As a concerned citizen, previous president of the board of the Laurel Center, I have truly been disturbed by the events that have unfolded in the past weeks with the NFL and feel the need to address this issue as it relates to our community. Though I no longer sit on the board, I continue to be committed to educating, eradicating and financially supporting the efforts to end the unspoken problem of Domestic Violence in our community. Lately the media and newspapers are constantly reporting on the NFL’s shortcomings in dealing with what appears to be a rampant problem. But the truth is we do not need the NFL or the news to tell us that Domestic Violence is rampant problem. In this community alone, the Laurel Center provides shelter to over 200 families suffering the consequences of this devastating issue each year. What is more disturbing is that unfortunately they must turn away as many families as they help for lack of resources. The center provides counseling services, outreach programs and works directly with our local schools to begin the education process that teaches peace begins at home and helps develop proper relationships between the sexes at an early age. “Hands are for hugging not hurting.”
As many of you may know, the Laurel Center is in the midst of a capital campaign to generate funds for their new facility. They are progressing in raising the funds necessary, but still need substantial help to make this a reality. The realization of this new facility would be one great step in curbing and possibly eradicating this tremendous problem we face. Domestic Violence is clearly evident in all phases of life and crosses all levels of economic strata. Education and knowledge will help end the cycle of violence. The Laurel Center provides the community with all of this, as well as sheltering those who have suffered at the hands of domestic violence. It is our duty as citizens to help see the success of this center. It is completely a nonprofit entity and its federal and state funds are pinched each and every year. Only through donations can The Laurel Center survive and have a new home to help this community. It is my charity of choice. As a community, please make it yours. Maybe the executives from the NFL will read this and help us out. In the meantime it is our responsibility to end this cycle of abuse as a community. Please support the Laurel Center in there campaign. Visit their web site www.thelaurelcenter.org to learn more and donate.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. It is truly a widespread problem that crosses all boundaries. Please help our community grow.
Matthew Karen, MD FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon
Laurel Center Advocate