2021 Back to School Drive

Posted on July 6, 2021

Back to School Drive

Summer may have just started for your kids, which means the next school year is far from your mind. But here at Denton County Friends of the Family we are half way through our annual Back to School Drive thanks to our community partners like you!  

Join us, as we work to fill over 300 backpacks with necessary school supplies so that our clients' kiddos have the tools they need for a successful 2021-2022 school year!  

Following last years’ success, we are again asking donors to pre-fill backpacks with supplies before drop-off on July 30th. This allows our staff and volunteers to dedicate more time to clients as they prepare for the new school year.  

Help us support children impacted by sexual and domestic violence by bringing donated items to our Outreach Office in Corinth or by dropping off at one of our community partners, Denton County Brewing Company off of McKinney in Denton. 

If you do not have time to shop in person, but would like to support the drive, you can donate monetarily and we will do the shopping for you! You can also order items from home online at Amazon and have them shipped directly to our office. We kindly request all donations to be made by Friday, July 30th to have ample amount of time to organize and pack the supplies for our clients.      

Thank you to all of our past and current donors for your dedication to education and our clients. We could not do this work without the amazing support of community members like you.  

For more information on donating or if you would like to volunteer, visit us at dcfof.org/backtoschool

  

Where can I sign up to donate?  

Fill A Backpack

Where can I shop on Amazon?  

AMAZON 

How can I give monetarily?   

DONATE

Where to I drop Off?  

Outreach Office  

4845 S. I-35 East | Corinth, TX 76210  

  

Denton County Brewing Company  

200 E. McKinney St. | Denton, TX 76201  

  

Donation Drop Off Deadline:  

Friday, July 30th by 5:00 PM (supplies will be handed out to clients the following week) 

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Dads Who Give A D.A.M.N.

Posted on June 10, 2021

Dads Who Give A D.A.M.N.

Like most identities, fatherhood is rich with complexity. There are SO many ways to be a father and SO many different types of people who are fathers, but there remains a core action that’s consistent across the multitudes: fostering safety.

However, in 2020 alone, 185 people (mostly women) were murdered by their intimate partners (KERA News, 2020). One in three women, and one in four men, have lived through either rape, physical violence, or stalking from an intimate partner. How do you create a sense of safety when these numbers are so high?
 

You show up.

Whether your child is a teenager navigating young love, or your child is an adult juggling school, work, and family, it’s imperative to be there. To listen and to ask questions. To build healthy relationships around you, that your child can use as a reference. And to spread awareness of intimate partner violence in your community.

This month at DCFOF, we’ve created a campaign that asks you to give a D.A.M.N. It’s the perfect way to show up for your loved one by Donating, Advocating, Mentoring, and Nurturing. You can contribute by donating individually or fundraising as a team with your local community. Your donation goes to ensuring that we can continue the fight to eradicate intimate partner violence, so you can go back to making dad jokes.


Thank you for giving a D.A.M.N.!

I Give A D.A.M.N.

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Winter Storm Uri & How to Support DCFOF Clients

Posted on February 24, 2021

Winter Storm Uri & How to Support DCFOF Clients 

Winter Storm Uri has altered the lives of so many within our community and has largely affected survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The financial impact of not being able to work for several days due to snow and freezing temperatures has created an additional obstacle for our clients who are already facing many hardships. Many have been left with mounting bills, increased utility bills, home repairs due to storm damage and some have completely been displaced from their home. Simply put, many of our clients are in need of clean water, basic necessities and financial assistance.  

Denton County Friends of the Family has been working non-stop pre and post Winter Storm Uri by answering calls and texts on the 24-hour crisis line, gathering resources to make sure our clients immediate needs are met, but we still need your help! 

We have heard the call from our amazing community asking “How can we help?”. For those looking to support our clients, here are the ways you can help. 

  • Monetary donations to help with utility bills and other bills 

  • Bottled water  

  • Grocery gift cards (Kroger, Walmart, or Target) 

  • Gas gift cards or Uber gift cards 

  • Non-perishable food items (items that require little water to make the meal) 

  • Diapers and wipes (diapers in sizes 4 – 6 are most needed) 

  • Baby food and formula 

To help support monetarily click here.

Questions? Email us at communityrelations@dcfof.org 

You can drop off items here: Upscale Resale | 920 Dallas Dr. | Denton, TX 76205 | Monday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

Thank you to our supporters who have helped us during these unprecedented times, and a special thank you to the donors and Denton Grassroots Water Crew for donating 80 cases of water for our clients.  

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40th Anniversary Virtual Gala

Posted on September 9, 2020

Join us for the Virtual Event of the Year! 

Grab your fine china or your finest paper plates because Denton County Friends of the Family is hosting a 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala and EVERYONE has a seat at the table! Our 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala takes place on Thursday, October 8th from 6:30 PM to 8 PM. You can decorate your table however you like and join us for an evening of celebration as we look back on the last 40 years and look forward to the future.  

You don’t want to miss our Early Bird tickets, which has been extended until this Friday, September 11th, 2020. Be the head of your community table and purchase your meal tickets TODAY! 

Early Bird Tickets

This Virtual Event, will feature a special guest, Dale Hansen, familiar faces from over the years, and you will be treated to the musical stylings of Lorrie's Joy. 

Witness first-hand the life changing impact on clients made possible by supporters like you. Sponsors are an integral part of this event, and enable us to raise the most funds possible that go right back into our programs. Every penny counts! To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, click the button below. 

Become A Sponsor!

Our Silent Auction will be open to the public, beginning Monday, October 5th and ending Friday October 9th at 11:59 PM (CST), so get your wallets ready, you won’t want to miss out on the amazing items we have lined up! 

You will want to make sure and finish your dessert because at the end of our virtual event we will have a groundbreaking announcement that you don't want to miss!  

We can’t wait to see you virtually on October 8th as we celebrate 40 years of service here in Denton County. 

Silent Auction

Interested in donating an item to our silent auction? E-mail commmunityrelations@dcfof.org 

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Aid For Domestic Violence Victims Still Available During Pandemic

Posted on April 8, 2020

Aid For Domestic Violence Victims Still Available During Pandemic

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, resources are still available to anyone experiencing domestic violence in Denton County and nationally.

Denton County is currently under a stay-at-home order where people are encouraged to stay home except for essential businesses, with public school classes canceled until at least May. These measures to prevent the virus from spreading also bring concerns that domestic violence could increase because people will be closed in with their abusers.

Denton City Council member Keely Briggs on Thursday led a virtual discussion with Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon and Toni Johnson-Simpson, the executive director for Denton County Friends of the Family, to address these concerns. 

The main takeaway is that victims of abuse can still reach out for help to both the police and Friends of the Family. Dixon reminded viewers that people can reach police by texting 911.

“We are doing intakes and counseling and advocacy, as well as legal consults,” Johnson-Simpson said. “We’re doing all those by phone now or by video conferencing.”

Denton police continue to respond to calls for service and are still investigating reported crimes, Dixon said. Both Johnson-Simpson and Dixon said people should call 911 rather than Friends of the Family if there is imminent danger.

“We are staying consistent [in calls], especially when we’re talking about crimes of violence,” Dixon said. “The men and women of the Denton Police Department [are] still out there doing their job every day like they were prior to the pandemic.”

Dixon said the Police Department received about 12 fewer domestic violence cases in March 2020 than March 2019 but wants people to be aware that sometimes people can’t report family violence.

“I don’t want people to get lulled into a false sense of [security] because we’re down 12 cases from the same time … last year, that we don’t have a significant increase,” Dixon said.

Johnson-Simpson said Friends of the Family has seen a 36% increase in calls from mid-March to the end of the month; however, she noted that those calls were largely people seeking information on their resources now that many functions such as the court system have largely shut down as a measure to fight COVID-19.

Although financial stress during the pandemic can influence abuse, she said it’s highly likely that there was a power and control dynamic in place beforehand. 

“The basic issue is power and control, so we can’t lose sight of that,” Johnson-Simpson said. “If we lose sight of it being about power and control … when COVID-19 is over, we forget that domestic violence still exists.”

Friends of the Family had 61 new requests for intakes from March 18 to March 31, which is on par for what they see on a monthly basis, but Johnson-Simpson said they expect the number will go down since there has been a shift in switching to phone and video response from them.

“I would think that [the new intakes] really were already homes that were experiencing violence or some level of control in the homes, and perhaps this proximity and the quarantine certainly may escalate an already difficult situation,” she said.

Johnson-Simpson said it’s probably unrealistic for cases to come in where a victim says there was no violence or level of power and control before the pandemic.

Briggs also mentioned the concern about nonviolent inmates being released. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed an order Wednesday to release up to 1,000 nonviolent inmates.

If this were to happen in Denton County, Johnson-Simpson said her concern is that offenders who were jailed on nonviolent crimes, who have a history with domestic violence, would then continue to be abusive.

“You can’t make a broad sweep or broad brush and say that we need to release all these folks that we’re deeming nonviolent, which will put some of these abusers back into their homes with these families,” Dixon said. “We need to have a very thoughtful conversation on what we’re doing to those homes. Are we sending abusers back into it? … How can we keep [victims] safe at the same time while balancing public health?”

Friends of the Family is still accepting people at its shelter and can help people into hotels if needed. They screen people’s temperatures before they arrive and recently kept a family isolated from others after being tested.

Now that kids are largely at home because their schooling has moved online, they don’t have access to other adults — their teachers — who can spot red flags or signs of abuse at home.

Johnson-Simpson and Dixon said it can be hard to spot red flags sometimes because a kid may be shy in nature, and because some people are waiting to hear about physical violence rather than other power-play moves in the home before thinking something is wrong.

“With school being out, children lose access to a lot of safe people in their lives,” Johnson-Simpson said. “Yet the teachers are still interacting with them online … our grocery store workers, our clerks, for all those people who are still out there that are having access to the public, I would just encourage people that if you see something, say something.”

If victims can’t call 911, they can text 911 in Denton. Denton County Friends of the Family’s crisis hotline can be reached at 940-382-7273 or 800-572-403. Victims can text the National Domestic Hotline line at 22522.*

Written by Denton Record Chronicle's Staff Writer Zaira Perez

*please note that the name for the National Domestic Hotline was edited from the original article to reflect the accurate name of the agency to text.
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Evening of Raised Awareness

Posted on February 13, 2020

On Friday, February 7th, Denton County Friends of the Family's very own Our Community Matter's Coordinator, Cassandra Berry put on our third annual An Evening of Raised Awareness! It was another success, thanks not only to our staff and community members for attending, but also to our community supporters who donated to the event. There was a live performance from Gray Skool, a Joe Rogers Trio, a skit called "The Subtlety of It" an adaptation by Cassandra Berry, Directed by Sienna Riehle and performed by Victor "Juice' Berry and Aiyanna Salters, and a musical ending by Lorie's Joy, a Denton County Friends of the Family Choir. 

This year we had a panel discussion on the importance of raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault within the African American community. Facilitated by Nakia Davis, our panelists were Britni Canon, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor as well as a prior DCFOF Board Member, Sheryl English, Realtor and Community Leader who is Chair of the Denton Housing Authority Board of Directors, Betty Hardin First Lady of St. Andrew C.O.G.I., Denton, Celicia Boykin, STD Coordinator at Denton Public Health Department, and Aiyanna Salters, Survivor. Our panelists provided an in depth and poignant discussion about breaking down barriers and how to address the issue of domestic violence within the African American Community. 

Denton County Friends of the Family is extremely grateful to our Annual Partner, Plunk Smith, PLLC as well as our community sponsors who helped make this event possible. Thank you for supporting our community and An Evening of Raised Awareness!

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