Sometimes, it’s more than just back-to-school nerves.

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Later this summer, schools will return to full-time, in-person learning, and 5-year-old Harper – who currently lives with her mom in the Center for Women and Families’ emergency shelter – will begin kindergarten. Like most children, Harper is nervous but excited about what her first day will bring: riding the school bus, meeting her teacher, and making new friends.

Young girl walking with a backpack

Young student walking with backpack.

But Harper and other kids in shelter face more than your average adjustment to school. An average of 1 in 15 children (or about two kids in a class of 30) has been exposed to violence in their home. So, instead of arriving for kindergarten prepared with the critical social and emotional skills she needs to learn, Harper is at risk of falling behind – even before school has begun.

The Center serves hundreds of families like Harper’s every year who experience domestic violence. Our advocates help children recovering from trauma to develop social skills, boost self-esteem, and build healthy relationships – ultimately improving their chances for success.

Through these critical resources, the Center helps stop the cycle of violence and creates hope and healing for those who need it most. And as an #EverydayAdvocate, you can help Harper and others just be kids who don’t have to worry about their families’ safety.


  • Browse our Amazon Wish List and purchase school supplies to give our kids a fresh start to the new academic year (they can ship directly to us!).
  • Shop locally and bring donations of new backpacks and school supplies to 927 S. 2nd Street, Louisville, KY 40203.