The Giving House: bringing hope and joy to families affected by domestic violence | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 18, 2024

Cindy McCarley like so many others has endured and survived domestic abuse. As a wife and mother of four, she felt powerless to leave her abusive partner, fearing that she wouldn’t be able to provide for her children on her own.

This concern for her children and ensuring that they would have enough to live a contented life prevented McCarley from abandoning the abusive relationship for 11 years. It’s important to understand that worries about supporting dependents on ones own can be paralyzing. It can lead people to sacrifice their safety and well-being for the security of their loved ones.

Once McCarley was able to remove herself and her children from her abusive relationship, she turned her energy toward supporting various domestic violence causes. Her continued passion for helping those affected by domestic violence led McCarley to launch her own foundation last year: The Giving House.

What is The Giving House?

The bright white structure of The Giving House stands against dramatic skies in the city of Vernal, Utah. It strives to be a beacon of light and hope to families like McCarley’s, and “is founded on the belief that every person has the right to be safe and free of family violence.” Its mission, as it reads on its webpage, is “to help women and children affected by such violence to be empowered by new beginnings.”

When dealing with domestic violence and its traumatic aftermath, the extra pressures and expectations of holidays like Christmas can be crushing. The Giving House is dedicated to lifting the stress of the holidays off the shoulders of domestic violence survivors with their unique service.

Instead of worrying about making ends meet during the holiday season, The Giving House brings joy to the families who need it most by providing a free heartwarming Christmas shopping experience to domestic violence survivors and their children.

While helping themselves to delicious cookies and hot cocoa, the children of domestic abuse survivors are assisted by the foundation’s volunteers. They get to choose, wrap and label gifts for their parent and siblings. In another room, the parent does the same for their children. The Giving House ensures everyone has a wrapped gift to leave under the Christmas tree for each member of their family.

So that their services are reserved for families in need, The Giving House vets all participants to ensure that they fall within the criteria of its vision. Security, above all, is its top priority.

 What else does The Giving House do?

The Giving House has had a hand in many other worthwhile initiatives outside of its own services. So far, it has helped donate new clothes and shoes to women and children at the local women’s shelter, participated in purchasing vehicles for single mothers, offered financial support to pay for medical expenses, and provided Christmas dinner on top of Christmas gifts to families in need, and more.

In the future, The Giving House hopes to expand its services to other communities across the state of Utah. It also hopes to host more shopping events for other celebrations like Mother’s Day, so that they can continue to spread joy and support to those who’ve been unfairly deprived of their safety and happiness.

How can you help?

Domestic violence is sadly a pervasive problem. According to The Giving House, a woman is abused every nine seconds in the United States. Nationwide, one in four women and one in 10 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and as many as 10 million children witness domestic violence every year.

To help, you can make a tax-deductible donation, donate clothing and toys, participate in The Giving House fundraisers, and offer your time and services by volunteering. Visit The Giving House website for more information on how you can support this worthy cause.

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