Several women from Trinity Baptist Church recently delivered filled purses to benefit two local organizations helping women. They filled 54 purses with toiletries and other items to be given to women who seek shelter against domestic abuse.
According to Krista Hendrix — one of the organizers — 30 of the purses went to the local women's shelter and 24 purses went to the Noah Project in Abilene.
The purses were filled with items such as brushes, tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap, loofas, body wash, wash cloths, make-up bags with eye shadow and lipstick, deodorant, cotton balls, q-tips, body spray, magazines and other items. Other items such as curling irons were also donated. Also in each purse was a note of encouragement — written by a member of the church — who went through a similar situation in which she had to go to the women's shelter.
For about eight weeks, the 54 different purses were hanging throughout the church building so that church members could contribute items to the cause. The ladies then had a fellowship to organize and fill the purses before they were delivered.
Women who are seeking shelter against domestic abuse are often referred to the local women's shelter by Gateway Family Services.
The mission of Noah Project is advocating for victims and working to end family violence. Noah Project is a center of care for victims of family violence, serving 10 counties in West Central Texas. Services are designed to meet the individual needs of each person and include shelter, food and clothing, legal, medical and individual advocacy, transportation and/or accompaniment, safety planning, crisis counseling, employment assistance, education support, referrals, support groups, personal advocacy, individual and group professional counseling.
In 1979, a research team distributed a survey to area hospitals, law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and social service organizations. It was discovered that more than 1,000 incidents of family violence were reported in a six-month period.
To address this problem, Noah Project opened its first shelter in 1980. It moved to the current location on the corner of Grape and North 18th in 1985. In 1984, Noah Project-West opened in Snyder, Texas; in 1985 Noah Project-Central Texas opened in Brownwood, Texas; and in 1987 Noah Project-North opened in Haskell, Texas. Through these facilities, Noah Project provided services to Abilene, Texas and 20 surrounding counties.
In 2000, two of Noah Project's outreach centers developed into separate entities. Noah Project-West became Gateway Family Services and Noah Project's Brownwood shelter became The Ark. Currently, Noah Project serves the following 10 counties of West Central Texas: Callahan, Eastland, Haskell, Knox, Jones, Shackelford, Stonewall, Stephens, Taylor and Throckmorton.