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For the editor:

I was never calm and behaved well like a child. It’s something I wear as a badge of honor decades later. It’s probably also what pushed me to fight to make my voice heard. As I approached adulthood, I found my voice and acceptance of its volume with a group of like-minded women, who had formed a local chapter of the National Organization for Women.

The second wave of the women’s movement came to Jefferson County in the late 1970s, and those of us involved worked to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, opening a center for assisting rape victims and advocating in court for victims of domestic violence. I’m so glad I never outgrew my loud voice because it helped me find more like-minded men and women today who recognized it was time to put the issues down again leading women in the Ohio Valley, and that’s why we’ve formed another local NOW chapter, known as Ohio Valley NOW.

The members have been working behind the scenes preparing for our public debut, and we’re showing up by sponsoring a community project. Over the next two weeks, we are hosting a fundraiser for ALIVE Inc. (Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments.) For those unfamiliar, this agency offers help and hope to victims of violence. domestic for more than 40 years. According to its website, the shelter’s mission is “Offering safe alternatives to living in a violent environment. ALIVE provides emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, and advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Jefferson County. Monetary donations are accepted through an online Facebook fundraiser called “Helping Hearts”, which can be found on the Ohio Valley NOW Facebook page. All 100 percent of donations will be given to help ALIVE in its operations. In addition, we collect hygiene and personal care products for shelter clients. These items can be brought to Saint-Paul de Steubenville Church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can also call (740) 859-3233 to arrange pickup for your donations in Jefferson or Belmont counties. Everything will be presented to the ALIVE staff on February 14th.

Ohio Valley NOW is a local chapter of the National Organization for Women, the largest feminist activist group in the United States, committed to taking action for equality, justice, dignity and opportunity for women and girls . Our chapter is growing day by day and we invite you to visit our Facebook page to learn more. Women make up the majority of our population, but we are far from being equally represented in leadership roles in our region. It is time for that to change. When women lead, everyone benefits.

Marjie De Fede

Rayland

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