Year without a Santa Claus? NJ woman shares her shelter story
Imagine waking up Christmas morning, walking downstairs and there is no tree or presents. Now, think about celebrating Hanukkah with no exchange of gifts and barely enough food to eat. For a moment, picture yourself in a “safe” house at a shelter and trying to explain to your children why they need to hide from their friends and family because it’s for their own safety. These are some of the things that families in domestic abuse shelters need to deal with during the Holiday season. Please take a minute and read the following letter about a woman in a New Jersey shelter.
Christine has been a victim of domestic violence for about 15 years. After spending a couple of days in the hospital from injuries she received in the latest domestic violence incident and fearing retaliation for having called the police, Christine made the decision to flee from her abuser and seek safe shelter. She left behind all of her belongings, taking only her three children, a 14 year old son, an 11 year old daughter, and an 8 year old son, with her. Christine and her children stayed in our safe house for 30 days. Now facing having to raise her three children on her own, without the financial support of her abusive husband, Christine realized that her salary as a retail associate would not be enough to take care of their needs. She decided to take advantage of our transitional housing program, where she and her children can stay for two years. Since entering the transitional house in the spring, Christine has begun to take courses towards a nursing degree. The children are enrolled in school and have made many new friends. Although the family is safely settled, Christine still only has just enough money to provide the very basic of necessities for her family. These children are very sweet and understanding of their mother’s struggle but it is an unnecessary burden for them to bear. We would love for them to be able to wake up on Christmas morning to a wonderful surprise; and, just as important, we would love to see Christine able to experience the joy of seeing her children’s happiness after all the hardships they’ve endured.
Help us at New Jersey 101.5 to share the holiday spirit with various families from domestic abuse shelters and transitional housing facilities. Donate today to our Family Adoption program.