OCONEE SHELTER RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY
The staff and board of Safe Harbor hosted an off-site ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of Safe Harbor’s Oconee Shelter on Tuesday, July 8 at 10:00am at the Shaver Recreational Complex (698 W. S. 4th St.) in Seneca.
With over 400 community members in attendance, the energy in the room was palpable. Speakers included John Powell, Jim and Elisabeth Gadd, Jenna Henson, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, SC Senator Thomas Alexander, and Becky Callaham.
Jenna Henson, a leader in the beginning efforts to raise funds for an Oconee shelter, shared with the crowd, “Today, there are no more tears in my eyes, because we finally have the shelter we promised you.”
On March 1, 2013, Safe Harbor launched a capital campaign to raise $990,000 to open a 24-hour emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children in Oconee County. On January 10, 2014, Safe Harbor announced that the campaign goal had been met and exceeded with a total of $1,176,980.00 raised. Safe Harbor has been working throughout the first half of 2014 to complete necessary renovations, plans and staff training to prepare for the opening of the Oconee Shelter on August 14, 2014.
SC Senator Thomas Alexander shared, “Today, we celebrate a different type of independence. We celebrate hope, transformation and independence for victims of domestic violence.”
Safe Harbor Executive Director, Becky Callaham, along with Safe Harbor Oconee campaign committee members, Darragh Geist and Kay Davis, cut the ribbon together in front of a door representing the opening of the Oconee Shelter. As they cut the ribbon, key leaders in the Oconee Shelter Campaign shared these Words of Dedication:
For those victims who have been asked, “Why don’t you just leave?” but have had no safe place to go, we open this door.
For those children who have spent too many nights falling asleep to angry voices and fearful sounds, we open this door.
As we open this door, we remember the many victims of Oconee County and throughout the Upstate who are no longer with us and who we deeply miss.
As we open this door, we think about the courage and resilience that it will take for each survivor to walk through it, to make the brave choice to start a new life.
As we open this door, we recognize the strength of staff and volunteers who, within the walls of this shelter, will help victims regain their footing, heal, and begin life again as survivors.
As we open this door, we honor those passionate community members who have shared their time, talents, energy, and dollars to make this vision for a safe shelter into a reality.
As we open this door, we realize that there is still much work to be done, and we pledge as a community to work together to prevent and end domestic violence in Oconee County and beyond.
As we open this door, we give thanks for Safe Harbor – a safe place to start a new life – a place of hope for Oconee County.
As we prepare to open the Oconee Shelter during this Summer of 2014, we still have several needs that need to be fulfilled! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 864-385-7946 (for large donation pick-ups) with questions. Smaller donations for the Oconee Shelter can be dropped off during business hours at TD Bank (104 Mill Road PO Seneca, SC 29679) or Dixie Flooring (1637 Sandifer Blvd Seneca, SC 29678).
Click here for a list of current needs for the Oconee Shelter.