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Davis, California

Monday, July 22, 2024

UC Davis student organizations hold supply drive in collaboration with Empower Yolo to provide aid to domestic abuse survivors

Students Demand Action, the Sexual Assault and Awareness Advocacy Committee and the Aggie Reuse store are accepting donations during winter quarter 2024 


By MADISON PETERS — campus@theaggie.org


From Jan. 22 through the end of winter quarter, UC Davis’ Students Demand Action (SDA), the Sexual Assault and Awareness Advocacy Committee (SAAAC) and the Aggie Reuse Store are holding a supply drive in collaboration with Empower Yolo to support victims of domestic abuse.

Empower Yolo is a domestic violence service provider that operates in Davis and Woodland, according to Roan Thibault, a second-year political science major and SDA co-lead. They provide assistance such as emergency housing, financial aid, case management and legal help.

Donations for the supply drive should include basic necessities such as personal hygiene items, household goods, kitchen supplies and clothing, according to Victoria Mattsson, a third-year environmental science and management major and co-unit director for the Aggie Reuse Store.

Mattsson then detailed what people should look for when considering making a donation.

“[Donate] anything that someone moving into an empty house would need,” Mattsson said. “I encourage people to look through their closets and cabinets and see if they have a giant pack from Costco that they are willing to share.”

Empower Yolo has provided a wishlist of desirable items, which can be found on their website or by visiting SAD’s, SAAAC’s and Aggie Reuse’s respective Instagram pages.

Thibault said that anyone who is willing to donate items just needs to look for the purple bins in front of the Aggie Reuse store located at the Memorial Union (MU).

Elyssa Lieu, a second-year design major and co-unit director of the Aggie Reuse store, elaborated on Aggie Reuse’s involvement with the drive.

“So often, we are the receivers of other members of the community that give what they no longer need,” Lieu said. “It’s great that we can take advantage of having a physical space in the MU, [which is] a more accessible location for students and other members who can’t make it down to Empower Yolo. [It] just adds another option for those who want to engage in the community and give back to the mission.”

These donated items will be given directly to the Rooms to Go program that Empower Yolo is working on. This program provides emergency housing and shelter to survivors of domestic abuse, according to Sanjana Gudivada, a third-year psychology major and member of the SAAAC.

Thibault spoke on the connection between SAD’s focus on gun violence and domestic abuse.

“Abusers use guns to threaten and control victims,” Thibault said. “These threats often escalate to murder. Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner, and nearly one million women alive today have reported being shot or shot at by an intimate partner. Service providers like Empower Yolo really provide a critical lifeline so that these women can escape these situations and come out on the other side stronger.”

Gudivada and Thibault said that more flyers will soon be posted around campus and that there will be an increase in tabling at the MU to spread the word about the drive.

The goal of these actions is to make the drive an annual event that takes place during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, according to Thibault.

Gudivada spoke on the significance of this event.

“I think [the drive] is really good, because most of the time, the shelters that domestic violence survivors go to don’t have a lot of resources for them because [they’re] not really funded and a lot of people don’t really care about [them],” Gudivada said. “[But] they have more resources now and people are more aware of it.”

Thibault then gave his final comments on what he hoped this drive would provide for survivors of domestic abuse.

“[The] bottom line is that a donation as small as a can opener can make a huge difference in the lives of survivors as they adjust to new housing and a new life,” Thibault said. “We encourage UC Davis students to come together and uplift survivors.”

Written by: Madison Peters — campus@theaggie.org



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