AUSTIN (KXAN) - The holidays can be an overwhelming time for women and children who have had to get themselves out of domestic violence situations, but SafePlace is trying to make that adjustment as smooth and close-to-normal as possible.
"A lot of times children don't understand why they're away from their relatives and other family members -- living in a shelter, not knowing a lot of people," said Coni Huntsman Stogner, Senior Director Community Services with SafePlace.
To make sure moms and children staying at the shelter have a merry Christmas, SafePlace has several holiday programs to make sure the clients' wish list is met, but help is needed.
"This is very unusual, normally you see all of these [shelves] stocked with toys," said Stogner. "Giving in general has been low this past year I think folks are concerned and not real sure about the economy."
According to SafePlace, there are currently 755 family members (250 families) getting gifts through their "Sponsor a Family" program. This program allows a donor to be assigned to shop for holiday gifts for a family or individual who is a client at SafePlace.
The biggest need at the shelter is for the "Shop for the Shelter" program -- where kids actually get to go through the warehouse and pick out gifts for their parents and vice versa. Close to 110 people staying at the shelter will use this program.
"If we don't get enough for everybody, it makes it hard because how do you pick and choose who gets gifts?," asked Stogner.
Gifts needed: Arts & crafts sets, sporting goods, clothing, entertainment and clothing gift cards, DVD's, jewelry.
You can bring unwrapped gifts to the SafePlace warehouse located at 1515 Grove Blvd.
Warehouse hours: Monday - Friday (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.) & Wednesdays (10 a.m.- 6 p.m.)
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