12 Days of Giving: Stand Up Placer provides fresh start for families affected by domestic violence

By: Michelle Carl, Managing Editor
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During the 12 Days of Giving from Nov. 23-Dec. 4, the Press Tribune will feature a new nonprofit online every day and share how you can help its mission.

The holiday season can be bittersweet for families who have escaped domestic violence and found shelter at the Stand Up Placer Safe House.

“They are in a safe place, but they are also uprooted from their prior lives and holiday traditions,” said Michelle Coleman, executive director of Stand Up Placer. “They may have memories of other happier holidays, but also must face their new reality. Moms try hard to find a way to make it a good Christmas for their children, but they worry about their ability to do so.”

She said moms make a special effort to fix favorite holiday foods and pick out gifts for the children to help recreate the feelings of home.

The nonprofit, formerly known as PEACE for Families, needs the most basic household items to stock its Safe House — from pots and pans to socks and sweats. Financial support for therapy is also vital, as the need for counseling tends to increase this time of year.

Coleman shares the story of one woman who Stand Up Placer helped. “Alicia” came to the program after years of abuse. She received therapy, learned to manage a family budget and took job readiness classes. Now she’s employed with benefits and saving for her own home.

“Speaking of her time with us, she shared, ‘I felt like a new person was being born and I had an opportunity to start fresh with myself and my children,’” Coleman said.

Nonprofit name: Stand Up Placer (formerly PEACE for Families)

Mission: End the legacy of abuse by fostering communities where abuse is not tolerated and empowering survivors of domestic and sexual violence to heal from trauma and to create new lives of strength and self-sufficiency.

How to help: Donate household items: dishes, silverware, pots and pans, food storage, pillows, and essential clothing like underwear, socks, sweats and winter outerwear in all sizes. Donate funds to support for therapy.

Contact: or e-mail

Check back tomorrow for the next in the Press Tribune's 12 Days of Giving series.