2012-03-08 / Local & State

WIN Continues Fundraising For New Domestic Violence Shelter

Close to breaking ground
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

“We’re still plugging away,” said Eric Williams of the ongoing fundraiser by Women In Need to construct a new shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Joined by Deborah Ott from the WIN Board of Directors and Fulton County Steering Committee member Mary Lou Eisenhower, Williams told the “News” Friday the organization’s fundraising efforts have garnered around $1.2 million due to generous donors in both Fulton and Franklin counties.

Early last summer WIN officials announced they would break ground once half of the funding for the $3.35 million facility is raised. Therefore, Williams, WIN’s Fulton County services manager, happily noted they are only $400,000 away from this achievable goal.

“We know that once the dirt is turned over with a shovel, it’s more than information in a presentation packet,” said Ott.

Referring to a fundraising packet that has been circulating throughout the two-county area, WIN outlines in the document the new shelter would solve security issues for victims and staff by consolidating multiple facilities into one central location. To be constructed within the limits of Chambersburg Borough, the 11,000-square-foot shelter and advocacy center would increase living space to accommodate 24 individuals. That number is double the 12 victims and family members it can currently house. The average length of a stay is 30 days.

In 2010-11, WIN serviced a total of 316 Fulton County victims and their families. In addition, their advocacy and counseling unit provided 1,767 hours of service and offered 461 days of safe housing to nine women and 20 children.

Looking at statistics in the county, Williams stated domestic violence continues to be a health issue for not only women and children, but men as well. Existing regardless of age, color or social status, the issue brings to the forefront that people are being hurt and domestic violence is no longer an out-of-sight, out-ofmind issue.

“People who go to this shelter are often in a life or death situation … a critical point,” said Eisenhower, stressing the enhanced security this shelter will bring to victims. “There is more awareness of this issue today. WIN is helping get the message out there. The awareness factor is just as important as any money raised.”

Statistics further show 261 calls were made from Fulton County residents to WIN’s 24- hour hotline, while legal counsel aided 31 new clients here. Volunteer hours donated to the organization by local volunteers tallied 552 hours, but Williams is hopeful those numbers will increase through this fundraiser.

“We invite people here to get involved. We need people who know the community and would like to knock on doors and spread the word,” Williams stated.

“We would also like to reiterate the fact this is a joint project. It’s not just about Franklin County,” added Ott. “… Taking a look at WIN’s programs and the per-capita numbers, Fulton County is very well represented by our organization. We need people involved who are the heart of Fulton County.”

In addition to expanding their volunteer base, Williams pointed out donations are also being sought on a local level, whether it be from churches, businesses or concerned residents. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated and can be made in a lump sum or through a pay-down method over a several-year period.

Ott noted, “It doesn’t have to be a big check. When you multiply it out, it all adds up.”

All donations to WIN’s shelter project are tax-deductible and can be made “in honor” or “in memory” of a friend or family member. A five-year pledge period has been established to meet all donor needs. Donations can be sent directly to Women In Need, Confidential:Capital Campaign, P.O. Box 25, Chambersburg, PA 17201.

More information on WIN can be obtained online at www.winservices.org or by calling 717-264- 3056.

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