The Friends of the Kathy J. Weinman Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Inc. was incorporated by the State of Missouri to raise funds to help support St. Louis County’s only domestic violence shelter. The organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit board separate from St. Louis County government (the entity which staffs and operates the shelter).
In 1991, St. Louis County Executive Buzz Westfall and a group of citizens saw a need for a shelter for battered women and children in St. Louis County, Missouri. Philanthropist Kathy J. Weinman contributed the funds to buy the building and the 9 acres of land where the Shelter is currently housed. The Kathy J. Weinman Shelter’s mission is “to enhance the quality of life for women and their children who have experience the trauma of domestic violence.” The Kathy J. Weinman Shelter is a 37-bed facility, which offers safe and confidential temporary shelter and meals, as well as support services that include case management, women’s therapy, children’s therapy, and health services.
The Friends of the Kathy J. Weinman Shelter raises funds for the purpose of helping the Shelter with expenses associated with its operation, improvement, and support above and beyond the budget provided by St. Louis County government. The Board meets every two months to make decisions about what needs to fund for the Shelter and to brainstorm different fundraising ideas and plan for future fundraising activities.
The Board helps fund the Shelter by hosting fundraising events, seeking discounts from merchants, pursuing new resources for in-kind donations, and submitting some grant applications in tandem with the Shelter.
The funds the Board raises helps with:
• holiday gifts for children;
• supplemental funds for ongoing wish lists for daily needs of the residents;
• prescription and OTC medicine;
• bus passes (provides transportation to work, classes, apartment hunting, etc.); and
• materials for Children’s Program (to address emotional and psychological issues of the children who have observed or experienced abuse).
In the past, large donations have helped with the renovation of restrooms, purchase of playground equipment, purchase of commercial washers and dryers, installation of shelving in bedroom closets, and a total renovation of the office space in the reception area.
There is an ongoing wish list of the Shelter which includes socks, slippers, coats, winter hats, winter gloves, new underwear, pillows, twin size sheets, blankets, towels, alarm clocks, batteries, flashlights, toiletries (soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc.) and household items to help residents move into their own apartment.
The Board’s fundraising efforts help break the cycle of domestic violence.