This is Healing Hearts of Rutherford
by Jennifer Ersalesi
Hearts and hands matter when it comes to supporting those in our community. “I have hands, I can do things. I am always willing to give back,” Beth Toole, Rutherford Resident and a good friend of the Hild family explained. When her close friend, Donna Hild’s daughter, was brutally stabbed just two doors down from her very own house, she knew that not only was she affected tremendously, but the community of Rutherford at large was concerned and wanted to help. Beth Toole told “This is Rutherford” more about how she is helping her friends and other victims of violence.
TIR: After seeing a local need to support victims of violence, you and many other people from our town and neighboring towns came together to create “Healing Hearts of Rutherford”. Tell us more about this organization.
BT: When something like this happens, you realize that although this is our quiet, safe town, bad things happen here too. We can’t escape it. So many of us, including many members of the Elks Club (of which both Donna Hild and myself are members) came up with this non-profit organization. I had never created a non-profit organization and I had to speak with people who knew how to start one. I don’t know everything, that’s for sure and although I have volunteered and had positions on many Boards in town, I knew this required a major team effort. So many people, with so many talents, have come together to support this organization.
TIR: Victims of abuse are definitely in need of emotional and physical support, but what are some of the other ways people can assist victims and their families?
BT: When the Hild family was first dealing with this horrific attack, groups such as the Girl Scouts, other community groups and neighbors were supporting them by bringing meals. They truly appreciated the outpouring of love and generosity. Then as time went on, it became clear that medical expenses were going to be an issue. We need to assist victims of abuse financially too. There are medical bills, legal expenses, etc. and those can be overwhelming, especially while dealing with the emotional impact of violent attacks.
TIR: The Hild family received support from the Girl Scouts, school PTA’s, as well as other groups. Our town is typically very supportive and generous, however, it helped that many people in town know the Hild family. How has the Hild family given back to their community?
BT: The women in the Hild family have always been actively involved in the Girl Scouts. Donna is an active member of the Elks Club. She has been involved in so many other groups, such as the PTA, etc. Rick is the Park Ranger in town. He is the guy you can count on to get the fields ready for sports and events in town.
TIR: On April 13th, the Healing Hearts of Rutherford will be holding a fundraiser at the Elks Club. It will be an awesome way to raise money for the Hild Family. What can you tell us about the event?
BT: EVERYTHING has been donated for this event. It is amazing. People are willing to do whatever they can to make this a success. We want to pull together an event that is very different than other events in town. The Elks have donated the entire building. We will have so many fun things for people to do at the event and all the food has been donated and will be set up butler style. Members of the Hild family are volunteering their time and efforts, as well. Even though we have not officially gotten the word out across town, we have already had a great response. People are excited about attending the event and supporting the Hild family.