Carol Berry, left, with Jamie Sims, right, of Victim Services of Cullman, Inc. (contributed)
I am excited to partner with the Cullman Tribune to write this weekly series, “Community with Carol.” This series is focused on community awareness.
As a lifelong Cullman resident, I love my community! I have owned and operated a successful local business. I founded and oversaw a local nonprofit that has changed the lives of my neighbors. This organization was also designed to give back to the community and help individuals become the best citizens they can be.
I am passionate about helping in my community and not only talking about change but doing the hard work to see change actually happen.
After my first political campaign ended I wanted to use the experience to help others. On the campaign trail, I realized how truly blessed we are in Cullman. We have so many wonderful organizations and public service-minded individuals in our community.
Each week I showcase a local organization or individual and give the community an overview of their services and contact information.
My hope is to motivate fellow citizens to get up, get out and get involved.
This week: Jamie Sims of Victim Services of Cullman, Inc.
Victim Services of Cullman, Inc. was established in 1991 by then Cullman County District Attorney Len Brooks and concerned citizens of Cullman County. With community support and government grants, the Harbor Haus shelter for victims of domestic violence opened its doors. In 1996, Victim Services began providing services to victims of sexual assault. In 1998, Victim Services implemented a batterer's intervention program.
I sat down with Jamie Sims this week to talk about Victim Services. Jamie is a new board member and is full of excitement and ideas. Her goal is to ensure the organization is not only around 27 more years but also grows! She wants to see the number of individuals it assists continue to increase.
Jamie shared with me a few of the important things Victim Services provides to our community:
• Harbor Haus domestic violence shelter
• 24-hour crisis line (256-734-6100)
• Group and individual domestic violence and sexual assault counseling for children and adults
• Parenting classes
• Court advocacy
• Hospital accompaniment for sexual assault victims
• Community education programs
• Batterer intervention program
Victim Services has several specific needs for growth: money, volunteers and more shelter space. Renovations need to be done on the current shelter and office. Creative fundraising and community outreach are also top priorities.
I have no doubt after meeting Jamie that the money raised by Victim Services goes directly to benefit the women and children. Her heart and those board members she describes serving alongside her would not allow money to be wasted!
For more information about Victim Services, visit www.victimservicesofcullman.com/ or call 256-775-2600.
See my interview with Jamie Tuesday, Dec. 11 at www.Facebook.com/CullmanTribune.
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