Dear NOVA Friends,

As we gather during this festive season, let's reflect on the spirit of joy, gratitude, and responsibility. December not only marks a time for celebration, but also brings a crucial focus on safe driving. It is National Impaired Driving Prevention month. Our commitment to safety is unwavering, and in this month dedicated to awareness, let’s champion the cause of safe celebrations, encouraging everyone to plan ahead and make responsible choices.

In the spirit of giving, let's gift each other the assurance of a safer community. Explore the insightful articles in this newsletter, each designed to empower and inform. Together, let's make a difference and ensure the holiday season is marked by warmth, compassion, and a commitment to keeping our roads safe.

Wishing you all a joyous and safe holiday season.

The Role of the DUI Victim Advocate

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. During December, more than any other month of the year, there is an increase in fatalities involving alcohol or drug impaired drivers as more people are travelling and attending events where alcohol is served for the holidays.

While prevention education is the key to decreasing alcohol and drug impaired driving by raising awareness and promoting things such as planning ahead, calling for a ride when impaired, only driving when sober and helping friends and loved ones do the same, unfortunately more than 10,000 Americans die every year in these preventable accidents and thousands more are injured. 

For those individuals or families who have been the victims of a DUI related accident, NOVA has a DUI Victim Advocate who is here to help. This specialty position within our Advocacy Department works with victims of DUI crimes and their families by providing support and acting as the liaison between victims and their families and the criminal justice system in Bucks County.  

The DUI Victim Advocate’s work could include attending police interviews or meetings with law enforcement, being present at court hearings with victims and/or their family members, assisting with filing for victim compensation, and advocating on the victim’s behalf with the District Attorney’s Office and other community partners. The DUI Victim Advocate also assists the victims in writing victim impact statements, making claims for restitution, and often acts as an emotional support, as DUI crimes can take a huge emotional and financial toll on the victim and/or their family. 

Please click here for more information about National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a DUI related accident or other crime, help is available 24/7 by contacting NOVA’s Helpline at 1-800-675-6900.

Coping with the holidays when you or someone you know is a victim or survivor of crime 

The holiday season may seem like a time for family, joy, and happiness. Not everyone views this time of year in the same light. There are people going through some of the hardest times of their lives, whether it’s navigating the healing process as a victim of a crime, or having a loved one who is dealing with some trauma. It’s imperative to keep this in mind as you interact with others this season.

There are ways to help cope with this time of year. Having a plan as the holidays near can mitigate a lot of these negative reactions:

Change Traditions

Decide which traditions to keep, and which to let go. Some plans may need to be altered to accommodate the needs/requests of victims or yourself. Keep in mind the physical needs of those who may have acquired a disability as a result of victimization.

Create a Special Tribute (if coping with a holiday without a person)

There are ways to honor the memory of a loved one who has died. Candles can be lit, a space at the table can be left, flowers can be placed somewhere, or a special dish can be prepared. Special memories of that person can be shared openly or written down.

Consider Carefully Where to Spend the Holidays

Surround yourself with friends and family who support and encourage you. If you are that friend and/or family member, be sure not to tell anyone how they should feel or state that you “understand” how they feel. Just be there, for whatever they need: a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or just some company.

Counter the Conspiracy of Silence

Family members may consciously or unconsciously conspire to avoid mentioning the tragedy in your family. This is usually a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to protect your feelings. If this seems to be happening, take the initiative and talk to your family about the importance of talking openly about what has happened and sharing your feelings. Also, don’t be afraid to give yourself a “time out” or break from the discussion, if needed.

Protect Your Health

Eat healthy food and avoid over-indulging in sweets. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol. Take a multivitamin. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

Make Plans

Predictability can help to decrease anxiety. However, be sure to set boundaries and take some time for yourself if you need it. 

Take Time for Self-Awareness

Notice how you feel and what you need in the moment and find a safe place or person.  

For more tips and information about coping with the holidays when you or someone you love is a victim or survivor of crime, please click here.

Karen Matthews, DUI Victim Advocate

What is your role with NOVA? 

DUI Victim Advocate 

How long have you been with NOVA? 

2.5 years

What is your favorite part about working/volunteering at NOVA? 

I have always loved helping others in various ways and NOVA gives me the perfect opportunity to do so. Although it can be difficult, it's also very rewarding being able to help a vulnerable population, even if in small ways, to feel empowered, safe, and cared for. 

How do you support NOVA's mission in your role? 

I support and empower victims of crime by being empathetic, professional, kind, and understanding when servicing our community members that have experienced something awful. It is also important to do our best in trying to prevent crime in our community by forming professional relationships and getting involved in community activities, building trust and safety. 

We appreciate your dedication to serving victims of crime!

Pearl S. Buck Festival of Trees

November 5 to January 7

The Festival of Trees House Tours located at the Pearl S. Buck House will be open to the public from 11/15 to 1/7. Stop by to see NOVA's tree located by the library stairs that honors our work serving victims in Bucks County for the past 50 years. Learn more here.

A Starlit Evening: 50th Gala

April 19, 2024

On Friday, April 19, NOVA will host A Starlit Evening from 6 pm to 10 pm at a new location: Spring Mill Manor. Enjoy a fun-packed evening as we honor NOVA’s 50th anniversary and all of the staff, volunteers, partners and donors that have made us who we are today, while we raise funds to support our continuum of programs that make NOVA a leader across the region in victim services and violence prevention education.

Learn More & Purchase Tickets

Holiday Office Closures

NOVA's offices will close for the Christmas holiday on Monday, December 25th, as well as on Monday, January 1st for New Year's Day.

NOVA Thrift Shop will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Sunday, December 24th and Monday, December 25th. They will reopen at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 26th. NOVA Thrift Shop will also be closed on Monday, January 1st in observance of New Year's Day.

NOVA's 24/7 Helpline is always available at 1-800-675-6900.

The Impact Your Life Can Have: Planned Giving

Planning to Make a Difference is for Everyone – at Every Age! 

NOVA’s Training Institute Coordinator Jamie Pfister has worked at NOVA for almost 3 years. She talked with us about why she decided to make a will, and why giving to NOVA in her estate plan is important to her. 

“At the beginning of this year, my best friend took a trip abroad, and before doing so, she made a will. It hit me that I needed to get serious about ‘adulting.’ The wake-up call, however, came in August through an email from NOVA (in celebration of National Make a Will Month); sometimes, we need reminders to point us in the right direction. I followed the link from the email and the process was surprisingly quick—less than 20 minutes! Since I have worked in non-profits my whole life, it was important for me to include NOVA in my will, and to be a part of a long-lasting legacy. It is critical to proactively plan for what you care about in advance. Plus, it is not forever - you can and should update your will as your life changes.” 

If you or your financial advisor would like more information on how to make a lasting difference through your estate plan, we’d like to help! Please reach out to Michelle Cash, Development Director at [email protected] or by phone at 215-343-6543, extension 6602.

On November 7th, NOVA staff gathered for our annual staff retreat! It was a jam-packed day of team building, laughter, and creating memories that will power us through the year ahead.

The NOVA Training Institute hosted an impactful workshop unveiling our new Pediatric Forensic Exam services to NOVA staff, volunteers, and community partners.

NOVA unveiled our 50th Anniversary themed Christmas tree at the Pearl S. Buck Annual Festival of Trees. See details in the Events section and stop by to see it in person!

On November 30th, supporters gathered from near and far at AAOTE's Gallery Showroom for the NOVA fundraiser, supporting local artists and making a meaningful impact with 20% of showroom sales donated to NOVA.

NOVA staff gathered on December 1st for our annual Holiday Luncheon, spreading holiday cheer and good eats with our fantastic team at Giuseppe's Pizza!

"Words can't express how fortunate I feel because of the help I received... NOVA turned an unfortunate event into an outcome I would never have expected. I am mentally and emotionally stronger than I ever was."

-NOVA Client

NOVA welcomes new Director of Forensic & Crisis Response Services

NOVA welcomed Melany Nelson as its new director of forensic & crisis response services.

Read More

The Tea Can Company

NOVA and The Tea Can Company formed a friendship in 2020 when Donna McCafferty and her “tea team” made a donation to our annual auction to help raise funds to support NOVA’s programs and services. Since then, The Tea Can Company has continued to support NOVA with in-kind donations for our fundraising events and we have partnered with them to create favors for attendees of the auction and holiday gifts for our incredible direct service volunteers. Most recently, Donna came to our annual staff retreat and provided staff with an overview of the benefits of tea, hosted a tea sampling, and provided staff with a beautiful tin of tea – each flavor intentionally selected by Donna and her team to provide the NOVA staff with varieties and flavors that would best support their wellbeing.

The Tea Can Company, located in Pipersville, sells more than 40 flavors of all-natural and organic high-quality teas and herbal blends perfect for the tea enthusiast or tea novice. They offer a variety of tea gifts perfect for the holidays or any special occasion. Check them out at

We are so grateful for our friendship with The Tea Can Company.

Thank you for being a Voice Against Violence and supporting NOVA's work in our community.

Whether you donate an item from NOVA's wish list, funds, or your time, know you are making a difference. | 24-7 Helpline: 1-800-675-6900

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