CHICAGO (CBS) — On Valentine’s Day, many happy couples celebrate with flowers.

But for domestic violence survivors, like Sarah, it’s a painful day.

She lives in the western suburbs.

And along with the help of friends and her church, Sarah brightened the day for 150 women living in shelters.

At an area Costco, Sarah helps to load large pushcarts filled with buckets of red roses.

The containers are then loaded into an SUV before they arrive at a home where they’re sorted on a kitchen counter.

One volunteer fills up vases with water while Sarah directs the others to put cards in each set of roses.

“There was a lot of hard work put into this by my friends,” says Sarah.

“There’s a lot of heightened emotions on holidays, especially Valentine’s Day in areas of self-worth,” says Sarah. “Hopefully this will be a complete surprise to them and will help to lift their spirits enough for one day and maybe plant a seed for down the road.”

“I think the most important thing that Sarah has been able to provide is hope,” says violence survivor Judie Caribeaux with Family Shelter Service. “And I think that’s extremely important.”

“What I would like to see between now and next Valentine’s Day is that all domestic violence goes away. That we would like to be out of business,” says Rebecca Darr, CEO of WINGS, a domestic violence advocacy organization. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if domestic violence shelters didn’t need to exist because domestic violence had stopped.”

Each of the women receive a dozen roses, candy, cards, a supply kit and two poems with the theme “Still I Rise.”

 

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