Colts VP makes Shelter’s mission his own.

“God planted the seed right in front of us,” is how Indianapolis Colts VP Greg Hylton describes his family’s first encounter with Sheltering Wings seven years ago. Greg explains that he and his wife initially contacted the shelter about providing Christmas gifts to families staying there. The shelter’s faith-based mission resonated with them, prompting Greg to sign on first as a volunteer and then as a board member. He is now beginning his second year as Board Chairman. As head of the Colts’ premium seating and ticket sales, Greg has been able to bring the mission of Sheltering Wings to the attention of many new supporters. He is quick to give credit for his ability to be as involved as he is to Colts owner, Jim Irsay, saying “Mr. Irsay leads by example and does a great job himself. He challenges us all to get involved in the community. I feel that when I’m representing the shelter, I’m also representing the Colts.” About the many other companies and individuals Greg has introduced to the shelter, he says, “These are good people who are looking for ways to reach out to the community. It’s really just a matter of making them aware of the shelter and its mission.” Like Greg, many donors are attracted to the faith-based component of Sheltering Wings. As Greg says, “They may have heard of the shelter before, but didn’t realize that we have things like a pastor on staff and voluntary bible study for shelter residents. It’s something that is here for the women who want to work toward healing spiritually as well as physically.” Greg’s experiences in working with the shelter have made a strong impression on him personally. He says, “You can see God working here. When we have a need for something, it shows up…within hours....

Miss Indiana develops a platform for change.

In her recent volunteer work with a Bloomington area shelter, Gabrielle participated in presentations to many Indiana high schools and junior highs in which surveys helped measure student attitudes about what was acceptable and healthy behavior in a relationship… and what was not. “I couldn’t believe the results,” says Gabrielle. “Examples of verbal, and even physical abuse like slapping and hitting, seemed okay to a lot of these kids.” As Miss Indiana, Gabrielle is making it her mission to change that. In her recent volunteer work with a Bloomington area shelter, Gabrielle participated in presentations to many Indiana high schools and junior highs in which surveys helped measure student attitudes about what was acceptable and healthy behavior in a relationship… and what was not. “I couldn’t believe the results,” says Gabrielle. “Examples of verbal, and even physical abuse like slapping and hitting, seemed okay to a lot of these kids.” As Miss Indiana, Gabrielle is making it her mission to change that. Gabrielle’s platform is called “Empowerment from the Start,” and it fills a real need in the fight against domestic violence. As Gabrielle says, “Prevention is what’s going to interrupt the cycle of violence, and that has to begin when kids are just starting to date. That’s what’s going to empower the students to make their own decisions about healthy relationships before they find themselves in an abusive one.” Gabrielle is working within the existing network of domestic violence shelters to spread her message. She explains, “In no way do I consider myself a domestic violence expert. My goal is to help define it. I let people know...

“We thought it was you.”

The definition of awake-up call? For Stacy Paetz, it was when she heard the devastating news that a closechildhood friend had been shot and killed by her ex-fiance. Chillingly, the friend whocalled to tell her about the tragedy added, “Stacy, we thought it was you.” At the time Stacy was involved in a three-and-a-half year relationship with a boyfriend  who was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive. “I knew it wasn’t right after just eight months,” says Stacy, “but I was afraid to distance myself from him.” And, she admits, “I was ashamed of what was happening. I felt that I was a strong person. I was a good student, a three-sport athlete and had a loving family. But he stole my self-esteem. He would tell me that it was my fault when he lost control. If I hadn’t acted a certain way, he wouldn’t have reacted badly. He wouldn’t have laid his hands on me. And I believed him.” But then it got even worse. “He said if I ever left him, he would mess me up so bad nobodyelse would want me. He even threatened to kill me.” In talking about the murder of her childhood friend, Stacy grows emotional. “I knew she was in an abusive relationship just like me. I would plan for us both to break up with our boyfriends together. When she was killed it was a major reality check.” Stacy adds “The closer I got to the Lord the more I realized I had the power to make a change in my life.” Her growing confidence along with the fear that what had...

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