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SABRA Sanctuary prepares for annual dinner and auction

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

SABRA Sanctuary is preparing to host its annual auction next week to support victims of domestic violence.

The sanctuary has served the Selma area for more than 20 years by providing shelter to men, women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.

This year’s auction is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22 and has a “Boots and Bows” theme.

The social starts at 6 p.m. and the dinner and auction begin at 7 p.m.

Renee Callens, executive director of SABRA Sanctuary said there will be a lot of locally made items at the auction, such as pottery, paintings, gift baskets, trips and more.

“It benefits everyone. It’s very expensive to run a home for victims and their families,” Callens said. “We need so many everyday items like washing powder and cleaning supplies; so many items the average home uses.”

Callens said the shelter doors are always open to those in need of solace.

“We have victims that come in our front and back doors because they know this is a place where they can feel safe and secure,” she said.

The shelter provides many services to victims in the Selma and surrounding areas.

“We help them find jobs so they can lead an independent life, we help them to secure permanent housing and assistance with food items,” Callens said.

Outside of providing shelter, food and safety, SABRA Sanctuary also teaches people about the risks and effects of domestic violence.

“We provide education and awareness so that we can show the effects of violence,” Callens said. “It not only affects the individual, but it affects the family and our community. That’s why we’re reaching out for community support.”

Callens said some of their services are extended beyond the actual shelter and sometimes involves assisting their clients with legal protection.

“We spend a lot of time with our clients. We listen to them, and we try to help them develop goals and safety plans which are so very important,” she said. “We have court advocacy where we support them when they have to go to court, whether it be for divorce or more protection.”

The shelter also accepts monetary as well as clothing donations for men, women, and children.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling (334) 874-8711. All proceeds will benefit the needs and resources of the shelter.