JAMES CITY, N.C. -- Marines and sailors from several units at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., volunteered with the Single Marine Program to assist the Coastal Women’s Shelter during their annual 5k run to support victims of domestic violence, June 21.
The CWS provides no-cost, comprehensive domestic violence services to residents of Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties. The shelter offers a 24/7 crisis line, a safe house, court advocacy services, a displaced homemakers program and crisis counseling.
The organization’s mission is to eradicate domestic abuse in the counties they serve by helping families break the cycle of domestic violence and acquire necessary skills to promote healthy family relationships.
To show their support, the Marines and sailors worked at designated water stations along the course, provided motivation during the run and assisted with cleanup after the event.
“The Marines worked to provide a positive atmosphere for the runners during the event,” said Susan Lucas, a volunteer with the CWS. “The Marines helped us inform the public about domestic violence and, without them, the job just wouldn’t have gotten done.”
The Marines provided the organization with the means to continue providing services to local residents, according to Lucas.
“(The Marines) have supported various events the Coastal Women’s Shelter has hosted,” said Lucas. “One of the most important was the repairing of the safe house, which helps us provide a safe haven for victims to recover both mentally and physically.”
Knowing that the Marines' efforts are going toward a cause that has the potential to change an individual’s life is rewarding in itself, according to Lance Cpl. Michael Henderson, the SMP representative for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14.
“An event like this shows the community that we don’t mind doing different things. The 5k happens every year and this shows that we care about the Coastal Women’s Shelter; we care about our community,” said Henderson.
Henderson believes that people can improve their own character and state of being by helping others.
“[When Marines] provide support to other people, we help ourselves,” said Henderson. “When we improve ourselves we improve the Marine Corps as a whole and that is what counts.”