Courtney Salinas, Janae Reynolds, Nafeesah Williams and Charity Susnick assisted in the delivery of care packages donated by Bank of America to the Marjaree Mason Center on Thursday, March 31. Photos by Ben Hensley

published on April 1, 2022 - 12:44 PM
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Bank of America employees donated more than 600 care kits containing basic health and hygiene necessities to several domestic violence shelters throughout the Valley on Thursday.

The donations included essentials such as shampoo, deodorant and feminine hygiene products — some of the most needed items in the Central Valley’s domestic violence shelters.

Bank of America employee Ashley McIntosh first conceived of the idea three years ago, and today the donations have reached over 23,000 items, which were assembled into 600 care kits by more than 200 bank volunteers.

Domestic violence care packages donated by Bank of America containing essentials such as deodorant, shampoo, feminine hygiene products and more are delivered to the Marjaree Mason Center on Thursday, March 31.

 

“Seeing the need in the community with all of the nonprofits that we serve, she wanted to do something to support Women’s History Month,” said Nafeesah Williams, who works alongside McIntosh as a co-chair for Bank of America’s volunteer groups.

“We wanted to be able to do this on a level that would have greater impact than just one person or a few friends who decided to participate,” Williams added. “We’ve had volunteer support all the way from Los Angeles County to the Bay Area. It’s been primarily the Central Valley team that has done the manpower, but the donations themselves have come from people with the generosity of their hearts.”

The kits are composed of donations that were added to Amazon wishlists and individual’s own personal donations.

The kits were delivered to Community Action Partnership of Madera County, Kings County Action Organization in Hanford, Family Services of Tulare County in Visalia, and the Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno.

Kits will also be distributed to Bakersfield Homeless Center and Mission in Bakersfield, and also to an additional shelter located in the Inland Empire.

“Most of the time when someone leaves domestic violence and they’re fleeing for their safety they have little more than the clothes on their back,” said Charity Susnick, Marjaree Mason Center’s Director of Development and Communications. “The ladies from B of A who put these kits together write encouraging notes in those hygiene kits and it’s a way to say ‘Somebody recognizes you. We’re here for you. We’re encouraging you, and you’ve got this.’”

“It gives me goosebumps just to talk about it because it’s just such a warm feeling to know that there are so many in our community and across the state that are thinking about our clients,” she added.

This is the third annual drive spearheaded by Visalia-based Market Operations Analyst Ashley McIntosh. After an initial donation of 7,500 items in 2020, donations climbed rapidly to 19,200 in 2021 prior to hitting 23,000 this year.

Bank of America plans to continue donations to domestic violence centers annually.


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