Hearts of Hope continues to help victims of sexual violence in the community through education, advocacy and programs. It’s now going ‘Over the Edge’ for its services.
“I hope that more people know what hearts of hope is. What we do. Who we serve and more people are willing to tap into their inner thrill seeker,” said Amidie Shaw, the Community Engagement Organizer for Hearts of Hope.
Hearts of Hope is a rape crisis center for six parishes and a children’s advocacy center for eight.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about, but this is a way to kind of bring people together, talk about a difficult situation, but shine some very important light on it,” said Shaw.
They provide critical emergency room advocacy and medical care for sexual assault survivors.
Emily Sandoz began as a volunteer, but now is on the board for Hearts of Hope. “Just being inspired. not only by the survivors who come to hearts of hope looking to face what they’ve been through and improve their lives from there,” she said.
She said she is also inspired to help those who choose to face abuse every day. Something counselor, Kristen Bell, witnesses all the time.
“I would like to go over the edge because I see an importance of providing advocacy to our services and doing it in such a bold way,” said Hearts of Hope Counselor Kristen Bell.
The non-profit assist about 1200 people a year free of charge. Fundraising events are vital to its services and organizers have introduced a new way of raising money in Acadiana.
They are launching ‘Over the Edge,’ an event that is mimicked across the country and even Benson Tower in New Orleans. Organizers decided to bring it to Lafayette by having people rappel down 70 feet at 5750 Johnston Street in exchange for donations.
The organization is now accepting brave ‘Edgers’ to volunteer for the cause.
Register to become an Edger. Set up your personal fundraising page Fundraise $1000, support will be provided along the way. Hearts of Hope, formerly Stuller Place, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that responds daily to those affected by the trauma of sexual violence in our community by providing education, advocacy and empowerment services and programs.
With the help of law enforcement, the criminal justice system and healthcare professionals, services are available to the Acadiana area of Louisiana: Lafayette, Acadia, Vermilion, Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Landry & Evangeline parishes.