(ARA) - Everyone deserves to share a loving home with their family, but for many women and children, home is not the safest place to be. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that one in four women will experience domestic violence, and nearly 1.3 million women are victims of domestic abuse each year. In addition, more than 41 percent of our nation's homeless population is comprised of women and families.
It's a difficult topic to discuss, and that makes many people hesitant to have a conversation about it. However, you can take action to help victims of domestic abuse and homelessness, and make a real difference in their lives. Here are a few ideas of how you can help:
* Consider making care packages for your local shelter consisting of toothpaste, baby wipes, breakfast bars, and other necessities.
* Take up a collection of gently used blankets and coats from friends and family.
* Pledge to volunteer a couple of hours of your time each month at a local soup kitchen.
* Make a simple call to your local women's shelter to offer help. On the other end of the line is a staff well-versed in helping women in abusive relationships, and they can tell you how you might support victims' needs.
* Participate in collections drives that benefit victims of domestic abuse, such as Two Men And A Truck's Movers for Moms program.
This year, the Movers for Moms program, which was started by a group of Michigan-based Two Men And A Truck franchisees several years ago, collected Mother's Day gifts in more than 200 schools across the country. In total, 115,000 gifts were collected to women living in 102 domestic abuse and homeless shelters.
Two Men And A Truck
operates more than 200 locations in 34 states. The moving company partnered with schools to provide classes with boxes, coloring pages and the moving logistics required to make donations to community shelters this year.
"We started with a simple notion that all moms should be celebrated on Mother's Day," says Melanie Bergeron, chair of the board and daughter of Two Men And A Truck founder Mary Ellen Sheets. "The moving industry may be a 'man's world,' but our company was started by my mom. I spent more than a decade serving as president and CEO, and many of our most successful locations are women-owned. As a result, I believe we have a unique perspective on women's needs within the communities we serve. And while this may be a small gesture, I believe with the help of our school partners, we make a big impact on this special day."
To support next year's Movers for Moms Mother's Day program, visit www.twomenandatruck.com/moversformom
, and to learn more about supporting domestic abuse victims, go to www.thehotline.org.