The Retreat’s Loretta Davis Reflects on Hope, Kindness and Survival

The Retreat Executive Director Loretta Davis, Photo: Barbara Lassen
The Retreat Executive Director Loretta Davis, Photo: Barbara Lassen

When times are as troubling and unpredictable as they are now, it’s vital that we focus on the positive. It doesn’t have to be some overarching silver lining; it could simply be the memory of a small moment that put a smile on our face. We reached out to our readers and people doing good work on the East End to ask that they share one such memory. Loretta Davis, Executive Director of The Retreat, a safe haven for members of our community faced with domestic violence and sexual assault, shares a brief moment that made her reflect on hope, kindness and survival.

I was recently outside, in line for the bank, when an elderly man approached the bank with a big jar full of coins. He jumped the line, and shockingly, nobody said anything. On his own, he realized that he had not noticed that we were all waiting to enter, and he moved to the back of line. You could see he was in such a good mood. He smiled. He had so much joy for what he had. Honestly, seeing him made me feel gratitude, with a sense of disparity. We do not have to dig too deep to see how much we have.

There have been so many acts of kindness, big and small, during these past months. People are surviving, being resourceful, and they are helping others who need help to survive—including survivors of domestic violence who are trapped at home.

The man with all of the coins reminded me that there is hope. He also inspired that hope in me, and reminded me to be resourceful and thankful for all the acts of kindness and generosity towards survivors of domestic violence. Because of these acts of giving, survivors have been able to leave abusive situations and receive basic needs like food, medicine, a roof over their heads and services, so they can heal and live independent, sustainable lives. I will never forget the image of that man standing there with his treasure.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault, call The Retreat hotline at 631-329-2200 for help, or visit for more information.

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