Sendik's donates $116K to Sojourner Family Peace Center to help combat domestic violence

NOW: Sendik’s donates $116K to Sojourner Family Peace Center to help combat domestic violence

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MEQUON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee organization that combats domestic violence is getting a major donation to continue its work.

The Sojourner Family Peace Center received a $116,150 donation from Sendik’s Food Market on Monday, May 5.

Peace Center staff say this donation comes at a critical time.

Sojourner is the largest non-profit provider of domestic violence (DV) prevention and intervention services in the state.

“For some, it’s a matter of life and death. Some people do not have other options, such as family, so being able to have an option to go to Sojourner is really beneficial," said domestic violence survivor Natalie Hayden.

Staff say the money will help fund overall programming – like their crisis hotline.

They say that DV-related deaths in Milwaukee County are up 79%.

Last year, they saw a 21% increase in their emergency shelter stays.

“A lot of the funds will be able to support many of those that will come in the care of Sojourner and their children," said Hayden.

Today’s donation came from Sendik’s customers, employee efforts and the community over a three-month period.

"In February, March & April, Sendik's Food Market employees asked customers to round-up to the nearest dollar and purchase $1 purple chocolates or packs of cards exclusive to Sendik's designed in Sojourner's Healing Arts Program by children of domestic violence survivors with all proceeds going to this donation," according to Sendik's press release.

“We want our communities to be healthy. We want people to feel safe. We want Sendik’s to be a part of something that helps families be who they should be and not what circumstances have made them be," said Sendik's co-owner Margaret Harris.

This is the largest corporate-sponsored, community-based donation that Sojourner has ever received.

For more information on the Sojourner Family Peace Center, click here.

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