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Thu, Oct. 17

Prescott Women's Shelter helps hundreds

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>
Natasha Leatherman, an 18-month resident of the Prescott Women’s Shelter, has been there for a longer than normal time while she gets treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br> Natasha Leatherman, an 18-month resident of the Prescott Women’s Shelter, has been there for a longer than normal time while she gets treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

PRESCOTT - Natasha Leatherman, a resident of Prescott Area Women's Shelter who is receiving treatment for recently diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, said she is so thankful for the shelter and volunteers who have become like family to her and her 9-year-old daughter.

Leatherman, 29, said volunteers bring her to her treatments in Phoenix after her daughter goes to school in the morning, stay with her the entire time, make sure all her questions get answered, provide reassurance, pickup her medication, and drive her back so that she's home when her daughter gets back from school.

"Without this place to turn to, there's no telling where we'd be," Leatherman said. "They give us so much support."

Leatherman is one of the 750 women, 73 children, and two families that the Prescott Area Women's Shelter has helped since it opened in 2007, said Carmen Frederic, executive director of the shelter.

"Our shelter is consistently full, so we know the need is there," Frederic said.

More than 70 percent of the women who leave the shelter are successful at becoming self-sufficient, Frederic said.

"Right now, PAWS really needs financial donations, common household items, and more volunteers," Frederic said.

The shelter is looking for volunteers who have time in the evening to visit with the women as they come in for the night, those who are interested in cooking a dinner at their homes and bringing it in for the women, overnight volunteers, and people who may have a few hours a week to help with errands, Frederic said.

"Each person has time, talent or treasure they can offer, and we really appreciate those gifts," Frederic said. "We'd like to thank the volunteers, donors, community members, and faith-based organizations who have given us support over the years and we'd like to keep it coming."

A donation can be as simple as picking up an extra household item like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, kitchen items, hygiene products, and office supplies while shopping, then calling the shelter at 778-5933 to set up an appointment to drop off the donations, Frederic said. For more information, go online to www.prescottshelter.org.

"If everyone in town made a small donation of $10, it would really add up and be huge for the shelter," Frederic said.

All donations to the shelter are tax deductible, Frederic said.

PAWS is also helping two families in transitional living programs at separate sites through the Prescott Community Shelter, started in September by a group of local nonprofits including PAWS and area businesses to help entire families as they become independent, Frederic said.

"A husband, wife, and their two children are in one of the units," Frederic said. "There is such a need for this type of transitional housing in our area."

Leatherman and her daughter recently moved from the shelter to PAWS family living area where she continues to work on her goals, Frederic said.

"Being here as long as I have, I know the value of this place and the volunteers," Leatherman said. "I see life in a whole new light, thanks to them, and really appreciate all they do to help."

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