#SantaCause is an online campaign to raise awareness and funds for Safe Shores (@SafeShoresDC) DC's advocacy center that helps sexually mistreated kids cope via therapy and art therapy. They also provide new outfits, school supplies, and snacks thanks greatly in part to #SantaCause donations. The campaign was founded by long-time DC area music advocate, writer and philanthropist "Mo Betta," and supported mainly in part by the DMV music, arts and entertainment professionals and Smile NATIONWIDE #12MonthsOfService philanthropists, in which Mo Betta is one of the founding Ambassadors.
The campaign began on September 15, and continues through December 15, with a goal to raise $10,000 in support, a huge (but attainable) increase from last year's (crowd-funding) donation of $5,000. So far, $3,000 has been raised. To make a donation simply go to http://www.safeshores.org/ click DONATE NOW then hashtag #SantaCause on the DESIGNATE YOUR DONATION line. Or, click here to visit the donation page directly.
In a recent interview about #SantaCause, Safe Shores Development Director, Erica Drucker, MSW said, "The campaign has generated a lot of inspiring momentum, and because it’s a social media campaign, it’s been an especially effective way to get this issue of child abuse in front of a younger demographic – the Millennials."
Safe Shores serves children ages 0 -18, as well as their siblings and non-offending caregivers, who have been the victims of physical or sexual abuse in the District of Columbia.
"Because we work with a team of professionals, cases are primarily referred to us either by law enforcement or child welfare workers," Drucker added. "The children and families that we see often have complex and multiple needs, so in addition to conducting forensic interviews for our partner agencies, we also provide families with therapy, food, clothing, emergency financial assistance, books, school supplies and holiday gifts."
Needless to say, support from the greater community is most certainly needed to continue to ensure bright futures for youth who are damaged, some spiritually broken and without safe homes.
The community has certainly responded as well. On Saturday, Recording Artist Jay Mills will host a a "Cupcake Concert" at Sports Zone Elite in Georgetown from 6 to 9 pm, with proceeds benefiting #SantaCause. Mills also organized a Christmas party for the initiative, which helped the start-up campaign meet it's $5,000 in the final hour. Other organizations, including Will Rap 4 Food Inc., created its own fundraising link and raised over $1,000 for #SantaCause within two weeks.
This strong community is getting creative to help child victims of sexual abuse through Safe Shores DC. 368 Recording Artist Visto is giving free recording features to fellow artists who donate $100 or more, while Think Brown INK is giving away complimentary one hour Brand Building sessions to any entrepreneur or professional who donates $50 and sends proof of their donation to email@example.com.
Campaign Founder Mo Betta said, "I personally challenge every DMV music artist to donate $100 seeing how this campaign started as an offset to the bad rap and negative, violent connotations associated with music in this area. Especially rap and go-go news and media outlets have run with stories of clubs being shut down and it would be a beautiful thing to see the same buzz generated behind the great deeds spearheaded by the DMV entertainment scene. With friends, family, and the community as a whole following suit.
Efforts by Mo Betta and all donors are not going unnoticed, either. The founder has done interviews with The Prince George's Gazette, WPGC and other media outlets about the cause. While Drucker added, "We’re very lucky to have Maurice champion Safe Shores through his #SantaCause campaign! He’s been an incredible voice for our mission and we’re overjoyed by the support we’ve received from everyone so far."
The need is great: Last year, Safe Shores distributed holiday gifts to over 300 child victims and their siblings. The parents and caregivers were especially grateful. We’ve had families tell us that without the support of Safe Shores, they wouldn’t have celebrated the holidays at all.
Please support this campaign with any amount, however big or small that you are able.
During a recent Twitter Conversation, Mo Betta, who is a noted lyricist, ghost-writer to some of the area's most successful national artists and overall wordsmith free-styled the following acronym.
S.A.N.T.A. x 2 =
C.A.U.S.E. x 2 =
E.voking E.nhancement - @Betta_Mo