The Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence is one of nearly 300 organizations nationwide participating in the 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, a fundraiser that coincides with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October. 

“There are a couple of things we always try to do during Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” LCCADV executive director Robert Dalton said. “First and foremost, we want to push the issue of domestic violence because it’s obviously an issue that people often don’t want to talk about, meaning victims and the general public. We use this month to remind people that domestic violence is an issue in our community and one that people are suffering from everyday, so we want victims to know that the (LCCADV) is here to help. Also, this month is important because it takes money to do what we do. We’re fortunate to have funders as a United Way partner agency, but that doesn’t pay for everything. That funding is used to build the foundation of what we do, but we still have to fundraise the rest of it.” 

The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge is now in its fifth year and has raised nearly $10 million to help state and local domestic violence organizations deal with funding gaps. The funds raised through the event will be put toward providing life-changing services for survivors and their families, including financial aid and empowerment, emergency shelter and child care and food and transportation. 

“The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge is a crucial fundraising initiative for our organization as the donations are vital to our efforts to help as many women and families affected by domestic violence as we can,” Dalton said. “With the collective community rallying behind our organization now and throughout the year, it also shows survivors that they’re not alone in their journeys to break the cycle of abuse.” 

This will be the first year that the LCCADV has participated in the fundraising challenge, which helped to raise over $3.75 million last year alone. The agencies participating in the challenge are split into divisions based upon operating budgets in an effort to level the playing field and -- in addition to the money raised locally, which stays right here in the community --  the Allstate Foundation awards grand prizes of up to $100,000 for the nonprofit that raised the most money in each division. 

In support of the Allstate Foundation’s fundraising efforts, tennis champion and Purple Purse program ambassador Serena Williams has designed a limited edition suede and leather purple backpack that the LCCADV plans to auction off during the organization’s Unmasking Domestic Violence Masquerade Gala later this month.

“A purse is symbolic of a woman’s financial domain,” Allstate senior vice president of corporate relations Vicky Dinges said in a press release. “We’re thrilled Serena Williams embraced this idea when she designed this practical, everyday bag for the 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse campaign. We’re confident this year’s purse will encourage even more people to get involved and support the participating nonprofits.”

The Unmasking Domestic Violence Masquerade Gala is this year’s installment of the LCCADV’s annual National Domestic Violence Awareness Month silent auction fundraiser. All proceeds generated through ticket sales, bar sales and the silent auction will be put toward building a new facility for Amy’s House, Lincolnton’s shelter for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. 

“We’re very early in the process because, as you might imagine, taking a new building from an idea to opening the front door can be 3-5 years depending on fundraising and other factors,” Dalton said. “We were very fortunate to have an anonymous donor donate some land for us to use and now we’re doing the background research of what it will take to make this happen. The shelter we have now is actually an old house and, while it’s comfy and does what we need for now, we really need to grow because we’re full most of the time. It’s an older house so really we’re looking for a facility that allows us to provide services in a better environment with more room.”

In 2017, Amy’s House provided shelter for nearly 200 women and children escaping from abusive situations at home. 

Those interested in supporting the LCCADV in the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge can donate by visiting https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/amyscloset-purplepurse2018

The Unmasking Domestic Violence Masquerade Gala is scheduled for Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. at The Laboratory Mill, located at 848 Southfork Road in Lincolnton. Event tickets run $60 in advance and $100 at the door, with dinner included in the ticket price. Cocktail attire and masks are encouraged and tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting https://www.unmaskdv.eventbrite.com.

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