Esuba Jam fights violence with musicMarketing Communications students from UW-River Falls managed a winter-term project that resulted in a benefit of $2,200 for the River Falls-based nonprofit Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
Marketing Communications students from UW-River Falls managed a winter-term project that resulted in a benefit of $2,200 for the River Falls-based nonprofit Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
The Esuba Jam featured seven local bands that played at Junior’s Bar and Grill Dec. 8, rocking the house from 6 p.m. until nearly 2 a.m.
“We chose esuba because it’s abuse spelled backwards,” explained UWRF student Ashley Mondor, “and we wanted to reverse the cycle.”
She and her classmates in David Bonko’s class on sales promotion and event planning organized the fundraising project. They offered free admission to the jam but suggesting a freewill donation of cash or personal hygiene items.
Mondor said students tapped bands and musicians they know to play at the event: Liz Tacke, Josie Olson, Siseez, Taylor Young, Space Police, Devin Band and Ghetto Falsetto.
She said the class felt the fundraising project was a great way to give back to the community.
She said Turningpoint’s Executive Director Kim Wojcik visited their class and gave them lots of good information about the organization and its mission.
During that visit, Wojcik told the class Turningpoint needs toiletries -- sample and regular sizes of shampoo, conditioner, soap and shower gel, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other personal hygiene items, including products made especially for children.
“We just really wanted to help Turningpoint and support the community,” said Mondor.
Wojcik said she was thrilled to have the help and remembers the students asking a barrage of thoughtful, in-depth questions when she visited their class.
She often visits with students, but more often those studying social work, not business or marketing.
They asked good questions about social-media marketing, current avenues of publicity and communication, even if the organization uses a ‘quick-response’ (QR) code for speedy access to its Web site.
Explaining why donations of personal hygiene products are so highly valued, Wojcik says picture an abused mother facing a job interview without the benefit of deodorant or a razor.
Wojcik said Turningpoint tries to provide all the comforts and conveniences of home.
Wojcik said the shelter must meet clients’ basic needs, otherwise, they might consider returning to the abusive situation in order to fulfill them.
“We talked about how we want to remove barriers for people,” said Wojcik about her visit to the class. “Sometimes the barriers are the smallest thing we don’t even think about.”
She said not being able to provide for themselves or their children -- from lunch money to a toothbrush or special kids’ toothpaste -- makes abused people feel even more powerless.
The director said it was “really nice” that the college students also collected hundreds of dollars’ worth of personal hygiene items, which Turningpoint usually can’t afford.
“It does make a huge difference,” Wojcik said, adding that the products reinforce to clients that the community is “there” for them and to lend support.
She said the effort is also the only one she remembers in recent history to be organized and operated by young people, raising valuable awareness among the group.
Wojcik said, “It was neat to see people stand against abuse and violence.”
She said she’s thankful not only to the student group but also many others who hold diaper drives, food-collection events and other kinds of fundraisers for Turningpoint throughout each year.
Wojcik and Mondor praised the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, Junior’s, Stockwell Real Estate Partners, and countless students for generating the collective donation of cash and toiletries worth $2,200.
Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence serves clients from Pierce and St. Croix counties. It’s been in existence since 1979.
The nonprofit operates an emergency shelter in River Falls where it provides multiple services including a safe place to stay, legal and courtroom advocacy, emergency transportation, emotional support and much more.
Wojcik said from January through September, Turningpoint provided 4,315 hours of support services; 2,083 nights of safety; 10,037 meals; and services to 660 people, 87 of which were children under age 10.
Learn more about Turningpoint at its Web site: www.turninpointwi.org or on its Facebook page. Contact the organization at local phone number 715-425-6751.
Access Turningpoint’s crisis hotline via phone at 1-800-345-5104 or text to 715-821-8626.