Heartly House, an organization that provides services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and child abuse, announced a new fundraising effort Tuesday that aims to bolster its ability to serve the Frederick community for years to come.

Members of the Healing Hearts Circle will make a pledge to donate $5,000 or more during the next five years, according to a press release from the nonprofit. Already, 25 people have taken the pledge, and the organization hopes to ultimately increase this number to 100.

The Healing Hearts Circle initiative replaces the annual gala that Heartly House has previously hosted, allowing the organization to eliminate the costs associated with organizing the event and instead use all donations to further its mission of providing safety, shelter and supportive services to survivors, according to the press release.

The organization will use the dollars brought in by the circle where they are most needed. Heartly House receives much of its funding from grants, which dictate a specific way that the money should be used.

The circle is starting at a time when the organization’s services are needed more than ever. Last year, according to the release, Heartly House saw a 33 percent increase in first-time clients of intimate partner violence, human trafficking and child abuse compared to 2019 and a 13 percent increase in the number of calls to its 24-hour hotline.

“Heartly House’s ability to be a beacon of light for so many depends on the foundation on which they can stand. Being part of the Healing Hearts Circle is a way that we can help strengthen that foundation,” Robin and Mark Meister, Healing Hearts Circle's founding members, said in the release.

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier

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