CLYDE/NEWARK — A nonprofit organization hoping to make a difference is looking for donations to support the Wayne County Victims Resource Center in Newark.
Hopeful Souls was started by high school friends Kaycee Hutchinson, Sara Bozeat and Ashley Harper. The girls started Hopeful Souls while they were attending yde-Savannah High School in 2010-11 as part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Program, Hutchinson said. The trio also attended the Saunders Scholars National Semifinals Competition for The Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Harris Beach in Rochester in 2011. At that time, they sold rubber bracelets and put together care packages, which they donated to the Victim Resource Center in 2011.
Hopeful Souls is a nonprofit group that raises funds to help domestic violence victims, single mothers with young children and others who need a helping hand.
“We have experienced or witnessed first hand single parent households, domestic violence, rape or just seeing other people in need and how they live,” Hutchinson said. “We just want to help make a difference any way we can.”
This year for the holidays, the girls consulted the Victims Resource Center again to see if they could do something to help. As a result through Hopeful Souls, the trio is holding a donation drive for the Wayne County Victim Resource Center at the Clyde-Savannah Public Library Dec. 7 from noon to 3 p.m. Hopeful Souls is asking people to drop off new toys and store gift cards at the library to be donated to the Victims Resource Center, Hutchinson said. The young ladies will also have rubber bracelets on sale for $2 at the library. The proceeds from the bracelet sales will be used to buy more toys and gift cards.
In addition, Southern Wayne Redemption Center on Route 31, just outside of Lock Berlin, is running a tab for Hopeful Souls until Dec. 6. For those unable to make the toy drive, cans and bottles can be dropped off at any time at the redemption center and they will be donated to the cause, Hutchinson said.
The Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Inc. is a private, non-profit domestic, sexual, stalking, dating violence, and child abuse services agency in Upstate New York. Their mission is to forge a community-wide commitment to end violence and to provide assistance to victims in a sensitive, respectful, and confidential manner, bringing community resources to the victim and the victim's family.
This year, the Victim Resource Center is celebrating 30 years of service. It was 30 years ago when a group of concerned community members started Rape Crisis of Wayne County, with the expansion of services a few years later to include domestic violence and a name change to Victim Resource Center of Wayne County. In 2001 the VRC extended its services to migrant farmworker family victims in 12 counties in Upstate New York, while providing the only domestic violence crisis shelter in the counties of Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, and Yates, with the name change to Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Inc.
“The holidays are a special time of year to a lot of people, especially children,” Hopeful Souls co-founder Bozeat said. “We just want to give them the Christmas they all deserve, in any way we can.”
For more information about Hopeful Souls, call (315) 879-4625 or email The Victim Resource Center can be reached at 331-1171 or on the hotline at (866) 343-8808.