Pantie Raid drive assists WISE

EVART — Quilting shops around the country, including Juneberry Cottage in Evart, are participating an event to assist women living in area shelters.

The national event is called Pantie Raid 2016. It was formed in 2010 as a way to give back by a number of quilt shops. Shop staff realized how little many women and mothers have when they leave their negative situation; sometimes only with the items they can carry.

"Women are the often the invisibles in domestic violence when they flee to a shelter," said Roseann Meehan, one of the event founders. "Everyone thinks about the kids and provides for them, but so often the moms are the ones who need support. I think we all know how having nice undies always makes us feel better ... that's the feeling we should convey."

From Friday, Jan. 15, through Saturday, Jan, 23, Juneberry Cottage will be collecting new women's underwear, bras, socks and sleepwear for Women's Informational Services, Inc. during the store's business hours. WISE is a nonprofit which provides crisis intervention and support services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Mecosta, Osceola and Newaygo counties.

"I want to be participating in the community and promote community awareness for service action," said June-Marie Essner, owner of Juneberry Cottage. "I think it's a great way to get people involved and make others aware of abuse. I feel in our area there is a lot of abuse, so to try and help in any way possible is important to me."

All sizes are needed and the packages will be delivered to WISE at the end of the collection event. Donors who contribute will receive either a free quilting fat quarter or gift item. Essner said she has prepared 100 fat squares to give out, but would love to give away more.

On the final day of Pantie Raid, Juneberry Cottage will close out the event with discounts, a giveaway drawing, refreshments and demonstrations.

Juneberry Cottage it located at 147 N. Main St. in Evart. For more information, call (231) 734-5863.