D/SAOC returns with its vital mission

The annual cake auction Saturday is a way the community can become a part of the solution to violence

The Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center plays a vital role in north central Iowa. Each year it helps the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault across northern Iowa. D/SAOC has an ambitious agenda that includes providing victims with emergency shelter, food, clothing and helping with assorted other needs. The center’s important work is funded in part by various governmental bodies, but philanthropy is also critical to its success.

In the 20-county area that D/SAOC serves, 114 adults and 84 children were sheltered in 2018, for a total of 6,059 bed nights.

That is 6,059 nights when someone has been sheltered from violence in a safe haven staffed by supportive, understanding professionals who make it their job to improve the lives of those they serve.

It is a noble cause.

But it is more than noble; it is necessary.

Do we wish it was not?

Yes, we do.

But until the day when no one needs to be sheltered from violence, we will continue to support the D/SAOC mission.

The community can support it too.

Saturday, D/SAOC will hold one of its most innovative and popular fundraising events — the annual Cake Auction. This event will take place starting at 5 p.m. at the Iowa Central Community College East Campus. A large assortment of more than 225 items and cakes will be auctioned. There is opportunity for many levels of giving from buying a single raffle ticket to donating a cake or purchasing a large auction item.

The Cake Auction is D/SAOC’s largest fundraiser of the year and, as such, is of enormous importance.

“The money goes into our funds so that we can continue providing free and confidential services to the 20 counties that we serve,” Leah Bair, program development director for D/SAOC, told The Messenger. “We do get grant funds to stay operational, but it doesn’t cover all of the funds that we need.”

The center’s essential work deserves strong community backing. A large turnout Saturday would serve as powerful evidence of a widespread understanding that this organization is an indispensable resource worthy of vigorous support. Sadly, the need for its endeavors is likely to remain a reality long into the future.