On Wednesday, March 3, 2021, Lucky the Duck and West Bay Rotarian Ray Fink presented a $1,143.53 check to New Hope for Women Executive Director Rebekah Paredes.
West Bay Rotarians donate money to designated nonprofits by dropping donations in buckets on the table at their weekly meetings. Since the club is currently meeting via Zoom, they are calling these buckets in cyberspace and have been inviting the community to also donate. In February, they even added an in-club cookie exchange and raised over $410 to add to the more than $730 in donations.
New Hope for Women provides support to people affected by domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking through a combination of advocacy, prevention, and education services. Their range of services spans from court accompaniment to long and short-term housing, group healing, a 24/7 helpline, and educational services in over 80 schools.
“We know that incidences of domestic violence increase in both number and intensity when social crises occur,” said Development Director Joan LeMole, in a Rotary news release.
In response to the pandemic, the agency continued to provide a 24/7 helpline despite working from home, implemented a chat service to allow those fearing retaliation from a nearby abuser another option for reaching an advocate, and collaborated with local lodging sites to provide longer-term sheltering than they typically provide. During the 2019 fiscal year, New Hope for Women received 2,707 calls. This increased to 3,263 in 2020. Electronic contacts rose from 388 to 1,071 while bed nights increased from 203 nights to 3,058.
Executive Director Rebekah Paredes said, “We know that 2021 will be filled with expectation, promise, and challenges. Our staff is poised to take on these challenges and ready to convert them into opportunities.”
For more information about New Hope for Women, please visit their website at newhopeforwomen.org.
Donations are currently being accepted to benefit Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition. Donations may be made online at westbayrotaryofmaine.org or mailed to Rotary Club of West Bay Charitable Foundation, PO Box 1033, Camden, ME 04843. Please note on the check if you would like the donation to benefit Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition.
West Bay Rotary meets on Thursday mornings from 7:30 am to 8:30 am, currently via Zoom. If you would like to join them on a future Zoom meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.