HOUSTON – At KPRC 2, we're proud to showcase those making a difference in the area we serve. Each week, we will feature a local activist, community leader, charity group, nonprofit or organization shaping our community.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This week, we take a look at an organization that provides shelter, counseling and support services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence: the Houston Area Women's Center.
HAWC is on a mission to stop domestic violence through prevention, intervention and advocacy for change.
The organization began in 1977 when a handful of volunteers with borrowed phones began fielding calls from victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Now, over 40 years later, the center manages a 120-bed shelter, 24/7 crisis response hotlines and a host of free counseling, legal and advocacy services.
In 2018, with over 100 employees and nearly 2,000 volunteers, the organizations housed 1,042 victims of domestic and sexual abuse, fielded 36,471 calls to its hotlines and provided counseling services to 4,455 women, men and children in need.
Because HAWC offers its myriad of services free of charge, it relies on the help of volunteers and donations to provide clients with needed support.
How to support HAWC:
HAWC began as a volunteer-run organization and continues to depend on the help of volunteers to further its mission.The organization worked with nearly 2,000 volunteers in 2018 alone.
With over 1,000 active volunteers, the organization offers those with a spirit of service several ways to contribute meaningfully. Depending on their skills, availability and comfort level, a volunteer can answer calls in the hotline call center, offer office and administrative support, assist with child care or help organize and run one of several annual special events.
For more information on how to become a volunteer, head here.
To fulfill its mission to end domestic violence, HAWC depends on donations to provide its clients with the help they need. Anyone who wishes to help the organization can donate their money, new items or both.
Money donations help cover counseling fees for victims of domestic abuse. HAWC also uses money donations to support its shelter, 24-hour-a-day hotlines and its advocacy and prevention initiatives.
To donate money to HAWC, click here.
The organizations also benefits from steady donations of goods, including new clothes, hygiene products, baby items and nonperishable food. HAWC's needs change frequently, depending on the donations it receives.
For up-to-date information on the items HAWC needs most, head here.
HAWC only accepts new items.
Anyone wishing to donate items to the Houston Area Women's Center can drop off their donations Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1010 Waugh Drive in Houston.
Join the Houston Area Women's Center Young Leaders
Do you have a spirit of giving and enough time on your hands to join a service group? Consider becoming a part of HAWCYL, an advocacy group dedicated to furthering the mission of HAWC.
The group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of every month and hosts new member orientations before each meeting in February, May, August and November.
For information on how to join HAWCYL, click here.
Host an event
Turn your next baby shower, birthday party or special event into an opportunity to support victims of domestic violence.
For more information on how to raise funds on behalf of HAWC during your next event, head here.
Do you know a nonprofit, charity group or organization making our city a better place to call home? Tell us about them at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always searching for new Houston heroes to feature in our series.
One in three women — and one in four men — will experience severe physical abuse by a partner in their lifetime, according to the Houston Area Women’s Center. Abusive behavior can also include verbal threats, stalking and sexual violence. If you or someone you know is being abused, support and help are available. Visit HAWC’s website or call (713) 528-2121.