August 19, 2014
Getting their lives back on track just got a little easier for domestic violence victims in St. Clair County, thanks to the generosity of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama.
The company, which has a plant in nearby Lincoln, donated a 2013 Honda Pilot to Our Place, the YWCA’s confidential domestic violence shelter serving women and children in St. Clair County. The gift will allow the residents, who often don’t have access to transportation, to get to work, travel to doctor appointments and register their children for school.
“We can’t tell you how truly ecstatic we are,” YWCA Central Alabama CEO Yolanda Sullivan told Honda employees Stephanie Alexander, Al Oravet, Todd Johnson and Wesley Noah when they handed over the keys. “This will mean so much to the residents, who are already in such a precarious position when they are starting over. This will be a tremendous help.”
Alexander, community relations manager for Honda, said she was thrilled about the partnership, adding that about 14 percent of Honda’s workforce comes from St. Clair County. “We want to be a company that society wants to exist, and if we can help organizations like the YW that do fabulous work, that’s what we want to do,” she said. “The YW is amazing, serving women and children right here in the community and providing services that otherwise wouldn’t exist. It’s really important to us that you do what you do here.”
Desiree Hinkson, the shelter manager and rural domestic violence services coordinator, said the vehicle will be a blessing for the women trying to reestablish their independence. Although staff members do their best to accommodate the residents’ transportation needs, there are times when schedules conflict and they have to prioritize. “It’s hard to be dependent upon someone else to transport you when you feel you have something of the utmost importance and then you find out you have to wait,” she said. “This will mean more opportunities to get them what they need when they need it.”
Our Place, which opened in 2009, offers a broad array of domestic violence services, including counseling, support groups and legal services. Last year, 79 women and children sought shelter after fleeing abusive homes. In addition, more than 1,300 victims were assisted through the Court Advocacy programs in St. Clair and Blount counties.
The YW is grateful to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama for this generous gift and for being such a faithful supporter of our programs.
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