Women seeking refuge at the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma often leave all of their possessions behind when leaving potentially violent or abusive situations.

And while the shelter provides them with necessities, a holiday gift can mean the world to the women at the shelter, said Family Shelter Administrative Assistant Nita Clark.

The Family Shelter is currently seeking donations of lotion and fragrance gift sets in order to complete a holiday gift bag for the eight women currently staying at the shelter, Clark said.

Ideally, the shelter hopes to have sets of lotion and fragrances for each of the women by Friday, Dec. 20 so that they can be delivered on Monday.

“Every year we put together gift bags for the women. We try to give them something they want or something they need,” Clark said. “We’re trying to get a variety of things to put in the bag for them. We don’t have enough for eight, for those items.”

The shelter has already received enough donations of blankets, socks and other items to include in the gift bags, Clark said. Lotion and fragrance sets would just “top off the women’s bags,” she said.

A large amount of children’s toys, stocking stuffers and several other items for younger individuals have been donated over the past few weeks, as well, making the shelter’s younger residents well accounted for.

“We get the kids adopted out first,” Clark said, regarding their list of items needed for the children. “The outpouring of donations from this community is just really awesome and overwhelming. We’re very grateful for it. Especially at Christmas time, I mean people just show up with stuff and it’s great.”

Donations of lotion and fragrance sets, among other things, can be dropped off at 402 Pawnee Street between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, contact the Family Shelter administrative office at 580-226-3750.

“A lot of women are fleeing from bad, difficult situations in their life and many times they have to leave with nothing,” Clark said. “We always like to give something, especially at Christmas, something that they wouldn’t otherwise get that will be special to them and that they can call their own.”