Bridgeport, CT - The Center for Family Justice has launched an ambitious campaign to raise more than $400,000 to help it continue and expand the crisis and supportive services it offers annually to the more than 4,500 victims of domestic and sexual violence in six local communities.
Kate Hampford Donahue, president and CEO of Stratford-based Hampford Research Inc, a specialty chemical company that develops products for the electronics, printing, personal care, and coating industries, has agreed to serve as chairperson of the year-long Faces of HOPE appeal.
The Trumbull resident will be joined in her efforts by Faces of HOPE campaign committee members Merle Berke-Schlesel of Branford, a former nonprofit CEO and current volunteer in CFJ’s Pro Bono Legal Center and Marge Hiller, a Bridgeport community leader and former CFJ board chair.
The Faces of HOPE campaign will focus on encouraging new and existing individual, corporate and foundation supporters to donate to CFJ to help support the programs and services it offers to victims of domestic and sexual violence and abuse with a focus on sharing the stories of survivors CFJ has served.
Each year, CFJ provides thousands of local residents impacted by abuse with services including safe shelter, 24/7 crisis hotlines, counseling, support groups, free legal services as well as housing and self-sufficiency services. CFJ also operates the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Camp HOPE America-Bridgeport, a summer camp and year-long mentoring program for youth ages 7-to-17 who have been impacted by domestic or sexual abuse.
“Supporting The Center for Family Justice means that victims in crisis get the safety and security they need during one of the most difficult times in their lives,” said Hampford Donahue, also the former chair of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC.) “It also means CFJ can be support them as they begin rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of abuse. I am so honored to stand with CFJ in this important effort to transform victims into survivors.”
Since the Covid-19 pandemic impacted this region in March 2020, demand for the services CFJ offers has increased by more than 25 percent, while demand for domestic violence services has increased by 18 percent. In addition, CFJ experienced a more than 1400 percent increase in demand for emergency hotel shelter, because beds at its domestic violence safe house were often full.
“We are so fortunate to have these highly respected, dedicated and accomplished women join us as volunteers in this effort to draw attention to the real needs and challenges faced by adults and children who have experienced abuse,” said Debra A. Greenwood, President & CEO of The Center for Family Justice. “It is so important that victims in our communities have somewhere to go where they can receive the many services they need in one safe place. This campaign will help us tell their stories, highlight the challenges they face and give us the ability to offer them safer, healthier futures.”
PHOTO, left to right: Kate Hampford Donahue, Merle Berke-Schlesel and Marge Hiller.