TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) Local groups and law enforcement agencies are teaming up to collect pillows for domestic violence survivors.
For the first time the Law Enforcement Wives Club (L.E.W.C) is holding a pillow donation drive. The group is partnering with the Oro Valley Police Department and the Golder Ranch Fire District to collect pillows throughout the month.
The pillows will go to the shelter run by Emerge! Center for Domestic Abuse. Emerge! has a shelter with 51 beds, but when the facility is full they have other emergency shelter housing options.
Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, the CEO of Emerge!, says on any given night they may be housing 60 or 70 people.
"They go through about 1,000 pillows a year so our goal is to provide them with a year supply of 1,000 pillows," said Mary Snider with L.E.W.C.
Sgt. Carmen Trevizo with OVPD says donating a pillow is a tangible, easy way for people to give back.
"We were as surprised as anybody to find that out that if you go into a domestic violence shelter, they have to be provided with a new pillow," Trevizo said. "It's a health code requirement, and so as you can imagine 1,000 pillows a year can really take a chunk out of an organization's budget."
You can drop the pillows off at these Golder Ranch Fire District stations, and the Oro Valley Police Department at the following address:
11000 N. La Cañada Drive
Tucson, AZ 85737
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
According to Emerge!, in 2016 16 people died from domestic violence-related incidents.
Mercurio-Sakwa says we may take for granted something small like a pillow, but it makes a big difference for those seeking shelter.
Often times when people come to Emerge! for help, Mercurio-Sakwa says they may have to leave everything behind and only have a few belongings.
"When you've got a kid whose being torn out of their home to escape violence, that pillow is more than a place to literally put their head," Mercurio-Sakway said.
Emerge! will have two donation drives to collect supplies for domestic abuse survivors in October. The center serves about 6,000 people a year, Mercurio-Sakwa said.
The "Stuff-the-Truck" events are scheduled for October 13 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Canyon Del Oro Baptist Church. The second event will be October 27 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Rincon Congregational Church.
Here's more on how you can get help.