2012-10-04 / Front Page

Sorority,Women In Need Join Forces To Fight Domestic Violence

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz


Eric Williams, manager for Women In Need’s Fulton County office, poses with Precepter Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi members, front row, left to right: Eelice Gantz, Amy Hill; back row: Nancy Younker, Judy Eisaman, Anna Maye Sigel and Bonnie Flook. The groups are working collaboratively to help increase awareness about abuse locally and will be accepting food and toiletry donations across the county for abuse victims. Eric Williams, manager for Women In Need’s Fulton County office, poses with Precepter Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi members, front row, left to right: Eelice Gantz, Amy Hill; back row: Nancy Younker, Judy Eisaman, Anna Maye Sigel and Bonnie Flook. The groups are working collaboratively to help increase awareness about abuse locally and will be accepting food and toiletry donations across the county for abuse victims. NEWS EDITOR

After having recently learned about the organization Women In Need, sisters from the Precepter Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi are moving forward with their plans to launch a yearlong campaign to promote WIN’s free services for local victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Local Preceptor Gamma Pi Chapter Vice President Anna Maye Sigel and fellow members heard about the worthy organization and its variety of services during a presentation by WIN Fulton County services manager Eric Williams. Since then, the women’s interest in WIN has blossomed and chapter members are jumping at the chance to be involved in the two-part campaign, Sigel said.

As part of the campaign process, the sorority will be gathering items that will potentially be used by victims getting out of an abusive relationship. According to Williams, oftentimes victims leaving an abusive spouse or significant other are moving on “quickly” and without “bread and butter” items to restart their life.

“Usually these individuals are more concerned about their own safety,” said Williams, who added abuse is not just limited to physical violence but also includes economic abuse, isolation, emotional abuse, intimidation, and coercion and threats.

At this time, Precepter Gamma Pi is accepting food donations of canned vegetables and fruit, pizza and spaghetti sauce, boxed meals such as Hamburger Helper, peanut butter, condiments, cake and brownie mixes, snack food, pasta, tea and coffee, bottled water and juice. Paper goods and toiletry items are also being accepted such as toilet paper, kleenex, deodorant, hand soap, paper towels, napkins and paper plates.

Cash donations, cellphones and gift cards will also be accepted through the donation process but should be given directly to a sorority sister, Sigel noted.

Current drop-off or donation sites located across the county include Bedford Chapel, Community State Bank in McConnellsburg and Waterfall, Susquehanna Bank, Needmore Post Office, Chambersburg Hospital, Warfordsburg Presbyterian Church, Dott Store, Fulton County Medical Center, Lincoln Way Pizza, Grace Christian Church in Hancock,

Snyder Insurance Agency, Ebenezer Church, Hancock Assembly of God, Needmore Bible Church, Younker’s Meat Market, Pleasant Grove Christian Church, Cedar Grove Christian Church, Damascus Christian Church, Laurel Ridge Church, St. Stephen Catholic Church and Sideling Hill Christian Church.

To keep WIN’s mission of helping, educating, supporting and empowering victims of abuse in the forefront of residents’ minds over the next year, the Precepter Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi has also decided to publicize WIN and its contact information through a weekly business ad in the “News.”

“We want people to know there is help if they want it. There is someone here,” Sigel said.

The collaboration between the sorority sisters and WIN officials comes at an appropriate time as October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As part of cre- ating more awareness locally, WIN and the Better Days Animal League will be hosting a special informative session at Fulton Theater on October 25. Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., officials will explain how animal abuse and domestic violence are often interconnected. The presentation is free and open to the general public, but reservations are required. Anyone interested in attending should call Williams at 717-485-5840 or e-mail ericw@winservices.org.

In 2011-12 WIN serviced 208 adults in Fulton County as well as 40 children and 31 significant others, which can include parents and other relatives. Their 122 programs touched the lives of almost 2,150 individuals, while their advocates and counselors logged 1,767. The Sexual Assault Response Team served seven area victims during the year.

Also, 361 days of safe housing were provided to 12 local women and seven children. With $1.5 million promised to date, Williams stated fundraising plans are moving forward for WIN’s new shelter in Franklin County. The current facility can house approximately 12 individuals, but a more secure and larger facility could potentially house up to 30 individuals. Furthermore, an adjoining administrative building could also offer better access and additional services to clients through a centralized location.

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