As we look back upon this past year, we are filled with so many emotions. This year has brought on unprecedented challenges, heart-breaking loss, isolation and increased danger. Each of us was affected in one way or another but together we endured, and I believe we are now stronger than ever. One thing that did not change was the out-pouring of generosity toward those who are struggling and needing our services.
I am happy to share that this Christmas we were able to provide gifts to 46 families that have been affected by violence (sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect). Thanks to the generosity of our community, 34 adults and 81 children in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris and Osage county were able to enjoy new coats, hats, gloves, shoes, toys and more! Some of these families are starting over in a new location for safety and we were able to provide them household essentials to help them with their fresh start. There were tears of joy, children bursting with excitement, and many hugs of gratitude and disbelief for the kindness of these anonymous donors. Here are just a few reactions:
“I want to thank you for all the Christmas gifts. I opened all of them last night and they made me so happy. I love all of them.” “Oh, my goodness… the mom was so happy. She said thank you a million times and was so thankful for everything!” “When we delivered the gifts, the little girl hugged her toy and jumped up and down with excitement!”
In addition to the Holiday Drive, our friends and neighbors helped support our mission by purchasing new items for our shelter, toys, gas cards, grocery cards, pantry items, warm coats, blankets, and so much more to help our clients. We also received nearly $33,000 towards our Hope Lives Campaign. These are crucial funds that support our staff and resources where we have gaps in our grant funding. We are so thankful!
We are extremely grateful for the support of our friends in the community, and the courageous trust of our clients who are seeking safety and guidance. With 2021 just around the corner, it is the perfect time for SOS to begin our next chapter. We are excited to announce that the renovation of 1420 C of E Drive is nearing completion and will be the home for the “SOS Community Advocacy & Service Complex”. We are seeking additional funding to complete the renovation. This central location will allow us to consolidate all of SOS’s local programs and services under one roof, creating greater safety and security for abused victims. Having one location also streamlines and enhances our delivery of services and will include our emergency shelter. The SOS Administration office and children’s programs will be relocated in January with hopes that the remaining staff and shelter will be transitioned to the new building by the spring. We thank you for your continued support and we wish you a Happy New Year!