President and CEO Kirk Ray Smith of Hope Villages of America, formerly RCS Pinellas, announced today that the annual October fundraiser, Faces of Domestic Violence, was an unprecedented success. The monthlong campaign raised $36,000, which will be put to work providing help and hope to everyone who reaches out to HVA in search of safety.
“Unfortunately, our County is on one of the saddest top 10 lists: we ranked sixth or seventh in the state for the numbers of reported domestic violence incidents. Our hotline receives more than 4,000 calls annually with requests for assistance, and The Haven provides safety, security, emergency shelter and support for 300 women and children each year. We also serve nearly 17,000 women and children annually through our outreach center,” explained Smith.
The organization’s work with domestic violence survivors—men, women and children—has been the focus of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month celebrated each year during October. In years past, the campaign has kicked off with a beautiful luncheon. This year for the first time in 19 years, Faces of Domestic Violence went virtual.
“2020 has been a year of firsts,” Smith said, “and it brought us our first virtual event. I’m so proud of the way our staff, event committee members and sponsors stepped up to make this happen!”
The virtual Faces of Domestic Violence event featured a powerful video testimonial by a survivor—and included an empty table in memory of those we lost to domestic violence this year.
“Sponsorships, ticket sales to the virtual event, online donations and not one but two silent auctions showed this community’ support for our work—and those who need us most,” Smith said. Presenting sponsor Siracusa Staffing & Leasing was joined by other philanthropically focused community members and businesses, including BayCare, Belleair Wealth Strategies, DITEK Surge Protection, Harbor Bluffs Living Magazine and Network, Mail Marketing and Sunstar Paramedics.
Learn more about how you can help survivors rebuild their lives at rcspinellas.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Dodd | firstname.lastname@example.org | 813-767-7895
About Hope Villages of America: Formerly RCS Pinellas (RCS), the organization established in 1967, is a registered 501(c)(3) organization that addresses the needs of the hungry, homeless and victims of domestic violence in Pinellas County. This mission is advanced through five distinct but integrated programs: The Food Bank, Basic Services, Affordable Housing, The Haven Domestic Violence Shelter and Grace House. These programs operate in more than 60,000 square feet of service space and serve more than 130,000 participants annually throughout Pinellas County. In 2019 RCS was awarded GuideStar’s Gold Seal of Transparency for the second year in a row and the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce Biggest Community Impact award. For more information, visit www.rcspinellas.org or call 727-584-3528.