Comfort campaign aims to help shelters

National group enlists the help of former Chugiak High singing sensation


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Planning some interior re-decorating? Now might not be a bad time to spring into action.

For all of April, Private Quarters, a direct-marketing company that sells everything from bath robes to pillow cases, will be making donations to a pair of Anchorage-area domestic violence shelters, according to local Private Quarters sales consultant Jenny Hawkins-Hogrefe.

“This is the third year we’ve been sponsoring and supporting shelters in Alaska,” Hawkins-Hogrefe said.

She explained that 15 percent of all orders placed with the company in April will go toward donations of new bedding and other products to the Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) shelter in Anchorage and the Alaska Family Services shelter in Palmer.

“They’re brand new, fresh, fluffy products,” she said, noting that the program provided $5,000 worth of merchandise to the AWAIC shelter last year.

It was such a success, she said, that the program branched out to include two Alaska shelters this spring.

The program is called “Share the Comfort,” an initiative that Private Quarters began five years ago as a way of helping women dealing with domestic violence.

“First, we’re giving the gift of new bedding, which makes the rooms a little more homey when people are there in painful situations,” she said.

Hawkins-Hogrefe said Alaska has one of the nation’s highest rates of domestic violence, and the program helps shed light on one of the state’s biggest problems.

“We’re talking about the shelters and talking about their needs,” she said.

For folks in the Chugiak-Eagle River area, there’s also a special hometown incentive for wanting to get involved with the Los Angeles-based company.

As part of its national advertising campaign, Private Quarters chose Chugiak High graduate and aspiring L.A. pop star Vanessa Bryan to perform her original song, “Comfortable in my Own Skin,” to promote the program across the country. To see Byran’s performance, visit www.alaskastar.com

Melissa Emmal is Program Services Director for AWAIC. She said the donations are a big help for the 52-bed shelter, which is in constant need of things like pillows, blankets and fresh linen.

“Those are expensive items and they’re needed on a constant basis,” Emmal said.

In addition to providing much-needed supplies, the partnership is also a great way to spread the word about domestic violence, Emmal said.

“We know that in Alaska, about 60 percent of women have been affected by domestic violence,” she said.

Because many of the Private Comfort salespeople and clients are women, Emmal said the program is a natural fit.

“It really helps us to reach more people who may need our services,” she said.

 

Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or matt.tunseth@alaskastar.com

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