Story and photos by Cory Petersen
One of Saline County’s most valuable non-for-profit resources is located right here in Marshall. The Lighthouse Shelter, Inc. has provided direct services to victims of domestic and sexual violence since the doors opened in 1995 along with a multitude of outreach services, including food distribution.
Over the years, the Lighthouse has continued to seek out resources and ways to further serve the members of community and surrounding communities. With the guidance of Executive Director Leo H. Grathaus Jr., the food distribution program to feed the hungry has been a priority in order to stay ahead of the upcoming cold weather season. In the race to beat the weather, part-time shelter victim advocate Dezrae Groomer looked to her Valley wrestling teammates for help.
Within three days of her request, Coach Carl Murphree and a Valley bus load of more than a dozen of his lady wrestlers pulled up to the Lighthouse office eager to begin volunteering. At the direction of shelter staff, Coach Murphree and his team transported over two tons of food from the storage unit at the shelter to the food distribution office located at 555 W Arrow.
“It’s wonderful to see young ambitious people pull together as a team to do something that will have a positive effect on the community. Their service today is invaluable and we are truly grateful,” said Director Grothaus.
In less than two hours, the food was relocated and is now ready for distribution. Without the help from the Lady Vikings, it would have been incredibly difficult for shelter staff to reach the winter weather deadline. “It feels good to know our team can give back to the community,” said Tierra Williams of Portland, Maine. Now, The Lighthouse Shelter can continue to provide this vital outreach service more efficiently and effectively to serve those in need.
(Cory E. Petersen is an MVC alum and Shelter Manager at The Lighthouse Shelter, Inc.)