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"The Refuge" Thanks Supporters
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

September 21--  Since it opened six years ago, The Refuge Domestic Violence Shelter in Toombs County has helped over 1,500 women deal with family violence. At the same time, over 1,400 of their children have been helped.

Tuesday leaders of the shelter thanked members of the community who most recently helped build a $100,000 addition which is used by youngsters and teenagers.  Refuge board chairperson Karen Brantely says, "This isn't a room which was built just for recreation, but we've found that as we interact with the children, they begin to trust our staff and open up so we can minister to them."

Chairperson Brantley Passes Out Thanks and Plaques

Image  Vickie McKee is thanked for helping start The Refuge

Image  The Sweet Onion Classic donated funds to help built the youth room.  Representing the board (L-R) are Wendell Dixon, Otha Dixon, Loyd Mobley and Kendall Palmer.

Image Susan Murray (L) took the lead along with Bucky Kennedy in raising funds as a project of Leadership Toombs-Montgomery alumni.

ImageJudy Googe and her son, Chris, donated $30,000 to the building fund in memory of their late husband and father Michael Googe who mentored youth at The Refuge.

ImageMarsha and Dent Temples were enthusiastic supporters and workers on behalf of the new addition.

Fred Bacon from Harry Moses Construction, which built the new room, credited 14 volunteers for donating labor for two days when the project started to save on costs.

Brantley helped found "The Refuge" in June, 2004 and believes it is making a difference in its five-county service area.  "We see lives changed.  We see people who become whole.  Our goal here is to take the women and children from victims to survivors to overcomers.  We don't want them to just survive it.  We want them to overcome it with strength and joy and purpose for the rest of their lives," she says.

A plaque hanging in the new addition is in memory of Allison Nicole Orvin who was killed by her husband.  Allison was a student at STC and her classmates donated money in her name.  Brantley says her case shows how serious domestic violence can be and she urges other women to get help.

"You do not have to come in shelter to get help from The Refuge.  We will help anyone who is in domestic viiolence or who has been sexually assaulted.  A lot of people need to come in shelter, but some have other avenues, and we can still help with safety plans and tell you ways to deal with situations to keep yourself strong.  We encourage people who are in danger to leave, but that is not predicated on us giving you help and services," Brantley reports.

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