“Cleaning out your closets for back-to-school helps women and their children get a new start”
Avery Baum, a rising junior at Ridgefield High School has created a clothing drive that she calls “RidgefieldCares” to collect new and gently used clothing this summer and has also created a fundraiser to help women and their children who suffer from domestic abuse.
Women who need to quickly leave unsafe domestic situations many times are unable to take their possessions with them as they flee. Avery has created an initiative to help these women feel supported and even empowered as they transition to a safe environment to get a fresh start.
Avery reached out to The Center for Education and Empowerment (formerly known as the Women's Center of Greater Danbury, Inc) where she will be delivering all of the donated clothing in addition to collecting funds through a GoFundMe that she created for people who want to help but might not have clothing to donate: https://gofund.me/d3ba460d
By reaching out to local businesses in Ridgefield, Avery has been able to get seven stores to date to act as drop off locations over the summer to receive donated clothing to support her drive including Nancy O Boutique, Miss Confident Boutique, Candlelight Shoppe Lingerie, Audrey Road, Whim, Underground Co, and Olley Court. Avery is hoping to get additional stores to participate in this clothing drive as the fall shopping season approaches.
As the donation drive builds, Avery will be posting updates on the Facebook page she created to help get the word out to the community.
Avery says, “This cause is important to me because I want every woman to be able to have the chance to succeed in life. Providing good-quality clothing can help women and their children who have been in vulnerable, unsafe situations feel empowered and ready to seize the day and make a new start for a better life. It would be great to see our community help to make the lives of these women just a little bit easier.”
The Center for Empowerment and Education, a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Danbury, Connecticut provides assistance to Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield county communities including Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman, and Washington. Its mission is to serve the needs of individuals, families and the community with prevention, crisis intervention and support services with regard to domestic violence, sexual assault and other major life crises.
As the school year approaches, Avery also wants to raise money by creating selling events at local stores where customers can purchase apparel donated by the participating businesses with all proceeds going to benefit The Center. As Avery says, “I have been living in Ridgefield my whole life and I have seen how supportive our community is, especially when helping others who are in challenging situations.”