Department of Corrections staff Take Action
during Domestic Violence Awareness Month
On November 2, 2010 (center right) Secretary Walt McNeil accepts a certificate of appreciation from Glen Burns (far left) chaplain and co-founder of Chelsea House; and Beth Burns (far right), executive director and co-founder of Chelsea House, as Health Services’ Dr. Olugbenga Ogunsanwo looks on.
An SUV packed with giant bags full of children’s and women’s clothing and shoes,
books, body lotions, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, mouthwash, sewing kits, paper goods, toys and games for all ages, blankets, bed sheets and comforters, and a couple of children’s coats pulled out of the Blair Stone Road parking lot of the Department of Corrections and headed to Chelsea House in October. That trip was one of many statewide made by Department of Corrections employees who were challenged by Secretary McNeil to DO SOMETHING about domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness month.
In addition to donations to Chelsea House and Refuge House in Tallahassee, Corrections employees held fundraisers and hosted guest speakers around the state to educate themselves about domestic violence, and to collect money and goods for their local shelters. Several shelters asked that this effort become an annual event.
Martha Annis, who works in Health Services for the Department of Corrections in Tallahassee, spearheaded the drive for Chelsea House, saying “I was impressed that they take in all women and children, abused and/or homeless, and provide for them until they can help themselves. I talked with several staff members at the Chelsea House and they all seemed to be deeply committed to the same cause – helping women in unfortunate situations.”