MARYS House in need of supplies

COUNTY — In 2010 in South Carolina, 34 women and 10 men lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. South Carolina is currently ranked seventh in the nation for the prevalence of deaths resulting from criminal domestic violence.
MARYS House (Ministry Alliance for Regaining Your Safety) is a non-profit, community-based collaboration between local churches, law enforcement, businesses and community agencies of Pickens County. Because MARYS House is a faith-based domestic violence shelter, the organization receives no funding from the state of South Carolina.
In 2011, MARYS House provided emergency shelter to 70 women and children in the Pickens County community.
Making a lifelong impact on the lives of these women and children, MARYS House offers a variety of services, including emergency short-term shelter for women and their children who are caught in the trauma of domestic violence; prevention and cessation of domestic violence through intervention, education, and outreach; and empowering victims by reestablishing the victim’s own personal power and control, providing her ongoing support and building upon her current strengths. Along with the more traditional domestic violence programs, because MARYS House is faith-based, hundreds of women and children who have been helped ay MARYS House have been touched by the spiritual programs and services available to them.
Lisa Smith, executive director of MARYS House, said that through their transitional services and youth programs, they have witnessed many women and children develop personal relationships with Christ.
“We see women making progress in their everyday lives and also in their relationship with God as a result of our programs,” she said. “Many of them adopt habits like saying grace before meals, making time for prayer and attending church with their children — even after they are no longer at our shelter.”
Like most other nonprofit organizations, MARYS House depends on the support they receive from churches, civic groups and members of the Pickens County community. Because they do not receive state funding, any financial or in-kind donations are greatly appreciated.
MARYS House shelter operates much like any traditional household, said Smith, and they are currently in need of basic everyday items.
“We go through a lot of paper products,” said Smith. “We are in need of toilet paper, paper towels and feminine hygiene products (pads moreso than tampons).”
In addition to a variety of paper products, MARYS House also needs cleaning supplies, liquid laundry detergent (the high-efficiency washing machine they received through donations cannot use powder soap), as well as dish soap, dishwasher detergent and trash bags.
Smith said that they also try to keep plenty of over the counter medications on hand for the relief of headaches, cold and flu symptoms or common stomach upset. Because they also house children, medications dosed specifically for children are also needed.
MARYS House also has a Suburban that was donated for their use. Pickens County does not have a mass transit system, so the clients at MARYS House are provided with transportation to court hearings, doctor appointments, and other community agencies with programs designed to help these victims of domestic violence get back on their feet.
“Gas cards are always a welcome donation at MARYS House,” said Smith. “We are so thankful that we have a way to provide transportation, but our Suburban also uses a lot of gas.”
The women and children at MARYS House need the help of the Pickens County community. To learn more about MARYS House and the programs and services they offer to victims of domestic violence, Smith urges people to visit their website at or join their group on Facebook.
Since MARYS House is an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, Smith says they cannot identify their location for safety reasons. Any individual or organization interested in making a donation of any type can contact the administrative offices at (864) 855-1708 and someone will be able to arrange collection of or a drop-off point for the donations.
“We are always looking for people who want to volunteer their time or local businesses or organizations who are interested in doing some kind of fundraiser on our behalf,” said Smith. “We want to not only save lives, we want to forever change lives.”