“Dear Abbie Shelter,
Hello! I’m not sure who’s going to read this letter but I am glad to be writing it. I just want to tell whoever how much this program means to me and what all of you stand for. I have never had to use your services for myself, but I have been in an abusive household. My stepfather was violent – and there were nights I didn’t know if I would be alive. I am now 16, he is out of our lives, and I am so happy that there were people like you who cared and helped my mother.
So this is a letter of appreciation from me on behalf of my family. I hope that women and children you are helping escape their abusive situations, heal, and find hope, from the strength within themselves as well as the hope that you’ve given them.
Thank you for everything you stand for and all of the work and love put out into the world by you guys.”
Although we don’t receive them often, letters such as this confirm our suspicions that something good is happening at the Abbie Shelter. From the court room to the therapy chair, from the phone line to the shelter’s front door, the love we are putting out into the world is landing on the right hearts.
The stories we are hearing on our 24-hour Helpline seem to be getting sadder. The needs in our community seem to be getting darker. Some days we are hopeful… others we are overwhelmed. So when we hear these words from this young woman, her voice rising and her future free of violence, we are called to give our full attention to the quiet song of hope that follows us wherever we go, singing softly amidst the din of mounting caseloads and sad stories: we are doing something right.