Group raising funds to help domestic violence victims

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

HIGHLAND, AR (KAIT) - October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Spring River Adult and Child Services (SACS) is a local advocate service, which helps victims of domestic violence in many ways.

Over the past several months SACS has been remodeling a house in Highland to serve as a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Nearly all the work has been done by volunteers using donated materials.

"This will be considered a shelter from the elements that they are living in. " said Mary Ann Jagow the Volunteer Director for SACS.

This house away from harm was once a church then an assisted living facility. Perfect for converting into a shelter for those needing help.

Jagow, "Whether they report domestic violence or whether they ask for an order of protection or whether they come through the family courts or the district courts, we do whatever we can to help them."

SACS provides as part of their services, a 24 hour hot line, victim assistance, legal and court advocacy to name a few.

Now instead of having to seek shelter for victims in other counties, SACS will have it's own facility. Jagow says this is not a secret place to hide victims.

"If it requires a secret house, we will move them out of the county or the area."

The house has 7 bedrooms, kitchen and laundry spaces. Offices and a bedroom for the 24 workers who will stay at the facility.

All the rooms in the house were or are being redone by either individuals or organizations. Many have given everything from flooring to beds to blankets. Some have even done the work themselves. Nearly all the furniture in the house was donated through the thrift store that SACS operates to raise funds for their many services. SACS does not receive any kind of monetary assistance and so far they have been unsuccessful at securing grants.

Mary Henman is the thrift store manager. The store is a popular place for people to find all kinds of things. Henman says the community is a great supporter of the store and organization.

Henman, "Everything you see in the store has been donated to us. " Henman says she is always short of volunteers but for her, she wouldn't do anything else.

Henman, "I like the people, I like the community and it is a good organization."

SACS has one fundraiser a year, it will be held on October 29 starting with a free will donation bean soup dinner starting at 5:30. A live auction and a 6:30 concert with the Baker Family.

Tickets are Seven Fifty for adults, children 18 and under are Three Seventy Five.

For information or ticket purchase you can go by the SACS Thrift store or call the office at 870-994-2551.

All proceeds will go toward the new shelter.

Jagow, "We have a lot of dreams for this facility."

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