Diana Burrell, Philanthropy Manager
In the nearly ten years that I’ve been either a volunteer or staff member with the WCA, I’ve heard countless stories from former clients and their families that are testaments to resilience. I marvel at the amazing women who walked through the WCA’s doors years ago and are now thriving in safe, healthy relationships. The strength, perseverance and level of joy they have in their lives are possible because of that resilience. I know the journey to their current healthy state of peace and joy was not an easy one. They needed help to get their bearings again and heal. The services the WCA provides are truly life changing for the women, men and children we serve.
We often say that we offer a hand-up not a hand-out. Our clients do the hard work, but the help the WCA and community members provide along give them the space to heal and sometimes, just for one moment at a time, not worry if they and their children are safe, or if there will be food on the table at dinner time, or if they have enough money to buy the necessities their child needs for the new school year. A recent recipient of the Back to School program was overwhelmed at the generosity of strangers who purchased items like notebooks, pencils, a calculator and one new school outfit for her daughter. This hand-up for her daughter allowed this mom to redirect the funds she would have spent on school supplies to pay extra-curricular activity fees so her daughter could experience a more rounded school year. This mom felt empowered to be able to do that for her daughter. That feeling of empowerment is the true gift our clients receive from our donors and volunteers. As our clients feel more empowered they are able to be more resilient and find the hope and strength they need to heal.
On a personal note, this will be my last blog post as a member of the WCA staff. I can’t find the words to thank all of you who, through large and small acts of philanthropy, help the WCA’s clients heal. It has been my honor to get to know you and bear witness to the life changing impact you have on our community. I will long cherish this experience.
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