9/23/15: Junior Auxiliary of Taney County Supports Women's Crisis Center in More Ways than One

Imagine being abused by someone you love or seeing your child beaten by the
man you love. Imagine feeling like you have no option but to stay in an abusive
relationship. The Women’s Crisis Center of Taney County, Inc. is there to
provide quality residential and non-residential services to victims and survivors of
domestic and sexual violence. And the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC)
has been helping the Crisis Center in multiple ways since 2013 to achieve their
The Crisis Center provides services and support to as many as 1000 women,
men and children each year. Their cottages provide a safe place for women and
children fleeing domestic violence to stay temporarily. Cottage #9 just received a
new refrigerator, purchased by JATC, to replace the 1990 model that was in the
living room because it was too big for the kitchen. JATC also purchased a new
full size bed for the cottage to replace the old bed and make the cottage more
comfortable as a temporary respite.
Since 2013 members of JATC have supported the Center both financially and
through personal time. JATC adopted Cottage #9 in 2013 as a participant in the
Adopt-a-Cottage program and JATC members and family refurbished the cottage
with new carpet, painted walls, furniture, deep cleaning, landscaping and window
treatments. They also provided new kitchen utensils, bake ware, chairs, lighting,
mirrors, sheets, blankets and towels. During the last two years, each time the
cottage was vacated by a temporary resident, JATC members cleaned Cottage
#9 and ensured that the household items needed by new residents, such as pots
and pans, utensils, sheets and towels, were in the cottage. JATC also pays the
utilities for the cottage.
In 2014, JATC members voted to add additional support for the Crisis Center by
organizing the Center’s Donation Room. Twice a month, JATC members go to
the Center and sort through the items that they have received as donations.
They determine what to keep based on the Center’s needs (anything not needed
is delivered by members to Victory Mission) and the items that are needed are
arranged to make it easier for residents to find. On many occasions, members
meet women and children who come to the Donation Center and help them as
they seek shoes or clothes or household items needed for themselves, their
children and their cottage. These women express great appreciation to the JATC
members who help them, since they often have left their homes with nothing but
the clothes on their back.
JATC members also voted to help the Center with children’s birthday parties.
When a child who is staying in a cottage at the Center is having a birthday, JATC
members supply the mom with all of the items needed for that child to have a
party, including paper plates, utensils, a cake and balloons. Members hope that
by doing this, the child can have an experience like their peers have and feel
good about themselves.
Through their partnership with the Crisis Center, JATC members are filling their
mission to improve the lives of children in Taney County through projects that
fulfill the virtues of charity, youth, health, community service and leadership in
members and those we serve. Check out the organization’s website,
JATCMO.org, or call Membership Chair, Linda Lewis, at (417) 527-3963, to find
out more or to get involved.
JATC has been selected as the sole beneficiary of the first annual Branson
Women’s Expo being held Oct. 10 – 11 at the West Wing Conference Center on
Gretna Road.
Currently, JATC members support and operate eleven projects including Santa’s
Gift House; College Readiness programs and scholarships; prom dresses for
girls in need; stuffed animals for children in the local hospitals; Journey, a
mentoring project for young women; and Homework Helpers and Book Swap
Stop, in which they provide snacks, enrichment programs, reading and
homework help for children who live in extended-stay hotels/motels, and Heart of
Arts, in which members donate art & craft materials and/or work on projects with
adults with disabilities at Developmental Connections.
JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a
single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County. That’s the
magic of JATC. It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in
1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County. Approximately
50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours and thousands
of dollars as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional
well-being of children in Taney County.
JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit
organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi. NAJA
has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in 98 chapters located
in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.

Published: Branson Independent, September 23, 2015; Hometown Daily News, September 26, 2015