In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, a Missions donation of $500 was given to Haven Box. This organization provides comfort boxes for local hospitals to give to survivors of sexual assault who are treated and examined in our hospital emergency rooms. Each Haven Box contains compassionately chosen items that will bring comfort, and support the inherent dignity, selfcare, and recovery of the person who has experienced sexual violence: a set of new, unisex, comfortable clothing (as clothing is often taken for evidence), a booklet of encouragement and local resources for support, hygiene items, a journal, and other comfort items. There were 167 sexual assault evidence collection exams conducted in our hospitals during 2022. The Haven Box has become a staple of Lifespan’s SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) Program, the first of its kind in Rhode Island. Nurses and advanced practitioners are trained on the national protocols for sexual assault medical forensic examinations and provide on-call care whenever a survivor presents at Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital,
Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and Newport Hospital. With the establishment of this program, it is expected that the need for Haven Boxes will be even greater in the coming year. We feel honored to be a part of the survivor’s journey and hope that they can feel the care and support from our church community.
Our last visit to the Men’s Homeless Shelter took place on April 1st. The men enjoyed the hot meal and were so appreciative of the $10 Burger King gift cards we were able to give to them. As the shelter closed for the season on April 17th and thinking of the chilly days that we have been experiencing, it is of some comfort to know that the men will have the ability to buy a hot meal or cup of coffee thanks to the generosity of our church.