The items collected during TODAY Show's Toy Drive are often given to families who cannot afford to buy presents, so that the children can open a gift that's given to them by a loved one, not a charity. These items reach millions of kids in all 50 states.
You can be part of making this year's toy drive the most successful ever by donating online at Amazon.com/TODAY.
Each week, we will spotlight a specific charity that has benefited in the past from your generous donations in person and online. This week, we are showcasing Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. (DVIS/Call Rape) in Tulsa, OK. Here's a little more information about them and some photos of their volunteers and staff:
Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. (DVIS/Call Rape) was founded in 1976 as the Tulsa Task Force for Battered Women, offering a telephone crisis line. In 1979, the organization began offering a comprehensive array of services, was incorporated, and became a member agency of the United Way. The name was then changed to Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. (DVIS). In January of 2005, DVIS merged with Call Rape and added sexual assault services to the existing continuum of care. The organization has now grown into the only local community-based full service agency in Tulsa and Creek counties, and the only accredited domestic violence agency in the state of Oklahoma, providing intervention, prevention, and education services to families and individuals affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Programs include: a 50-bed emergency shelter, a transitional living facility, outpatient counseling, therapeutic children's counseling, court and legal advocacy, community outreach and education, and prevention in schools using a curriculum on healthy relationships and dating violence.
During 2010, DVIS/Call Rape provided safe housing, food, clothing and supportive services for 407 women and 261 children at our emergency shelter. One option that survivors have when they leave the shelter is to apply for Sojourner’s Inn, a transitional living facility. Sojourner’s Inn is a gated 13 unit apartment complex with a variety of 1, 2, & 3 bedroom apartments. The mission of the program is to facilitate the transition of women and children who are homeless and victims of domestic and sexual violence into a stable lifestyle with permanent housing. During 2010, 24 women and 27 children received supportive transitional housing at Sojourner’s Inn.
For many years, DVIS/Call Rape has been receiving toys from TODAY Show's Toy Drive that go to the children at our emergency shelter and our transitional living facility, Sojourner’s Inn. These toys help make the holidays brighter for these children who have left their homes with their mothers due to domestic violence in the home. All the little girls were given adorable wooden tea sets last year, and for weeks after Christmas girls were having tea parties around the shelter and at our transitional living facility. Two years ago we received enough games from Hasbro that every child at both the shelter and our transitional living facility received a brand new game of their own. Many of the children have left most or all of their toys behind when escaping abuse with their mother, so these gifts are truly cherished. Thank you for making this happen.