Butterfly House to open soon
It has been several years since Danna Deaton, executive director of the Butterfly House, first started sharing her story and her dream of opening a transitional living facility for women who want to live chemically free. Her dream of a home to provide women with a safe, productive environment while they are working on getting their lives in order is about to become a reality.
Deaton said it has all been in God's timing. The Butterfly House was incorporated in 2011.
Thanks to support the project has received from area churches, individuals and corporate sponsors, the Butterfly House now has an address.
"We have prayed, held fast, and overcome some huge challenges along the way, and now it is time to move forward," she said.
A small white house at 329 South Baltimore, Manila, has been purchased.
Deaton is excited. She said the house is structurally sound and is undergoing minor cosmetic improvements. It will accommodate four women and one live-in program director/resident manager. The house sits on a large corner lot with room to build for the future.
It is hoped to be ready for open house on April 18. Deaton would like to invite everyone who has had a part in the project and the public to join her for the open house.
"Many people have had a hand in making The Butterfly House a reality," she said.
The Butterfly House is a part of the newly formed Charlotte Deaton Foundation started by Danna and her husband John in memory of their daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte was born in the Children's Hospital in Little Rock. She lived two months and three days.
In addition to the Butterfly House, the foundation is part of the Manila Food Pantry, an after school mentoring program and job training program and provides gas money to families taking their children to area children's hospitals.
"We took for granted going to the Children's Hospital in Little Rock day after day for over eight weeks," Mrs. Deaton said. "There are some families out there who need help and through the foundation at least we can help them with transportation expense to the hospital."
The Butterfly House will provide help to women at no cost to them. They will have the opportunity to earn their GEDs, receive job training, and help in getting a job. Once they are able to go to work, a portion of their salary will go for rent during their last months at the Butterfly House. This will allow the women to learn budgeting/money managing. An average stay at the Butterfly House will be from six to 12 months.
Volunteers and donations will be needed. Background checks will be required for volunteers.
"We will need volunteers willing to mentor to the women, people willing to provide transportation when needed, donations of supplies as well as monetary donations," Deaton said. "With the money we have raised we were able to purchase the home. We will need one full- time and possibilty two part-time employees. We will have utillity expenses and upkeep. It is a great location for the women. The house is centrally located within walking distance of four area churches and town."
Mrs. Deaton praised board members throughout the years who have worked on the project. Presently board members include Angie Hicks, Brandi Hurst, Aimee McLaughlin and LeAnn Helms.
"They are all hard working, community-minded, full of love and called to service," Deaton said.
The transitional living facility is what was once called a halfway house.
"We will be working with DHS and judicial systems to promote family reunification," Deaton said. "We want these women to be able to live chemically free and raise their children in a safe, drug free environment."
There has been corporate sponsors for continued support over three years, and support of area churches and individuals.
"I know it is hard for individuals to give a lot, so I ask a lot of people to give a little," Mrs. Deaton said. "Anyone who has even given $1 has helped in making this project a reality."
The fourth annual Harvest Butterfly 5K Run/Walk will be held May 9. Other fund-raising events such as the Manila Christmas Show have raised funds for the Butterfly House.
The Charlotte Deaton Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. One hundred percent of donations are tax deductible.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can send it to P.O. Box 1132, Manila 72442.
Mrs. Deaton is available to speak at meetings or churches throughout the area for those who want to learn more about the Butterfly House and other projects supported by the Foundation.