The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

DOVE receives Christmas donations

 

December 22, 2017

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe photo

SAM PETERSON carries donations collected at Villa Maria Health and Rehab Center in Hurley to DOVE Inc. in Ironwood Thursday morning.

IRONWOOD - Representatives from Villa Maria Heath and Rehabilitation Center visited DOVE Inc. Thursday morning to drop off collected donations to the domestic violence shelter.

"The donations are an incredibly important part of what helps the shelter operate," according to executive director Jeanine Winkowski.

"People come in here with nothing, some of them come in with just the clothes on their backs. And every donation we need for the clients is given to the clients directly. We get quilts, we get diapers, we get things like that," Winkowski said. "Hopefully, when they leave they will have accumulated enough things to take with them."

She explained when they get items like blankets, the clients use them while staying at the shelter and can then take them when they leave.

The Villa Maria staff and various members of the public contributed to Thursday's donations. Along with a financial contribution, a variety of donated goods were dropped off, everything from coats and blankets to toys for Christmas.

"The outpouring of kindness shown by our employees and community was outstanding. Hundreds of items were collected from personal hygiene products, laundry detergents and cleaning supplies to women's and children's clothes," said Leah Simonich, of Villa Maria.

As the shelter works under a granting system, it is prohibited from purchasing the goods for their clients, Winkowski said.

"Our money is all for services and not so much for goods," she explained.

Given the nature of its work, Winkowski said they can always use a little of everything.

"Paper supplies are always a big thing - you know like toilet paper and paper toweling and tissues and things like that that people take for granted is stuff we have to provide for them," she said.

Some of the donated toys will go toward the children staying at the shelter for Christmas, and those that don't get handed out will be saved for other special occasions.

"What we don't use for Christmas we keep in the basement and if someone comes in and it's their child's birthday, then they at least have a gift for their child," she said.

Winkowski said DOVE tries to make the holiday season festive with a tree, a party and supplying food for those staying there to cook a Christmas dinner.

The shelter, which serves both Iron County in Wisconsin and Gogebic County in Michigan, has been at capacity for the last few months. Winkowski said 19 people stayed there in November alone.

While the cases are taken on an individual basis, she said the average stay was roughly 30 days.

"We don't lump people into one category or the other, we take them in as individual cases and assess what their needs are," Winkowski said.

Those interested in helping the group can go to dove-inc.net or visit the organization's Facebook page.

 
 

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