Posted Sunday November 19, 2017 by Lena Lamontagne
Dear sister and brother human,
As the founder of the first shelter in 1970 for battered women and children in my home that I shared with my three children, I am writing to relay some life-saving information with you. I am prayerfully hoping that you will take as much time reading this as I took in writing it.
A few days ago I went to South Carolina to spend some precious and most-needed time with my sister. Even while away, 4-5 calls came in one day from people wanting to donate turkeys and gifts for the children. While these donations are greatly appreciated, unless the shelters stay open, our residents will be forced to leave, often with no alternative – and the children forced to sleep on the box from whence their presents came.
For the past 4 years, Strengthen Our Sisters (SOS) has operated without their major source of funding – reimbursements for each client that we sheltered. Operating with 15 volunteers, from a previous 55 paid workers, and depending upon independent and foundation monetary donations, we have managed to stay open; but not without the everyday frustration to find monies to pay the bills and mortgage. Because our mission excludes turning anyone away, regardless of their reimbursement eligibility, our shelters remain full, but with very little daily per diems to relieve our financial stress.
I would hope that you and your community would support sheltering and feeding homeless/battered women and children and would dig deep into your pockets to make this happen. We’ve even had checks made out to the utility companies, if preferred, to make sure the utilities, water and sewer aren’t shut off. This, of course, would mean closing one of our shelters, forcing children to be separated from their parent and sent to foster care. Rarely a positive experience, mostly they suffer tremendously and become dysfunctional and depressed.
Instead of presents, we are asking for two options:
A holiday monetary donation for the shelter;
Become an SOS sister/brother Buddy with a monthly pledge, which can be designated to,