For six years, survivor Sami Ebelt, has walked with Hubbard House, a United Way partner, reflecting on the victory of her personal escape, breaking the silence and stigma related to suffering domestic violence, and helping other survivors find safety.
Sami’s journey to safety began 17 years ago when two women saw her — hiding from her abuser under a parked semi truck trailer — and intervened. She credits their intuition and involvement with saving her life. Now Sami is doing her part to help other survivors live and thrive.
Early on, Sami’s Walk team consisted of family and close friends, but the last few years, she’s expanded to include coworkers. She’s also secured work-related sponsorships, raising thousands of dollars for shelter and services for survivors and their children.
“I formerly worked for Black Knight Financial, and I had petitioned their giving department for sponsorship at the recommendation of a senior manager. The first year they sponsored for $1,000, then, over the course of five years, they increased to $5,000,” said Sami.
At the 2019 Walk, Sami and her team will be walking for many reasons. They’ll walk to break the silence. They’ll walk in celebration of Sami’s safety. They’ll walk because this cause — the movement to end domestic violence — matters.
“This cause matters because people matter,” said Sami, “because life matters, because love matters.”
Hubbard House’s 10th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk, the Stand Up & Stride, is Saturday, March, 30. Walkers will leave, return and celebrate on the grounds of the Duval County Courthouse. To register, visit HubbardHouseWalk.com. The event is free. Donations and fundraising are appreciated.
With the support of United Way, agencies like Hubbard House are able to help individuals in Northeast Florida have hope and reach their full potential. Through the power of partnerships, we ensure families and individuals have access to timely health-care services, better health outcomes and fewer health disparities. To learn how you can join United Way in the fight for community change, visit unitedwaynefl.org/get-involved.