House of Ruth

Donations Needed: Hair Care Products for African-American Women

Donations Needed: Hair Care Products for African-American Women

Our generous donors—donors just like you—often ask if we have any specific needs you can donate. Money is always a perfect fit, of course, but we do serve 90% African-American women, and many who wear their hair naturally have specific hair care needs. Specifically, we are looking for Shea Moisture Products for Hair [shampoo (women/kids), conditioner (women/kids), exfoliating pads, detangler conditioner and curling buttercream (for kids)]. For bath and body we are asking for Raw Shea Butter (face and body) bar soap, Raw Shea Butter and Mafura bar soap, and African Black soap body wash. Other brands are: Alikay Naturals, Carol’s Daughter, Alaffia, and Curls Dynasty.

We also always need laundry detergent as well as larger sizes (4-6!) diapers. 

For any additional information, reach out to Elizabeth Kiker at

Betty’s Story

Betty* is a 50-year-old woman who came to the Domestic Violence Support Center (DVSC) after being referred by the courts due to the physical abuse she experienced at the hands of an intimate partner. Betty’s DVSC counselor provided emotional support and a non-judgmental space for Betty to begin to explore her experiences of abuse in the relationship, and make a decision as to how to proceed. Through their sessions, Betty and her DVSC counselor began to explore patterns in her life and relationships, beginning from childhood, which had kept Betty in abusive relationships.

Thanks to these sessions, Betty was able to leave her abusive relationship and work towards stabilizing her life. She and her DVSC counselor continue to work together to help Betty increase her ability to notice red flags in relationships and practice setting boundaries with people in her life. Betty’s increased insight into her own patterns has allowed her to begin to navigate her life in a way that keeps her safe from potentially abusive individuals.

*Name has been changed

A Day in May Van Fundraiser Results

Thanks to the generosity of our community of supporters, House of Ruth successfully raised $16,560 from our “A Day in May” fundraising campaign for a new van!  

Thank you so much to everyone who gave! We truly appreciate the support to continue our life-changing work for the families that we serve.

Lorena’s Story

31-year-old Lorena* initially came to the Domestic Violence Support Center (DVSC) to work through a family crisis. After working consistently with her counselor and addressing her initial crisis and related distress, Lorena was able to use her counseling to look at much longer-standing issues that had afflicted her over her life, such as using overeating and working long hours to suppress strong emotions.

Now much more able to “sit with her feelings” rather than suppress them, Lorena has repeatedly expressed her gratitude for “finally getting the help I’ve needed all along.”

*Name has been changed.

Family Fun at House of Ruth

In April, the children at House of Ruth had a fun-filled day with a spring egg hunt on the grounds of the Families First I program. The kids and staff had a great time looking for (and hiding) the eggs. Check out some of the photos from the egg hunt below!

Honoring Women Who Make History through Music

Capital Harmonia — an amazing and beautiful choir, started in 2013 by two incredible women, Ellen Goldman and Mary Ann East — has performed at House of Ruth every year since it was founded. On May 1, 2022, Chief Development Officer Elizabeth Kiker was privileged to go to their annual concert (for the first time since 2020, which took place the weekend just before COVID shut everything down!).

The performance, as usual, focused on women composers and women musicians, and the pieces were sung by a beautiful 12-person choir. House of Ruth was recognized for our long-partnership with Capital Harmonia, and it was great to be together again!

Shimmy Mob DC Returns to Freedom Plaza

Written by Sha’vei, Team Leader of Shimmy Mob – Washington, DC (local flash mob belly dance troupe)

Let the shimmies resume — DC’s own belly dancing flash mob returned to Freedom Plaza on May 14.

Since 2014, Shimmy Mob DC, the city’s representative in the global effort to end domestic violence, has been one of House of Ruth’s annual partners to raise money through their May performance and fundraiser.

After a two-year absence due to COVID restrictions, this unique dance team will resume its live performances in downtown Washington, DC on World Bellydance day.

“It’s been a very rough time for everybody in general,” says team leader Sha’vei. “We are really excited for this year because for the past two years we’ve had to do video performances online. It’s great to be able to still participate in a manner of speaking, but nothing is better than being in front of a live audience. We continue our fundraising efforts for House of Ruth to support all its good works. It will be our ninth year this year!”

Shimmy Mob DC is one of over 200 teams globally that raise money for their local domestic crisis centers and their awareness programs. Headquartered in Canada, Shimmy Mob was started by Sabeya in 2011 and celebrated its 10th year during the COVID lockdown.

“It’s an absolute miracle that something like this has survived when so many things were shut down. It’s always good to be a part of a good cause but to also be a part of an effort that has had to endure such hardship as we all have and come out the better end of it is truly a blessing,” says Sha’vei.

Be sure to visit to learn more about Shimmy Mob and what they do. On behalf of the staff, women and families at House of Ruth, we are so thankful for Shimmy Mob DC’s support!

Opening to Volunteers Again!

House of Ruth is starting to open up to vaccinated volunteers; and perhaps that is you? Right now, we are in need of individuals or groups that can help with:

  • Arts & Crafts (for example: teaching a class on knitting, crocheting, or hosting a Paint & Sip (with juice/soda to sip!))
  • Computer skills–teaching the clients how to create emails, navigate simple computer tasks
  • Job Readiness (resume writing, interviewing skills, how to keep employment once you are hired)
  • Self-Care activities
  • Motivational Speakers
  • Attorneys that can give general advice on custody issues
  • Attorneys that can give general advice on end-of-life issues

We are ready to accept in-person volunteers; the weekdays (mornings in particular) are when we hold most of our group classes. If you know someone, or if you would like to volunteer yourself, contact Elizabeth Kiker at or call 202-597-5803.

Please Join Us: House of Ruth Virtual Open House

On March 18th at 11 am, we will be holding a virtual open house session about the various housing programs and services offered at House of Ruth. We’ll be providing information on the admissions process to our family and single housing programs, as well as an overview of the Domestic Violence Support Center and our therapeutic child care center, Kidspace.

If you would like to attend, please contact Olaide Adebisi at 202-667-7001 ext. 320, or email We hope you join us!


Natalie’s Story

45-year-old Natalie* came to the Domestic Violence Support Center (DVSC) to address post-traumatic stress in the aftermath of a highly abusive marriage. Over the course of her therapy, she was able to not only reduce her trauma symptoms according to assessment tools used by the DVSC, but she also began to address longer-standing issues that made her vulnerable to entering relationships with violent men.

Today, Natalie is feeling much more confident about herself, her life, and the prospect of enjoying positive future relationships.

*Name has been changed.