Ardmore community donates abundance of Mother’s Day gifts for Family Shelter clients
Many of the women at the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma seeking refuge from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking are mothers.
Phyllis Ellison, the shelter manager at the Family Shelter, said these women have had to leave their homes, their family members and often everything they know in order to be safe.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Ellison sent out a call to the community for donations of gifts to help make the women at the shelter feel special— and within a week a surplus of items came in.
“We try to make Mother’s Day special for them every year, we try to get gift bags together so they’ll have something special on that day because it’s a pretty rough day for most of them,” Ellison said. “Some have their kids here with them and some don’t so we just want to make it a special day for them.”
After Ellison reached out for donations, several people in the community came together to create boxes of various jewelry items and bath and body products. A victim advocate with the Family Shelter also made body scrubs for each of the clients.
“We received over 30 little boxes and we actually have five moms so we have enough to where we can use those as birthday gifts and special times for other clients,” Ellison said.
Employees at the Family Shelter will be compiling the donations into gift bags today and distributing them to the mothers taking refuge at the shelter on Sunday. Just to be safe and to be able to celebrate the holiday goes a long way for the shelter clients, Ellison said.
“It will let them know that they are thought of and they are recognized as moms and that it is a day that they should celebrate because it is their day,” Ellison said. “We just want them to have love on that day.”
Many of the women feel as if if they are on their own in their struggle to break free from abusive situations, Ellison said. “So to know that there’s a community that wants to reach out to them and show appreciation for them, that’s big.”
Ellison said the large response to her call for donations shows that the community recognizes domestic violence and how serious it is.
“As an agency we so appreciate this community because when we reach out we always receive so much support and that just goes a long way for us because what we do, it’s hard,” Ellison said. “For our clients, it’s hard for them as well. We’re just thankful and really, really appreciate everyone that reaches out to us.”