‘Generous community’ donates $42K in purchased items to Ion Center

Shoppers at select Kroger locations donated $42,500 in freshly purchased goods to The Ion Center for Violence Prevention earlier this month as part of the annual Shop & Share campaign.

For the 16th rendition of the event, participants chose one or more of the simple grocery items from a list, purchased them and left them with Ion Center volunteers as they left the store. The donated items will stock the pantry shelves of Ion Center’s two area shelters for individuals and families fleeing domestic violence.

Ion Center shoppers and volunteers.

“Seeing the community come together on this day to support those who have been impacted by violence is amazing,” said Christy Burch, CEO of Ion Center, based in Covington, Ky.

It takes a village

The Ion Center provides a range of free, confidential services to survivors living in Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati and the Buffalo Trace region of Kentucky near Maysville.

In 2023, the organization provided 16,302 safe bed nights for individuals and families fleeing domestic abuse and served 48,906 meals. It also offered 4,080 hours of intervention services, 762 hours of legal/court accompaniment, 641 hours of hospital accompaniment responding to 272 emergency room calls, as well as providing support on 4,125 hotline and text conversations.

These efforts aren’t easy nor are they inexpensive. Burch acknowledged that events like Shop & Share make it possible for agencies across the United States, like Ion Center, to amplify their ability to provide services to people who need it most.

For this year’s Shop & Share, Ion Center partnered with CraftForce, a national labor contractor headquartered in Covington. CraftForce’s founder and CEO, Dustin Grutza, and members of his team volunteered at the Northern Kentucky drop-off site. Grutza admitted to feeling “blown away” by the outpouring of community support.

“Coming together as neighbors, to help one another, is what it’s all about,” he said.

Burch has been with Ion Center since 2018. She described public support as vital to the organization’s success and said the community’s willingness to step up time and time again “never ceases to amaze us.”

“Once again, we’re overwhelmed by all the love you’ve shown Ion and all the people we serve,” she said.

The Ion Center for Violence Prevention

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