On an average day, nearly 11,000 requests for emergency shelter, childcare and other services go unanswered due to a lack of funding at domestic violence nonprofits around the country. Even as demand for services increases, these programs continue to operate with limited resources.

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is trying to change those numbers, and Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (S.O.F.I.A.) in Essex County, NJ, has been selected as one of more than 160 participating nonprofits across the country to be a part of the Purple Purse Challenge, which raises funds for nonprofits serving domestic violence victims. S.O.F.I.A. was chosen for its commitment to providing financial empowerment services to domestic violence survivors.

Through the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, The Allstate Foundation is investing $500,000 in Challenge sweepstakes and contests. Supporters can donate at http://bit.ly/SOFIAPurplePurse from Noon on Oct. 1 through Oct. 27, 2015. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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Locally, Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates has secured a donor who will MATCH each donation to S.O.F.I.A. during October up to $5,000. In addition, the first 50 donors to the S.O.F.I.A. Purple Purse Challenge will receive an authentic Purple Purse Tassle to make any bag into a “purple purse.” 

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. In 98 percent of cases, victims will suffer from financial abuse, which means abusers will deny them access to money and financial resources. Without resources of their own, victims are often unable to care for themselves and their families, find employment and housing or save for the future.

Montclair based Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (fondly referred to as S.O.F.I.A.) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization based in Essex County that provides advocacy, supportive services and referrals for temporary housing to "at risk" women and children of domestic violence. S.O.F.I.A.’s mission is to provide domestic violence victims and survivors with assistance and encourage them to be positive, self-sufficient and successful.