In true Oglethorpe fashion, Morgan Coffey ’13 is truly making a difference in the Atlanta community.
Morgan founded Stronghold Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that reaches out to local victims of domestic abuse. Its mission? To provide women and children who have been victims of domestic violence with HELP (Healing, Empowering, Love & Protection™. ).
In an effort to curb the effects of domestic abuse, Morgan and her organization tackled two areas that affect victims the most.
The first–caring for the immediate physical needs of victims. She started Change in a Bag, a program sponsored by Stronghold that encourages people to donate a gallon-sized bag containing a change of clothing for victims when their clothing is confiscated as evidence. So far, she has sent over 500 bags of clothing to area shelters and hospitals.
Stronghold’s second focus is getting the right information to the right people. Morgan started the Victim Support Initiative, which provides the police and victim advocates with printed brochures that contain much-needed info about where they can go for shelter, food, and job support, to give to victims of abuse.
“When the local police would go out on a call for domestic violence they would have nothing to give to victims past a sticky note with a few phone numbers written on them,” said Morgan.“…giving them a brochure that is well done and looks great will mean so much more. It will mean that we believe they are worth more than just a scribbled on piece of paper.”
Stronghold had also teamed up with RBC Bank to present a women’s financial education class to inspire women to take control of their finances. Morgan said that her first year of Oglethorpe classes has helped her business acumen.
“My second semester–Spring 2010–I took two classes that were just perfect for helping me with Stronghold. I took Social Enterprise and loved getting to hear the guest speakers that have so much passion about fighting homelessness, hunger, and children suffering in Africa. It is just like my own passion for helping those who have been hurt by domestic violence. The other class that I took was Writing for Business and the Professions, where I actually got to write a proposal for Stronghold Atlanta and develop a partnership proposal for us with RBC Bank. Now I have a letter for donation requests, donation thank yous, requests for use of buildings and requests for help. I have letters to new donors and returning donors, all thanks to that class helping me to feel more confident that what I was writing was going to work in the business world and wouldn’t just be set aside.”
Now that’s an Oglethorpe education at work—both inside and outside the classroom. For more information about Stronghold Atlanta and how YOU can be a part of Morgan’s initative, visit strongholdatlanta.org.
View an interview with Morgan on “Better Mornings Atlanta”.