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 17th 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.
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! Last year, Alpha Chi had to move the walk to a bigger venue, as they had outgrown the original Cook Park location! Spirits were high, costumes were wildly colorful, and hundreds of people (and animals!) walked a mile from Trinity United Methodist Church 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!