Elaine Meckler: Women of Worth an aptly named nonprofit
I want to thank The Union, Jennifer Nobles, reporter, and Elias Funez, photographer, for creating such a wonderful article about Women of Worth.
They were very professional and extremely sensitive when asking questions. I wanted to add my thoughts to this wonderful and important story. For most of these survivors, Women of Worth is a last resort. These individuals feel lost, alone, unloved and uncared for.
They have such low esteem; they can’t bring themselves to leave. They feel worthless and afraid. These women are not only beaten physically, but psychologically, emotionally and sexually abused as well. When they come to us, they are terrified and don’t know what to expect.
Try to imagine yourself on the receiving end of domestic violence without a safe place to turn to. The thought of staying in a domestic violence shelter can be frightening, especially when you have just left someone who has been abusing you and your children.
Many women are in this predicament. They stay in volatile relationships because they have children or have no means of support. At Women of Worth, we take pride in giving comfort to these survivors. Our mission for our shelter is to replicate aspects of healthy family life, while providing a safe haven for survivors of abuse.
We keep them safe and keep their identity a secret as well as give them a place to stay, along with the support they need to help them move forward. WOW’s mission is to assist families in crisis, survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking to increase self-reliance and improve quality of life by helping them rebuild their lives with dignity, hope and safety.
Statistics from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office regarding domestic violence are frightening. In 2017, there were 14 reported rapes, 165 calls for service regarding domestic violence, 195 domestic violence reports taken by the Sheriff’s Department and 119 arrests for domestic violence assaults — just here in Nevada County.
We are starting a campaign to raise funds to purchase the property and house where Hetty’s Haven is located. It is a huge endeavor but one that needs to be done. You can help make this transition more comfortable for women and children who are no longer safe in their own homes.
We have our Women of Worth store at 224 Church Street in Nevada City, just across from the courthouse, that sells many fine items that are new and/or gently used at bargains you won’t believe until you see for yourself. You can also drop off items that are new, gently used, clean and in good condition. We won’t turn away any salable items. We also take furniture.
You might consider volunteering your time working at the Women of Worth store. The current volunteers are wonderful, warm and caring individuals who would be happy to have extra help. We are always shorthanded.
We have a long way to go, but with your donations, our dream could become a reality. If you wish, you can dedicate your donation to the building fund. There are so many ways to give and become a part of this fabulous group endeavor. Alone, we can do nothing, but hand in hand, we can reach goals that we thought were impossible.
Together, we can get this done.
You can make a tax deductible donation by sending your check made out to Women of Worth. You can either mail your check to WOW at P.O. Box 213, Cedar Ridge, CA 95924 or drop it by when you come in to shop.
Never forget that these women have lived a nightmare for a very long time before they considered leaving their homes, sometimes the only one they have ever known. Not only are they frightened, they are embarrassed and ashamed that they are in this circumstance and must ask for help.
I can’t imagine being in that position and hope I never am. But, fortunately for these women, they have a place to turn to.
Please help us help them to recover from their suffocating situations and help them realize there are people out there that are willing to give them a helping hand. We will be there for them every step of the way.
Thank you for your support.
Elaine Meckler is a volunteer and board member for Women of Worth. She lives in Grass Valley.
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