FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — A local non-profit has received a big donation.
An anonymous donor wrote out a $100,000 check to VOICES of Stephenson County. While no one expected this opportunity, the organization already has plans for the money.
Administrators hope to prevent domestic violence through early education.
“We were all overwhelmed, because none of us had ever been a part of a gift that large,” said Julie Hilliger, marketing director at VOICES.
That large gift was the biggest that the non-profit has ever received. The group has been around for 40 years, supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Administrators said that this strategy will help the agency focus on young people.
“We’re never gonna get our rates of domestic violence or sexual assault down if we cannot stop people from coming to us, and, so that’s why prevention is key,” Hilliger said.
The donation will be used in a 10-year plan, which will start sometime this year. It will be used to create a domestic violence prevention curriculum in Stephenson County schools, kindergarten through high school.
This unexpected support has been overwhelming to “VOICES.”
“Just touched all of us that they wanted to make an investment in the future, and to make that generational change was just beyond any of us ever believed could happen,” Hilliger said.
“VOICES” staff members said that raising money for this cause is extra important. It is also especially tough, because it is hard to show results to donors.
“Prevention is not funded, because you can’t track who doesn’t come to you,” Hilliger said.
The 97-year-old donor wants to stay anonymous. They released a statement that said “I am just doing what I think is right. The programming has the potential to impact many lives for the better, and those lives are worth it.”
If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for resources.