“Mom, do you think this is normal? Is this relationship healthy? Am I just being too picky?”
Those are the questions Claire asked me in October 2017. I didn’t know how to respond. He seemed nice. We talked about her boyfriend’s “immature” behavior, and how he acted like a jerk sometimes.
Neither of us knew that the very things he was doing are “red flags” for emotional, verbal, and financial abuse. Eventually he moved away and she was relieved he didn’t bother her anymore.
Until he murdered her on her way to work on January 3, 2018.
What will you say when a loved one comes to you with these questions?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we as parents, coaches, teachers, youth group leaders, law enforcement officers, etc. had training and a manual for how to handle it?
You can be part of making this training a reality.
#BeMoreLikeClaire is collaborating with the Willow Domestic Violence Center and Family Peace Initiative to create a pilot curriculum in Lawrence, KS. The curriculum will equip adults to answer questions about healthy relationships, to have meaningful conversations with a consistent message and vocabulary, and to be a vigilant, supportive, and safe adult for youth to reach out to. After the pilot is complete, we will evaluate it and make any needed changes before we take it into other communities.
Here’s the model we envision: Our Prevention Specialist will train a community coordinator in each participating community. Each community coordinator will train a large group of adults who will in turn train other adults who interact with youth on their teams, youth groups, scout troops, classrooms, etc. Imagine the impact: Thousands of lives will be changed as young people and adults develop a better understanding of red flags, consent, support, and shared vocabulary to talk about relationships. Your donation will change how people in communities around the country think about relationship abuse.
Our fundraising goal for the initial step is $12,000
Your generosity can help stop abuse before it happens.
The life you save might be someone you love.
Join us in saving lives with this transformational project.
Shannon VanLandingham, Founder and Executive Director of #BeMoreLikeClaire
Click for more info about The Willow or for Family Peace Initiative
At a Happy Hour fundraiser on September 20, 2019 we had a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones. The fabulous donors helped us reach our goal to add an expanded denture lab and dental staff workspace at Wabash Valley Health Center. We raised $25,000 to to fund the project. It was wonderful to partner with this loving community and Give Back to Claire's hometown. Many thanks to all who helped make it a great event: Charlie Welker and all the staff at WVHC, Mary Fazekas, Doug Dillion, and Edibles Catering. They were all fabulous to work with, the crowd was generous, and the food was delicious. Cheers!
Drumroll, please... We are so excited to announce that
#BeMoreLikeClaire has agreed to sponsor a new home build
with Habitat for Humanity in Lawrence, Kansas!
Our commitment is to raise $40,000 and to provide volunteers
on ten Saturday work days beginning in the summer of 2020.
By working alongside the homeowner family to build their new home,
Claire’s community can have a positive impact for generations to come.
UPDATE: WE HAVE RAISED OVER $50,000 FOR THE HOUSE
THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS DONORS!
Follow us on Facebook and check out our website:
to stay up to date and get involved.
The five-bedroom two-story, fully-furnished house, will become home for up to four survivors. There is room for a survivor to bring two small children. Rent will be a $100 a month with survivors eligible to stay up to two years.
Currently, Willow’s crisis shelter only provides 30 to 60 days care.
“We have found that’s not enough time. People have to rebuild an entire life, find work, find a place to live they can afford and have money and stability,” said Stuke. “It’s not enough time, that’s why we have repeat customers or they end up back with their abuser.”
Restoration House will give clients more time to recover and create pathways, such as finding work, childcare and build savings. There will be a full-time site case manager Monday through Friday, plus access to Willow’s 24-hour hotline services and support. There will be house rules including no guests in the house and an extensive security system to help protect the residents.
The goal, according to Stuke, is for the case manager to work closely with the tenants and help set goals.
“They will determine what will help the survivors meet their goals,” Stuke said. “Do they need ongoing substance abuse counseling? Or, ongoing therapy or ongoing peer mentoring?”
Living in Restoration House should allow survivors time to build up credit and rental history.
Inspired by Claire, who achieved the Gold Award Girl in Girl Scouts and was a leader of a Junior troop while she was in college, #BeMoreLikeClaire has awarded its second grant to sponsor Troop 2703 at Kennedy Elementary School. The money is being used for registration fees, uniforms, books, snacks, materials and field trips for girls who might not be able to have this opportunity without the grant. Nine second and third grade girls have joined the troop and are happily learning the Brownie Smile song, the Girl Scout Promise, making new friends, earning badges and planning service projects. The troop leaders are Shannon VanLandingham, Ashley VanLandingham and Darcey Soto. We look forward to sharing the wonderful things these future leaders will do. Be prepared.