Domestic violence is the most common cause of nonfatal injury to women in the United States. The American Medical Association says domestic violence is more common that automobile accidents, muggings, and rapes combined as a cause of injury. Between 19 and 30 percent of women seeking care in emergency rooms are battered women.
Hi, I’m Naomi Johnson and I’m from the West Boyd FCCLA Chapter. I am here to tell you about my interpersonal communications project, “Purse-U Your Dreams”. My goal for this project was to get donations from community members for gently used purses and monetary donations that could be used to buy personal care items that could be used to fill the purses with. I also had a goal to get up to 50 purse donations by November 8, 2012. These purses would be taken to Bright Horizons located in O’Neill and Norfolk, Nebraska for battered women, whom often leave their house with nothing except the clothes on their backs.
I had decided to get my project underway in non-verbal as well as verbal communication with the community members. I started out with writing an article for the school newspaper, the Spartan Spotlight, and within a couple of days of the article being published had many purse donations as well as personal care items that were donated and used to fill the purses with. A community member, Tracy Goesch, donated many personal care items, such as hand sanitizer, body wash, shampoo, other hair products, and even a big box of paperback books. Soon after, My Best Friend’s Closet – a local business, donated approximately 50 brand new purses, since they were going to discontinue their business.
I continued with the nonverbal communication by contacting KBRX radio station and asking them to post an article on kbrx.com. In this article, I explained the purpose of my project and the donations that we were able to accept. Many local community members donated more gently used purses and personal care items.
Since October is Domestic Violence awareness month, in honor of this and with the help of other FCCLA members and classmates, I put purple ribbons on the antennas of the vehicles outside of the school. I also placed purple ribbon on the teacher’s doors and explained in a brief article in our daily announcements the meanings of the purple ribbons. On October 8th, our chapter sold Pizza by the slice at a volleyball game with all the proceeds going towards Purse-u Your Dreams. We had posters throughout the school that described the project and asking for donations.
In November, I found that I still had more purses to fill, but not enough personal care items. Brainstorming for ideas with my senior FCCLA members and advisor, we came up with an idea to raffle four of the beautiful, new purse and use those monies for more shampoo, lotion, and toothpaste. Once again I used written communication by writing an article in the local newspaper, the Spencer Advocate.
I also used verbal communication; I had a display at the home basketball games in December and was able to talk to other community members who had more questions about my Purse-U Your Dreams as well as people from surrounding towns who had come for those basketball games. I received donations from them as well.
With the purses that were donated from My Best Friend’s Closet, I had picked out a four purses that could be used for the purse raffle with all of the donations going towards buying personal care items. On December 14, 2012, we held the drawing for the purse raffle at the Boyd County – Ewing game. The winners of the purses were Alexa Mathison, Jamie Mashino, Layne Eppenbach, and Caleb Rihanek. After the purse raffle, I published another article in our local newspaper with a huge thank you to all of the people who participated in the raffle.
To follow up, I am planning on donating around 20 more purses in February to Bright Horizons.
No woman should have to suffer the abuse of domestic violence. However, that is not the reality in today’s society. In 2003-2004 fiscal year, the O’Neill office which serves Holt, Boyd, and Antelope counties, served 172 victims and their shelter was used 154 nights.I hope that a purse filled with personal care items can tell that woman to “Purse-U Her Dreams”.
Written by Naomi Johnson