Sometimes you can make a huge difference with the simple click of a button. Just think of how many times you click your mouse or press a key on your keyboard each day. But the buttons you push after reading this story could help a local charity recently devastated by fire begin to rebuild in a really big way.
On June 18th, when that huge storm blew through the Chicago area with 80-mile-per-hour winds, lightening struck and power lines snapped outside the WINGS Resale Store on Northwest Highway in Palatine. Because of the live wires, firefighters were ordered to stay away for fear of a building collapse. So there was little to do but watch as the building and everything in it burned to the ground.
WINGS stands for Women in Need Growing Stronger. The organization provides emergency shelter, support and safety for women and children fleeing domestic violence. WINGS helps 400 families a year, they’ve been around for 25 years and the Palatine resale store brought in $500,000 annually. WINGS executive director, Rebecca Darr, says revenues prior to the fire were already down 30-percent due to fundraising challenges in the struggling economy. This fire was a huge blow for WINGS and women like Sarah and her two little boys.
Sarah turned to WINGS after five years in a physically abusive relationship. She fled her husband and her home after the final straw, an altercation that ended in tragedy. “They told me that they would stick with me and help me make it until I got back on my feet..so I felt like, for the first time, I had an honest shot at making it in life.” It must have been difficult for Sarah to share the intimate details of her personal story in this candid and compelling video.
I’m writing this because WINGS is in the running for and has a real chance to win $250,000 in the Pepsi Refresh project. Right now they’re ranked 21st in their category and TWO causes will win $250,000 THIS MONTH! I didn’t realize until Rebecca Darr told me that, instead of spending $20-Million dollars on Superbowl advertising this year, Pepsi decided to award that money, over the course of the year, to projects going on around the country that get the most votes on their website. And it’s a simple as that. If enough of us vote for WINGS, between now and the end of August, they could have the money they need to rebuild their Palatine store and get back to helping more women in need grow stronger.
Now back to the part about the click of a button. If you take a second to vote for WINGS now, if you share this story with people you know, if you vote for this local charity in need, we might be able to help them win it. The Pepsi program will actually allow you to vote for WINGS once each day. But the voting ends on August 31st and Rebecca says they’ll know the results in early September. There are several ways to cast your vote.
TEXT 101932 TO Pepsi (73774) ***text rates apply***
And if you visit this blog from time to time, check the sidebar on the top right below the rotating gallery box. All month long, I’ll have the “Vote for WINGS” widget on display to make it easy for you to click and vote each day. I’m going to try to vote at the start of each day, and I know Rebecca Darr and the women and children of WINGS would sincerely appreciate all of the help we can give. And you can also help by donating items for them to sell in their two other resale stores in Schaumburg and in Niles. For more information on how you can help, visit their website at WingsProgram.com, join WINGS on Facebook by clicking HERE or email Rebecca directly at RDarr@WingsProgram.com. And if you or anyone you know is in an abusive situation and need help, call the WINGS 24-hour hotline at 847-221-5680.