A force of nine local businesses delivered more than 500 basic needs and entertainment items to The Women’s Center on Wednesday after collaborating on a month-long donation drive in April.
Donated items included books, diapers, personal care products and gift cards and were delivered to the Waukesha-based organization in 40 boxes.
The drive primarily centered on collecting items for babies and children living with their mothers at The Women’s Center, which offers safety resources and shelter to women and families impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse.
The coalition of businesses behind the donations wanted to give children at the organization an outlet for stress relief while also raising community awareness of domestic violence and the need to help victims in recovery. Participating businesses sought donations from customer, friends and neighbors and assembled donations in bins at their worksites.
“We’re thrilled to be donating much-needed items to help families right before Mother’s Day,” Todd Ruedt, owner of Grounds Maintenance Services in New Berlin, said in an announcement.
Ruedt was one of the leading executives behind the collection effort.
“Many of these mothers and children have escaped desperate, dangerous situations,” Ruedt said. “Our goal is to help the youngest victims find hope and some normalcy in their lives.”
Donations included more than 130 books, more than 200 packages of personal care items, more than 60 packages of diapers and infant goods, more than 40 children’s activities, and gift cards valued at more than $300.
Businesses at the foundation of the drive were: ActionCOACH of Elm Grove, Brookfield Dance Academy, Charlie’s East Coast Hair Designs, Elite Sports Club, First Watch, G2 Insurance Services, Grounds Maintenance Services, Lyle Husar Designs, and The Oilerie Brookfield.
“A drive like this sends a message to our clients and to families affected by domestic violence in our communities that there are people who care about and want to help them,” said Angela Mancuso, executive director of The Women’s Center. “And that’s a powerful message.”