October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz stopped by the Family Crisis Center in Rexburg to see what some of their challenges are lately or any roadblocks they may have run into.
Executive Director Margie Harris showed Kunz around the facility. She has been with the center since 1994. The center was established in 1987 and moved into its current location on Main Street in 2011. Harris said the center helped 391 domestic violence victims in 2015. So far this year, with three-fourths of the year gone, they have already helped 400-plus. She attributes this to their growth and success as an agency.
"I feel good about that because that means that we're not just growing in agency, we're providing services for more people," said Harris.
Some of those services include a 24-hour crisis line staffed by volunteer advocates. They have a food bank as well. They also have a thrift store that takes donations from the community and then the community patronizes the store to raise some additional funds. The center also provides emotional support and counseling and works with local law enforcement agencies to provide child advocacy.
A lot goes on here around the clock with just 15 on staff and other volunteers. Eyewitness News teamed up with Mountain America Credit Union to help them "Pay It Forward."
The interview with Harris in the lobby was interrupted.
"Margie. How are you?" asked Kory Carling, walking in from the street.
"Uhm. Uhm?" questioned Harris.
"My name is Kory and I'm with Mountain America Credit Union."
"Excuse me. I'm in the middle of an interview," said Harris.
"You're absolutely correct, but I'm actually here for a reason. Your organization has supported our community and it's helped so many people, that we're here today to 'Pay It Forward.' And I've brought with me today, $500 in cash that we want you to put toward the use of helping the families in our community," said Carling.
"What?" asked Harris.
"So on behalf of Mountain America, I'd like to present that to you," said Carling, pulling the cash out of an envelope.
"What? Oh my gosh! I feel like I've just been punked," said Harris.
"Oh my gosh!" said Harris.
"So congratulations on behalf of us," said Carling.
"Can I have a hug?" asked Harris.
"Absolutely," said Carling.
"Oh my gosh. This is crazy. Did you know about this?" Harris asked Kunz.
"Yeah, yeah," said Kunz.
"I wasn't trying to be rude. We normally will cut you off in the middle of your interview," said Carling.
"Yeah, I'm going, 'Who is this guy? Do you not get this?'" said Harris.
Referring to the employee guarding the door during the interview, Carling said, "She said to me, 'Shhhh, she's in an interview.' I said, 'Yeah, I know' and I just walked right past her."
"Oh my gosh. This is amazing. Actually, it's like, one of those things I wanted to tell you (Kunz) about our focus is on how our community is supporting us and how this isn't just us fighting domestic violence and that, it's our community doing this, like this kind of stuff."
"Fantastic," said Kunz.
"Oh my gosh," said Harris.
"That's great," said Kunz.
"Wow. I feel I'm speechless. Like I'm... I don't know what to say, except thank you," said Harris.
"You're welcome," said Carling.
"That is so awesome," said Harris.
The Family Crisis Center can be reached at 208-356-0065 or you can find it at 16 E. Main St. in Rexburg.
"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday and Thursday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz at firstname.lastname@example.org.