Long-Time Hanna Center Donor
A faithful donor for many years, Mary Jay gives because she and her brother ‘did not have the option of going to a refuge like Hanna’ when they were both growing up in an abusive household.
Mary Jay’s father returned from World War II with PTSD and a drinking problem. As a child, she would call the police nightly about the violence going on in the home. “At the age of 12, I started raising myself,” she said. “There were people in the home, but they were not there for me.”
She escaped her nightmarish situation by starting a family and getting married as a teenager.
It wasn’t until years later that she began a self-exploration journey that resulted in learning how to love herself. “Growing up, I never experienced physical affection or kind words,” she says. “I didn’t have feelings, nothing – for years.”
Mary Jay credits the nuns at her Catholic school for her first ‘salvation in her journey,’ as well as studying psychology, self-help books, and years of therapy for her healthy state of mind today.
“I have faith in a higher power that helped me walk my journey,” she says.
“I believe in Hanna’s work,” she continued. “I got the help I needed, but my brother did not. I give in honor of all the young people who go through your program – they have an opportunity that wasn’t available to us.”