No one likes to admit it, but most of us know someone who has been touched by domestic violence. Some are in a situation and don’t know where to turn for help. InterAct is a good place to start. Local residents don’t have to go far. They can start at Pass It On where they will be directed on their road to safety.
Pass It On, a thrift store located in downtown Fuquay-Varina, will be holding a grand re-opening on Oct. 27 at 10 am. Started by the non-profit organization, InterAct, Pass It On sells new and used clothes, primarily for women and children. All proceeds from the upscale thrift store help victims, survivors, and family members of domestic violence.
Founded in 1978, InterAct was formed by the merging of three Wake County agencies: Rape Crisis Center, Women’s Aid, and Child Abuse Prevention Services. Their mission is to provide safety, support, and awareness to victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault.
Christina Brewer, of InterAct’s development and communications, states, “Nationally, 60 percent of shelter residents return to their abusers after they leave the shelter. At InterAct, 88 percent of residents do not return to their abusers.”
Brewer goes on to explain how InterAct helps victims and survivors “move through the process from victim to survivor” through services such as counseling, a crisis line, shelters, and, since April 2011, North Carolina’s first community based forensic examination Solace Center.
In order to further support victims of domestic violence, the communities of Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs came together to start Pass It On. Founded in July of 2005, the store’s merchandise is either donated to victims and survivors or sold to customers throughout the community. All proceeds fund InterAct’s many helpful services. Members of the Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs Woman’s Clubs donate volunteer time and clothing.
“Our clients frequently come without so much as a suitcase,” says Leigh Duque, the executive director of InterAct. “They have nothing. They are able to shop in our thrift stores free of charge and get those items that help them start over.”
Pass It On also serves as a place of entry for those who are in need of InterAct’s services. The high-end thrift store has helped more families find solace in InterAct. “Since 2009, we were seeing seven families a day,” says Duque. “This past year, we saw twenty-three families a day.” Thanks to Pass It On, InterAct was able to serve nearly 300 families in the Fuquay-Varina community alone.
The store is currently being redesigned and will hold their grand re-opening in conjunction with Fuquay-Varina’s Day in Downtown. The redesign includes adding a section with wedding gowns, formal wear, business suits, and upscale, high-end designer clothes. Laura Hilton, director of community relations, says the redesign will “add visibility to merchandise, enhance the appearance of the store, and most importantly, generate revenue for programming.”
Since InterAct’s Family Safety & Empowerment Center first opened, the demand for their services has tripled. InterAct estimates that one in three women living in Wake County will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
”We need the support and the involvement of the town of Fuquay-Varina,” says Duque. “It’s so important for the community to realize, now more than ever, their support is vital not just for the success of InterAct, but to victims and survivors of domestic violence.”