Tay Knight, Executive Director of the Family Sunshine Center, based in Wetumpka, often tells people her organization doesn’t have “a pretty mission.” For more than 40 years, the nonprofit has sought to bring hope and healing to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
At a recent kickoff event for Chilton County’s United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) campaign, Knight shared how her organization helped one woman, a survivor of a more-than-20-year marriage which left her with “physical and emotional scars.”
“She was set on fire by her husband and father of her three children,” Knight said.
After consistently participating in counseling through the Sunshine Center, Knight said the woman developed stronger personal boundaries, improved her coping skills and began learning when to be assertive.
Knight said the woman’s abusive husband has since been charged with attempted murder.
“She was overjoyed that her abuser will finally be held accountable for his actions and expressed immense gratitude to our agency for sticking by her,” Knight said.
Family Sunshine Center is just one of nonprofits that became a United Way partner agency in 2021 when UWCA expanded its service area to include the people of Chilton County.
Mike King, Executive Director of Raleigh’s Place in Clanton, who also serves as Chair of Chilton County’s campaign, said he appreciates the work of United Way staff and volunteers for helping bring more to the county he represents.
“As somebody who is an agency leader, it’s good to know that we have other folks out here raising support and bringing awareness to things that are happening in Chilton County. For a small county, we have a lot of great things going on,” King said.
At the recent kickoff event, UWCA also announced a new grant program which will provide up to $2,500 to Chilton-based nonprofits for short-term or one-time expenses designed to benefit their community.
Grant applications are due October 20th and may be submitted through UWCA’s online portal. For more information, go to https://www.uwca.org/grant-opportunities.