• Jessica Stephenson

Save the date. Spread it far and wide.

Updated: Dec 28, 2018



October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I am a longtime survivor of domestic and sexual violence, so this month is very dear to my heart. I have always considered transparency to be the best business practice, so I tend to be very forward about my past experiences. I use my story and my voice as tools to help educate and advocate on behalf of others however and whenever I can. If you would like to read some of my own survival story, you can visit my personal blog here. I believe that knowledge IS power, and I will always do anything within my power to help others rise from the ashes of domestic violence.

A story I rarely tell is how I came to realize that I was being abused, and I hope to speak of it soon and speak of it boldly-- but what I will say to you now is that the Center for Prevention of Abuse is the reason my son and I survived it all. CFPA provided valuable services to us confidentially and free of charge, spanning many years and carrying us through numerous crises as we fought for our survival and freedom. I dedicate my fundraising efforts at least once a year to the CFPA because they continue to save lives 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I ask of you now to save this date: Wednesday, October 17th, for our third annual Get Lit. Against Domestic Violence event. Every year we transform the October open mic into a public speak-out against domestic violence and a fundraiser for the CFPA. The fundraiser will include a bake sale, a silent auction filled with goods and services from popular local businesses and talented artisans, and a donation drive for both monetary and approved non-monetary goods (see list at the bottom of this post). All proceeds will be donated directly to the CFPA, which is currently at full capacity and needs all the help they can get-- so I urge you to come prepared to treat yourself and your loved ones, get an early start on your holiday shopping, and show this worldly cause your open heart and generous spirit.

The speak-out portion is open to anyone who wishes to perform poetry, story, or song on the topic of domestic violence. It will be a night of catharsis, growth, camaraderie, and many, many tears. We will have special guest performers from Whiskey City Burlesque sharing a piece or two on the subject, as in years past. We will have a moment of silence to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives, and to reaffirm that we will continue to educate, intervene, and empower those still fighting to end domestic violence.

If you or your company would like to donate to the silent auction or bake sale, or if you're able to help in any way, please contact me either by phone at (309) 634-5383, by email at litonfireusedbooks@gmail.com, or by connecting through my Facebook page here.

Together, we can make a huge impact for so many men, women, and children for whom the Center for Prevention of Abuse's services are crucial to their safety and well-being. See you on Wednesday, October 17th!

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Non-monetary donation needs: ​Full size shampoo, conditioner, body wash Paper towels Toilet paper Feminine products Pillows (new and unopened) Full size deodorant (all varieties) Dish soap Hand soap Shaving cream Baby formula Diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6) Wipes Packaged underwear (new and opened) Socks (new and unopened) Cotton swabs

Food Pantry Needs: Perishable foods - eggs, milk, cheese, meat, etc. Canned tuna and chicken Coffee, cream, and sugar Oatmeal Microwavable rice, pasta, and other side dishes Peanut butter and jelly Bottled water and juice boxes Boxed breakfast items – cereals, oatmeal packets, granola bars, Pop-Tarts Healthy snack items for children Medium-size clear tote bins with lids (Rubbermaid/Sterilite) Gallon-size Ziploc bags Canned fruits and vegetables Canned soups, stews and pastas


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