Why Attend “The Olympics” – Resource Center Style

Why Attend “The Olympics” – Resource Center Style

imagesThe San Miguel Resource Center infamous Chocolate Lovers’ Fling, its 19th annual event, takes place this year on Saturday, February 1. The theme is “The Olympics.” The fun and games at one of the most popular parties of the season include the region’s best professional chefs competing to create the most decadent chocolate desserts, prizes for best dressed and amateur chocolate, a silent auction, the popular wine toss, a 50/50 cash raffle, and the incomparable DJ Harry.

Why attend the Fling, the Resource Center’s biggest public fundraiser?

The numbers tell a compelling story.

In 2013, we broke all records, serving more victims of domestic violence and sexual assault than any year in the agency’s history.

We know you are thinking, well, that’s not good news, but we at SMRC beg to differ. Having served 33% more clients in 2013 than in 2012, we see the dramatic increase in clients as a sign that our extensive outreach program is working and fewer individuals are suffering in silence.

As community trust continues to grow, more people feel confident about referring friends and family for support services, knowing they will receive sound help and that all services are completely confidential. Identifying the exact reasons why more people are seeking help is difficult. However, there are a few areas where we see more victims coming forward. Read on please….

The SMRC enjoys strong working relationships with other service providers, including law enforcement, social services, the judicial system, and healthcare providers. We have noticed a significant increase in referrals from those agencies, indicating that as a community our approach is becoming more holistic. Also, the SMRC team of community peacemakers is stellar. Our staff, advocates, and board are comprised of caring and proactive men and women who regularly bring in friends, family, and strangers in need of help.

One of the largest increases this past year was in the number of child victims served. We attribute this increase to the strong relationship our Violence Prevention Education Program has developed with our service area schools.

The Resource Center provides violence prevention programming to all of the schools in San Miguel County and the West End of Montrose County. In 2013, we led 531 classes for children in grades PreK-12. Students of all ages and school staff see our Prevention Educators on a regular basis, allowing them to build a strong social/emotional knowledge base and form trusting relationships. As students and staff become further educated and empowered, they have greater confidence in speaking out against interpersonal violence in their lives and the lives of others.

Again, the Resource Center sees the increase in child victims coming forward as a good sign, indicating that children, school staff, and parents feel better equipped to stop violence in their lives.

Here are some of the highlights of 2013:

• The SMRC fielded approximately 2,436 calls on the crisis hotline, conducted 1,534 face-to-face contacts with people in need, and provided 52 nights of safe housing for victims fleeing abuse.

• Kara Johnson, SMRC Prevention Educator, was awarded the Rocky Mountain PBS “Be More Award” for her outstanding work in violence prevention education. Kara and the SMRC were recognized on a state level for innovative programming and the remarkable impact made on the lives of children in our service area.

•  The SMRC trained and certified 30 new volunteers as domestic violence and sexual assault advocates in the state of Colorado. These new volunteers help with a number of SMRC endeavors, such as taking shifts on our 24-hour crisis hotline, helping at fundraising events, and assisting with community outreach opportunities.

• The SMRC celebrated its 20th anniversary since the agency’s humble beginnings as the Tomboy House in 1993.

Here are ways you can continue to support the SMRC:

• Donate to support ending domestic violence and sexual assault in our community.

• Volunteer. Become a certified advocate or simply help with the many events that take place throughout the year. Learn about domestic violence and sexual assault. Education is the key to dispelling myths, ending the blaming of victims and preventing future violence.

• Attend the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling.

Visit www.sanmiguelresourcecenter.org to learn more about how you can help. It is also where you can buy tickets to the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling.

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