“Unless someone like you cares a while awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
These are just a couple quotes that come to mind when I think about Warm & Cozy, the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center, and ALL of the amazing people who have made this story even possible.
Warm & Cozy is an annual fundraiser started by Matilda Jane in collaboration with other local organizations that benefits the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center. The Center is made up of a group of amazing nurses and staff who dedicate their lives to helping women, children, and men during the darkest times of their lives. They help in a time where the most important thing is knowing that you are not damaged, you are loved, you are beautiful, and you are worthy of all the happiness one can hold.
The Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center’s services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year at no cost to their patients. They serve all of Northeast Indiana, including: Allen, Adams, Blackford, DeKalb, Elkhart, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Miami, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties.
Just meet Michelle, one of the forensic nurses from the center, and you will understand why Warm & Cozy was formed. She is one of the most passionate, caring, and strong women I have ever met. She has done so much for our community, and it was time for our community to come together to support her and the other nurses. They are extremely under staffed, and funding was cut. The staff works long hours, and lack the necessary time and funds to spread awareness.
In September of 2013, A Party Apart (a Fort Wayne based events company) and Matilda Jane Clothing came together along with the center to host the first annual Warm & Cozy. The event raised a little under $90,000, which was a great start. But it takes a lot of money and support to keep the center running. Here are some examples of how far a donation will go.
- $20 monthly contribution – helps purchase care packages filled with toiletries and other items for patients
- $50 one time contribution – purchases two $25 gas cards for patients who travel an hour or more to get to the center
- $150 contribution – purchases new clothing items for patients who must leave their clothing at the center as evidence
- $500 contribution – provides training to one dozen first responders
- $2,500 contribution – pays for one (1) Forensic Nurse Examiner to attend a training conference and receive the CNEs/CEUs necessary to maintain her SANE certification. In 2015, the center will have three nurses requiring CNEs/CEUs.
As you can see, we have our hands full. Our goal this year is to raise over $100,000, and with the support we have already received from local companies and community members, I am confident that this is possible. If you are located in Fort Wayne area, we would love to see you at this year’s Warm & Cozy. The event will have individually sponsored campfires, a live auction, a raffle and other games, a light dinner, live music by ReMEDy, and tons of fun!
There are lots of great items available at the live auction, including: a photo shoot with Matilda Jane Clothing; dinner for 8 from the Oyster Bar served in your home; a week on the beach in Bonita Springs – 2 bedroom, 2 bath, sleeps 4; and Party with a Start, and more. Some of the raffle items include: dinner for 4 from Club Soda; a Joseph Decuis Harvest Dinner for 2; a Warm & Cozy Gift Basket; and a behind the scenes tour of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo for 8 people.
When: September 24, 2014 from 6:30-9:00 P.M.
Where: The Paddock, 7195 East State Road 14, Columbia City, IN
Tickets: $40 for 1 or $75 for 2