Anonymous donation establishes Hyde County shelterPublished 9:26pm Saturday, February 23, 2013
A $200,000 anonymous donation made a dream come true for domestic-violence professionals in Hyde County.
According to Kathy Ballance, executive director of Hyde County Hotline, the donation enabled the recent purchase of an Engelhard home that will become the county’s domestic-violence shelter and center for crisis-intervention advocacy and prevention for domestic abuse and sexual victimization.
Ashley and Debbie’s House of Faith, Hope and Love will officially open in July, less than a year after the agency was made aware of the donation. Originally a $90,000 gift, hotline officials were working to find ways to negotiate the purchase of a home and maintain a small mortgage since grant funds would not cover a mortgage, when the gift became substantially larger, Ballance said.
“We talked to the donor and said we felt like we could make it work,” Ballance explained. “He said okay and then the next morning, he said that he had given it a lot of careful thought — that if he left us with a mortgage that his gift was not a gift.”
The purchase of the three-story home, with five bedrooms, a classroom and large communal living areas, was finalized before the end of 2012. Ballance said that the man’s gift has paved the way for others.
“Since he has been so generous and definitely wants to remain anonymous, it has really opened up a lot of other generosity from people. You know, it’s kind of contagious when someone does something like that,” Ballance said.
Since then, the hotline has received further donations of money and furniture to furnish the shelter.
Ballance said the donor wants absolutely no recognition for his generosity, however, he did request to name the shelter.
“We told him we would absolutely honor that wish,” Ballance said.
According to an article in Philanthropy Journal, the donor is a 45-year-old medical professional who explained his donation under the condition of anonymity: “I didn’t want any recognition. For me, it’s not relevant. It takes away from the joy, the purity of giving.
“It wasn’t just a matter of handing over a set of keys,” he told Philanthropy Journal. “When I’m old and gray, I want to be able to look at God and say, ‘I did my best to help others, to make other people’s lives easier.’”
The Hyde County Hotline has been in operation since mid-2011, after a two-year period of mentoring with the Outer Banks Hotline.
In 2012, the hotline received 557 crisis line calls for domestic violence and 109 calls for sexual assault, while hotline employees had face-to-face meetings at either the hotline’s office space or at another location with 129 domestic violence victims and 19 victims of sexual assault.
For more information about Hyde County hotline, call 252-925-2500 or visit www.hydecountyhotline.org.