InterAct still short of holiday gift goal
Posted December 8, 2011
Updated December 9, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
Duque said gifts are needed for more than 300 children, specifically for teens, assisted by the program.
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.