save the date
WHEN: Oct. 30 – Nov. 8
WHAT: Benefiting The Family Place programs
Most Dallasites know that Partners Card is one sweet week of shopping, deals, and savings. But this year’s chairs and honorary chair want to make sure that with every swipe, shoppers are mindful of the cause behind it.
“We want you to have fun but to remember that not only are you saving money, you really are saving somebody’s life,” co-chair Debbie Munir said. “It makes a huge difference. [The Family Place staff] are good stewards of people’s contributions.”
Munir pointed out that since its beginning 22 years ago, Partners Card has raised more than $14 million toward preventing domestic violence and providing care to its victims.
As many know, the $70 spent to purchase the card goes directly to the organization.
“With abuse rising in our culture, the services this organization provides are life-changing,” co-chair Melissa Boler said. “Personal safety is often something I take for granted. However, statistics are staggering — I have heard it is one in four women who are or will be abused. So chances are we all know someone affected, even if they aren’t sharing it.”
With such numbers, it’s only natural that people would want to get involved and help. But many often wonder what they can do if they’re not able to donate a large sum or provide professional care.
That’s where Partners Card comes in.
“It’s hard when you are common folk and just someone who’s not trained to help with family violence or counseling. You think, ‘How can I help?’” honorary chair Rhonda Sargent Chambers said. “You start thinking, ‘Oh, I can donate that refrigerator, I can do that.’ You start thinking of ways you can help them without being [a trained professional].”
It’s true, The Family Place accepts many donated goods for its shelter and other programs that help victims of abuse regain their footing in the world.
The money from purchasing Partners Cards also assists in those endeavors.
Chambers said her first exposure with The Family Place began in high school by attending events.
She also remembers clothing drives being paired with fashion shows to increase exposure for great causes during her days with the Kim Dawson Modeling Agency.
“Gaining awareness is very important,” she said.
It’s important to the chairs because for some, it’s also personal.
“My mother grew up in a violent household and in the 1960s, it wasn’t something that was very much discussed,” co-chair Ashlee Weidner said. “You couldn’t talk to a teacher about it, and if you did, it was kind of brushed under the rug. That’s very important that women and children particularly are aware that it’s not something to be ashamed of.”
Though The Family Place began primarily to aid women and children, they also aid men who have suffered abuse. That large pool of clients gives chairs added motivation to rope in more participating retailers, which then helps reach more people.
“It’s exciting. It’s a really good thing to grow awareness among people that need their services. The more people who know, the better,” Munir said.
After all, buying a card is one of the simplest ways to help.
“Partners Card is an easy way to contribute, so I’m working to spread that message,” Boler said. “This is such a unique fundraiser: we get the chance to impact lives doing something that is a normal part of life — shopping.”