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Wilson student assists Sisters 4 the Future

on Tuesday, 13 June 2017. Posted in Good life, News, Local News

Wilson student assists Sisters 4 the Future
GROUP – Seated, from left, Samai Bhojwani, Elsie McFadden, assistant director, Mary Beth Harllee, board chair, Estella Felder, Angelica Reyes, board member; standing, clients, Delorie Franks, Andrea Brockington and Patty McLamore.

By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C.

Sisters 4 the Future, a faith-based group with a mission to empower women, has been blessed by a young high school student. Samai Bhojwani, a rising junior at Wilson High School, chose this non-profit for her English class assignment for a community service project.

Wilson English teacher Laura Hofler, asked two of her classes to research local non-profits for a community resource guidebook. “The Navigator, a Guide to Philanthropy in the Pee Dee,” was published in May. It features 57 non-profit organizations.

The purpose is to have a resource for people who want to give of themselves by volunteering in community service, explained Samai. Sisters 4 the Future Director Terester McAllister is proud to be included in the guidebook (page 108). She had high praises for Samai, her classmates and teacher for providing this valuable resource.

Upon interviewing Ms. McAllister, Samai recognized some of the organization’s needs and sought to help. She was able to get several tables donated and is working on getting chairs.

Samai, who is from Belize, said she was inspired by what Sisters 4 the Future does to help women raising grandchildren.

“We have a lot of older adults in Belize also raising their grandchildren, but no one is addressing their problems,”she commented.

Sisters 4 the Future serves mothers and grandmothers raising grandchildren in the attempt to make their lives easier. They work to help women find employment, housing and resources to flourish.

Sisters provides group sessions weekly to help women overcome obstacles, such as poor self-worth, depression and hopelessness; and to ensure their grandchildren reach their potential.

“There are women in our community who still hide behind the mask of poor self-worth,” McAllister commented. “Our goal is to help decrease homelessness and help these women increase their employability rates through education and to lead them into becoming independent.

She said the Sisters 4 the Future program provides a “tool kit” which includes spirituality, debt management, health and wellness, and motivational activities to help women move forward in their lives and to help them find a home.

McAllister was inspired to assist women in March of 2012. She is a counselor with the Department of Mental Health and volunteers her time off with this ministry. She also volunteers with The Manna House.

Sisters 4 the Future board chairwoman is Mary Beth Harllee who has 45 years experience as a social worker. She taught Terester at Limestone College and currently works at Williamsburg Technical College.

“This work is a passion shared by our board and the Sisters’ staff,“ she commented. “We are attempting to empower ladies who have struggled with a myriad of problems, including abuse issues, lack of self-esteem and the lack of job skills. We want to encourage people to come together.”

The ultimate goal, she said, is to provide transitional housing. McAllister is excited to be included in Helping Florence Flourish ServeFlo 2017. As part of this June event, Florence-Darlington Technical College is collecting non-perishable food for the Sisters’ pantry and the non-profit Junebugs Care (page 66 in the Navigator) will build shelves at the Sisters 4 the Future office.

“This event makes a difference in our community,” commented McAllister. “Helping Florence Flourish is really working.”

The Sisters 4 the Future office is located at 901 Santiago Drive, Unit 11-A, where women gather for group sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays, anytime from 5 until 7 p.m.

They are always happy to receive donations, noted the chairman. Their biggest need right now is computers that the women may use in job searches, etc.

McAllister may be contacted at 843-610-4549, or Elsie McFadden, assistant director at 843-245-5203.

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