Doll’s House plans events to raise fundsPublished 10:39am Thursday, February 13, 2014
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As the good word gets out and more and more people in the community learn of the efforts of Johnnie and Stephanie Turner of the Doll’s House, the more likely it is that women in need will find a stable, loving atmosphere where they can rehabilitate their lives.
This is the mission of the Turners at the non-profit Doll’s House, located on a stretch of property on Highway 51 that includes gardens, a chicken coup, living quarters and an activity center. The facility is intended to offer women who have been abused, homeless, incarcerated, etc., with transitional living assistance, as well as counseling and support.
All the women attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College during their stay at the center, which can be anywhere from one week all the way to 24 months, depending on the circumstances, said Stephanie Turner. Education is a cornerstone of the Doll’s House, she said.
“We want to equip the women here with the tools to make it in society. We provide them a safe haven so that they can get their lives back on track. We also provide them as much love and support as we can,” Stephanie Turner said.
One of the key efforts of the Doll’s House is to reconnect mothers with their children, a process that can take time. Formerly involved with youth ministry, Turner sees the value of these efforts from both sides.
“I’ve worked with children who cry for their mothers. Children who need their mothers in their lives. I have also worked with women who cry for their children,” she said. “Part of my job is to do what I can to get them together again.”
Other women come to the center on a daily or weekly basis. Women in ministry groups that utilize Christian teachings to assist women in need meet at the center on a
More traditional education is received on the property as well. The Turners are determined to turn the facility into a self-sustaining mini-community that utilizes its own resources for food and potentially profit.
“We have grown watermelons and other crops here. We take what we can use and then sell the rest. We also have a chicken coup that provides fresh eggs and poultry.”
Since the Doll’s House organization is a non-profit and completely reliant upon donations and volunteer assistance, the Turners utilize charity events to help raise the money to expand their facility.
This Saturday, the Doll’s House will kick off their annual car giveaway at the center at 11 a.m. Ticket donations start at $20.
As with last year’s drawing, the prize will be a brand new car. In partnership with Keith White Ford Lincoln of McComb, the Doll’s House will give away a 2014 Ford Focus SE.
On March 15, the house will hold a drawing for a $500 winner. On April 19, two more persons will win $1,000 and will remain in the drawing for the car, also held on the same day.
On May 10, the Michelle Case 5K fun run will take place the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Donations raised from the run will also assist the house.
Also similar to last year, the organization plans to hold a fall banquet dinner sometime in September or October.
Plans for future growth at the facility are for the short and long term. For the moment, Johnnie Turner considers some of the near-term projects, noting that with 33.49 acres of overall property, the future can be very promising.
“We have big plans for the center. Right now, I am focusing on projects in the near future. I’m excited about where we can end up 10 years from now, but I think it’s smart to take things as they come, one day at a time.”
Immediate projects include the clearing and eventual excavation of land on the north end of the property. Eventually, cottages will be built on this land.
“The goal is to set up 10 two-bedroom independent living cottages, complete with two bedrooms, a living room and bath,” Johnnie Turner said.
Plans call for much of the work for this project to be done on a volunteer basis. Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop and other members of his church at Heuck’s Retreat Baptist Church have volunteered their services for this stage of the work.
Doll’s House highlights from 2013 include:
• Ministry to 48 women.
• Ministry to 62 children.
• Ministry to 400 incarcerated women.
• Ten mission projects.
• Community involvement of 950 persons.
• 20 mission groups.
• 62 Thanksgiving turkey dinners.
So far, 2014 has exceeded expectations, according to Johnnie Turner.
“In January alone, we had between 118 to 120 visits. Last January, the number was less than 10. We are well on our way.”
This is good news for Stephanie Turner. “The last thing I want is to be in a position where we have too many women to take care of. I would hate to have to turn anyone away. That is my biggest fear.”
The center is an all-volunteer effort. Donations can be made to Doll’s House at P.O. Box 3172, Brookhaven, MS.