September 14, 2022 Breakfast Meeting Notes
September 14, 2022 Breakfast Meeting Notes
Braden started with a thank-you note sent to Mike Carrier from Whole Village in response to our donation of $250 to their pack-a-pack efforts. We were able to help 45 families with backpack donations.
Omer noted that the NH Food Bank food distribution on Monday at Polar Caves went well.
Danielle said that PemiBaker Hospice started an emergency training exercise yesterday in which a simulated hacking of the computer system occurs. They hope that they will be ready if and when it actually happens.
We had one guest, Doug Finesod.
The 50/50 was won by Lora, who donated it to Tom.
The card game draw was won by Russ but he did not draw the ace of spades so the game continues.
Tony was absent so we will have to wait until next week for our NH Trivia.
Our speaker was Meg Kennedy Dugin, the executive director of Voices Against Violence. For 40 years Voices has served as our local crisis center, helping residents of 21 towns surrounding Plymouth that are experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or other forms of threats. Their mission is to break the cycle of violence and promote social change. They serve as a support system for people in dangerous situations but do not tell people what to do.  Ms. Dugin began by reading a statement from a woman helped by the organization, expressing her gratitude for the assistance and letting the shelter know what a difference they had made in her life.
Voices runs a confidential shelter for people who are escaping domestic violence. The shelter recently received a grant so that each client gets his or her own individual room so that they don’t have to deal with living with strangers while they are dealing with their own trauma. The risk of violence is greatest when a person leaves a bad situation, so it is important to keep the shelter’s location private. They provide about 1000 bed-nights a year for adults and children and they take people of all ages and genders. Some people may stay as long as 1 to 1 ½ years and become established in the community.
When a person applies for a restraining order in court, the court will ask them if they would like to meet with an advocate from Voices. The local hospital also calls Voices whenever they are presented with a sexual assault case and asks an advocate to come down. This way they can tell the traumatized person that someone is already there to begin helping them process their experience and heal. They also receive referrals from DCYF. Voices also stresses that people don’t have to be in a crisis to call; they run a 24 hour confidential hotline and are ready to help anyone who needs it.
The COVID pandemic did impact services; they had to close their shelter to new admissions and start using an app called Resource Connect that allows encrypted chats online (so that people didn’t have to worry about calling for help when they were confined in the same house as their abuser). Calls increased after the first few months of the pandemic. Ms. Dugin also noted that a history of drug or alcohol abuse correlates with domestic violence and increases depression and anxiety, and these increased during the pandemic.
Voices is always looking for volunteers. They can be reached at 603-536-5999. They also hold fundraisers, including Dancing under the Stars in Bristol, Rock your Voice at Big Daddy Joe’s and a grand ball to be held this winter.
Finally Steve and Sharon discussed the Penny Sale and upcoming fundraising. They propose tiered levels of support, and those soliciting donations can tell donors that they will be mentioned at the Penny Sale, the Hometown Holiday Celebration, and at our end of year donation summary. Donors can choose to make a product or service as a gift, a cash donation, or both. Donors know Rotary and are eager to support us.
Below is a link to the video of today's presentation:
Respectfully submitted,
Lora Miller, secretary