BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Confidence is usually in short supply when a woman or a man finds themselves caught up in the crisis of domestic violence.
"We serve 50 to 75 people a year," said Phyllis McClendon, executive director of The Haven of Northeast Arkansas, Inc.
The shelter, located in Mississippi County, received carload after carload of donations after Loren McDaniel, Miss Arkansas 2015, issued a challenge to local titleholders.
As part of her platform, McDaniel started promoting a program called, "Confidence You Carry."
The purpose of this program was to donate new or gently used bags to local domestic violence shelters with hand written notes to victims receiving the bags.
As part of Miss America Serves Day, McDaniel asked titleholders to help local shelters.
"I was speechless," said McClendon. "I was impressed with these two young ladies and their desire to help. They just got in and ran with it." Jenn Ulloa, Miss Lights of the Delta, and Destiny Quinn, Miss NEA, brought purses, bags, clothing and monetary donations to That Bookstore in Blytheville.
There they met McClendon and a survivor of domestic violence who shared her own personal story.
"I am so grateful for them and their energy," McClendon said. "We are always in need of support and volunteer service."
She explained that the shelter operates a 24-hour hotline for abuse victims and no one will ever encounter an answering machine when they call: 870-532-6669 or 1-800-474-1064.
"We do not refuse anyone who qualifies," McClendon said.
She explained how the Blytheville Police Department even helps transport a victim if they don't have transportation.
Ulloa is a recent graduate of Arkansas State University with an emphasis in English, Spanish and International Studies.
Quinn is a Multimedia Journalism student at Arkansas State.
Both joined forces with their sister queens Elli Fowler, Miss River Delta, and Camille Cathey, Miss River Delta's Outstanding Teen, to gather donations for The Haven of NEA, Inc.
To find out more about how to help domestic violence victims, go to www.thehavenofneainc.org.
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