BYRON, Ill. (WTVO) — A father, daughter duo in the Stateline is raising money and looking for coat donations.
It’s all to help survivors of domestic violence, just like them.
“About seven years ago now, my father and I were victims of domestic violence from my mother,” said Coats For Hope Founder, Victoria Kuzlik.
Kuzlik and her father Bob Kuzlik were able to safely escape their situation. Now, they look to give back and help others facing similar scenarios.
“When someone leaves their house for a domestic violence issue they normally leave with what’s on their back and they don’t have time to get anything,” V. Kuzlik said.
V. Kuzlik has been collecting coat since she was 11-years-old, she’s now 15.
This year alone she’s collected almost 2,000 coats.
“We collect coats since the beginning of October, and today we’re taking all those coats, we probably have about 2,000 coats, and then we sort them by sizes and sexes,” said B. Kuzlik. “We’re able to bag these up by sizes, mark the bag and when they contact us we get them whatever they need.”
Sorting them beforehand makes it easier once local shelters call looking for the coats.
“The shelters get a hold of us and say we need so many women’s mediums, women’s large, kids is a big need out there,” B. Kuzlik said.
V. Kuzlik said she couldn’t do this by herself.
“The community always surprises me how much they help and how much effort they put in trying to make this a big deal,” said V. Kuzlik. “Some people don’t understand that there is actually help out there, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Coats For Hope has a goal to collect $15,000 in 2019, and they have plans on where that money will go.
“This year we’re actually splitting it equally, half to the YWCA in Sterling and then half to the Rockford Family Peace Center,” V. Kuzlik said.
A link to donate can be found here.
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