Civitan donation helps HAVEN clear hurdle

Sep. 26, 2013 @ 07:38 PM

HAVEN in Lee County, the largest local organization wholly devoted to helping victims of domestic violence, needed more than $6,000 to stop the foreclosure process on its shelter by the end of the week, and by midday Thursday, organization leaders had a check in hand.

The Sanford Civitan Club presented a $6,100 check to HAVEN Interim Executive Director Susan King Thursday afternoon, stopping the bank from seizing its Bracken Street property.

"It's the largest donation we have gotten since the call has been put out to help HAVEN financially," King said. "We couldn't be more happy."

The Civitan group has offered financial support to HAVEN (Helping Abuse and Violence End Now) in recent years, according to the group's president, Van Blanton, and members wanted to see how they could help during HAVEN's "dire need."

"We saw the immediate need," Blanton said. "Both organizations have been helping the community, and I hope they will continue to do so for a number of years."

Within the past week, King said HAVEN received "a couple of hundred dollars" a day and nearly $7,000 today, including the Civitan gift.

"We really appreciate the generosity of this community," King said. "We are not very surprised. This is such a caring community. We hope these gifts inspire other individuals, organizations and businesses to support HAVEN. That is what it is going to take to get us back open."

At least two fundraisers are planned within the coming months, including the Oct. 26 No-Scare Fair. The board is meeting frequently, King said, to consider other fundraising ideas.

"There are certain steps we have to take to apply for new funding," she said.

The group has received $15,000 in donations and grants since ceasing virtually all of its operations in mid-August. The gift of $6,100 was needed to make their mortgage current, according to a HAVEN news release. The group needs a total of $34,000 to cover its priority expenses, including unemployment insurance, utility bills, audit fees and loans. HAVEN closed after a string of managerial and financial woes, according to the organization's board of directors Chairwoman Carol Carlson.

In a Tuesday meeting of government officials, Sanford City Councilman Samuel Gaskins said HAVEN must be operational to receive reimbursements from grants but doesn't have the $30,000 to $40,000 a month needed to reopen.

“The most frightening part to me is in between the $34,000 and when they get [grant] funding, [there] is going to be a big hole,” he said during that meeting.

The United Way of Lee County is accepting contributions for HAVEN by credit card or check. Anyone wanting to make a donation can contact the United Way at (919) 776-5823 or 507 N. Steele St., Sanford, N.C., 27330. Credit card contributions also can be made through the United Way of Lee County website at leecountyunitedway.org. Online contributors should designate their credit card contributions to HAVEN in Lee County by contacting the United Way office.

Checks also may be sent directly to HAVEN in Lee County, P.O. Box 3191, Sanford, N.C., 27331.