The Houston Texans Cheerleaders have proudly selected the Houston Area Women's Center (HAWC) as one of our "My Cause My Boots" initiatives. As ambassadors in the Houston community, we have chosen to use our platform to raise awareness to domestic violence and in conjunction, the advocacy work that the HAWC supports.
The HAWC works to assist sexual and domestic violence survivors to live a safe and healthy life away from violence. The HAWC has dedicated 43 years of service by keeping women, children, and families safe from abuse through their free and confidential services. These services include advocacy, shelter through their Safe Harbor Hotel program, counseling, education, and other support services that are essential.
We hope to empower our community to combat domestic violence, especially now as it is at a historical high, and HAWC does just that. From a personal note, HAWC has instilled great inspiration in me as I chose to join the HAWC Young Leaders program in October. I ask that the Houston community embrace this cause with us to invoke change, and I feel humbled to be a part of the Houston Texans organization that has made efforts to move the needle in our community and bring attention to this cause.
In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Texans organization supported the HAWC in a multitude of ways. The Lady Texans purchased needed items and Vice President of the Houston Texans Foundation, Hannah McNair, delivered these supplies, provided lunch for the residents, and surprised the shelter with a monetary donation from the Houston Texans Foundation.
While our community continues to make remarkable strides in this movement, we simply need to do more in the wake of the pandemic, as domestic violence has catastrophically increased. In 2019, the HAWC made 47 placements in the Safe Harbor Hotel program. However, since the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, the number of placements have accelerated by 313%, rising to 194 placements. Additionally, over 6,000 more hotline calls were made between May to September compared to this time last year.
With that, it's time for us – as a community - to step up. The HAWC desperately needs funds to fight the rise in domestic violence due to the pandemic. A donation helps survivors get real-time responses via their 24-hour crisis hotlines, seek safety through their shelter and Safe Harbor Hotel program, receive counseling with a trained therapist, and access to food, clothing, diapers, baby formula, and other essential items. You can also elect to proactively involve yourself in the cause through the surplus of volunteer programs that the HAWC offers. Please visit the Houston Area Women's Center official website: www.hawc.org to donate or for volunteer opportunities to see how you can be a part of the solution.
Thank you and Go Texans!
My Cause My Cleats is a League-wide initiative, offering players the opportunity to wear custom-designed cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes and organizations.