WILLIAMSBURG — The vision of the Avalon Center is to create a community that works together to promote healthy relationships and end domestic and sexual violence.
Located in Williamsburg, Avalon helps break the cycle of abuse by providing assistance to those in need by offering tools for safety, self-sufficiency and empowerment through education, prevention, shelter and support services.
The organization has a 24-hour helpline operated by trained advocates, an emergency shelter and offers a range of counseling services.
Avalon Development Coordinator, Mary Schmotzer Hard, points out the Youth Services as another integral part of the center.
“Setting an example to our children is a key component to what we do. Avalon has a youth services team that goes into area middle and high schools to teach them about bullying and dating violence, discuss what kids are experiencing, and talk about healthy relationships,” Hard explained.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and Avalon has paired with The Virginia Beer Company (VBC) to create Oasis of Hope, a spring pale ale. The collaboration with VBC promotes awareness and helps support Avalon’s mission to stop the cycle of sexual and domestic violence.
“The VBC is so community minded and really cares about our mission. Robby approached Avalon about participating with them and we thought it was amazing.” Hard continues, “So, we worked together to create something hopeful. Even though sexual assault is a dark subject, we want to show people there is light on the other side.”
Oasis of Hope will be released on Thursday, April 27 at 3 p.m. in the VBC taproom to bring attention to the issue and help raise funds for the non-profit organization, with $4 from every 4-pack of the beer sold to be donated to Avalon.
“The Virginia Beer Company’s mantra is ‘Beer · People · Purpose,’ and we strive to be a force for good in the form of a brewery. We have built personal relationships with many of those who are working to guide and grow the Avalon Center, and we feel so fortunate to be able to partner with their organization, which is doing so much to help so many.” Robby Willey of Virginia Beer Company said, “We look forward to debuting this special release with and on behalf of Avalon later this week!”
Avalon Center relies on grants, donations and volunteers to continue their service to the community. The learn more, visit its webpage.