La Esperanza fundraising campaign supports family empowerment, domestic abuse programs

GEORGETOWN – La Esperanza will kick off a week-long fundraising campaign to support its programs focused on family empowerment, victim services and immigration.

The Georgetown nonprofit will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Nov. 30, then join activities for Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1, a global day of giving that celebrates generosity and encourages philanthropy. On Dec. 4, the Spanish-radio station MAXIMA WKDB-FM 95.3 will host a radiothon from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All money raised support La Esperanza’s programs.

La Esperanza is the only bicultural and bilingual 501(c)(3) multi-service agency in Sussex County, Delaware that provides free culturally and linguistically appropriate programs and services in the areas of family empowerment —  which includes pre-natal and post-natal help, prevention programs for youth and parenting education — immigration support and victim services.

Helping women and their children escape the cycle of violence has been an important part of La Esperanza’s mission for almost 20 years.

“No person should be subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault or any other domestic crime, and everyone needs help in these situations,” said Crystal Timmons-Underwood, La Esperanza’s interim executive director. “La Esperanza is the only hope for many Latinos in Sussex County who live in an environment of domestic abuse.”

The organization served 206 victims of crime in its 2015 fiscal year that ended September 30. Those victims included 30 children. Of the adults, 151 were females and 55 were males.

Nationally, domestic violence is a major issue among Latinos.  Approximately 1 in 3 Latinas have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, and 1 in 12 Latinas experienced this violence in the previous 12 months, according to the National Latino Network for Healthy Families and Communities.

Ms. Timmons-Underwood cited one case in which La Esperanza helped a Hispanic woman with four small children who had been badly beaten by her husband. Injured and bleeding and not able to speak English well enough to ask for help, she called La Esperanza. The Spanish-speaking staff members called the crisis line to request emergency services to her house. She was hospitalized for a week. Then they arranged for counseling and a safe, protected home for her and her children.

“In just one year, she developed into a strong independent woman and is raising her children in a peaceful, positive environment,” she added.

La Esperanza’s overall fundraising goal for fiscal year 2016 is $100,000, which will include client donations.

Board President Charles Burton said La Esperanza recently has redefined its mission to focus on integrating Latino individuals and their families into the community through education, advocacy and support services.

La Esperanza’s family empowerment programs, including emergency services, are crucial to helping clients take those crucial first steps toward independence and self-sufficiency, he said.

“Our staff also addresses domestic abuse through education and by advising families on how to overcome the cycle of abuse, understanhttp://www.laesperanzacenter.orgd rights involving custody issues, and create a safe environment at home,” Mr. Burton added.

To donate or learn more about La Esperanza or its victim services programs, visit www.laesperanzacenter.org or call 854-9262.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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