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Group collecting clothes for survivors of sexual assault

Posted at 11:27 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 23:27:13-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- A group in Seminole Heights is helping survivors of sexual assault by donating new and unused clothes to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

The Disco Dolls Studio, located at 4632 North Florida Avenue, is one of three drop-off sites taking in donations through March 16.

"Clothes are so important, like they’re our armor," said owner Leigh Anne Balzekas. "If we can make them feel a little more comfortable so that’s great."

The online group Ladies Heights Happy Hour is behind the donation drive, organized by Ellie Baggett.

"We can see an issue and we have so much compassion that we can come together and say I can fix that," said Baggett. "If you want to make a difference, be part of that difference."

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay serves about 350 sexual assault survivors every year.

Those survivors are in need after an attack as their clothes are kept as evidence.

Survivors can pick out clothes free of charge at the Crisis Center's closet.

"It feels good for them to be able to go home in new clothes and feel fresh and clean," said Jessica Pinto. "It’s kind of a physical sign that they’ve moved on from the violence that happened."

The Ladies Heights Happy Hour group is also raising money for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The group has received $700 in donations and is working toward its $1,000 goal.

You can drop off new or unused clothes at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, located at 1 Crisis Center Plaza in Tampa.

Donations can also be taken to Valhalla Resale and the Seminole Heights Athletic Center.