The Victim Intervention Program (VIP)/Rape Crisis Center at Parkland strives to prevent violence towards women, men and children. They promote safety and recovery for victims of abuse and/or violence. VIP helps women, men, teens and children over the age of four that have experienced abuse and violence. They assist and support victims of sexual assault, family violence, intimate partner violence, human trafficking and other types of violent crimes. They provide crisis support, advocacy and counseling to patients at Parkland Hospital as well as residents of Dallas County. Their services include a 24-Hour crisis hotline and hospital response to victims of abuse and violence who are cared for at Parkland by their experienced advocates and counselors. Through training and workshops, the staff of VIP are educating the community on how to recognize and address those affected by violence and abuse. Their website provides more information on how to identify the different types of abuse and how recovery is possible.
VIP originally contacted Ruthie’s to book us for a an employee appreciation event at their offices. Once we found out about their remarkable work for the community, we knew they would be a perfect Ruthie’s Snacks of Kindness (RSK) recipient. Lyndsay Sather, the Interim Director for VIP, started as an intern and has been with the nonprofit for 5 years. What has kept her with the organization is “watching individuals find their own voice and meaning of hope.” She says, “It is a beautiful thing to walk alongside individuals recovering from trauma and help them see their strength from the journey.” The VIP program is unique in how they may be the first emotional support a sexual assault victim receives after checking in to Parkland. The importance of the organization to the community is their “multi-pronged approach in serving trauma survivors. Each component plays a critical role which directly impacts the others’ and collectively works towards creating an emotionally healthier community.”
As our RSK recipient, VIP was highlighted on our food trucks for the month of August to inform and educate our customers of the compassionate nonprofit’s work. Ruthie’s also collected toiletries and small gifts for victims of sexual assault to donate the day of our RSK event. Through comfort food, made with love, we strive to show how important this nonprofit is to our community. We arrived to the VIP office to serve our gourmet grilled cheese to their kindhearted advocates on August 30th. The atmosphere of the center was exceptionally calm, creating a perfect safe place. The small staff, of about thirty people, were genuinely enthusiastic about Ruthie’s coming out to brighten their day with some cheesy encouragement. Lyndsay mentions that “Ruthie’s acknowledgement to the work we do in addition (to) their kind gesture brought tears to our eyes. It was such an impactful reminder that our hard work and dedication does not go unseen, and we too deserve to be ‘taken care of’ at times.”
Ruthie’s was truly privileged to serve the incredibly sympathetic and supportive employees of the VIP/Rape Crisis Center. We are humbled by their devotion to victims of such horrific crimes. Visit their website for more information about their services and how to get involved.