January 10% Blog Income Give Back Charity Drop

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A little over a week ago, the points were tallied from the My Personal Finance Journey January 10% Blog Income Give Back. Our Grand Prize winner was Donna B (also the winner of the November 10% give back as well!). As such, $75 in cash was transferred via PayPal to Donna. A big thanks to everyone for participating in the January Give Back event!  

Having processed the the blog reader portion of the January give back, it was time to turn my attention to the question of which of the 8 local charities listed below would receive the $96.00 charity portion of the give back.


After asking our Grand Prize winner, Donna B., which charity she wanted to see receive the $96 donation, she informed me that her choice was the 
Sexual Assault Resource AgencyTo me, it sure sounded like a great cause I could get behind and would be happy to support once again!  

So, on Tuesday of this week, I took a lunch break at the lab and ventured off on my bike to drop off the donation at the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) office near downtown Charlottesville.


It was a very nice clear and luke-warm February day out, and the outing made for a pleasant break during lunch. After biking the ~2.5 miles from the University where I work to a little East of the downtown area, I arrived at the specified office location address (see picture below). The office is located in a very pleasant neighborhood, which appeared to be a bunch of older houses converted in to small office buildings for doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.


sexual assault resource agency donating money charity drop charity blog reader give back big brothers big sisters 10 blog income give back
Pulling up to the Sexual Assault Resource Agency Office in Charlottesville, Virginia to drop off the donation check! 
Upon entering, I met Dale, the operations manager, and Margaret, the executive director, and handed them the donation check. 

Margaret explained to me a little about the background of the Charlottesville agency, including how they are an independent organization (not part of a national chain) and have been in operation for 32 years now. The agency first started as a group of volunteers, but it has since grown to a full-time staff consisting of 10 professionals, including 2 full time counselors. Quite the success story! 

Currently, they are serving the Central Virginia area through a combination of counseling services to sexual assault victims (about 500 people per year) and prevention programs to stop future transgressions. They also team up with local schools to put on multi-week workshops for 1100 children to help prevent sexual assault cases.

If you’re looking to get involved in supporting SARA and live in the Central Virginia area, the big event they run each year is called the SARA Three 4 All, which will be held on April 14th. According to the event page, it is actually the world’s largest three-legged race, and they are looking to break the world record of 500 three-legged participants this year! Now, does that not sound awesome or what?!       

CHALLENGES FACING THE Sexual Assault and resource agency of charlottesville

When I asked if there are any particular challenges that SARA faces in the Charlottesville area, two primary things were mentioned, as discussed below:

  • First, since Charlottesville is home to a big University (University of Virginia – go Thomas Jefferson!), the number of sexual assault cases is naturally slightly higher since the young adult (under 25) age group is one of the highest risk groups for becoming victims. However, it was mentioned that this University phenomena is experienced nationwide, and is not isolated to only this area.
  • Second, I found out that the SARA agency in Charlottesville services a large rural population in the surrounding areas/counties. In fact, I learned that 1/3 of their clients in 2011 and 48% of their clients so far in 2012 were from rural locations.
    • Because of the small population-nature of rural areas, confidentiality of sexual assault (and receiving treatment/counseling for sexual assault) is of the utmost importance. And, as you can imagine, it is also particular challenge because we as humans are naturally curious people to learn about what others are doing.


Overall, it was a truly great experience to see that what we do here at My Personal Finance Journey can have a real life impact. Through this charity give back that you all have helped to make possible, we are able to help a difference in either preventing future sexual assault cases and/or improving the life of a survivor. Just take a look at what a difference even small amounts of money can make (taken from SARA Donation tab on website).

  

  • $30 provides a new set of clothes for a victim seen at the Emergency Room whose clothes are collected as evidence.
  • $50 provides a therapy session for a child or adult victim of sexual violence.
  • $20 keeps the SARA sexual assault hot line running for a day.
  • $150 provides a full day of prevention programming to a local school.

So, thank you all for helping with this journey, and remember to always live for a higher purpose and ask yourself what more you can do to help others. Also, be on the lookout for the February 10% give back event, on the way in the next few days! 

How about you all? Is sexual assault a big problem/issue in your local community? Do you know what programs are available to help victims and prevent future cases?

Are you supporting any charitable organizations this year? If so, which one(s)?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

Comments

  1. This is awesome. Great work! I'd love to start doing something like this if my blog actually ever makes any real cash! :) But then, I guess it's never too soon to dial up my support for great causes anyway.
    My recent post Is the Internet killing small businesses?

  2. This a great way to give back to your readers and to the social systems. I will definitely keep this in mind for when I start making income from my blog. We live in Thailand and $100 will go a long way to helping some very unfortunate people living here. Thailand has no government sponsored social programs.
    My recent post Saving Money and Time Through Automation

  3. Thsnks again – I was happy to be able to help support this worthwhile cause. On my part, I used my winnings to buy some new bike shorts, leggings and sports bras since my old ones no longer fit, and I donated several HUGE bags of clothing to my local women's shelter.

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