Domestic violence task force kicks off
by Clay Neely
The new Coweta County Domestic Violence Task Force held its kickoff planning meeting on Friday at the Coweta County Justice Center in Cranford Hall.
Items on the agenda included the development of a board in order to attain 501c3 non-profit status, a specified date for future meetings, the possibility of guest speakers and the options available to develop a donation program for victims of domestic violence.
Melissa Sizemore and Natalie Ashman, both task force organizers, fielded ideas from attendees. Sizemore serves as victim witness advocate for the Coweta Solicitor's Office.
Speaking on behalf of the local Community Welcome House shelter for victims of domestic violence, Candy Shoemaker suggested that rather than a food drive that typically coincides with the holiday season, a more effective and concentrated target audience should be their priority.
Shoemaker suggested a campaign to get citizens to donate toiletries and bedding supplies to those in need, citing the possible surplus of toiletries that many people may have in their bathrooms from traveling or from other means.
'Some of our last few donations have been blankets and pillows. When someone moves out, they take that with them. To give someone a new pillow, sheets and blanket for a twin size bed is an outstanding gesture,' said Shoemaker.
Speaking on the nature of shelters, Shoemaker noted that the residents usually arrive in a state of distress and rarely pack essential items such as toiletries and bedding.
'The last secondhand blankets that were donated we had to ultimately donate to pet shelters. While we appreciate the gesture, we can't give something in that bad of a shape to someone while they are in the middle of a crisis. It's simple but it makes a huge difference and it's good to have in storage,' said Shoemaker.
Si zemore was plea sed with the initial meeting. 'We're hoping for more people to attend the next meeting and welcoming any new members who are passionate about what we're doing. We hope to keep building so that we can accomplish our goals of the future,' said Sizemore.
The next meeting of Coweta's Domestic Violence Task Force will take place at noon on Nov. 22 in the Grand Jury Room at the Coweta County Justice Center on Greenville Street in Newnan.
For more information about the Domestic Violence Task Force, Sizemore may be contacted at 770-714-0402 or reached via email at: CowetaDVtaskforce@gmail.com .