In comedian books, costumed heroes carry out superhuman feats to avoid wasting individuals.
However Aurora police Officer William Whitfield helps by ensuring individuals escaping home violence do not have to fret about packing a toothbrush once they go away.
Donning a pink elf hat over his blue uniform, Whitfield ran a “Christmas in July” toiletries drive earlier this month benefiting shoppers of Mutual Ground of Aurora. The nonprofit company helps survivors of home and sexual violence.
With a close-by tree adorned with crime-scene tape and Christmas music taking part in within the background, Whitfield and a number of other helpers crammed two cargo vans and an SUV with toiletries, child objects and bathroom paper. Individuals additionally donated $2,125.
The drive was the results of a seed planted 4 years in the past by a speaker at a girls’s empowerment convention Whitfield attended. The speaker challenged attendees to do one thing to assist victims of home violence of their communities.
Whitfield stated he was there as a result of he believes it is vital males perceive girls’s views, particularly within the male-dominated subject of regulation enforcement.
As a patrol officer, Whitfield stated he is been referred to as to quite a few home violence incidents, particularly in the course of the midnight shift.
“Oftentimes, the survivor doesn’t have anywhere to go,” Whitfield stated.
That is how he grew to become accustomed to the work completed by Mutual Floor, which offers emergency shelter for individuals escaping abuse. In 2020, 135 adults and 109 kids used the emergency shelter for a complete of 10,302 nights.
Why a “Christmas in July” occasion?
Whitfield stated he sees an uptick in home violence calls throughout heat climate months. Whether or not it’s irritation on account of hotter temperatures, extra individuals at residence as a result of faculty’s out or different contributing components, “summer season brings issues to the floor,” Whitfield stated.
Betsy Santana, advertising and growth coordinator for Mutual Floor, was stunned by what number of objects have been donated.
“I actually didn’t anticipate the quantity,” she stated. However, “we will by no means have an excessive amount of of them.”
For a lot of shoppers, “they actually do not have time to seize a lot” once they go away their abuser, Santana stated. Being given a tube of toothpaste or a bottle of shampoo could appear to be a small factor, however it’s one much less factor the survivor has to fret about.
“Even simply having these fundamental requirements offers them the safety to start the therapeutic course of,” Santana stated.
The drive was not a one-and-done occasion. Whitfield plans to do it once more subsequent 12 months, he stated. He’s forming a committee to assist him.
“Let’s get us all concerned collectively and make this partnership occur,” he stated.