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Helping Victims with Just a Click

At Blackburn Center, we are always looking for ways to improve the services that we offer to victims of violence and to the community as a whole. Through this process, we have developed innovative ideas, such as our outreach to underserved populations, the Fearless Advocacy for Men’s Engagement (FAME) group, and our primary prevention work. Our latest idea may not be as ground-breaking, but it is designed to make giving back just a bit easier.

We are continually amazed by the generosity of our donors, who regularly answer our call for financial contributions and items that we need for our shelter residents and other clients. We now have made it just a bit easier for anyone who wants to support our mission to do so, with an Amazon wishlist.

Blackburn Center maintains a list of items that are needed throughout the year for our clients and shelter residents. This list is updated on a monthly basis so that it reflects the most current needs of our clients and shelter residents. This list is available on our website and in paper form, for community members who wish to purchase and drop off needed items from that list. While we will still gladly accept donations in this manner, the Amazon wishlist gives community members a new option: clicking and shipping to help support our mission.

The way that it works is simple: just click on our wishlist, and browse our current needs list. Like a wedding or baby registry, our list has a “quantity needed” as well as the number that we currently have. However, the list is unique in that it explains why we need a particular item. For example, under an entry for a set of women’s pajamas, we explain that we provide new pajamas to each resident as they enter the shelter. Under the entry for hair brushes, we explain that many victims fleeing intimate partner violence leave everything behind, so we provide basic personal care items to all shelter residents who need them. While the wishlist does not contain all of the items on our shelter needs list, it does give a range of options for our shelter residents and clients.

Many of the items that we need are not just intended for use in the emergency shelter; they will ultimately be given to our residents as they leave the shelter to set up a new household. Because so many of our residents and clients have to start from scratch when leaving an abusive or otherwise violent situation, we try to provide each of them with the basics that they will need. This includes items such as kitchen sets so that our residents and clients can take care of themselves and their families.

In addition, we also have an ongoing need for the types of supplies that are essential to running any household: toilet paper, garbage bags, paper towels and other consumable goods. On our Amazon wishlist, we offer an option for donors to send these items directly to our office — or even “subscribe and save” so that we receive ongoing delivery of these necessary goods. Not only is the “subscribe and save” option less expensive, but it is a simple way to make a tangible difference in the lives of victims of violence in Westmoreland County.

We are so fortunate to the many people who have continued to support our mission, through donations, volunteer work, advocacy, and more. We hope that this Amazon wishlist makes it just a bit easier to donate — and ensures that our residents and clients continue to receive incredible assistance from our community.

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