About three times a year, Little AoA and I pack up some boxes with toys, and take them to our local domestic violence center. The idea to do this was actually inspired by the world of “box packing” type videos on YouTube (in particular, Still Moments Nursery), and a visible need for support of children who end up at the center.
Back in 2013, I was one of those women, seeking shelter and hope. I had left with next to nothing, my main concern was for the safety of myself and kids. I had to be accompanied back to my own home by two law enforcement officers, and was only allowed to grab some clothes and personal items for us.
About a month later, I rented a small apartment, and it was then that it really hit me that everything I owned was in the family home. My kids didn’t have books to read, we didn’t have beds or dishes…just some clothes, toiletries, and some favorite toys. My family stepped up and helped provide the things we needed. Some of the teachers at the school where I worked, gathered a collection of books for the kids. We started to build again.
During that time, the kids and I were blessed by our domestic violence center. They adopted my family for Christmas, along with many other families. I cannot express the overwhelming sense of love that comes from knowing that a stranger cared enough to go out and purchase items for us. It wasn’t the items themselves that were important, as much as the message:
When a mother is escaping an abusive situation, it is easy to lose sight of the little people who are watching. “Take care of yourself first”, is what we are told. That is hard. My prayer is that Hope Angel Boxes will stimulate dialogue between an adult and child…that the child will know that he or she is loved…and that the mother will know that she is supported as she begins the awesome task of breaking the cycle of abuse.
Here are a few pictures of the box contents.
I try to pass on the crocheted item tradition with doll blankets…