Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County

News & Events

Summer Camps

Wellspring Uses Summer Camps and Recreation to Support Both Children and Parents

In a given year, as many as 50 children and teens will be residents in either Wellspring’s domestic violence shelter or supportive housing program, NewView. Children and teens are affected by domestic violence and relationship abuse as much as adults. Just witnessing violence in the home can have lasting effects on children and teenagers. As with any abusive relationship, survivors can experience confusion, anger, and depression, which makes specialized approaches to younger survivors paramount.

To help the youth in such situations, Wellspring staff work to provide a small level of comfort, familiarity, and fun thanks in large part to the support of local donors and the Hawley Foundation.  Over the course of the 2015 summer, Wellspring staff worked with clients to send their children to a summer camp or recreational program as well as providing youth outings to local recreational services, and in some instances, daycare.  The staff were able to provide over 8 weeks of camp and 15 outings to 10 children.

Beyond providing a summer of fun, these programs are also a benefit to the parents, as they work to break free of domestic violence.  With this support, the parents are given a greater opportunity to become financially stable, to advance in their jobs so they can attain a living wage.  This livelihood is what provides the stability that keeps the family from returning to abuse—allowing them to build loving homes where children no longer live in fear.


About Wellspring

Wellspring provides hotline, emergency counseling, legal advocacy, comprehensive case management, support, information, and accompaniment during sexual assault forensic exams, and other service to more than 1,000 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault each year.  At Wellspring we believe that the best approach to ending interpersonal violence is prevention.  To help address this need, we invest in volunteers, prevention programs, and community outreach.  For more information, please contact our office at 518.583.0280.

Paws for Peace

This is my loveable boy Andy. He's hoping you and your pooch will join him for a walk on Saturday, September 26th in Saratoga Springs' Congress Park to raise awareness about Wellspring's Safe Pet Partnership. It's a family friendly event. Beginning at 10 am we'll have demonstrations about:

  • Walking your dog (rather than him walking you)
  • Lyme Disease
  • Holistic veterinary treatments
  • Doggie agility course
  • Search and rescue dog demonstrations
  • Blessing of the pets
... and $5 pawdicures (nail clipping).
At 11 am, pooches and humans will get a little exercise with a walk around the park (~1 mile).

Big and small... bring them all

The event is free to humans and $5 for pooches (they'll get some goodies for attending.) The proceeds benefit Wellspring's services to help all victims of domestic violence... including our furry, feathered and finned family members.

If you're sad because you don't have a pooch to accompany you, the Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be there with some pups  looking for their forever homes.

5th Annual Pooch Parade

Calling all pooches!!

Join us for the 5th Annual Pooch Parade
Saturday, September 269d27eb95-7130-40c5-97bf-09668b8b2508
Congress Park, Saratoga Springs
(We Will Gather by the War Memorial)
10:00 registration opens and activities start
11:00 blessing and walk start
$5/pooch (people are free)Events will include a blessing, photographer, agility course,
‘pawdicures’ (nail clippings), a dog behaviorist, and more!

Help us raise awareness of the connection between pet and family violence and support Wellspring’s (formerly DVRC) Safe Pet Partnership Program.

The Safe Pet Partnership Program assists victims of relationship violence who remain in their abusive environments because they don’t want to leave their pets behind. We do this by providing a resource network of kennels, rescue groups, farmers, and pet “foster homes” for safe, temporary placement.

Proceeds of the Pooch Parade support the Safe Pet Partnership – providing safe and loving homes for pets of those who need time to heal.

Register online Here.

 For more information, or to learn about how you can participate in Safe Pet Partnership, please contact our office by phone (583-0280) or email: info@wellspringcares.org

No Matter Your Major, This Lesson is Fundmental

Summer is over and the kids have headed back to school. For some that means the first ride on the school bus (and a day of hopeful anxiety for Mom and Dad until dinnertime when they hear all about new friends, teachers and the dreaded homework assignments.) Others parents may have may have dropped otheir teenager off to a campus in another state, living away  from home for the first time (and Mom and Dad will have an even longer period of hopeful anxiety until their son or daughter returns home at Thanksgiving a for a long overdue hug.)

Governor Cuomo's Enough is Enough campaign is working to reduce the frequency of one of college's common, but rarely discussed concerns during the first weeks on campus- sexual assault.  All schools in NYS are educating students about affirmative consent (the standard is no longer whether he/she said no... it's whether he or she said yes). Today's front page Saratogian article, The Talk is Now Part of the Curriculum describes the unique and  memorable ways colleges across the country are finding  to deliver this message (Would you like a cup of tea?

Locally Wellspring and Skidmore College are actively collaborating to increase awareness, to reduce sexual victimization, and to provide access to students who may require crisis or support services. We have an advocate on campus 3 days a week and our prevention educator will be conducting outreach and awareness initiatives weekly in various venues throughout the campus. 

Related Posts:

More Moxie

After my last blog post, I've had several questions about the Moxie Swap scheduled for April 16, 2016 and the Pay it Forward events that are happening now. So here's a video from Brandon Dewyea , who is the genius behind the Moxie Swap explaining it more.

In a nutshell, there are regular events where local business owners are inviting women to come for a ladies night out, to learn about the Moxie Swap and Wellspring, and to donate items for next April's event. I was at a wonderful event at Saratoga Tea and Honey last night- massages, essential oils, jewelry... and some great door prizes including yoga classes and an individual photo shoot with Deborah Neary. If  you're wondering about upcoming events visit the Moxie Swap event page

Clean Out Your Closet then Enjoy SomeTea and Honey

And if you've got some items in your closet that don't bring you joy anymore, bring them with you and donate them to a Moxie Swap (What's a Moxie Swap? Keep reading).

This Thursday, September 3rd, join  Wellspring for an empowering evening event at Saratoga Tea and Honey. We've got jewelry, massages, essential oils and, of course, delicious tea and honey. We'll also have an exhibit by Saratoga artist Deborah Neary whose specialty is photographing women in nature and capturing the essence of their strength, beauty and connection to the earth. Sound  interesting? Watch this interview with  Look TV's Jessie Jackson to learn more about the Woman in Nature exhibit, the event at Saratoga Tea and Honey, and laearn about Moxie Swap.

Please note the event at Saratoga Tea and Honey is a free to attend. Some of the services have a small fee.

A Play to Remind Us Why We Have Women’s Equality Day

Stopping by the League of Women Voters' table at the farmers' market last Saturday, I ran across some friends.  We started talking about how important it is to get the word out to vote. I've spoken with elder women I know who told me how important voting has always been to them. We tend to forget how hard our predecessors fought for the right to vote.


Well the League has a great way to help us remember... The Stone that Started the Ripple is a humorous yet historical representation of the return of the women who initiated the crusade for women's right to vote. Using their actual words from the 1800's, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Lucretia Mott offer commentary on the status of women's issues today. Written by local author, Pat Nugent.
All proceeds benefit the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County. One performance is being offered, on Wednesday, August 26th at 7 PM in Skidmore College’s Filene Hall.

David Cassidy…Deserving of Praise?

I serve on quite a few community coalitions that address issues affecting our youth and how to guide children, teens and young adults to make healthy decisions.  If you’ve been alive so long that  your memory has stored the Kodachrome images of childhood in frames nostalgically gilded with Huck Finn-like images of childhood innocence and  freedom from care… well I hate to burst your bubble, but your memory is playing tricks on you (and you probably need to go back and reread Mark Twain). The years of our youth are full of challenges, disappointments, tragedies, fears and betrayals; it’s those struggles that help us to become resilient, compassionate adults.

Often when adults question “How can we help kids to make better decisions?”, I think one simple response is to be aware of the messages we send them through our own actions. Kids learn much more by watching what we do than by listening to what we say. When my sons were teens they would roll their eyes as I imparted well-intentioned pearls of wisdom (teenage translation –Mom’s constantly nagging me about stuff I haven’t even done). Like most parents I thought my words fell on deaf ears. But my work on the Shenendehowa Community Coalition suggests otherwise. Time and time again students have told us (in interviews and anonymous surveys) that their parents are the top influence as they make decisions about using drugs or alcohol.

So last week I found one article about David Cassidy’s volunteerism at CAPTAIN’s summer lunch program really troubling. Glenn Griffith’scoverage of Cassidy’s mandatory community service gushed unabashedly about Cassidy’s generosity, humility and caring…. as well as his fame.  Cassidy has repeatedly driven drunk (a DUI in Florida followed by 2 DWIs within a six month period, one in California and one in NYS).  The repeat convictions for driving intoxicated raise questions about whether he takes any of this seriously (he reportedly even failed to attend a court date for the NYS arrest, instead choosing to spend the day at the track.)  I wish the man no ill and hope that the arrests have led him to evaluate his choices to get behind the wheel after drinking, but wonder what message we are sending to our youth with this public adoration of Cassidy’s community spirit, while downplaying the severity of the offense that prompted the community service. These are the same kids we’ll soon be talking to about the dangers of drunk driving. If community service and laudatory news articles are the only consequences they see, will they take us seriously when we explain the decision to drive drunk can be a life altering mistake?

I’d welcome an article about the really great work CAPTAIN does for kids every day… about their dedicated staff and passionate volunteers. Their summer lunch program served 1,700 lunches per week this summer at 12 sites throughout Saratoga County. Yes, you read that right-- 1,700 lunches each week! Any kid under 18 who needed a lunch got one, just for asking. If you think poverty, homelessness and hunger don't exist in Saratoga County, those numbers should get you thinking. These kids sit beside yours in schools all over the county. They play on the playground together. They study for the same math tests. And their families struggle to provide for the most basic needs. The challenges these families strive to overcome and the agencies like CAPTAIN who are working every day to help them---  that's what I find inspirational.

But Griffith’s front page news article lauding a ‘celebrity’ for mandated community service, sugarcoats the reality that drunk drivers cause accidents with tragic consequences. It also ignores the reality that a multiple drunk driving offender was sentenced to a $900 fine, 6 months' license suspension and community service. Let’s think about the messages we’re sending our community and our kids.   They are watching.

Parents’ Homework- Do You Know How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online?

It's never been easy keeping up with kids...and it's even harder keeping ahead of what they are learning.   When I was a kid,  the 'New Math' had parents mystified. My kids were learning to read with the 'Whole Language' method... which meant I wasn't supposed to correct them if they spelled cat,  "ket" , or I might extinguish their love of reading. Today's parents feel like they're always one step behind their kids with computers.  Just when they got Facebook figured out it's passé.

While I don't think new math or misspellings ever had dire consequences, predators do lurk on social media, so it's important that parents have the knowledge to monitor their kids' computer activities. The Saratoga Center for the Family is hosting a workshop, How predators use today's social media to lure teens into risky behavior. John Kelly, community educator for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and former Saratoga Springs police officer, will offer parents tips for keeping their children safe on line.