It takes more than dedicated staff to conduct the work of Catholic Charities. Volunteers, funders, donors, and other stakeholders all contribute to our success. One special donor, Denise, has dedicated her social security income to My Sisters’ Place for over 10 years!
Denise has a heart for people experiencing violence. When she began receiving a monthly stipend from social security, she decided to do something positive with the extra money. She originally planned to donate the funds for a year but has continued to do so for a decade.
My Sisters’ Place
My Sisters’ Place, our confidential domestic violence shelter, serves individuals and families fleeing violence. Families are housed in a private bedroom but share common living areas.
We provide safety planning, case management and skill/resource building to empower survivors to advocate for themselves and truly make a permanent change to their situation. In addition, we assist with after-care planning, employment, information and referral to transitional programs, affordable housing and furniture, food and other items.
Denise learned about My Sisters’ Place from a women’s group who did food drives. Once she began receiving social security, she decided to provide food herself. Each month, she would call the shelter, learn about their needs, go shopping and deliver the items.
In the beginning, their biggest need was often meat. Denise would buy meat, snacks for the kids and fresh fruit and vegetables. Cup of Soup is popular with the teenagers staying at the shelter as well. She likes to get the kids things that are easy to grab-and-go. That is especially nice for busy mornings when everyone is going to school and work.
Early on, Denise was sitting in the office doing paperwork when a mother and daughter came in. The little girl said, “Mom, it’s a grandma”. Her mother nodded. Denise said, “Do you need a grandma hug?” The little girl agreed and held on tight. The heartwarming thought still brings tears to Denise’s eyes.
Serving as a Family
Before the pandemic, Denise would visit the shelter and bring donations. Her husband even played Santa during the annual Christmas party at My Sisters’ Place.
The first time Santa walked in, a young girl ran up to him astonished. She threw her arms around him and said, “Oh Santa, you really came!”. She stood back, then hugged him again. Denise couldn’t stop crying.
Filling the Food Gap
After the pandemic set in, visitors and donations were discouraged for everyone’s safety. However, Denise continued to send money. She believes in the work.
Dawn Curtis, Senior Program Manager for My Sisters’ Place and Pathways Programs, greatly appreciates the contributions. “The donations help families at My Sisters’ Place by providing items that are not regularly on the list of items we get from the food bank.”
Denise and her donations make a difference for families enduring a difficult time. She has a passion for assisting clients and their children, and Denise is so appreciated.
Community members that are interested in donating to My Sisters’ Place can call the shelter for a list of needs, or check their Amazon Charity List.