Why Do We Serve Safe Harbor?

February 1, 2013

In this video & blog post, two Safe Harbor volunteers (video: Jami Mullikin and blog post: Andrea Hopkins) share what volunteering at Safe Harbor means to them and why others should serve or give.

by Andrea Hopkins, Safe Harbor Board of Directors

After I moved here 16 years ago and got myself settled, I started a search for a non-profit organization I could really believe in and get behind.   While attending a United Way luncheon, heard the then Director talk about Safe Harbor.  Even though I had no experience with domestic violence, I felt it would be a great place for me to start.  Back then, I had no idea this cause would come to mean so much to me that I would eventually join the Board!  I was still raising a child and working full time so didn’t have too much time…being a Child Advocate was right up my alley.  For several years, I looked after the children at the Safe Harbor Greenville shelter for 2 hours at a time every other week so the mothers could attend classes and support groups.

At first, I thought “Child Advocate” was a fancy way of saying babysitting. However, I soon learned these children needed so much more than babysitters.  They needed someone to listen. I’ll never forget the little boy who told me his daddy was in jail for breaking his mommy’s arm; or the little girl who so sadly told me her daddy drove the blue chicken truck, but he was really mean to her and her mommy.  To this day, when I see a blue chicken truck I wonder if it’s him – the man who made this sweet little 5-year-old girl so sad.  I realized these children were there to heal and needed all the help they could get

At some point in my Child Advocate years, I came to realize what little time I was giving meant so much.  If a family stayed at the shelter for weeks or months, some of the children came to look forward to my visits and the mothers were so grateful to have people donate their time to help in any way.   Sometime kids were beligerent; they didn’t want to listen, and I always hoped they would learn that was not the way to get by in this world.  I  hoped that by getting counseling and being away from the things they had seen in their home, that they would heal and grow to be productive, happy adults.  I hoped my time would help them heal.  My biggest fear is that they would end up going back to that place that was unsafe and nothing they learned or felt while at Safe Harbor would make any difference.

I learned that volunteering with Safe Harbor is not only a great way to feel good about yourself but also a way to help people with great need.  As an advocate for Safe Harbor, I can make a difference in so many other ways…by having the Association I’m involved in donate food or clothing or other items needed at the shelter…or perhaps getting a group together to completely redo a bedroom at the shelter.  There are so many ways a volunteer can help and advocate, simply by getting the word out in our communities about the wonderful non-profit organization we call Safe Harbor.

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because...

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



When you give to Safe Harbor, 82 cents of every dollar goes directly to our intervention services and prevention initiatives to break the cycle of domestic abuse in the Upstate of South Carolina. 

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We are available to provide domestic abuse education and information about Safe Harbor’s services through speaking engagements, trainings, workshops and awareness campaigns.





Safe Harbor Resale Shop operates solely on donations from our generous community. Donations are tax deductible and make a difference in the lives of our clients.  



Your donated furniture can support our clients as they transition out of our programs and start a new life, and can also raise money for Safe Harbor by going to our Resale Shop to be re-sold.



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