Author Mary McFarland visited the Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence (SOTFDV), to present a check in the amount of $400 on Monday, on behalf of herself and three other authors, Gwen Mason, of Rarden, Peggy Hill, of Bloomingburg, and Debra Gaskill, formerly of Chillicothe and now residing in Yellow Springs.
The proceeds to SOTFDV were made possible from a launch party held by the four authors on Sept. 10, at Port City Café in Portsmouth. MaryAnn Miars Peercy, executive director of SOTFDV, said the event was phenomenal.
“I actually attended the event, and it was phenomenal. Just to see all of the support, and everyone that was there supporting this group of women, and supporting the choice that they made for us to be the beneficiary of this is awesome for us,” Miars Peercy said. “It helps us with our platform for domestic violence. Domestic Violence tends to be that ‘dirty little secret’ that no one ever wants to talk about.”
Domestic violence infiltrates all aspects of socio-economics and age groups.
“Domestic violence is not biased. We have seen it affect the very rich, to the very poor, those are some of our clients,” Miars Peercy said. “So it’s just not one specific demographic area. It also ranges in all different age groups. We’ve had teens. We’ve had a 62-year old woman, so it doesn’t matter the age.”
McFarland visited SOTFDV on Monday to present a check for $400 on behalf of the multi-author effort held.
“Myself, along with the other authors involved decided that we wanted to get together and hold the event, but normally when I pick an event, I always pick a favorite charity,” McFarland said. “So, I asked Gwen Mason, who is an author and also a very strong activist of women’s rights to find us a worthy charity. We wanted a local charity, so Gwen went about finding this Task Force and we all agreed that this was the organization that we wanted to host a charitable event for.”
McFarland said they were seeking out a charity which is aligned with their theme, and SOTFDV was an ideal candidate.
“The reason that we picked that Task Force, is that we were looking for some some or theme that was related to we’re writing about,” McFarland said. “Gwen’s first book, ‘The Deacon’s Wife,’ actually deals straight on with physical abuse. With my books, my first book deals with young women who are able to overcome obstacles, regardless of whether it is drugs, or abuse, or just emotional insecurity. My second book, ‘The Confessor’s Burden,’ actually deals with people with mental illness. My protagonist has multiple personality disorder. So we wanted to choose a theme, a charity that would allow us to work with our theme, and that’s what we did.”
Many of the SOTFDV clients struggle with drug addiction. The Counseling Center has provided assistance to SOTFDV for this problem they face, something very much needed.
“We are working hand and hand with The Counseling Center. A lot of the clients that we are serving, and seeing right now are drug addicts, either past or present,” Miars Peercy said. “So, it makes our job a little more difficult because we are not specifically trained in that area of addiction, but we are learning and getting training. So, it is a win-win for us to work so closely with The Counseling Center in this regard.”
Miars Peercy said they are also looking for volunteers and donations of supplies for the Shelter.
“We are always looking for volunteers, and it is not just voluntary,” Miars Peercy said. “What it takes to run your own personal household is what it takes to run our Shelter here. We are looking at supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, dish washing liquid, shampoo, soap, little things that you don’t actually think about. Those are the types of things that we need in order to safely give our residents a good quality of life while they are getting back on their feet. We are also always looking for volunteers for peer support, to helping when they have children here for child care.”
All volunteers for SOTFDV must be 18 years of age, and must undergo a background check, according to Miars Peercy. For more information, call the SOTFDV at 740-456-8217. Donations may be dropped off at the Shelter which is located at 2315 Grant Street in Portsmouth.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.