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Treasure Coast domestic violence center needs space for Santa Shop for victims

'It was a bit crowded' last year, Dr. Teresa Albizu says
Posted at 6:17 AM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 10:28:14-04

STUART, Fla. — Safe Space, the Treasure Coast's only state certified domestic violence center, needs the community's help this Christmas.

The nonprofit is looking for somewhere to host its Santa Shop program for victims of abuse.

"Last year, we had to do it as a matter of fact in our admin office conference room," said Dr. Teresa Albizu. "It was a bit crowded."

The program is for victims staying in Safe Space's 60-bed shelter in Martin County.

At each Santa Shop, parents are able to pick out two to three donated gifts for each child.

"I walked in just when a mom was here shopping for four kids and she had to stop at the door and just with tears in her eyes saying, 'Thank you, because I haven't been able to do this for years for my kids,' so yes, very, very rewarding," said Albizu.

Albizu said victims of domestic abuse often also suffer from financial abuse and don't ever see the money to buy gifts for their children.

The ideal donated space would be either a 10x30 or 20x20 room located in Martin or St. Lucie counties.

Albizu said they would need the space for the first three weeks of December.

"We prefer that it be in a setting outside of our administrative offices because we really are so tight in space here," said Albizu. "It doesn't really lend itself for this purpose."

The nonprofit typically houses victims in its shelter for eight weeks and then provides transitional services such as education and employment assistance.

Anyone wishing to donate gifts or space for the Santa Shop, click here.