October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and for the last nine years, Michael Dytrych, along with his wife Amy and son Sam, have been putting together a toy run benefiting the Parent-Child Center located in Lexington. This year on October 12th, the 9th annual Hi-Line Toy Run will take place.

The Parent-Child Center is a private, non-profit agency that provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and physical and/or sexual abuse of children.

The success of the Parent-Child Center depends heavily upon the support of the community. The center receives federal funding to establish and promote their programs, but additional funds are needed from the community. These generous donations are vital to the center’s continued services for victims of abuse.

According to the Parent-Child Center, in 2018 they provided services for 226 victims of abuse. Out of that number, there were 164 domestic violence victims, 28 were adult sexual assault victims, 4 child physical abuse victims, 16 child sexual abuse victims, and 14 other victims of other related crimes such as stalking, human trafficking, terroristic threats, harassment and elder abuse.

The shelters along with the center are always very busy with women and children. They are always in need of various supplies. Some of the needs of the center are toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags (13 gallon), dish soap, laundry soap, dryer sheets, cleaning supplies, personal grooming supplies (such as shampoo, conditions and body soap), sheets, towels, phone cards, new toys, batteries (all sizes) and cash donations are always appreciated to supply special needs of the various victims that visit the center.

The goal of the Toy Run is to promote awareness along with meeting some of the needs of the Parent-Child Center. “We try to gather enough toys or donations to provide each child that goes through the program a new toy for Christmas” stated Amy. “Domestic violence can happen to anyone. Domestic violence happens to people in all walks of life regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, education, profession or socioeconomic status. Think of four important women in your life…according to statistics 1 of them has been or will be hurt by a partner. Abuse is about power and control. Drugs and alcohol do not cause someone to be violent. Women ages 20 – 24 are at greater risk. Many researchers have concluded that some children who witness or are victims of domestic violence experience a profound and lasting impact on their lives and hopes for the future. If you are being abused or know someone who is, please contact the 24-hour Crisis Line at 800-215-3040 or 866-351-9594 for Spanish.”

Michael added “Cash donations, supplies and all toys are recorded and 100% given to the Parent-Child Center. All donations for the raffle are all raffled off at the end of the run and 100% of the ticket sales are given to the Center. The donor, unless they request anonymity, gets recognized on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hilinetoyrun), during the run, and at raffle drawing time. Everything that is donated goes to the Parent-Child Center.”

The Toy Run will start at the American Legion Post 257 on Main Street in Eustis on October 12th, 2019. Registration is from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The run will leave at 11:00 a.m. to go to Nebraska Barn & Grill in Gothenburg, then Collins Motorsport in Cozad, then to the Parent-Child Center in Lexington, then to the Blue Moose in Bertrand, finally back to Eustis to the Legion Hall for the raffle and dinner provided by the Eustis Pool Hall and drinks by LaRue Coffee. We should be back to the pool hall by 4:00 p.m. If you can’t make the run, then stop in for an $8.00/per person Roast Beef and Potatoes meal and the raffle.

If you can help with the program needs, please contact the Parent-Child Center at (308) 324-2336. If you are interested in joining or donating to the run, contact Michael Dytrych at (308) 530-4634.

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