Volunteers of Dayspring Women's Center set up a RV on Lincolnway to kick-start their Volunteer Week. With the help from their friends at Blackbird Cafe, Dayspring Women's Center aimed to raise funds to help the organization continue in the aid of homeless women. On Tuesday, from 7:30am-10pm volunteers collected donations, selling artwork, and gave out raffle tickets for drawings.
With the donation of $25 to $100, patrons could enter a raffle for prizes that were made by clients of Dayspring Women's Center or donated from the church.
Blackbird Cafe jumped at the chance to host this event and support the women at Dayspring Women's Center when they need a place to go.
Kathleen DeWitt, Director of Community Engagement at Dayspring Women's Center has been an active volunteer at Dayspring for about three years and organized this event.
"We serve women who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. When I started as a volunteer here, there were 13 women who were homeless. Now 7 are in stable homes, which is incredible," said DeWitt.
The volunteers work hard to provide for these women and establish a stable environment for them. The donations from this event will benefit the organization and help volunteers continue to serve these women.
"This is the first organization that I've had an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the people who that organization serves. Dayspring has changed the way I look at homelessness. People don't think it can happen, but it can happen to anyone. They are all wonderful women we are helping out. This event means that Dayspring can continue to provide case management and a community for these women to go to spend the day, get a meal, and receive some therapy if they need it," said DeWitt.
One of the goals for the event was to be an active presence on social media. Through Give Local America, Dayspring hopes to be recognized from the Porter County Community Foundation and be awarded for their social media activity.
Ryan Freeman-Jones, a volunteer, was the mastermind behind the media set-up. With the help of a display system, everyone could see live tweets and continuous donations for the event.
"I worked on the digital display that we have here today. To rally interest, we got together some display stats so everyone could see our leader board and how much money we have made so far. We have live tweet and donation information available to see at all times of the event," said Freeman-Jones.
With the help of Blackbird Cafe and a huge presence on social media, Dayspring Women's Center hope to attract donations to support their organization. It's never too late to donate and help serve homeless women in the community.