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Local abuse victims need help

In the last year, 282 people abuse victims from St. Croix County have sought refuge from Turningpoint, a River Falls shelter and resource office for abuse victims in St. Croix and Pierce counties.

Turningpoint's goal is to empower those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence by providing necessary resources to achieve freedom from violence through community support and education.

"In obvious ways, the donations we receive help with that mission," said Liz Malanaphy, volunteer coordinator for Turningpoint.

In an effort to make it easier for people to donate and get involved, Turningpoint has partnered with various businesses to become donation sites.

It all started in Hudson, Malanaphy said. Nicole Zimmer and Al Duchnowski at Hudson Insurance approached Turningpoint asking to be a donation site. From there, the program has expanded to include two other sites - Prescott Insurance in Prescott and State Farm Insurance in New Richmond.

"I approached Frank (Steward, State Farm agent) at a Chamber event in New Richmond, and he generously agreed to be our third drop location," Malanaphy said. "We have now developed an 'official' program; with matching bins and boxes in all locations; clearly marked with the Turningpoint logo. Rubbermaid was kind enough to donate 30 bins to this cause, and we hope to place these bins in cities and towns throughout Pierce and St. Croix counties."

A complete wish list of donation items can be found by visiting

Malanaphy said there is always a need for toilet paper, laundry soap and paper towels.

Old cell phones can be donated at the businesses as well, with all money being donated to Turningpoint.

"We've received $2,600 in three years through this program and could increase that by a lot with these cell donation boxes," Malanaphy said.

The donations and money are just some of the benefits of the donation locations, she said. Simply letting people know Turningpoint exists and is available to help is another.

"To bring these boxes and our name, and our mission, into these central locations in every community is to say that we can talk about this issue, and furthermore, we support those who are suffering because of it," she said.

Any businesses interested in becoming a drop location can contact Malanaphy at lizm@turning