As the Freedom Starter Kit project came to an end, I was emotionally overwhelmed by the amount of donations that poured in over those few weeks. Every night I’d spend time in my living room staring at the mounds of kits covering almost every available space on my floor and furniture. Many times I’ve only been able to describe myself as speechless. I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around how many amazing people were involved in making this project an absolutely huge success.
It took three carloads to transport all of the donations.
When it came down to that final Friday, the total was unbelievable. We provided our local domestic violence shelter with:
116 Freedom Starter Kits (each kit contained shampoo, comb or brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, tampons or maxi pads, deodorant and a pocket pack of tissues)
2 bottles of shampoo
26 bars of soap
16 bottles of mouthwash
25 shaving razors
12 bottles of lotion
16 Twin Sheet Sets (enough for every bed in the shelter to have new sheets!)
16 Bath Towels
Diapers Size 1 – 5 … 2 packages of each of each
Over 1000 baby wipes
7 bottles of Johnson and Johnson’s baby wash
48 coloring books
24 packs of crayons
6 bottles of toilet bowl cleaner
4 boxes of trash bags
32 rolls of paper towels
240 rolls of toilet paper
8 jugs of laundry detergent (100 loads each)
7 jugs of bleach
First Aid Supplies
A gigantic box of donated linens from Hampton Inn and Suites.
Why This Cause?
These are pictures I generally never show to anyone. They stay tucked away as a constant reminder of where I have been. Most of you who know me personally will at first recognize my toothy smile, the way I always cock my head to the side when in front of the camera. But then, you’ll probably start to notice you can count all of my bones. These pictures were taken about a month after I got out of my abusive relationship. I wasn’t quite 21 years old and I weighed under a 100 pounds. I know this because three months prior to these photos being taken, one of my coworkers dragged me on to the scale and said, “Look! 99 pounds! You have to eat!”
I did eat, but only on my lunch breaks. It was the only time of day that I wasn’t at home. At home I became a worried ball of anxiety and couldn’t bear the thought of food. My mind constantly churned at what would set him off next. I tried really hard, but everything I did was always wrong. I knew this because he told me so when he yelled and screamed at me generally while he grabbed me and threw me into a wall. I was certain I would eventually die in this cycle, I just didn’t know when.
As I pieced these kits together, the thoughts always went back to that time of my life and how these will help some other young woman who needs to get away, who needs to eat, who needs to be safe.
Thank you guys so much for everything you have done here. As you can see, this has meant so much to me. We’ve made a huge difference and I am so proud of us!