Womens_Help_Center

Rick Gaydos and Mike McDevitt (under tree), employees of Milkie's Landscaping and Lawn Service, set up a blue spruce at the Women's Help Center in Johnstown.

An angelic mouse and sparkling Christmas lights will benefit victims of domestic violence as part of holiday fundraising efforts for the Women’s Help Center.

The winged mouse – dressed in a robe, hands folded in a prayer with a halo overhead – is the traditional logo of the Help an Angel in Shelter drive.

The largest fundraiser for the Women’s Help Center Inc. of Cambria and Somerset counties, it has been a mainstay for 18 years. A $1 donation buys a paper angel, to be personalized by the contributor.

Money raised by the project pays for holiday meals, treats and gifts for victims of domestic violence, said Susan Shahade, executive director.

Those gifts include necessary items, such as new eyeglasses for a child or a high chair for a mother setting up a new household with her infant, Shahade said.

Last year, Help an Angel in Shelter raised $13,700. The money was used to provide 33 families with meals and gifts and for 75 children in emergency shelter, she said.

Any funds remaining are used to assist those setting up households free of domestic violence, she said.

The angelic mice are distributed to businesses, churches, organizations and even individuals in packets of 25 for the fundraising.

In a new fundraiser, Light the Night, donors will illuminate a “tree of peace and safety” that has been erected beside the Women’s Help Center at 809 Na-poleon St. Single lights may be sponsored for $2 each and a string for $20.

“We wanted to do something a little different,” Shahade said.

“And we thought what a message it would be for a tree to be completely supported by the community, and, in turn, the community can see the tree grow brighter and brighter (with the donations).”

All funds raised by the projects will be used for violence prevention, not for general expenses.



Symbols of hope

The Women’s Help Center Inc. of Cambria and Somerset counties, 809 Napoleon St., Johnstown, is raising money through two holiday projects:

Help an Angel in Shelter: A $1 donation buys a paper angel to be personalized by the contributor. The angels are available at participating businesses, churches, organizations and even from individuals throughout the two counties.

Light the Night: A $2 gift will sponsor one light and $20 will sponsor a string of lights on a tree outside the center. Sponsorships are available at the center or by sending checks to the center. Donations are tax deductible.

Trending Video

Recommended for you