Yoplait raises $200K as United Way kicks off campaign
BIG RAPIDS — With an AK-47 assault rifle tucked between the mattresses and a Luger pistol in the drawer of the bedside table, Karen Trimner once lived her life in fear of her son’s father, a wealthy man who told her she was his dream girl.
The day he came home and beat her for “laughing with the peasants” – Trimner had spoken with men who the man hired to install bars on the windows of their home – was the day Trimner left home and sought out a women’s shelter.
Trimner is the Osceola County domestic violence and volunteer outreach coordinator at Women’s Information Services, Inc., one of the 27 organizations that will receive funding from the Mecosta-Osceola United Way this year.
“Thank God I had the support of those women in the domestic abuse shelters,” Trimner says in a video that was presented on Friday at Mecosta-Osceola United Way’s 2011 campaign kick off. “They are supportive, they are there for you and they are what make us survivors.”
At Friday’s kick off, United Way executive director Betty Seelye said the Mecosta-Osceola chapter was 13 percent over its goal of $500,000 last year, raising $566,630 in total. It was the record-high overage in the state of Michigan, she said. This year’s goal is to raise $575,000, a goal Seelye is confident area donors can meet and exceed.
WISE also is one of the 20 benefitting organizations that cater to children’s need. It’s appropriate that so much United Way money will go toward children’s causes this year as one in four Mecosta County children are living in poverty, said Seelye.
Without that kind of financial support from the United Way, Trimner wouldn’t be able to give emotional support to the domestic violence survivors who come to WISE.
“I wanted to tell my story so that people could really get a feel for what it’s like to be in a domestic violence situation. You can see it on the news, you can hear about it, but nobody really knows all the steps you have to go through and how hard it is to get out of that situation,” she said following the presentation. “If we didn’t have funding to continue the effort, what would happen to those women, those brave souls who pick up the phone to call us? We are here to help them.”