SEC, banking partner make contributions to Frannie’s House

Published 2:51 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC), in partnership with cooperatively owned financial institution CoBank, recently made a $5,000 donation to Frannie’s House, a YWCA domestic violence shelter in Altavista that serves victims of domestic violence across Central Virginia.

The contribution was made possible with SEC’s successful application of a matching grant through CoBank’s Sharing Success program.

Mike Lobue, a member SEC’s Board of Directors, presented the donation to Caroline Hudson, executive director of the YWCA of Central Virginia, along with Angela Davis, Frannie’s House manager, at SEC’s Altavista office.

“SEC is pleased to support Frannie’s House, which has provided shelter and important services to area women and children for five years. Sadly, domestic violence is a continuing problem in our society, and places like Frannie’s House provide a safe bridge to recovery and success,” said Jeff Edwards, SEC’s president & CEO.

Lobue, who represents members in Bedford, Campbell and Pittsylvania counties, said the community has long supported Frannie’s House.

The shelter began with members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Altavista and grew to fruition with the support of other churches, community groups, businesses and individuals.

Frannie’s House opened in July 2010.

“The Altavista community saw the need for a safe haven like Frannie’s House and donated time, dollars and work to make it happen,” Lobue noted.

“I’m excited that SEC is contributing to this worthy effort and that CoBank is joining with us, doubling the donation. The community has proven to be a tremendous support to what we do here. We could not do it without the community support,” said Davis.

Frannie’s House, named after longtime St. Peter’s member and community leader Frances Lane, has served more than 220 women and children since opening.

The program also supports abused men. Clients come from Campbell, Pittsylvania, Bedford, Amherst and other surrounding counties and cities.

Besides offering a safe place to stay, Frannie’s House provides meals, clothing and referrals to other helping agencies.

The shelter is part of the YWCA of Central Virginia’s Domestic Violence Prevention Center, which also includes a Lynchburg shelter, court advocacy services, 24-hour hotline and community awareness presentations about domestic violence.

“We are very thankful and blessed to have this support,” said Hudson, noting the YWCA has seen some recent funding cuts.

“It really means a lot to us and to the women and children we serve.”

The $5,000 donation will be used for operating expenses, including food, personal items, prescriptions and transportation.

Earlier this year, SEC made a $5,000 donation to Madeline’s House, a domestic violence shelter based in Nottoway County.