At the end of the school day on March 15, several members of the Canfield Education Association hung around to help load a generous donation the membership raised for the Sojourner House. They presented Sojourner house manager Audrey Walker with comforters, undergarments, cash and a gas card.
"This was a collection our membership donated during a recent in-service day," said CEA uni-serve officer Dianna Liggitt. "We raised $545 from our members in all four Canfield school buildings."
The CEA is the union representing teachers and staff in Canfield Schools. Liggett said she found out the needs for Sojourner House and decided to try to fill some of them. Comforters were one area of need. When a woman and her children leave a bad situation, Walker said, they often leave with the clothes on their backs. Sojourner tries to meet their needs and provide a home-like atmosphere to help them establish a new life.
Carrying a load of new comforters for the Sojourner House are Melissa Meese, Vicki Latimer, Dianna Liggit, Sojourner house manager Audrey Walker, and Jason Jugenheimer.
Liggitt said after the collection, the money was used to buy new comforters and undergarments. She also was able to get eight $25 gas cards, which was another big demand item for the shelter.
"A lot of women are trying to work to be able to support their children," Walker said. "They occasionally come and ask for gas for their vehicles."
She said Sojourner depends a lot on community help to be able to serve the women and children who are trying to start a new life after leaving a bad situation. She said the CEA donation will be a big help.
"We have a high turnover of comforters," she said. "But we rarely get any donated. This donation is really going to help out budget. The members of the CEA are really making us look good."
Liggitt said there was one main reason the CEA decided to help Sojourner.
"It's all about the students who live in domestic violence homes," she said. "Anything we can do to improve their situation will help them lead better lives in the future."