We need more people like this in the world

We need more people like this in the world

An incredible moving company in California helps victims of domestic violence by moving their belongings at no charge. After starting the company with his brother 18 years ago, owner Aaron Steed was at first surprised by the calls: “I’d periodically get calls from someone — usually a woman — fleeing an abusive relationship. There were a lot of intense moments and crying… I remember the conversations pretty vividly and feeling a tremendous amount of panic and sadness. Handling those phone calls made it very real very quick. As the jobs went on, we realized we were potentially saving lives.” After recognizing the scale of the need and unwilling to take money from people in such distress, the brothers decided to make free moving services for people fleeing violent situations a company policy.An incredible moving company in California helps victims of domestic violence by moving their belongings at no charge. After starting the company with his brother 18 years ago, owner Aaron Steed was at first surprised by the calls: “I’d periodically get calls from someone — usually a woman — fleeing an abusive relationship. There were a lot of intense moments and crying… I remember the conversations pretty vividly and feeling a tremendous amount of panic and sadness. Handling those phone calls made it very real very quick. As the jobs went on, we realized we were potentially saving lives.” After recognizing the scale of the need and unwilling to take money from people in such distress, the brothers decided to make free moving services for people fleeing violent situations a company policy.

The company, Meathead Movers, primarily employs student athletes and works with local domestic violence shelters to ensure that all movers are trained to handle the tense situations they may encounter during a move. One mover, AJ Clarey, described helping a woman move from the same San Luis Obispo County town where he grew up: “That hit home for me. The shelter she was working with contacted us and we discreetly set up the move. When we showed up, she had everything packed. We moved her items from one side of the county across to the other. When we finished, she was literally in tears. Without our help she wouldn’t have been able to pay to get her stuff moved. We got her into a safe place with her children.”

Such experiences, Steed believes, are important for his young employees and their understanding of domestic violence. “As I get older, I can’t help but really value and appreciate more and more the tone this sets for my employees who are involved in actually moving these victims,” he reflects. “I can’t help but think and hope that it changes their perception of themselves and their ability to have a major impact to do something that can really help someone in need.”

As for the survivors themselves, Meathead Movers’ rapid and discreet service has been invaluable. “They’re wonderful, sensitive, caring and enthusiastic,” says Kathleen Buczko, executive director of Good Shepherd Shelter, a refuge for homeless women and children in Los Angeles. “They help turn something that had been associated with something that was so incredibly traumatic into a celebration of moving to their new homes and to a new life.”

For those who would like to help, the company asks supporters to donate to domestic violence shelters in their own communities — you can find listings for US shelters (https://www.domesticshelters.org/) and for shelters around the world (http://www.hotpeachpages.net/). They also encourage other business owners to get involved in helping end domestic violence at http://www.meatheadmovers.com/pledge/

To read more about the compassionate movers of Meathead Movers in the LA Times, visit http://lat.ms/1TZdG9l

For stories of girls and women experiencing and overcoming abuse and violence in their lives — which offer a helpful way to talk to young people about the widespread problem of violence against women — visit our “Abuse & Violence” book section atamgrl.co/1lQzaJG

To help your Mighty Girl learn how to build supportive, mutually respectful relationships, there is an excellent guide that provides foundational advice on approaching relationships in a healthy manner, “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Boys,” for girls 9 to 13http://www.amightygirl.com/a-smart-girl-s-guide-to-boys

For LQBTQ youth seeking relationship guidance, we recommend “Queer” for ages 13 and up at http://www.amightygirl.com/queer

If you’re a parent concerned that your daughter may be in an unhealthy relationship, check out the books “But I Love Him: Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Relationships” (http://www.amightygirl.com/but-i-love-him) and “Saving Beauty From The Beast: How to Protect Your Daughter from an Unhealthy Relationship” (http://www.amightygirl.com/saving-beauty-from-the-beast).

And, for books for children and teens about the power of kindness to change the world, visit our “Kindness & Compassion” section at http://amgrl.co/1JIHLCr

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