Anna Marie's Alliance
P.O. Box 367
St. Cloud, MN 56302
To provide a safe place for victims of domestic abuse and to achieve systems change that reduces violence.
The goal of Anna Marie's Alliance is to provide women and their children experiencing domestic abuse with a safe place to stay and resources to eliminate/escape domestic abuse. An additional goal of the organization is to create a community where violence is not tolerated and every home and community institution is a safe environment. This is done by encouraging all sectors of the community to commit to, adopt, and implement a healthy relationship model and norms of behavior so that a culture of healthy relationships can be created.
On January 18, 2000 Anna Marie’s shelter for battered women and their children opened. At that time the name was changed from Woman House to Anna Marie’s. At full capacity, Anna Marie's shelters 34 women and children.
A few words about Anna Marie, the woman
Anna Marie was a local woman who raised four children alone and set a shining example for them and others. Her spirit continues to enrich the lives of all of those touched by her generosity.
It was in Anna Marie's honor that her son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Katharine Whalen, gifted CMTFBW with $500,000 to help with the building of a new battered women’s shelter and its maintenance.
In a tribute to Anna Marie, Executive Director--Maxine Barnett wrote, “Anna Marie's shelter for battered women and their children is a fitting legacy for this woman who has taught us all so much about what it means to be part of a community of people who care for and support each other.
Early in life Anna Marie embraced the role of a single parent of four children. She became an accountant and later an entrepreneur. She owned and operated The Potpourri, a retail gift shop in downtown St. Cloud, Minnesota.
She was excited to be part of planning the building of Anna Marie’s shelter and we consulted with her on color schemes, playground equipment, and kept her informed of building progress. Although she was confined to her bed the last several years of her life, her spirits were never confined. She delighted in her children, grandchildren, brothers, sister, mother and family members.
Anna Marie came to the open house and dedication of the new shelter in January, 2000. A lovely watercolor, entitled “The Heartgarden” was commissioned by some of her nieces in honor of Anna Marie and her mother, Margaret Merck. It was hung above the fireplace that day. “The Heartgarden” symbolizes the hope and choices of women who have come to the shelter and who can, over time, reopen the gates to their heartgarden.
A sculpture was created for Anna Marie’s by artist Roseanne Keller. Entitled “You Are Not Alone,” this piece reflects the support women give to one another as they also reach to embrace their children. It is easy to see Anna Marie and her children in this work of art. We shall miss Anna Marie but her spirit and her name lives on. Peace, Anna Marie and peace to all who enter our dwelling so appropriately named for you.
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