VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A group of local women is bringing love and sunshine to survivors of domestic violence.
Back in February, they gave chocolates to survivors just in time for Valentine’s Day. Today, they gave out chocolates to children affected by domestic violence.
The woman behind the “Box of Love” project, Dedra Moon, says she was one of those children affected by domestic violence. She calls them “silent survivors.” That’s why she’s taken her home business, The Cocoa Exchange, and turned it into a way to give back.
“I myself am a silent survivor,” said Dedra Moon. “I just wanted to be able to reach out to this population to be able to say hey, somebody cares and wants you to have a little bit of sunshine and a box of chocolate.”
Thanks to donations from the community, Moon was able to give more than 100 boxes of chocolate to Samaritan House, which helps victims of violence.
She also partnered with “From Heart to Heart,” a nonprofit that gives teddy bears to kids going through tough times.
Jacquelyn Davis, who founded “From Heart to Heart” in 2015, said, “So I see it as a means of comfort, a means of something to hold onto at night when they’re scared.”
To date, she’s given out more than 900 teddy bears.
Case Managers from Samaritan House picked up the chocolates and teddy bears on Thursday.
Katherine Ashford, who is the community engagement coordinator for Samaritan House, said, “So you’ve got a box of chocolate and a teddy bear going to the littlest of survivors to ensure that they know that they are cared for and that they’re loved.”
Ashford says acts like this mean a lot.
“When you partner with us, you’re providing that hope, you’re providing the ability for someone who’s been victimized to know that they’re enough and they are capable and how crazy is that it’s through a box of chocolate and through a teddy bear,” said Ashford.
If you are a victim of violence or are homeless and need immediate help, call the crisis hotline at 757-251-0144.