CEDARVILLE — Academics and fun are the typical thoughts on the minds of college students.
But there’s more on the minds of the 3,400 students from Cedarville University who donated $18,737 to the Springfield, Ohio-based Safe Harbor House this past week in what its executive director, Amy Willmann, labeled “a great blessing.”
At the start of each fall semester, students from Cedarville participate in the university’s Bible Conference. The three-night event is filled with preaching and worshipful music. Because of the University’s long-standing relationship with Safe Harbor House, an organization where students — especially those who are majoring in social work — regularly volunteer, it was selected to receive all money donated by students from the conference.
“It is impossible to run a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week residential treatment center without donations,” said Willmann. “The gift from the Cedarville students was an answer to prayer that God would sustain this ministry by laying it on people’s hearts to help. It is amazing what God can do with what we each bring to the table.”
Safe Harbor House provides round-the-clock residential faith-based programming that leads women who have a history of substance abuse or trauma toward a path of healing. This ministry began in 2009 after Joy Fagan, founder and president of Safe Harbor, volunteered as chaplain at the Clark County Jail. Upon hearing the horrific stories of women who had endured painful events, she sought to create a home to help these women. Since its founding, more than 30 women have benefited from the one-year program.
“There are therapeutic and clinical things that we can offer someone who has experienced trauma at this level, but we firmly believe that complete healing can only come through Jesus,” Willmann said.
Safe Harbor takes old or abandoned houses and restores them into adequate living conditions. Willmann said the restored houses serve as a reflection of restoration in the women’s lives. It is through donations from the surrounding community that repairs to the houses are made possible.
The financial contribution from the Cedarville students is just one of the many ways the surrounding community has helped these women. To learn more about Safe Harbor House, or to get involved with the ministry, email Willmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.safeharborhouse.org.