Meet Carrie Humphreys, Founding Chairwoman of CASA 100

Carrie Humphreys

Our beautiful Grand Strand community is a wonderful place to live. We have gorgeous weather, lots to do and, of course, beaches that beg to be enjoyed. But, our little corner of paradise is not immune to the troubles of the world; specifically domestic violence. Current statistics show South Carolina ranking 7th in the nation for women killed by men. In 2006, there were 6,000 calls to the crisis hotline serving Horry and Georgetown Counties, 49 families took refuge in the Safe House in Georgetown County and another 150 victims were served by outreach programs. Citizens Against Spouse Abuse (CASA) provides help for the victims of abuse. But, it takes money to make the services available that are needed by the women and children fleeing from their homes, sometimes with nothing but what they are wearing. While the Georgetown County branch of CASA does receive grant funding from various sources, there was no auxiliary or fundraising arm to help fill the void – until Carrie Humphreys decided to make a difference.

Two years ago, Carrie and her husband, Bryan, retired to Pawleys Island from Orange County, Ca., where she was a features and society writer for The Orange County Register. Her fascinating career included interviewing celebrities such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Lauren Bacall, Bob Hope, Ali McGraw, several U.S. Presidents, Margaret Thatcher and many more. Carrie even attended Elizabeth Taylor’s 60th birthday party. She was also acquainted with O.J. Simpson and his wife, Nicole. When Nicole was murdered, it shocked Carrie that this beautiful, popular couple had hidden this horrific abuse from the world. From that point on, she became an advocate for victims of domestic violence.

Carrie, please explain the mission of CASA 100 and your involvement.

Although I love to golf, walk on the beach and entertain, I wanted to get involved in the community. I volunteered for several other organizations in the area, and enjoyed it very much, but I knew there had to be one that really needed me. Then I noticed that the newspapers were filled with reports of domestic violence and decided to find out about the local branch of CASA. When I discovered that they had no one doing fundraising, I knew I could help.

I was able to recruit ten founding members of CASA 100. We sent letters to people in the community asking them to join by donating $100. There is no other obligation or volunteer hours required. Each member agrees to donate $100 annually, giving CASA $10,000 a year to use for food, personal care items and financial aid for our local victims in crisis. We eventually hope to host an annual CASA 100 fundraiser to build a new and larger Safe House. Our current Safe House only holds 10 people, including children. It is always full and many victims must be placed with relatives or in local motels.

Right now, what do you need?

More members! Currently, we have 42, but our goal is 100! If we get more than 100, we’ll change the name to CASA 100 PLUS! Women who are looking for something to add to their lives should consider helping CASA. Since the O.J. case, I believe we are all more aware of domestic violence. It is everywhere, in every rung of the socioeconomic ladder. And, what many don’t realize is that it is very hard to leave an abuser. These women are often isolated from their friends and family and are made to feel the abuse is their fault. Usually, it takes a crisis for an abused woman to flee her home.

Anyone interested in getting involved can call me at 843-235-6411, or call the CASA office in Georgetown at 843-293-2270. To join CASA 100, simply send your check for $100 to CASA 100-Georgetown, PO Box 1442, Georgetown, SC 29442.

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