There may not be another symbol of comfort more basic than a pillow. It signifies rest, calm and serenity.
As women and children flee their homes for the safety of Laurel House in Norristown, few likely consider rest in the forefront of their minds. But thankfully, the area shelter from abuse thinks of all of that for them.
The shelter, however, cannot do it alone. As holiday donations dwindle, they were in need of charity from the surrounding community. The Rachel and Troy Foundation stepped right up.
The Lafayette Hill-based foundation was started by friends and family members following the tragic deaths of Rachel Engle and her three-year-old son Troy in 2009.
According to the foundation's website, the organization's mission is "to assist and support agencies that are educating, supporting and caring for children and families who are the victims of abuse."
Hosting a pillow drive that collected over 300 fluffy packs of comfort, the Foundation partnered with Barren Hill Fire Company and the Norristown Fire Department for storage of the pillows during the drive, according to a recent article in Montgomery Media's Colonial News.
Beth Sturman, the Laurel House's spokeswoman told the Colonial she “couldn’t be more grateful.”
“I can’t begin to express how much we appreciate the support,” Sturman told the Colonial. “Pillows are one of our most basic needs at the shelter."
Laurel House is always seeking donations to support area women and children.
"Sturman says Laurel House’s current wish list includes juices, iced tea mix, tuna fish, flour, baking powder, pots and pans, laundry detergent, Clorox bleach, all-purpose cleaning spray, baby shampoo/soap/lotion, size five disposable diapers, tissues, paper towels, bath and hand towels, single-size blankets and African-American hair care products. Gift cards, especially for Target, Walmart, ShopRite, CVS and Rite Aid, as well as telephone and gas cards, are an ongoing need," reads the article.
According to its website, Laurel House aims to "to provide safe haven for abused women and their children, to raise public awareness about domestic violence and to advocate for social change against domestic violence." It has been doing so since 1981.
The house also operates a 24/7 hotline.
"If you are in an unsafe situation because of domestic violence or if you would like to speak with a counselor about available services, please call our Hotline at 1-800-642-3150," said the Laurel House site.
For more information on how to help the Laurel House, visit the organization's "How to Help" website here.