D.A.R.T. exists through limited funding by grants and community donations. Our grants are not guaranteed, and without community support our program could not continue. D.A.R.T. organizes and holds one fundraising event each year, the D.A.R.T. Radiothon. Other groups and organizations hold their own fundraising events for D.A.R.T., generously adding to our operating budget and providing protection for ongoing services.
Pumpkin Patch for D.A.R.T.
D.A.R.T. takes part in many events throughout the year to raise funds, but few are as colorful and fun as Townsend House Gifts’ annual Pumpkin Patch for D.A.R.T., which began in October, 2004.
This year, over 200 community members and students gathered in the yard at Townsend House Gifts to unload over 1,000 pumpkins from an eighteen-wheeler idling at the front gate. They passed the pumpkins hand to hand, with the last volunteers in line placing the pumpkins in different locations. Over the course of an hour, the yard and porch of the old historic house were transformed into a bright sea of orange.
Proceeds from the sale of the pumpkins benefit D.A.R.T. as well as providing an opportunity for all parts of our community to partner with us.
Since 2001, D.A.R.T. has held an annual Radiothon to raise funds and promote awareness. Our 16th Annual Radiothon, held in May, 2018, was our most successful ever. We exceeded our $60,000 goal thanks to the faithful and generous support of our community.
Our scheduled Radiothon on May 9 was postponed due to the tornado which hit Ruston in late April. The new date is Wednesday, September 18, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
This year our 17th Radiothon will take place at Super 1 Foods on Trenton Street in Ruston, broadcast live by Q94.1 Radio. Sadly, our faithful dj for so many Radiothons, Bob Day, passed away earlier this year. D.A.R.T. will be honoring Bob Day throughout the broadcast for his unfailing support of D.A.R.T.
D.A.R.T.’s Radiothon is a team effort, and includes the participation and partnership of Q94.1 FM, Super 1 Foods in Ruston, the Louisiana Tech chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity, and a roster of speakers who support D.A.R.T. A score of volunteers from the town and universities help in other ways throughout the day. With this level of collaboration and effort, our community steps forward to contribute to our goal and help us in our efforts to continue to help keep families safe from domestic violence.
It is not unusual for survivors of domestic violence, many of whom have used DART’s services in the past, to come by the Radiothon and share their stories with the staff and volunteers. Throughout the day, children will drop coins and bills into the collection buckets held by fraternity members outside. Businesses will come in with pledges and donations and faithful friends will show up to offer their annual gifts. The Radiothon brings together all of these different groups, people of all ages and experiences, to help D.A.R.T. raise vital funds to cover costs and expenses which are not included in our grants.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
For several year in a row, the young women of Alpha Chi Omega Beta Psi at Louisiana Tech hosted a fun and festive event to raise awareness and funds for D.A.R.T. While this event first challenged men to “walk a mile” in high-heeled shoes or bedazzled flip flops, the sorority later invited women to try the same mile in extra-large men’s shoes. Students, parents, families and now even dogs participate! Spirits are high, costumes are wildly colorful, and hundreds of people (and animals!) walk a mile to raise awareness of domestic violence. D.A.R.T. thanks the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega, whose national philanthropy is domestic violence, for holding this family-friendly fundraiser!
The 2019 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will take place Saturday, October 26.
2019 is the first year D.A.R.T. has participated in Give For Good, a 24-hour online giving challenge that brings North Louisiana together to benefit our local nonprofits. Give For Good is North Louisiana's largest day of giving. The event was established in 2014 by the Community Foundation of North Louisiana, and since then has raised over $8.1 million for our communities! Give For Good allows community members to discover and engage with nonprofit organizations and make a contribution to causes they feel strongly about. Whether you give $10 or $10,000, you have a hand in transforming your community.
This year, Give for Good was May 7, 2019. On that day donors went online and gave to a variety of organizations in North Louisiana, including D.A.R.T. D.A.R.T. received more than $500 on that day through the Give for Good website (giveforgoodnla.org) and qualified to receive “Lagniappe” funds, extra funds made available through the Community Foundation of North Louisiana. We were excited to be a part of this great effort.