The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 18, 2013

Women's shelter may open next year in Middleburg

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

MIDDLEBURG — MIDDLEBURG — Community response to a proposed women’s shelter in this rural borough has overwhelmed one of the volunteers behind the effort.

In the past year, Catherine Flather and other volunteers have raised about $50,000 through donations and renovations to establish By Grace Women’s Transitional Home on the second floor of 8 E. Oak Ave., Middleburg, for up to 14 displaced women between the ages of 17 and 27 and their families.

“It has renewed my faith in people,” Flather said.

Initially, some of the volunteers involved in the project were concerned the public would reject the shelter proposal.

Instead, Flather said, there’s been an outpouring of community support.

“Our goal is to build this shelter without government help,” she said.

And with the help of so many, including Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way President Keri Albright’s advice and guidance, Susquehanna University’s donation of 14 bedroom sets and Snyder County Court sending community service workers, Flather is hopeful the home that will offer area women temporary shelter and an opportunity to learn life skills will open in 2014.

Last month, a fundraiser in Selinsgrove brought in more than $4,000 and helped the group raise enough money to purchase 21 windows.

The next major renovation will be new wiring in the building. Flather said a recent donation of 100 gallons of home heating oil from Affordable Fuels in Middleburg will aid in raising money to get that job done.

The group will begin selling $5 tickets to raffle off the oil, which now costs a little more than $3 a gallon, this Saturday at the Reliance Hose Company’s annual yard sale at the Middleburg Fireman’s Field.

Tickets will remain on sale at the thrift store the group manages at 8 E. Oak Ave. through Thanksgiving. The drawing will be held Nov. 29.