Allstate Foundation donates to YWCA, coordinates supply drive for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

AllState presented a check for $20,000 to the YWCA for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Allstate Foundation on Wednesday donated $20,000 to the YWCA of Seattle | King | Snohomish to assist local shelters that house women who have been victims of domestic abuse.

The check was presented at the office of Lynnwood Allstate agency owner Michelle Tullius, who is partnering with YWCA of Seattle | King | Snohomish to collect professional clothing items during October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Victims who escape domestic violence situations often leave with only the clothes on their back — donating lightly used suits, dresses, blouses and more helps these women take the first step toward getting back on their feet.

The donation and clothing drive is part of a national Allstate Foundation Purple Purse effort involving 103 Allstate agencies across Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Seattle-area residents can drop off clothing and other items at participating locations

This is the second year the Allstate Foundation has partnered with YWCA Snohomish County.

“The YWCA’s mission is to eliminate racism and empower women,” said YWCA Snohomish County Executive Director Mary Anne Dillon. “One of the ways we do that in Snohomish County is through housing, homeless and advocacy programs.”

YWCA has six housing locations in Snohomish County — three affordable housing complexes, a housing shelter, an emergency shelter and a short-term housing facility with supportive services. In addition to housing, YWCA offers health and economic empowerment services, which help victims find employment opportunities. Services provided by the organization are free.

“To be able to have donations like this allows us to continue to deliver those services,” said YWCA Corporate Relations Officer Alicia Crank.

Crank said corporate donations fund YWCA programs like the BankWork$, an eight-week training course which teaches people how to work in a bank. After completing the program, a career fair is held for graduates, which helps them find a job at banks in the area.

Dillion said the first step for victims of domestic violence is crisis stabilization by providing basic needs like housing, food and a plan for action. Mental health services are also available if needed, she added.

The Allstate Foundation also provides education on the signs of domestic abuse. People who are being abused may:

  • Regularly check in with their partner to report where they are and what they are doing
  • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy or possessiveness
  • Wear clothing designed to hide bruises or scars, like long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors
  • Be kept from seeing family and friends
  • Have their spending tightly monitored or restricted by their partner.

Here is the list of Allstate agencies participating in the supply drive, part of a multi-state Allstate Foundation Purple Purse effort that will benefit more than 50 domestic violence nonprofits across the U.S  Clothing donations will be collected through Oct. 11.

— Story and photos by Cody Sexton