|Bekah and Michele|
I asked Bekah if she would be willing to write in her own words the reason why she took this project on. I specifically asked her to include details of what was done and the approximate amount of money that the project took to complete and to mention the main people involved in making this possible.
From Rebekah Davidson:
I took on a little piece of a friend's burden. Danielle shared with me the experience of having to take her child to the Kitsap County Sexual Assault Unit. It was depressing, dark and very run down. Not the type of environment to foster a sense of safety or caring for the many families that have to be processed there. Danielle said, "If I ever make it through this ordeal I want to do what I can to make it a more warm, welcoming and safe place for victims and their families." I was a victim of sexual assault as a child. I never told. I felt ashamed like it was my fault. It wasn't until the assault of my dear friend's child that I told of my experience. I'm still not sure why I felt like I could finally talk about it. I felt angry and devastated that this happened to my friend's child, to me and many other thousands of people every year. Taking on just a little piece of my friend's burden was something I could do to work through the pain of her family's experience along with my own. And hopefully make other families more comfortable while having to be at the SAIVS unit.
Originally, I envisioned I would go in and try to just spruce things up. But on my first visit I saw a much bigger challenge. There were too many things that needed attention. From the dim lighting to the musty smell. Chipped paint and stained carpet and old everything, the place needed a major overhaul! How and where could I even begin? My initial thoughts going in were to have my husband and I tackle it in a weekend or two and try to raise a few thousand dollars to cover the expenses. Long story short the whole unit was like opening Pandora's box! I knew that this was much bigger than what I could achieve alone. I started asking friends and family if they'd be willing to donate their time and resources to help. The response was all positive! As I started to take pictures and make a list of what needed to be done by priority order I realized I needed professional advise. I contacted Michele of Michele Interior's. She had done several remodel projects at my home and I knew she would be a great help. I also contacted my sister-in-law, Donna Moreland. She was invaluable in giving financial advise and directing me to resources that provided grants towards the project.
Here are a few of the things we were able to improve:
New carpet on the stairs and all upper level offices
New paint on entire interior upper and lower levels
New paint on exterior
Landscape overhaul with major clean up of parking areas
New ceiling tiles to replace broken and stained tiles
New blinds on all lower windows
Beautiful mural in the childrens waiting room
New flat panel T.V.'s (dvd player for the children's) adult waiting rooms
New toys and books for children's waiting room
Local photographs and art for conference room and adult and general waiting rooms
New flooring in 4 existing bathrooms
Changing station for waiting room bathroom
New furniture for many areas in the lower level
New lamps to provide a softer more welcoming atmosphere
New sound proofing and rewiring of victim interview room
New paint, carpet, wall decor and furniture for victim interview room
New area rugs and furniture for general waiting room and adult waiting room
Entire new kitchen including all new cabinets and cork flooring
New table and chairs, art and lighting for kitchen
Kitchen supplies to provide snacks etc for meetings with staff and victims and their families waiting for interviews or trial
The list goes on and on..........we were even able to procure supplies for victims that need food or other necessities on an emergency basis.
The entire project took almost two years from start to finish with details too numerous to list that could have only been accomplished by a host of faithful volunteers and local businesses. Much of the work had to be done at night or on weekends so as not to interfere with the operation of the center and so that victims and their families had the privacy they needed. I am so grateful for the thousands of working hours that so many gave. I'm also grateful for all the funding for this project. All tolled the project totaled just over $100,000.00. A far cry from my original thought of a few thousand dollars!
A burden shared turned into a vision and desire to provide a welcoming, safe place for victims and their families to be able to work through the agony and ugliness of sexual abuse.
My thanks goes to Danielle for sharing her burden with me and that so many were able to participate in a tangible and practical way to show care for her family and many others.
Special mention must be made of:
Josh and Donna Moreland and family, The A.Y. Petter Donor Advised fund, The Seattle Foundation, The Kitsap community Foundation, and several anonymous donors. It couldn't have happened without them!
A Comment from Donna Moreland: