PRESENT NOW was founded in 2012 by Erica Fisher and Melanie Neumann and is dedicated to supporting children and teens entering and living in transitional domestic violence shelters. 1 in 15 children in the United States are exposed to intimate partner violence each year and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence per the National Criminal Justice Reference Service www.ncjrs.gov. The mission of PRESENT NOW is to provide disadvantaged children with both essential goods and specialty items to help bring them joy, comfort, and relief during a time of crisis through their signature Presents Program.
What We Do
The Presents Program assists mothers and their children entering domestic violence shelters. The program consists of three presents given throughout a child’s stay at the shelter; the Presence of Mind box is given in August and contains a new backpack filled with school supplies. The Presence of Love box is delivered on Valentine’s Day and includes an electronic learning device. The final box is the Presence of Being box. This box is given to a child on their birthday and includes: a new outfit, toy, book, cake mix, frosting, spatula, candles, and restaurant gift card to celebrate their birthday outside the shelter with their mother.
Why We Give
The program is based around the idea that giving consistently to children who are severely traumatized in a thoughtful and personalized way, can have a huge impact on how they recover and rebuild. The program also supports the mothers who would otherwise be unable to provide gifts by lifting both emotional and financial burdens. 94.8% of shelter mothers reported that they would not have been able to purchase a digital toy/learning device or backpack with school supplies for their children without the help of PRESENT NOW.
“I don’t think I realized when we started the program how much relief we would also be bringing the mothers of the children we support,” explains Melanie Neumann. “We’ve received letters and notes from the mothers saying thank you because they wouldn’t have been able to buy their child a birthday gift or bake them a cake.”
Today, on #GivingTuesday, your contribution to our Presents Program will allow mothers and children suffering from domestic violence to find peace, joy and comfort during a time of crisis. To date, PRESENT NOW has wrapped and delivered over 3,800 gifts to children throughout the state of California supporting 34 shelter locations and over 560 children statewide. Currently, there are plans to expand their program nationally to the east coast. To make a donation, click here.
“I believe,” says Erica Fisher, “that in life, it isn’t always the grand gestures or big opportunities that change our lives, but the small, thoughtful moments that make the biggest impact. Every child deserves to be loved and cherished, especially when their family is suffering.”
To learn more about PRESENT NOW, visit www.presentnow.org.