LETTER: Let’s work together to support HAVEN

Sep. 28, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

Lee County has proven itself to be a caring and compassionate community for many years by providing a refuge and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through HAVEN. Unfortunately domestic violence is an everyday reality crossing all socioeconomic, religious, ethnic and age lines

To allow this critical community resource to cease to exist is unthinkable. The HAVEN board is being reconstituted with members bringing a broad range of expertise to the table. A new finance committee, composed of community business leaders, has been established to provide strict oversight of the finances of HAVEN going forward. This oversight ensures that a similar crisis does not occur in the future.

Although the immediate and short-term funding needs may seem almost insurmountable, they are very manageable if we all work together. I challenge the churches in our community to donate $2.50 per family per week to HAVEN for the next three months. I also challenge those people who don’t belong to a local congregation to contribute the same $32.50 to HAVEN either directly or through the United Way. These small but important contributions will provide sufficient funds to resolve HAVEN’s immediate financial problems while the grants and other funding streams are re-established.

Going forward, if the caring people in this community commit to continuing contributions of a quarter of that level, HAVEN would have a strong local base of funding well into the future.

This county and its people have always stepped up to the plate when a critical need arises. It is a community strength that we should be proud of. It is a trait that appeals to businesses looking for a new home for their enterprise and their employees. Let’s keep it that way.

Andrew E. Manhardt