The Sun Shines on the Journey of Hope in Gainesville, Florida

On Oct. 14, the Journey of Hope bus rolled into the 31st Downtown Festival and Art Show in Gainesville, FL., pulling to a stop amongst crowds browsing through vendor stands, enjoying local works of art and listening to live music.

More than 1,000 people gathered at the festival in Gainesville, stopping by the Journey of Hope bus to show their support for domestic violence awareness and donate a no-longer-used cell phone. More than 150 phones were collected and donated to HopeLine to be turned into support for domestic violence victims and survivors. Passersby stopped to spin the Wheel of Hope and record new entries on the Wall of Hope, pinning messages of inspiration.

The number of festival attendees who stopped by the bus to engage in discussions with one another was heartwarming. Even more startling was the number of people who have personally experienced domestic violence in their lives. With one in four women and one in seven men suffering from this epidemic, it is sadly not uncommon to come across those who have been affected.

Next stop – Columbia, Mo. Track the bus at @VZWCameka to get the buzz on the journey.