We’re in the season of giving, and Abba House in Perry is trying to get funding for its ministry that will impact those long after the wreaths and trees are put back in storage.
The Christian residential ministry houses women battling emotional wounds or addiction that want to make a change in their own life and children’s lives.
Elizabeth Carter battled alcohol addiction for 27 years and says it was the lowest point of her life.
“I had lost my children. My family would not speak to me. Just at my end. I chose men and alcohol over my kids,” said Carter.
It began as it often does – an occasional drink that leads to a coping mechanism.
“It started off small. I would occasionally drink. Then it became a numbing mechanism. I didn’t have to feel. I didn’t have to have emotion. I could just drink away my problems,” said Carter.
She says those moments were hard not only for her, but for her entire family too.
“I was a nasty person that people didn’t want to be around. I didn’t love myself, so therefore I couldn’t love my children, my family, or anyone else,” said Carter.
16 months ago, she made the decision to throw her shame and guilt an enroll in Abba House. It’s a decision she says saved her life.
“I would be dead. I came here not knowing that I was very sick because I could feel no pain,” said Carter.
Last December, she was in the hospital for nearly a month.
“I was in the hospital for 28 days and the doctor told me that if I had been on the streets drinking, then I would not have known that I had a hernia that had been wrapped around my intestines and I would have died,” said Carter.
She currently works at the Abba House Thrift Store, where 100 percent of the proceeds go to the house.
Many women, like Carter, rely on donated funds or ‘scholarships’ to help them pay for the stay, counseling and classes.
“We’re hoping to generate business because that money will go [to] scholarships so that more woman can come here,” said Carter.
So far, they've raised around $70,000 in services and funds, but they aim to raise more.
If you would like to donate to The Abba House, click here.