Chamber Ambassadors deliver Valentines to Sanctuary

Christian County Chamber Ambassadors Stepheny Gilbert, Dustin Gilbert and Nelson Dossett load Valentine’s bags into Gilbert’s car Friday morning for delivery to clients at Sanctuary Inc., a nonprofit agency committed to the provision of preventative and restorative services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

As flakes of snow fell in the bright sunlight at the Christian County Chamber of Commerce, three Chamber Ambassadors transported Valentine’s Day gifts Friday morning to Sanctuary Inc., a nonprofit agency committed to helping victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Dustin Gilbert, Stepheny Griffith and Nelson Dossett delivered 25 pink and red gift bags covered with hearts for adults and 25 red duffel bags for children living at the shelter. The gifts included toiletries, stuffed animals, toys and coloring books.

“We certainly want to thank the gracious individuals who put together such a kind and caring donation to Sanctuary,” said Heather Lancaster, executive director of Sanctuary. “I know these gifts will surely brighten up spirits here.”

The 25 Chamber Ambassadors volunteer to serve as liaisons for members and show support to the community. Currently, chamber members total more than 700 from Christian, Todd and Trigg counties, Gilbert said.

“Our Chamber Ambassadors are from various businesses and professions in Christian County and they are a vital part of our organization,” said Robin Tabor, director of membership/fundraising for the chamber. “All I ever have to do is ask and they are there to help wherever needed. They not only volunteer their time to the chamber, they give back to the entire community throughout the year. I’m blessed to call these amazing volunteers my friends.”

Gilbert said being an ambassador enables individuals to get involved in the community and to network with small and large business owners.

“You also see a need as far as our nonprofits are concerned. Then (we can) take action to (help). That’s the biggest step,” he said. “One person can’t do everything, but everyone can do something. That’s my motto, so if everybody gets together and just does something, we can make a difference.”

Gilbert said he hoped Friday’s Valentine deliveries to Sanctuary made a positive impact on the individuals staying there.

“Just to think that one day you’re home, you’re safe and then you’re at a shelter and you’re at a place where you have nothing but the clothes you brought with you,” he said. “Here’s a little something (from us) to help you along your way.”

Lancaster said the holidays can be difficult for Sanctuary residents, but Valentine’s Day may be a little brighter with the gifts from the Chamber Ambassadors.

“They’re here and I know they’re glad they have a place to reside. We want to do as much for them as we can to make them feel safe, welcome and loved,” she said. “When acts like this come through, it just reemphasizes how much they are loved and cared for when they have been through so much.”

Reach Michele Vowell at 270-887-3242 or

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