SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – SAFE Shelter Center for Domestic Violence Services is hosting a virtual benefit concert featuring the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra Wednesday night.
The event premiers at 7 p.m. and is available online throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.
“With everything going on this year, we are so glad we could finally present this concert,” said Cheryl Branch, executive director. “In addition to an amazing evening of music by Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson, along with their fabulous big band, we will have a special guest star appearance from an American Idol winner.”
The evening will also feature three different survivors who will share their stories.
The online concert is free, but organizers are asking viewers to make a tax-deductible donation to Safe Shelter so it can continue to serve the growing number of victims of domestic violence in the Chatham County area.
SAFE Shelter says the increase is due, in large part, to the COVID pandemic. The organization is also facing significant reductions in funding from across-the-board cuts in state aid, coupled with the cancellation of its traditional fundraising event.
“While funding has dropped since March, domestic violence calls have risen nearly 20 percent due to the COVID-19 virus,” said Branch. “For victims of domestic violence, quarantine means there`s nowhere to go.”
Since 1979, SAFE Shelter has offered services and programs to victims of domestic violence and their children free of charge. Last year, the organization helped more than 1,300 victims, providing 74,000 meals and 17,400 bed nights.
The organization estimates the average mom will spend 36 days in the shelter, and with two children per mom, the cost to feed and shelter those three victims is at least $4,000 during that stay. With special circumstances or transitional housing, Branch says the cost would go much higher.
Since SAFE Shelter’s annual giving gala had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization reached out to the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra for a different kind of virtual fundraiser.
“This exciting band has a great following, they are exciting to watch and they play great music that all can enjoy,” said SPD MAJ Rob Gavin, president of Safe Shelter’s Board of Directors.