Terry McLaughlin: Women of Worth worthy of your support
Women of Worth has a message for our community: We are still here in Nevada County!
It appears that a large number of our residents believe that Women of Worth’s presence in our community was lost with the closing of their thrift shop in Nevada City in December 2018. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For over 20 years, Women of Worth has helped hundreds of women and families in crisis, survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Women of Worth provides short-term assistance, as well as a long-term, supportive transitional living program at Hetty’s Haven, which houses up to 15 women and children. Hetty’s Haven was named for Hetty Williams, a local mother of two daughters who was murdered by her husband on Oct. 22, 2005.
Women of Worth’s mission has always been, and continues to be that of helping those fleeing violence like that which ultimately took Hetty Williams’ life, to find refuge and rebuild their lives and those of their children with dignity, hope and safety.
Under the leadership of new Executive Director Jessica McGuire, Women of Worth is the only dual service center in Northern California which offers both emergency and transitional services. Because Women of Worth is able and willing to shelter women from outside of Nevada County, the nonprofit does not qualify for county or state funding. Government funding comes with many strings attached, including limitations as to who can qualify to receive assistance and how long that assistance may be provided.
If you were escaping an abuser, wouldn’t you flee as far away from that danger as possible? Of course you would, and many of Women of Worth’s clients come from Sacramento County and other outlying areas. And would 30 days, 45 days, or even 90 days be enough to find a job or housing in order to become independent? Or to work within the legal system to obtain restraining orders or other means of ensuring safety and protection for a victim and her children? The answer is obvious.
Clients staying at Hetty’s Haven often remain for as long as a year — perhaps earning a GED or completing further education, receiving job training or employment placement assistance, learning to value themselves and regain their shattered confidence as a parent, an employee, a human being.
For all of these reasons, Women of Worth relies on our generous community for financial and volunteer support. They survive entirely upon donations from individuals and businesses — cash, material support, time and sweat.
Data has shown that almost 75% of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. If you are fortunate enough not to be among those numbers, the odds are that someone you know or care about may become a victim in the future, and you would find yourself hoping that there were resources in their community available to help them.
Most of us understand the need and we want to help, we just don’t know how or don’t believe that we have anything to offer. All of us can help these victims and here’s how:
Tax-deductible donations are always welcome and needed. Checks can be mailed to Women of Worth at P.O. Box 213, Cedar Ridge, CA 95924. You can drop by the business office located at 530-C Searls Avenue in Nevada City. You can give directly at http://www.womenofworth.org.
Time and talents are a commodity which we all have to share. Do you have media expertise, technical skills administering websites, blogs, twitter or other communication applications? Could you provide training to small groups or one-on-one assistance in such areas as financial education, job or interview skills and resumes, art therapy, aromatherapy, self-care or healing from trauma, tutoring for those earning a GED or completing community college?
Are you handy with tools and could assist with minor repairs or maintenance at Hetty’s Haven? Are you an experienced grant writer or researcher who could assist the organization? Do you enjoy throwing a party or coordinating a fun and profitable event? Do you have legal expertise to assist clients as they navigate through the court system? Are you an estate planner who could help Women of Worth develop a long-term legacy and planned-giving program? Clients await you and the skills and talents you have to offer.
Women of Worth celebrated its 20th anniversary with the inaugural Butterfly Ball this past October. It was a fabulous event held on the grounds of the historic North Star House, with music and dancing provided by the amazing Lolo Gervais and her R&B band. The sit-down dinner catered by Penn Valley’s At Your Service was delicious, and the event included live and silent auction items. The second annual Butterfly Ball is already being planned for October 2020 — but you do not have to wait until then to show your support for this urgently needed organization.
It is estimated that only one of every 20 instances of domestic violence is even reported. Escaping from an abusive situation takes an immense amount of courage, but of those who do find the courage to flee, most return to their abuser because they simply have no resources or support.
The result: One in three female murder victims are murdered by their partner.
Your time or treasure may provide the resources to literally save a life. Is there a goal more worthy? Don’t wait. Contact Women of Worth at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 530-264-7337.
Terry McLaughlin, who lives in Grass Valley, writes a twice monthly column for The Union. Write to her at email@example.com.
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