Wednesday, 13 December 2017 08:56

Ministry Spotlight: Family Sunshine Center

Written by  Ashley Sherlock
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“Our mission is big and important and the work that is done dramatically impacts the communities we serve.”

 

 

Tisha Rhodes, Public Affairs and Development Director for Family Sunshine Center, has been given a heart for non-profit work. She joined the Family Sunshine Center team in August 2017 in full support of their mission to “end family and sexual assault, foster hope and healing, offer immediate response and a safe haven in crisis, provide advocacy, counseling, and support for family violence and sexual assault victims, to empower them to lead safe, violence-free lives, and to promote community awareness through education.”

 

Family Sunshine Center has been serving victims and survivors of family violence throughout the state of Alabama for more than 35 years. It is their goal to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. Their program ensures positive communications among law enforcement, legal services, the court system, and other agencies a victim might come across in the process of coming out of a home of abuse.

 

 

“Domestic violence and sexual assault are unfortunately critical issues in society and Family Sunshine Center has a team of 60 working diligently to support, advocate, counsel, empower, and educate both clients and the community.”

 

 

 Family Sunshine Center’s education programs cover bullying, safe dating, respect, and suicide prevention. These programs are offered to schools, community groups, civic organizations, and beyond.

 

“Working to ensure the community is aware of the services Family Sunshine Center offers and helping generate revenue to support that work is my great pleasure and honor,” says Rhodes.

 

At a recent Family Sunshine Center board meeting, a previous client shared her story of escaping her abuser with two young children and how her time at the Family Sunshine Center shelter changed her life.

 

Rhodes shares, “She spoke with such gratitude for the encouragement, assistance from counselors, and education she received that provided her the tools and confidence she needed to move forward into her future and build the life she wanted. Today, she and her children are happy, stable, and successfully living violence-free lives. I sat in that meeting fighting back tears as I listened and absorbed, seeing the thankfulness in her eyes. Such a beautiful story of how dramatically lives can be impacted for good when people have a heart, mind, and spirit for a mission and personally invest to see that mission accomplished.”

 

In addition to their shelter programs, counseling center, and outreach education, Family Sunshine Center has provided Thanksgiving and Christmas to clients who have received services within the last year. They solicit for donations from the public and from donors who have supported these efforts for years. The goal is to make the holidays merry and bright for the clients who face situations that are difficult and dark. At Thanksgiving, they provide all of the food items necessary for a Thanksgiving meal for client families who have that need. At Christmas, they adopt client families with the greatest needs who would otherwise not have Christmas, plus baskets are put together for single women and gift boxes are made for families who need assistance, but not to the degree as the families who are adopted.

 

“Montgomery has the most generous donors and volunteers who tirelessly support this community. It is amazing and humbling to see the outpouring of resources, heart, and dedication that people in our community are willing to give to make a difference. I want to play a role in positively impacting the community I live in and the communities I work for,” explains Rhodes.

 

One of the ways the community or individuals can get involved and help provide for Family Sunshine Center client families throughout the year is to participate in their 12 Months of Giving Program. Financial donations of any amount can be made and designated to this specific fund or for general use. Private donations are vital to sustaining the mission.

 

 

“It takes a team of people who

trust one another, have a mission, and

work together to set goals in order to achieve great things.”

 

 

To learn more about Family Sunshine Center, volunteer, or donate, visit their website at www.familysunshine.org or call 334.206.2100.

 

 

A Florida native, Ashley Sherlock moved to Montgomery to pursue a degree in English, She now coordinates events for an independently owned bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia. She enjoys books, the outdoors, and all things whimsical.

 

 

 

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