Airing Dirty Laundry Makes a Difference

By: Contributor Last Updated: November 8, 2010

Working for a non-profit, one is driven by philanthropy and working to help others. Part of helping others, is educating the community about severe issues that occur daily in their neighborhoods. It is those "Mission Matters" stories that remind everyone to take the time to help those in need, to step back and find a way to help end the abuse. Here is a true story that I would like to share with you:

About three weeks ago, I was approached by a Valparaiso University Psychology Grad Student to be her interviewee for her class project. I told her about what we do at The Caring Place and proceeded to tell her about The Clothesline Project. She was very excited, intrigued, curious about this project. I let her take some of the shirts for her presentation as a visual aide for her class. At first the students thought “Oh Pretty!” but then as she explained what the shirts meant and what the different colors represented, attitudes changed; their attention was on her and the stories behind these powerful t-shirts. The students (and professor too!) were so moved by the shirts that they began to cry. She told me that her class had no idea what domestic violence and sexual assault could do to a person and their family. Her 10-minute presentation turned into a 10-minute presentation with a 45-minute discussion about the shirts and what they can do to help people in these situat ions.