Domestic Violence Awareness Month has long been a passion of Belles Service Organization. In order to promote awareness, Belles will be holding a number of virtual and in-person events, open to all LMU students, including a documentary screening, a vigil honoring victims of domestic violence, a walk/run and an open mic night. More information on attending these events can be found on their Instagram, @lmubelles.
Belles President Mikayla Gingrey ('21) also spoke to the way the Org has adjusted to 2020 while still holding its values closely.
Jordan Boaz (J.B.): How has Belles adjusted to the pandemic?
Mikayla Gingrey (M.G.): Due to the pandemic Belles has been given the opportunity to expand their presence across the nation and the globe with doing service from home. People have been able to get involved in their local communities and engage in service that is unique. We still stay committed to our placements, but in difference capacities. We work with Richstone Family Center to mentor students and do tutoring lessons via Zoom, deliver food to people experiencing homelessness through Bread and Roses Café and write letters to people in hospitals.
J.B.: What are Belles’ priorities for this semester?
M.G.: Our priority is to maintain a strong community even though we are physically separated from each other. Unity is more important than ever and we are committed to standing in solidarity with our community members through this difficult time.
J.B.: What have been the greatest challenges running a service organization under these circumstances?
M.G.: Balancing multiple time zones has been difficult, however we are understanding of everyone’s schedule and we encourage our members to practice self-care. To be a strong community each individual needs to be taking care of themselves mentally, physically and spiritually.
J.B.: How does Belles’ mission focus tie into the pandemic and/or doing online school?
M.G.: Quarantine has led to cases of domestic violence increasing across the nation at alarming rates. Belles' focus on domestic violence awareness has become more important than ever. Not only do we encourage people to have these tough conversations, but we encourage people to move towards taking action and stand in solidarity with survivors.
J.B.: What does Belles have planned for Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
M.G.: This year for Domestic Violence Awareness Month we have chosen the butterfly as our theme to symbolize flight, freedom, change and new beginnings.