Shelter Makes Best Out Of A Difficult Holiday

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The Time Out shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence is full to capacity, Director Darlene Curlee said.

"For the first time in a long time, we actually have a waiting list," Curlee said. "But in emergencies, we never turn women and children away."

Time Out is the only shelter of its kind in a 100-mile radius and provides women and children with emergency shelter, counseling and education.

According to Curlee, the shelter is usually fairly empty around the holidays.

"We have found that around Christmas and New Years that women are not coming in," she said. "This, we believe, is because they need to wait until the husband is back at work to leave -- they just can't get out."

This year, however, there are currently seven women and 12 children in the shelter for the holiday.

To ease the trauma of being in the shelter for the holiday, the staff and volunteers at Time Out do their best to make the holidays fun for the residents.

"We have a really good day," Curlee said. "Before Christmas, we put all the toys we get in a room and let the moms come in and pick out what they want to give their children and they wrap it and put it under the Christmas tree. Our staff picks out things for the moms, wraps their gifts and put them under the tree. On Christmas day, we always have a really nice meal for everyone."

Curlee said the one thing the women and children need are warm winter coats.

"We can use whatever is donated to us, whether it's food, toys or clothes. This community is so generous," Curlee said. "But we always need winter coats and jackets. Clothing is always our biggest need."

The shelter has six boys, ages: 6 months, 4 years old, 7 years old, 9 years old, 10 years old and 12 years old. The ages of the girls are 3, 5, 7, two who are 8, and a 16 year old.

If you would like to donate a winter jacket or anything for the shelter's Christmas, call (928) 472-8007.

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