You’ve Done It Before,
Can You Help Rebuild A Wonderful Life?

Dear ______________,

Mary (not her real name) used to love the Christmas holidays. It gave her the chance to watch her favorite movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Now she can’t force herself to watch.

One scene in particular is too painful. It’s the scene where George Bailey – terrified and desperate over the loss of $8,000 at his bank on Christmas Eve -- snaps at his daughter for playing the piano. George’s wife snaps back, George angers, grabs his coat and storms out into the blizzard.

If only Mary’s argument had been so peaceful. Her husband didn’t lose $8,000 at the bank, he’d guzzled eight beers next to the family Christmas tree. When Mary tried to talk about it, he didn’t just yell and leave; he stepped forward and punched her in the face. Twice.

Mary, who thought she had a wonderful life with a new husband, home and baby, realized in a horrifying instant what she really had was a throbbing head and a wife-beating stranger she no longer knew.

Terrified, injured, confused, and embarrassed – dependent on her husband’s income and isolated from other family who lived states away -- Mary grabbed the baby and ran into the cold night, having no idea where she was running.

Fortunately, Mary called Crisis Intervention Center (CIS). That call provided the medical, protective, emotional, financial and housing assistance that helped Mary rebuild her life.

Thanks to prior donations from heroes like you, CIS was there to help Mary and the hundreds of other women who experience similar sad stories – and WORSE.

The Number of “Mary’s” is Growing

Unfortunately, the numbers of domestic abuse victims like Mary are increasing. In state fiscal year 2012, Crisis Intervention Services (CIS) worked with 166 new, unduplicated victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. During the current fiscal year 2013, CIS has worked with 101 new, unduplicated victims in just the first 4 months (July – October 2012). In FY 2012 CIS sheltered 23 adults for 663 bed nights and 20 children for 892 bed nights. So far in FY 2013 (July to October), CIS has already sheltered 9 adults for 217 bed nights and 6 children for 374 bed nights.

If the numbers of new victims stay at the same rate for the remainder of the year, CIS anticipates at least a 45% increase in clients this year over last year.

CIS in Cody is in desperate need of additional space for its programs and shelter.

Help Us Build a Larger Safe House

We desperately need more space. Crisis Intervention Services (CIS) has written a Community Development Block Grant Project application to the Wyoming Business Council for the purpose of purchasing land and building a new facility with attached 3-bedroom shelter in Cody, Wyoming.

We plan to purchase property located at the corner of 11th Street and Wyoming Avenue (Zoned ‘D’ Commercial) in Cody and build a new shelter facility and client services building for victims in Park County. (Please refer to site plans attached). Total projected costs for this project are around $425,000. We need to raise $100,000 locally to qualify for the grant and furnish the new facility.

The new ADA compliant facility plans call for 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen/dining area, inside play area and 2 full bathrooms. Both bathrooms are ADA compliant, 1 with a walk-in shower and 1 with a bathtub to accommodate small children. The building site plans also include off street parking in the front and hidden parking and outside play area in the back, surrounded by privacy fencing.

Additionally, the plans provide a public reception room, conference room for meetings and trainings, a public restroom and a staff restroom, supervised visitation/exchange room – with a separate public entrance, staff kitchen and a secure file storage/mechanical room.

Finally, the new ADA compliant facility plans show 5 offices to accommodate future growth of the staff to include the possibility of additional paid staff and/or office space for Wyoming Senior Employment Workers or AmeriCorps/VISTA Workers.

We’ve Maxed Out Our Current Space

Currently, Crisis Intervention Services (CIS) in Cody has no private space for clients, limited space for staff and inadequate bathroom facilities. In the event that we have more than one client at the services building, which happens regularly, staff must resort to assessing clients without privacy and within earshot and sight of other staff and oftentimes other clients and children. This is a significant issue when doing crisis work, as clients are revealing painful intimate details of their lives, which can be challenging even in a private environment. Having children present, to listen in during these conversations, is not in their best interest and hamper the victims’ ability to tell her story in the fullest detail.

Additionally, there is a serious safety risk and confidentiality concerns, as anyone walking into the building can see who is using CIS services. This can range from a citizen stopping by with a donation to the victim’s alleged perpetrator who arrives at the Cody CIS facility to fill out and sign the paperwork for court-ordered supervised visits.

Finally, due to the lack of space in Cody, all families must travel to Powell to receive visitation or custody exchange services. Conditions at the Cody services building are such that it is almost impossible to do the intimate, serious work we must do with clients’ everyday.

Will You Be a Hero Again?

Your past donations have literally SAVED LIVES. You’re a community leader who understands the urgency of what we face. No woman deserves to be battered or sexually abused. The larger Cody facility we envision will save more lives and get hundreds of others back on track.

Our grant application gets submitted the first week of January. We need to show enough financial pledges to qualify for the grant. We’ve already gathered cash and pledges totaling $XX,000 for the project. We will be donating up to $10,000 from our own savings. We’ve gathered nearly $XX,000 worth of in-kind services to advance this project. This encourages us that our goal is achievable. You are in our top tier of donors. Your significant contribution can carry the weight of 100 or more other private donors. Can we count on you for $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 or more?

Please complete and sign the enclosed pledge letter by December 25, 2012 and return to us in the postage paid envelope. Your contribution will build a lasting bricks & mortar facility that will be a legacy to your generous assistance to local women in such need.

I personally appreciate all you have done for the women in our community in the past. I know you’ll come through for the many “Mary’s” who will need our help in the future. I can’t wait to greet you on that proud day not many months from now, in the lobby of our new facility, and give you a tour of all that you have helped us build.

Happy holidays to you and all who you love,

Crisis Intervention Services

P.S. I wish you could personally hear the thanks we receive from hundreds of women like “Mary” we’ve been able to help thanks to donations from heroes like you. We help desperate victims get police protection, medical attention, safe emergency housing, job-search skills, financial assistance and an array of other basic needs. When they arrive with nothing, they are so thankful for anything. Your generous contribution of cash or pledge by December 25, 2012 will help us help so many more! Thank you!

P.S.S. Do you have any questions about our need or the designs for our new facility? Just give me a call at xxx-xxxx. I’m happy to discuss it all! Thank you!