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Hamptons-Based Domestic Violence Agency Seeking Donors For Holiday Giving Programs

Nicole Barylski

With the holiday season quickly approaching, The Retreat, the East End's only domestic violence agency, is once again reaching out to the East End community to help make sure it's a positive experience for families who need it the most.

Each year, the safe haven for families in crisis presents two Holiday Giving Programs, the Thanksgiving Gift Card Drive and Adopt-A-Family.

"For many domestic violence survivors who have given up everything to leave an abusive situation, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time," said Retreat Executive Director Loretta K. Davis. "When you are with family and friends this holiday season, we hope you will have shared your good fortune with your neighbors whose lives have been disrupted by domestic violence."

The Retreat's first way to pay it forward during "the most wonderful time of the year" is the Thanksgiving Gift Card Drive. Anyone interested in helping out community members in need can purchase a gift card from a local food store, which will be distributed to a client of The Retreat. The Gift Card Drive allows members of The Retreat family to take comfort in continuing their long-lasting family traditions or perhaps start a new one, because gift card recipients will have the chance to personally pick out the items that they will use to create their holiday meal. Thanksgiving Gift Card Drive checks and gift cards must be received by Monday, November 14th and can be sent to The Retreat, 13 Goodfriend Drive, East Hampton, New York 11937.

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Another way you can bring a smile to the face of someone who is going through a rough patch is to "Adopt-A-Family." Through the program, donors will spread some holiday cheer by playing "Santa" for a family in need. The Retreat will provide sponsors with a list of items, like toys or seasonal clothing, for each family member and then it's time for the fun part. Once the wish list has been carefully assessed, it's time for some selfless retail therapy. Once you've successfully accomplished your seasonal shopping mission, it's time to bring the gifts to The Retreat, who will pass along the generous contributions to the head of the family once the countdown to Christmas is nearly finished. While you may not get to see your "family" open their gifts on Christmas morning, you can rest assured that your kind contributions have made a huge impact on recipients who are going through a traumatic period in their lives. "Adopt-A-Family" presents and gift cards must be received by Monday, December 12th.

The Retreat, which is based in East Hampton, was founded in 1987. Its mission "is to provide safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse and to break the cycle of family violence." The Retreat's offerings include a residential shelter for adults and children, a 24-hour domestic violence hotline, individual and group counseling, legal advocacy for all victims of domestic violence, outreach to troubled fathers who may be at-risk of committing family violence, and an in-school violence prevention education program that is taught at East End schools, all of which is provided at no cost to clients.

To learn more about the Holiday Giving Programs, call The Retreat's Holiday Help Line at 631-329-4398 or visit www.theretreatinc.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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