New Britain, Conn., February 16, 2015 – Over the course of nearly 20 years as a Registered Nurse working on a crisis team in a hospital emergency room, Miriam Hayes had seen her share of tragedy, frequently in the form of domestic violence victims arriving with their bones – and lives – shattered.
“I remember one young woman, it was the third time she had been to the ER. She was thrown over a flight of stairs and had 26 staples in her head,” recalled Hayes with horror. “I told her, ‘You’re not going to have another chance. The next time you come in you’ll be dead.’”
Hayes made a call to the Prudence Crandall Center, which for more than 40 years has provided support and services to local victims of domestic violence. Unlike so many similar victims who may not be able to muster the courage to take advantage of such outreach, this particular woman, said Hayes, did indeed get help, help that may very well have saved her life.
It is stories like these that have inspired Hayes and her husband, Robert Mugford, to support the Prudence Crandall Center with their time, talent and financial resources. Thanks to a generous gift from the retired Southington couple, the newly established Mugford/Hayes Bright Futures Fund for Prudence Crandall Center, Inc. at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain will help the Crandall Center sustain programs and services for years to come.
“When we attended the opening of the Center’s Rose Hill Campus several years back, I said to Miriam ‘We have to do something,’” said Mugford, a retired CPA who over the years has lent his time and financial support to a variety of local causes. “These victims are just paralyzed, they have no place to go.
“The Prudence Crandall Center is that place they need,” he continued. “We are so impressed by their work. They help entire families across a broad spectrum of diverse needs brought on by domestic violence.”
“Bob and Miriam are just a wonderful couple, and both are passionately engaged in supporting the Prudence Crandall Center,” said Barbara Damon, the Center’s executive director. “Having an endowment of this nature helps provide financial sustainability for us in the future, so we can continue our services for many years to come.”
The Prudence Crandall Center, established in 1973, is dedicated to helping women, men and children achieve lives free of domestic violence by providing care, advocacy, support and education. It is one of the few programs of its nature in the country with a full spectrum of shelter, housing and support services needed to offer practical, long-term solutions to the challenges posed by domestic violence.
The Mugford/Hayes Bright Futures Fund will make regular, annual distributions for the purpose of carrying out the work and mission of the Prudence Crandall Center, in accordance with Community Foundation policy.
“The monumental work of the Prudence Crandall Center over the past 40 years speaks for itself, having helped thousands upon thousands of domestic violence victims heal and move on to lead safe, self-sufficient lives,” said Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation. ”We are honored to be the steward of Bob and Miriam’s generous gift, and to assist a vital community resource such as the Prudence Crandall Center in carrying out its mission.”
Mugford and Hayes not only are supporting the Prudence Crandall Center financially, but are intimately involved as volunteers. They co-chaired the Center’s recent Bright Futures fundraising drive, which raised nearly $400,000, and Hayes has also completed an intensive training course which will allow her to work on the Center’s domestic violence hotline. Instead of making calls on victims’ behalf, as she did as an RN, she’ll be taking them.
The two are excited about the new one-hour “Hope Tours” of the Rose Hill Campus on Burritt Street in New Britain, which are designed to raise awareness of the Center and its mission. Opened in 2009, the Rose Hill Campus is home to supportive housing, a fully equipped medical office, training space, support group rooms, indoor and outdoor spaces for children and teens, and the Center’s administrative offices. Hope Tour participants not only tour the facility, but meet domestic violence survivors who share their stories of abuse.
“You can read about domestic violence, you can see it on TV, but people really need to see it to understand,” said Hayes. “Unless we get our message out there about domestic violence, it is just going to continue and continue.”
For Hope Tour information, call (860) 225-5187, ext. 23. To learn more about the Prudence Crandall Center, visit www.prudencecrandall.org.
The fund marks the second Community Foundation fund dedicated to the Prudence Crandall Center. The Prudence Crandall Center Endowment Fund also benefits Center programming. Members of the public wishing to support the Prudence Crandall Center by donating to either fund may do so by visiting www.cfgnb.org, or calling (860) 229-6018.
Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org
Jim Williamson, President, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, (860) 229-6018 x306, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Buden, DBPR, (860) 558-0514, email@example.com