Local Businesses Donate More than 500 Items to Women’s Center in Stand Against Domestic Violence

May 8, 2015

Brookfield, Wis. – After pledging to take a stand against domestic violence in our communities, a coalition of nine local businesses delivered Wednesday by donating more than 500 items to The Women’s Center, Waukesha.

Forty boxes, cases and bags of donated items were unloaded from a Ford Explorer literally filled to the top. The assembled goods, ranging from books to diapers to personal care products and gift cards, were collected in a month-long drive at the nine businesses. Customers, friends and neighbors filled several donation bins to overflowing.

The April collection focused on items needed by babies and children staying at The Women’s Center with their mothers. A key focus was goods that could be used by older children for entertainment or personal care, to relieve the stress of traumatic incidents or the complete upheaval in their living conditions.

“We’re thrilled to be donating much-needed items to help families right before Mother’s Day,” said Todd Ruedt, owner of Grounds Maintenance Services, who helped spearhead the collection. “Many of these mothers and children have escaped desperate, dangerous situations. Our goal is to help the youngest victims find hope and some normalcy in their lives.”

Donors responded in a big way to the businesses’ pleas for specific items: More than 130 books. More than 200 packages of personal care items covering shampoo, soap, makeup, hair and dental products. More than 60 packages of diapers and other infant needs. More than 40 games and kids activities. More than $300 in gift cards.

“Many people who donated also told us personal stories about how domestic violence has affected their lives, or of people they know,” said Charlie Bianco, owner of Charlie’s East Coast Hair Designs, the other lead organizer. “This reinforced our goal of raising awareness of the hidden epidemic of domestic violence. We’re privileged to have so many great customers and neighbors who want to help the most vulnerable in our communities.”

In total, more than 500 items were donated to the Women’s Center. Participating in the collection were:
• ActionCOACH of Elm Grove, 13150 Watertown Plank Road
• Brookfield Dance Academy, 2945 N. Brookfield Road
• Charlie’s East Coast Hair Designs, 285 N. Janacek Road
• Elite Sports Club, two locations (13825 W. Burleigh Road and 600 N. Barker Road)
• First Watch, 17550 W. Bluemound Road
• G2 Insurance Services, 14260 W. Greenfield Ave., Suite 100
• Grounds Maintenance Services, 14260 W. Greenfield Ave., Suite 203
• Lyle Husar Designs, 17395 W. Bluemound Road
• The Oilerie Brookfield, 17125C W. Bluemound Road

“A drive like this sends a message to our clients and to families affected by domestic violence in our communities, that there are people who care about and want to help them,” said Angela Mancuso, Executive Director of The Women’s Center. “And that’s a powerful message.”

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