One of Dubuque's most popular breakfast spots is teaming up with a local organization in order to raise awareness and money to help survivors of sexual assault.

For the entire month of March, and even a couple weeks into April, Big Apple Bagels will be accepting donations to Riverview Center, a nonprofit agency that provides compassionate, individual-centered care for anyone affected by sexual assault. Riverview Center operates in both Iowa and Illinois, with their Dubuque office located on Elm Street.

Riverview Center works with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. They know better than anyone that there's no template you can hamfist on one person's experiences. Recovery looks and feels different for each individual. Sexual assault advocacy, in itself, has many dimensions.

Riverview Center prides themselves in assisting survivors by ways of "self-determination and autonomy, feeling heard and validated, and social support."

Both Judy of Big Apple Bagels and Courtney of Riverview Center stopped by the radio station to talk about their recent partnership, which comes a little more than a month out from one of Riverview's biggest events of the year. "Evening of Light" is set to take place on April 20th at Grand River Center from 5pm to 8:15pm. This year's event will feature keynote speaker Aly Raisman, an Olympic Gold Medalist who was a victim of sexual assault herself.

Courtney Chaffee, Director of Development and Public Relations at Riverview Center. Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Courtney Chaffee, Director of Development and Public Relations at Riverview Center. Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski

Riverview Center prides themselves on offering free support, regardless of gender identity and orientation, per the "Our History" tab on their website:

Our services are free regardless of biological sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, English proficiency, race and/or ethnicity, incarceration status, disability or background. Riverview Center is a safe space. Our services are available to anyone affected by these crimes and their non-offending family members.

In order to provide free services, Riverview Center relies on generous donations. Those visiting Big Apple Bagels for the remainder of March and the early part of April can simply drop their change into the "Tip" jar at the counter. All collected "tips" will go directly to Riverview Center, so they can continue supporting local survivors of sexual assault.

Learn more about all the phenomenal work Riverview Center does on their website. Learn about their Elm Street location in Dubuque here!

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