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As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, one word is at the forefront of our minds at Blackburn Center: thankful. Our mission is challenging, and requires an enormous amount of work and dedication. We provide services to thousands of people each year, in the form of victim services and community education and training. Beyond this immediate work, we are striving to address the root causes of gender violence so that we can one day stop the cycle of violence that plagues our communities. We are fortunate to have a supportive community behind us, and committed partners working with us every day. So today, we are taking a moment to acknowledge all of the people who help us do what we do.

We are thankful for our staff, all of whom work tirelessly to make the world a better place. From running our emergency shelter, to serving as advocates in court and hospitals, to presenting education programs in the schools and community, to providing therapy and counseling, to ensuring that our finances and records are in order, and so much more, our staff is wholly committed to our mission. Without them, we could not give the hope and healing we now do to so many women, children and men each year.

We are thankful for our volunteers, who show up rain or shine, help us staff the 24-hour hotline and shelter, distribute literature at health fairs, staff events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, and much more. Our volunteers undergo extensive training and give generously of themselves to help others. With their help, we are able to offer more services to our community than would otherwise be possible and are able to spread awareness about the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.

We are thankful for our Board of Directors, whose selfless donation of time, energy, and expertise allows us to continue our important work. Their vision and dedication to our mission is unsurpassed, and their work has been transformative for the agency. We are grateful to them all.

We are thankful for all who contribute to Blackburn Center, through monetary donations, needs list items for our shelter and counseling programs, and gifts of time and energy in participating on Board Committees and as members of groups like Future Advocates of Blackburn (FAB). Individuals, community organizations, businesses, churches and foundations have all made it possible for us to continue to offer services to thousands of women, children and men in Westmoreland County each year. It is through our joint efforts that we have been so successful in meeting victims’ needs, and in addressing the root causes of gender violence in our society.

We are thankful for our community partners who reach out to us on behalf of victims, and the quiet individuals in the community who support us by telling a victim that there is help and hope through Blackburn Center’s services.

We could not do this work without you. Know that your support has made a difference: for hotline callers who find the understanding and compassion they so urgently need, for shelter residents who finally can sleep through the night in peaceful and secure surroundings, for child victims of sexual assault who learn how to get help through our student awareness programs, for community members who hear our call to action and share our vision of a world free from gender violence.

Today and every day, we give thanks for your generosity.


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