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InterAct still short of holiday gift goal

Posted December 8, 2011
Updated December 9, 2011

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InterAct of Wake County, which provides help for victims of domestic abuse and rape, said there will not be enough holiday gifts this year to distribute to the women and children they help.

Organizers said donations have been down this year, while the need has steadily increased. Two years ago, an average of seven families a day visited InterAct at 1012 Oberlin Road in Raleigh. Now, 20 to 24 families need their help every day.

Since many abuse victims have little or no money, InterAct collects holiday gifts for them.

“Mothers can ‘shop’ for their children, and children can ‘shop’ for their mothers,” InterAct Executive Director Leigh Duque said.

Even gift wrapping is supplied to help keep the presents a surprise.

More than 100 families who rely on the program for assistance are expected to pick through gifts this weekend. As of Thursday, there weren’t enough gifts to go around.

“It is absolutely critical we are able to meet our goal for these gifts,” Duque said.

InterAct seeks gifts for those in need InterAct seeks gifts for those in need

Duque said gifts are needed for more than 300 children, specifically for teens, assisted by the program. 

Get a list of toys needed

The gifts will go to help families like Manisha Pardeshi and her daughter. Pardeshi arrived at the center several years ago with scars from physical abuse.

“I was hurt. My nose was broken. I was in total crisis at that point,” she said.

For children who have lived through abuse, the holiday gifts mean a lot, Pardeshi said. 

The nonprofit InterAct operates 24-hour crisis lines for domestic violence (866-291-0855) and sexual assault (866-291-0853) and also offers counseling, shelter, educational programs and other services for victims.


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  • beaker Dec 9, 2011

    TWC...Paid very well? The average worker at a domestic violence agency/shelter in NC makes between $20,000-$30,000...for long hours, high stress, and constant overtime. I dont know about you...but by my standards, that is not "very well". They should be commended for their hard work and dedication to people in need ALL YEAR LONG....

  • twc Dec 9, 2011

    Give to the people you know who are in need. If you don't know someone in need ask a friend if they know someone.

    Otherwise, give to organizations that you are certain of. This particular organization is aware of the many organizations that they can direct families to.

    Many of those at interact are volunteers; some are not, and I suspect those are paid very well.

  • storchheim Dec 9, 2011

    To be fair, Uhavenoclu, the volunteers are donating - their time. I don't know offhand if they're able to deduct that on their taxes, but either way they're not getting paid for what must be a difficult job.

    It's not that people shouldn't get gifts for Christmas. But when I really wanted to help a poor boy, I helped him with his reading and math, taught him how saving money earns interest, spent one-on-one time talking with him and telling him that his capabilities were great and his thoughts were worth hearing. We changed the truck's oil, serviced a tractor, planted a garden, fixed a leaky faucet, and baked at least a dozen good dinners with fruit pie made from scratch. I taught him to be kind to animals, because a man protects things that are smaller and weaker than he. I encouraged his thinking abilities as well as his skills in visual art. And when I was working, I spoiled him on his birthday and Christmas.

    Ipod: $129. Hope and pride: priceless.

  • Deb1003 Dec 9, 2011

    For the middle class, the economy is in the toilet. I'm having a hard time purchasing a few gifts for my 2 children. I prefer to take a few toys to our church, where we know the families that are in need, truly don't have anything, and are struggling.

  • Uhavenoclu Dec 9, 2011

    These agencies always say they are short when it comes to the holidays?...I wonder how many of the workers or volenteers actually donate during the year so when the holidays do come up they won't be short?.
    They get people coming in asking for help from anything from gas to food to rental assistance but how many actually give someone in need a few dolars for gas out of their pockets to help them,same with churches,or a place to sleep besides the shelters who are filled with smelly derelicts who haven't showered or changed their clothes in months?.
    Stop saying you are short for you never sai it in july,or april,or september.
    If short then donate yourselves.

  • mmtlash Dec 9, 2011

    Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch would feel right at home at Golo...

  • storchheim Dec 9, 2011

    Here's the mindset responsible for the financial problems we're experiencing today:

    "It is absolutely critical we are able to meet our goal for these gifts,” Duque said."

    No, it is not. Food, shelter, clothing and security are critical. Ipods or even babydolls are not.

    We need to change our thinking voluntarily while we still have room to adjust, because the day is coming when our thinking will be changed for us. Jump, or be pushed.

  • justjean Dec 9, 2011

    @beaker, we had made arrangements with them beforehand, they told us where to be and what time to be there, and we were, but no one ever showed up. I understand that things happen and sometimes situations come up that can not be avoided, but back in 1876 a most wonderful invention came about...it's called a telephone. They had our contact info, someone could have called if they were unable to make it, but no one ever did. We tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, really we did, but we never heard from them, so we gave up.

  • barbstillkickin Dec 9, 2011

    Well as much as I sympathize for the abused ladies and kids if our Governor would let state employees get a raise after 5 years and other businesses would stop laying off or shutting down more people can give. It is not the rich that help these poor people it is us low paid hard working people and well as much as it hurts money is just not there. I will pray there is a way but as far as money it just does not come in anymore.

  • twc Dec 9, 2011

    I recall one Christmas that our company picked a couple of families to provide needed presents for. Several of us decided to personally deliver the presents. At both homes we delivered the presents to they were all decked out much more so than most of my friends and family.

    At one of the homes they directed us to the tree and there literally was no room under the tree for the presents we brought.

    I left there with mixed emotions. I wanted to feel good about helping someone but it didn't really feel like I helped.

    Be careful that you are really helping; because some REALLY DO need help.