Sojourner House 40th Anniversary Breakfast Honors Community Members to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse Rebuild their Lives

PROVIDENCE, RI (April 28, 2016) – Sojourner House, a comprehensive domestic violence agency serving Providence and Northern RI, celebrated their 40th Anniversary today with the Sojo MoJoe 40th Anniversary Breakfast at the Renaissance Providence Hotel. The breakfast honored community members while raising much needed funds for the organization.
“Last year, we served over 3,000 individuals through our direct services and educational programs, said Vanessa Volz, Executive Director of Sojourner House. “With over 8,000 cases of domestic violence reported in Rhode Island last year, coupled with the fact that it remains one of the most underreported crimes, we still have much work to do. The support received from sponsors and individual donors helps tremendously as we work to achieve a world free from relationship abuse.”
Emceed by Alison Bologna of WJAR, the breakfast honored three individuals who represent the work the agency has done to serve survivors, victims and the Rhode Island community. Pamela Zappardino, Ph.D, received the Legacy Award honoring her nearly 10 years as executive director of Sojourner House starting in 1982. During her tenure she worked to establish the first shelter for battered women and their children in Northern Rhode Island. The Community Champion Award was presented to Pablo Rodriquez, M.D. for his commitment to domestic violence advocacy and to his work with Sojourner House. The Survivor Award went to Emma, a woman who found the courage to break free and build back her life. Supported through her journey by Sojourner House, she is now an independent, career-driven woman who, at 32, is enjoying her freedom from abuse and who continues to grow both emotionally and spiritually.
“People often ask me what they can do to help,” said Sojourner House Executive Director Vanessa Volz. “There are plenty of opportunities to get involved – from volunteering in crisis intervention, office help or fundraising, to educating others though conversations or intervention – all small gestures can lead to a big change.”
To help commemorate the anniversary, New Harvest Coffee Roasters launched SoJo MoJoe, a new specialty blend. Proceeds from the coffee will benefit Sojourner House.

About Sojourner House
Sojourner House is a comprehensive domestic violence agency. Every day, we serve victims of relationship violence by providing shelter, transitional housing, immigration advocacy, youth programming, teen dating violence prevention, advocacy, referrals, and other resources. In our mission to end violence, we also work in our surrounding communities to provide violence prevention education programs. For more information, please visit SojournerRI.org. To learn about more about events and programs, follow Sojourner House on Facebook and Twitter @SojournerRI.