June 2011 

CODA's McLean Named SC Volunteer of the Year!

McLean (holding award); left & far right: CODA's children's counselor, Paula, & case manager, Betsy;
Middle: SCVAN's Veronica Kunz & Brett Macgargle


The SC Victims Assistance Network (SCVAN) has named CODA volunteer, Nina McLean, as South Carolina’s “Volunteer of the Year” for her outstanding service and dedication to CODA and the individuals it serves. McLean received the honor at SCVAN’s annual “Victims’ Rights Week” conference held in Columbia. 

Betsy Price, CODA’s case manager, nominated McLean for the honor saying, “Nina does more than ‘put in hours’ twice a week.  She drives our survivors to job interviews and  appointments, alerts them to fashion faux pas when searching for employment, listens to them and allows them to cry, laugh and reminisce. She answers the crisis line, has helped develop a client budgeting curriculum and relieves staff by completing tedious paperwork. Nina does all this with a great sense of humor, a willing heart and a generous spirit.”

In her acceptance remarks, an astonished McLean who had been unaware she was a nominee stated, “I simply love what I do at CODA. And, believe me, I receive far more than I give.”

CODA’s executive director, Kristin Dubrowski, says of the award, “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers – and I am thrilled that the caliber of Nina’s work was recognized at the state level.”

A New Way of Giving Back

The “Be Aware News Team,” comprised of 8th graders at Beaufort Middle School, chose CODA as the subject of its latest class-produced documentary video.  The “exploratory class,” led by teacher, Jan Paris, (see photo above) incorporates a variety of educational experiences while learning about and communicating the needs of worthy causes locally and internationally.
The team chose CODA as its topic, in part, because a student had shared her experience of staying with her mom at CODA’s shelter. The student had seen, first-hand, the devastating implications of domestic violence and the effectiveness of CODA’s services in helping victims move on to new lives. The other students responded with interest and the topic was decided.
After researching  domestic and dating violence the students synthesized their information into a script which they then videotaped. The edited version aired on the school's “morning news” which is broadcast  each day.

Simultaneously incorporating new skills and raising money for CODA,  the class independently organized, auditioned for, publicized and coordinated a juried talent show presented at the school May 18th.  
The project was rewarding for both CODA and the students. They reported that, prior to their research, they were unaware of the prevalence of domestic violence in our society, the availability of CODA’s services or the various warning signs of potentially abusive relationships. Many concurred that they would now advise anyone they knew who was in an abusive relationship to contact an organization such as CODA.
One student explained that the “exploratory” learning approach enabled her to truly grasp the complexities of an issue, more so than if the facts had been gleaned in a one-dimensional style. Another was glad for the increased awareness of what is happening in her own community – as well as the opportunity to concretely address it. Everyone nodded agreement at one student’s sentiment, “You feel better about yourself at the end of the day.”
CODA extends thanks to the aware, creative, committed students at Beaufort Middle School who are working to end domestic violence in our community.

Tate Raises $s for CODA

As executive director, Kristin Dubrowski, looks on,  Marie Tate of Tate Enterprise, LLC  presents a check for the proceeds of  her recent fund-raiser to Marcia Seymour, president of  CODA's board of directors.


Over the last six weeks, talented and giving volunteers from Carteret Street United Methodist Church, Zonta of Hilton Head and the Junior League of Savannah have painted, planted and repaired CODA's shelter - including the residents' bedrooms and  living room. The new paint is fresh and soothing, the repairs are heartening and the flowers a delight.  

Anniversary Kudos to CODA

2011 marks 25 years of CODA's support of victims of domestic violence and their children. A former CODA client, now a survivor, sent the following letter to Bluffton Today in a fitting tribute to CODA's mission, past and present.

May 5, 2011 

I came to Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse directionless as to what to do. I just knew I was fed up with being scared and being subjected to maltreatment and abuse. CODA empowered me through counseling to find the strength from within to once again listen to my own voice.

I took residence at the CODA shelter for a month when I did not have financial resources apart from my abuser which gave me the ability to break free. I also felt such safety within the walls of the shelter, and was surrounded by women who understood.

I remember my first day there. I was wracked with guilt for having ripped my 6-year-old son from the comfort of his home. I could handle it, but was it fair to him to leave his toys, his bed, all he knew as home behind? His eyes lit up with glee at discovering a playground in the backyard surrounded by a fence. His difference in perspective reminded me that children adapt, and that I as his mother had to break free from the abuse not only for me and my future, but to provide my son an abuse-free home.

The cycle ends now. My son will know to respect a woman. He will know love and compassion. He will know encouragement and praise. He will know gentle hands, not hitting hands. My son and I are survivors, but we could not have, and most likely would not have done it without CODA. I am so thankful for their services and support that I utilized which included women’s counseling, children’s counseling, group support, housing, and legal services. My son and I are so much better equipped after having had such a program available to us. I was not in any financial position to leave my abuser nor was I in any financial position to fight a long, exhaustive legal battle. I could not have done either without CODA.

CODA never judged me for staying nor for loving my abuser. Instead the counselor equipped me with invaluable tools that provided me safety and inner strength and in time my eyes were opened to the reality I lived under and what I needed to do. Then, having the shelter available, I was able to do what needed to be done to break free in as safe a way as possible. Legal services provided me the ability to not be completely bulldozed over in family court, and I have sole custody of my son, monthly child support and assets from the divorce to build a new future with my son. Most of all I am thankful for each and every person within the organization, including those behind the scenes, that make CODA possible. I have no idea where I would be on this date without them, or if I would even be alive.

Joy Carr


Swing for Spring a Success!

May 2, 2011
CODA supporters teamed up May 2nd to enjoy glorious weather and magnificent golf at Callawassie Island's Dogwood and Magnolia courses. Harry Wiggins, Chuck Calhoon, Jack Baggette and Ronn Brinkman made up the winning team. Rev. Andrew Pearson shot the longest drives on both courses and Linda Fross won "closest to the pin".  
More  "Swing for Spring" photos.
Copyright © 2011 - Ciizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse

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P.O. Box 1775
Beaufort, SC 29901


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