Ring out domestic violence, ring in
the new year with renewed hope
By Kacie Reese
Jan. 25, 2018
SPRING CITY—Spreading goodwill and cheer to all in December and starting a new year fresh full of hope means a great deal, especially to those who are hurting.
And in recent weeks, some of those who are hurting among us have been helped by people in the county who have supported a foundation established last year—the Kammy Mae Foundation.
Tammy Coates of Spring City is the founder of the foundation which is dedicated to bringing awareness about domestic violence. Coates is the mother of Kammy Mae Edmunds who died allegedly of domestic violence in March 2017.
During the first 20 days of December, the foundation invited residents of Sanpete County to donate essential items to the New Horizons Crisis Center in Richfield, which serves those who are hurting, especially those who have experienced domestic and sexual abuse.
The shelter is highly dependent on donations essential for someone to start a new life—such as clothes, shoes, blankets, pots, pans and dishes.
“I am so grateful to all of those who donated and to the volunteers that helped me gather up the donations and deliver them,” said Coates.
Donations from all across the county came rolling in, some from as far as Nephi, Santaquin and Payson—including new fleece blankets, clothes, shoes, coats and comforters. On Dec. 21, volunteers loaded the donations into a large enclosed trailer.
Coates described the trailer as “packed to the top and shoved in tight to get the doors to shut.”
Even Sophya Lopez, young daughter of the late Kammy Mae Edmunds, could be seen helping pack the bags for the donation drive.
Renae Busk, manager of the New Horizons Crisis Center, was surprised and grateful at how many donations were brought in: “There was probably over a 100 bags. I was surprised, but really grateful, I mean, right at Christmas time. That was awesome.”
The shelter, which serves five counties, sorted the donations by size, age, gender and other categories and placed them in what they call the big donation gym, where those in need can come through and gather up what they need to take with them.
It was a Christmas miracle at the shelter.
On New Year’s Eve, the Kammy Mae Foundation made another effort to bring awareness concerning domestic violence by setting off purple sky lanterns in 18 states across the country.
“We set them off on New Year’s Eve,” Coates explained, “to bring in the New Year, showing our stand against domestic violence and our commitment to do everything possible to stop the violence.”
Coates added, “We need to keep the awareness going. The victims need to know they have help and that they are someone, that we care.” They also need to know “they are loved and needed and do not have to take it.”
She said the perpetrators of domestic violence “need to know we’re watching them, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
Coates also encouraged people to “watch out for each other, and if you think you know someone that is being abused, seek help in getting them out.”
After Kammy Mae Edmunds’ funeral, Coates said to the Messenger: “My daughter did not die in vain. She’s not going to be silenced by this. We are going to be her voice.”
Coates and others who have joined her foundation’s efforts are now the voice of her deceased daughter, Kammy Mae. She encourages people to end the silence related to domestic violence.
She vowed, “I’m not letting this happen to someone else if I can stop it.”