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Safe shelter gets help from Bryan
Beef 'O' Brady's employee Danielle Pentecost hands safe shelter Executive Director a check for $443 as assistant director Cheryl Hughes stands by.

Administrators with the Tri-County Protective Agency, a safe shelter covering Bryan, Liberty and Long counties, say they have received an abundance of donations from Richmond Hill and encourage the community to continue its efforts.

The donations came in the form of cash, paper products, bedding, pantry items and clothing.

"We run strictly off of grants and donations, so everything we received will be a great help," said Paula Forstelle, the shelter’s executive director. "We’d like to thank the entire Bryan County community.

Assistant director Cheryl Hughes said Richmond Hill Police Department Cpl. Susan Willis played a big part as well by designating the Richmond Hill police station as a drop-off location for donations.

"Cpl. Willis and another officer came down with the DARE wagon and brought all the supplies that everyone donated at the Richmond Hill Police station," Hughes said. "All the phone calls have increased dramatically since the article came out as well, so we’ve been able to help some people who might otherwise not have known we were here. Domestic violence is a problem in Bryan County, as well as other areas. A lot of it is kept secret, so you may not hear about it a lot."

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s employee Danielle Pentecost recently organized a fundraiser at the restaurant that brought in nearly $500 for the shelter.

"The community stepped in and did an incredible thing," Pentecost said. "I knew this community cared, but I was shocked at how much we were able to raise in just one evening. Most people that came in didn’t even know we have a shelter here, so it helped create some awareness. Several abused women came to the fundraiser. One woman came up to me, said she was abused for 24 years and donated a $100 check."

Forstelle said the shelter has a capacity for 12 beds, but victims are housed in alternate locations as well. In addition to temporary housing, the shelter offers temporary protective orders, counseling and "anything a victim needs to enable them and their children to start a new life and live domestic violence-free."

For more information about donating to the shelter, call Willis at 756-2672 or the shelter at 368-8668. For crisis intervention, call 368-9200. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1937, Hinesville, GA 31310.

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