North Suffolk church helps out shelter

Published 11:51 pm Monday, October 31, 2011

Volunteers from 3n1 Church visit the Help and Emergency Response Shelter for victims of domestic violence to help with improvements to the residents’ rooms. The group replaced the wooden beds with new metal ones to prevent bed bugs and cleaned the bedrooms and children’s playrooms.

The women and children who stay at the H.E.R. Shelter might never know any of the members of 3n1 Church, but they will certainly feel their influence.

A group of volunteers from the church, which meets every week for its service at Regal Harbour View Grande theaters in North Suffolk, visited the Help and Emergency Response Shelter in Portsmouth, which helps women and children who have been affected by domestic violence. The church members went to the shelter Saturday while the residents were out to give their rooms some T.L.C.

Lori Stewart, the creative director at 3n1 church, said 28 church volunteers came out to help install new beds and clean the rooms.

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“We definitely took away a lot from it,” she said. “I just thought it built so much unity in our team that was there.”

On Saturday, the group dismantled the shelter’s wooden beds, disposed of them and installed 15 new metal-framed beds.

“They wanted to ensure in the future they don’t have trouble with bed bugs,” Stewart said.

While metal beds don’t prevent bed bugs altogether, they are much better for avoiding the bugs than are wooden beds.

The volunteers also cleaned the women’s rooms and the children’s playrooms and left purses donated by Dillard’s for the women and Halloween goodie bags for the kids.

Stewart said after this project, the church hopes to continue its work and form a partnership with the shelter.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of things with them,” she said. “This is one of the first big projects we’ve done with them.”

Stewart said although the shelter is in Portsmouth, it served 34 families from North Suffolk last year.

“By us partnering with them, we’re still helping our community,” she said.

Stewart said when women come to the H.E.R. Shelter, they are at a low point in their lives, and she hopes they lifted their spirits with their work.

“I just think it’s the little things that bring hope to people when they are at the lowest point,” she said. “We hope they just felt special and loved. They’ll know somebody cares about them.”