United Way helping victims of domestic violence

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According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. One group in Urbana is doing what they can to help those in need.

As clients of the Center for Women in Transition try to get back on their feet, clothes can be a confidence boost and these items are helping women, one garment at a time.

Amber Holmes dropped her lightly worn suits into a bin at Urbana's Market at the Square clothing drive.

"I wanted to give them to somebody else and hopefully it helps them get a job like they did for me," Holmes said. "They were my lucky suits."

Holmes was passing on that luck to clients of the Center for Women in Transition.

"The Center for Women in Transition benefits women that are victims of domestic violence, women that have fallen on hard times," explained United Way Volunteer Terri Reifsteck.

It's a cause that has important meaning to Holmes.

"I suffered from lower self-esteem and someone close to me had suffered from verbal abuse," Holmes said.

It's an issue United Way volunteers want to teach people about during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"If you think about a woman who is struggling to get back on her feet and maybe finding a job, she may need some professional clothing so she can go into an interview," Reifsteck said.

Clients of the center can go to the shop Transitions to get whatever clothes they may need for themselves and their children, all for free.

"It's just a huge help to these women getting a fresh start on life," Reifsteck said.

At least 20 bags of donated clothes, including Holmes suits, were dropped off at Transitions in the Lincoln Square mall.

"I know for these women that they're going through things that I can't even imagine so I would just like to be able to in some small way help them feel better about themselves and know that people out there care," Holmes said.

One lucky suit at a time.

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