A Glastonbury woman collected items for domestic violence survivors in front of Daybreak Coffee Roasters on Thursday.
“During this pandemic, we’re seeing domestic violence is on the rise and people don’t have those outlets they had prior to COVID and so this is really dear to my heart, to empower women and even men alike who are courageous enough to leave a situation,” said Diana Pagano. She organized the ‘Fill A Purse’ drive-by holiday donation.
Pagano said she can relate to these survivors because she is one herself. She was once a young teen mom with children, in a domestic violence situation.
So she organized this drive-by donation and urged people to donate personal essentials like socks, a hair brush, or nail clippers.
“We’re looking to raise enough donations as possible to make a difference on something that we kind of take for granted, just basic necessities, toiletries. These people that are going to these shelters, they’re not just survivors, they’re also inspiring human beings. You know it takes courage to leave a situation, and then with children, it makes it that much more heart wrenching, heartbreaking. So just coming together as a community, I think we can do amazing things to make a really solid impact in somebody’s life.”
People who stopped by to donate said they hope these small gifts make a difference to people when they need them most.
“I donated some socks, nail clippers, I was just following the list. I think it’s great that Diana is making things happen, you know, in helping the community right now. We’re going through tough times,” said Alba Peguero, a woman from Vernon who donated.
“Any help you give people nowadays, because of COVID, even if it’s nothing, they really need so to speak, just the thought of someone taking the time to give something to help them is going to lift their spirits and make them feel better,” said Gary DeCrescenzo, a Glastonbury man who dropped off his wife’s donation.