By: Deanna Rebro | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: July 2009
The No Stones to Throw Ministries volunteer board of directors includes Tyress Lovett, Yamileth Canales and Janet Nusz. (Not Pictured: Sylvia Munana)
For 12 years it was a dream that Janet Nusz held firmly: a safe haven where an abused woman could heal from the past and grow into the woman she wanted to be. The formation of a faith-based, nonprofit organization, No Stones to Throw Ministries, brought the dream closer. Then a dozen strong and caring women who have walked the walk joined their hearts, talents and resources to make that dream come true.
Now Maggie’s Home provides the setting where abused women with a sincere commitment to change can restore their lives once and for all. The name for both the ministry and the house were inspired by a song by Christian performer Sierra. “No Stones to Throw” tells the story of Maggie, a woman who from the depths of her heart wanted to turn her life around, but had no place to go for help.
A low-key dedication in late June will welcome the first charter occupants and a house director. There will be no fanfare, simply a quiet, safe, nurturing place where the ladies can move forward with their lives.
Janet Nusz, the founder and CEO of No Stones to Throw, explains that abuse takes many forms. It’s not just battering. Some women have silently suffered from neglect or depression. Some have made choices that led to alcohol or chemical dependency.
The women come from all walks of life, without social, cultural, economic or educational boundaries. They reach a critical point in which they want to change but can’t get the help they need. Their families have become frustrated. The women feel the deep pain from the past and cannot see the future. Churches are not equipped with a residence, and social service agencies focus on individual aspects.
The comprehensive program within Maggie’s Home addresses the whole woman. “Seldom do you have a program that goes beyond emotional trauma,” explains Janet. And it’s not just day-to-day survival. The ladies will spend approximately six months dealing with spiritual, emotional, physical, social and financial needs now and in the future.
Before a woman can be accepted into the program, she must pass a physical examination that clears her of chemical dependency. She undergoes an entrance orientation and then completes several professional tests to determine her IQ, wide-range achievements, depression level, interest inventory and reading comprehension. All of these indicators help tailor an individualized program.
“We are convinced that our program will equip the women to become productive citizens and not rely on state funding,” says Janet. Job placement is key after graduation, as well as encouragement toward advanced education. The women will learn from some of the best examples that they can set goals and reach them.
Funding the ministry’s outreach is not a small task, and the NSTT leaders have stretched far and beyond to reach nearly $5,000 a month to operate Maggie’s Home. Each occupant is required to have a monthly sponsorship of only $200. The rest of the money is provided by private donations.
NSTT Vice President Sylvia Munana has spent the past year making churches and businesses aware of this unique ministry and service. Money, food, office supplies, household items, cleaning supplies and personal care items are needed each day. In-kind donations, such as insurance, are also on the “wish list,” as well as a late model van.
“But it’s not just our needs,” adds Janet. “If a church pastor recommends a lady who needs our help, we want to be there for her.” To offer time, talent or money or to set an appointment, give Janet a call at (918) 872-8678.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.