schools last semester, so with university instituting domestic violence prevention programs, they suggested to do this drive," Sikes said. "These women have so much bad going on that it means so much to them that strangers are thinking about their well-being."
With talk of domestic violence increasing, Linda Atkinson-Pettee, the senior retention adviser to CLAS, said the students recognized domestic violence as being relevant to them. They completed gathering the donations within a few weeks as part of their Civic Engagement class.
Student Mentor Apollo Moreno, of Highland, works with the United Way in Chicago, so he has an idea the impact drives like these have in the community. But he and the students managed to show LAUW how it's done.
"They were surprised at how much we were able to collect," Moreno said. "And they were surprised at how many kids we were able to get interested in helping out."
Mentor Marielle Hunter, of Crown Point, said she contributed what she could to the effort. The topic of domestic violence, she said, means a lot to her.
"After going through something as deeply affecting and intense as domestic violence, it's good to know people are out there rooting for you," she said.
There are 65 students enrolled in the CLAS program, Atkinson-Pettee said.
LAUW also donates money to the three shelters that will receive the gift bags, Sikes said.
Original Article from Post Tribune - 4/30/2015 - Michelle Quinn, Author
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