Shop Hy-Vee, assist families at DVIP

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Shop for Shelter

Iowa City and Coralville Hy-Vees — Saturday, Oct. 6, 9 4 p.m.

Boxed macaroni and cheese in Hy-Vee. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

During the past week, as Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has dominated the news-cycle, a lot of people have felt burning anger and frustration over the treatment of women in our country, and have been looking for a way to channel those feelings into something positive. There’ll be a chance to do just that this weekend, and all you have to do is go grocery shopping.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) and Hy-Vee are partnering for their annual “Shop for Shelter.” Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., volunteers at Hy-Vees will provide lists to shoppers interested in purchasing a few items that DVIP needs to help those who rely on its services.

“This annual event has been going on for about 15 years,” Ashlee Hopkins, development coordinator for DVIP, told Little Village. “We do it every October.”

DVIP grew out of an initiative launched by the University of Iowa’s Women’s Resource and Action Center in the late 1970s. It opened its first shelter for people threatened by domestic violence in 1980, and now DVIP covers eight counties in southeastern Iowa — Johnson, Iowa, Cedar, Des Moines, Henry, Lee, Van Buren and Washington.

In the past year, DVIP has served more than 900 people. The nonprofit helps both adults and young people. The shelter is usually full, with its 40 beds typically divided evenly between youngsters and their mothers or guardians.

The items on the Shop for Shelter list are things any family needs.

“We always ask for diapers, wipes, shampoo, conditioner and soap,” Hopkins said. “Boxed food items like macaroni and cheese, soup. Laundry detergent and cooking oil are always needed.”

Also on the list are baby bottles and sippy cups for small children, and school items for older kids.

“A lot of the supplies are for kids,” Hopkins explained. “Youths make up half the people in our shelter. And we’re always helping these kids go to school, so we need supplies for that.”

The items donated by shoppers on Saturday will help more than just the people currently at DVIP.

“These supplies also go to people who are in need and can’t stay in our shelter because the beds are full, but we can still help,” Hopkins said.

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Shoppers will be asked to buy a few of the listed items along with their own groceries, and then put the items for DVIP in a donation drop-off cart at the entrances of the store.

All three Iowa City Hy-Vees, as well as the Hy-Vee in Coralville, are participating in Shop for Shelter.

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  1. Hi! My name is Jacquelyn and I am the Associate Director at The Victim Services Shelter in Dubuque. I think this is great! How do I go about getting our Shelter involved?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jacquelyn,

      DVIP would be your best source on information on this. You can reach them at 319-351-1043.

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