Drive or­ga­nized for Lau­rel House

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE -

Fall at Colo­nial Mid­dle School seems to be the sea­son of com­mu­nity con­tri­bu­tion. Stu­dents will par­tic­i­pate in the Colo­nial Neigh­bor­hood Coun­cil Food Drive through­out Novem­ber, Links for Pink, EHnH­fitLnJ EUHDVt FDnFHU, through­out Oc­to­ber and, most re­cently, the Lau­rel House Sock and Un­der­wear Drive.

The Lau­rel House is D nRnSUR­fit or­ga­ni­za­tion that of­fers a place to stay for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence across Mont­gomery County. It is funded via two thrift shops, Mar­ian’s At­tic in King of Prus­sia and Lau­rel’s Loft in Lans­dale. The shel­ter pro­vides med­i­cal and le­gal as­sis­tance, sup­port groups, com­mu­nity coun­sel­ing, vi­o­lence-preven­tion ef­forts and many other pro­grams to those it serves.

In honor of Rachel En­gle, a pre­vi­ous Colo­nial Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber, the Lau­rel House Sock and Un­der­wear Drive will take place. Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence led to her, as well as her tod­dler, 3-year-old Troy En­gle’s death in 2009. Rachel’s mother, Sue Gamza of Colo­nial Mid­dle School, has since been an avid sup­porter of the Lau­rel House shel­ter. She and her hus­band, Ron Gamza, are pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent of the Rachel and Troy Foun­da­tion. The foun­da­tion’s pur­pose is to help agen­cies, such as the Lau­rel House, that ed­u­cate, sup­port and care for those who are the vic­tims of abuse.

Eighth-grade AVID stu­dents at CMS have or­ga­nized this dona­tion drive and have done much to ad­ver­tise the event through mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent me­dia. To-be artists have spread the word with col­or­ful posters hung through­out school hall­ways, while oth­ers have ar­ranged morn­ing home­room col­lec­tions. Ad­di­tion­ally, they have pro­duced news­pa­per ar­ti­cles, such as the one which you are cur­rently read­ing, and a video that will be pre­sented dur­ing the school’s morn­ing news/an­nounce­ments show, CMSN. Th­ese promotional ad­ver­tise­ments will hope­fully bring more at­ten­tion to the Lau­rel House and the es­sen­tial ser­vice it pro­vides to the com­mu­nity.

As for the dona­tion drive, new, un­used, pack­aged un­der­wear and socks for women and chil­dren of all shapes and sizes are needed. Fur­ther­more, the Lau­rel House is in need of di­a­pers, baby for­mula, baby food, coats, scarves, hats and gloves. Th­ese un­for­tu­nate peo­ple es­cape their sit­u­a­tions when­ever they can; they can’t af­ford to miss any op­por­tu­ni­ties. There­fore, they may, and likely are, un­pre­pared for life once they leave. Most who ar­rive at the shel­ter come only with the shirts on their backs, and so it is es­sen­tial to of­fer them new sup­plies. Do­na­tions should be dropped off at Colo­nial Mid­dle School ad­dressed to Suzanne Slat­tery or Chris Feiler.

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