ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Paths to Wholeness is an Orangeburg-based nonprofit dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated women transition back into society.
“I believe that God’s called this as our mission to help other women to be freed, to be made whole, and to begin a new journey," said founder Minnie Anderson.
Anderson started the nonprofit one year ago, but its impact reaches much further back.
“I am a survivor of an abusive relationship," Anderson said. "In my first marriage of eight years, I was abused just horribly," she said.
Anderson says she was moved to create the organization in an effort to help other women.
“My neighbor was also being abused and she did not leave, and ended up killing her husband who was abusing her daughter and she was incarcerated," said Anderson.
The organization is working with the South Carolina Department of Corrections to formulate an agreement. Through this agreement, women who are on parole or on probation will have the option to transition through the Paths to Wholeness year-long program.
“We know that our program will work. We all have experience to put on the table and say this is what we bring. But we want a commitment from the women to say that I’m willing to work with that one-year program," said Anderson.
They would also receive mental health counseling and case management assistance. After completing the program, Anderson says those women would then have the opportunity to enroll in a local college or seek job opportunities.
Paths to Wholeness has recently secured a transitional home for the women to stay, and hope to begin offering its services in the spring.
The nonprofit receives funding from community donations and private sponsors.
On Saturday, Paths to Wholeness will have its Christmas Bazaar from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orangeburg. There will be vendors and games, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations being offered.
The event is free, but they are accepting donations.