Wow—what a great month for Comments for a Cause!! As you know I promise that I will donate 50 cents for each legitimate comment (that weeds out all the spam!!!) on any post on my blog each month. This month I decided to donate all of the proceeds to KIVA. If you are unfamiliar with KIVA click that little link there (the underlined blue part !) and it will take you to their site but in a nutshell KIVA is an organization that does micro-financing all over the world. For only $25 anyone can contribute to a person of their own choosing to help them in their business or personal life. I normally tend to give to folks who are trying to start or expand their businesses and to date have given 105 loans. The beauty of it is that once the initial loan is repaid the money can be reloaned so that is what I keep doing.
This month, mostly due to have a sick kitty–Buddy—who hopefully is fighting this chylothorax hard while I am gone—I got 327 comments!!! That translates to $163.50!!! Add in a few comments left on Facebook and I am going to donate $175 to KIVA—that means I can help fund 7 loans!!!! Yippee!!! I will do that later today and will report on what loans “we” are funding together!!! Thank you one and all!!! Great results for this month!
Now on to the exciting news! I have selected a local place in Mason City to be the recipient of Comments for a Cause for February. I happened upon a letter to the editor in the Mason City Globe Gazette and was intrigued by the concept. It was a letter asking to help contribute to Birthday in a Bag at the Crisis Intervention Center here in Mason City. After a few emails back and forth with Mary Ingham, the Executive Director, I got even more excited. You see there are lots of times that there are children in the facility who have birthdays. There are usually not presents or parties or any of the normal things that kids have because these kids are living in a crisis situation. So the goal is to provide them with a party–complete with cake and presents and all the trimmings. This was something that I could totally get behind!! And I knew that my readers and commenters would too!!! So that was what I was going to do! Until I checked back with Mary a couple of days ago to get some “facts” about the center and she reported that the Birthday in a Bag project was fully funded by a local business for the next couple of years!!! How awesome is that??? I was thrilled!!! So instead—-there are still needs. There will always be needs. So I am shifting gears and going to still contribute but this time the money will go towards some of the other needs in the shelter: gas cards, bus tokens, coupons for haircuts and local entertainment venues, and even new underwear for the residents. Once I tally the comments at the end of February I will have a better idea of what all “we” can fund!!! I am very excited and thankful to Mary for allowing me the chance to be a part of something wonderful.
Below are a few facts about Crisis Intervention Service here in Mason City. Check out their website by clicking on the blue link. They offer a fabulous service to many folks– their average census is 13 a day with 8 adults and 5 children. Domestic violence is an all too real entity in our world today and I am thankful that places like CIS are there to help with the times of crisis in these individual’s lives. Remember that EVERY comment will count towards the end total and it is easy to comment! If you are unfamiliar with the blog comment routine at the end of every post is a bunch of gibberish which starts with the date of the post. Then there are “categories” listed and after that is a little COMMENT area which if you just click on it it will take you to a little box where you can type your comment. Easy peasy. Every blog is a little different and sometimes it is difficult to find where to make the comment but hopefully this will clear it up for any of you first time visitors!!!
Thanks again to Mary Ingham for all of her great info! The following fact sheet is taken directly from her and I am grateful to her for providing me with the hard facts of what this great non-profit does!!!
Crisis Intervention Service is a private, non-profit organization that has provided services to North Iowans since 1977. The mission of Crisis Intervention Service is to provide victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault in North Central Iowa with confidential, 24-hour services including shelter, safety, support & education with the assistance of professional staff and trained volunteers.
Crisis Intervention Service serves an essentially rural, eight county area in North Central Iowa. Counties in the service area include Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago and Worth. CIS has an office in Mason City and outreach offices in Algona, Charles City, Forest City, Hampton and Osage. Advocates will also meet with clients in a safe place in other communities if the client is unable to travel to one of our six office locations. All services and programs are available to the general public at no cost.
Crisis Intervention Service currently provides short-term, crisis and follow-up counseling for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and their significant others. CIS also provides victim advocacy, child advocacy, support groups, 24-hour crisis line and shelter. During fiscal year 2010/2011, Crisis Intervention Service provided support services to 5,267 families in North Central Iowa. CIS advocates provided 11,218 hours of counseling and advocacy to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault last year. The majority of initial contact with the agency is by the crisis line. Last year, CIS advocates answered 3,630 crisis calls. The reason for calling varies from domestic abuse, sexual assault and child abuse to homelessness and general information & referral calls.
On September 1, 1991, Crisis Intervention Service opened a shelter for battered women and their children. The shelter grew out of our community’s need for emergency shelter and care for victims of violence. The strategic plan developed by CIS in 1991 identified the acquisition of a permanent shelter as a primary goal for 1996. CIS purchased a building on July 1, 1996 and moved into the new shelter August 1997.
Last year, CIS provided 4,829 days of shelter to 208 adults and 126 children. The provision of shelter to victims of domestic violence is a basic life preservation intervention. Domestic abuse is the single major cause of injury to women in the United States. Each year, more than one million women seek medical attention for injuries caused by an intimate partner. Approximately 20% of women seeking medical attention are for injuries caused by battering. Each year, more than 4,000 women die at the hands of their partners. Children in homes where domestic violence occurs may experience cognitive or language problems, developmental delays, stress-related ailments and hearing & speech problems.