Stories from the Front Desk

On a frigid morning in late March, a woman timidly approached the Center’s front door and walked in. The phone was ringing; the computer had just come to life; the reception area was beginning to warm up. Emily swiveled to greet her and smiled.

The woman who came through the doors was visibly shaking; her story poured out in a whisper “The clothes on my back are the only clothes I have. My husband threw everything I own away.” The phone went unanswered and other than occasional words of comfort, Emily was silent. Just listening to understand.

All of a sudden a drop of water fell. It was a tear drop. From Emily. “We are so sorry that you are going through this,” she said. “We can help you.”

Emily called a counselor. Her fingers were flying on the keyboard finding resources, the phone was set back in the cradle. The client had an appointment with a counselor.  Twenty minutes later there were several pairs of pants, blouses, a pair of shoes, and a jacket waiting for her.

Emily was grateful she could help this woman through this hopeless moment in her life – even if it was just holding her new clothing.

YOUR donation helped to literally put clothes on this woman’s back. Thank you.

On another day there was the woman who blurted out as the phone was answered, “I am going to drive my car off of a cliff today. I have no reason to live.” She was sobbing while driving to work, knowing that she was going to lose her job because of her disability. She was unable to read computer screens. She had been searching for jobs elsewhere, but found no leads.

Rose stayed on the phone with the woman until she was able to convince her to come to the Center. Rose listened, showing her that she understood. Rose assured her that we could help her– help her find resources to work with her disability, sign her up for counseling at the Center, and find a job. After 25 minutes of listening and encouraging her, the caller came in for help.

About four months later, this woman walked through the Women’s Center doors; she was transformed. Her smile and positive energy was infectious. She asked who had helped her that awful day and stated “You saved my life. If you hadn’t stayed on the phone talking to me, I was going to do exactly what I told you I was going to do.” She now had a job that she was thriving in and was truly happy.

YOUR gift helped save this woman’s life. Thank you.

Mary was in a dark place when she came to the Women’s Center. She was laid off after working at her job for 15 years, she drove a car that broke down regularly and had four bald tires, and she was couch homeless. She was estranged from her children and had no other family who could help her.

“I was at the lowest point in my life when I heard about the Women’s Center. Everything that was important to me was gone. The proverbial rug was not only pulled out from under me, it disintegrated right before my eyes,” Mary said.

“After trying several times, I finally worked up my courage to walk through the doors of the Women’s Center. It was the best step toward a brighter future I could ever have taken. My counselor listened to me sob out my pain for the next three months. She helped me realize I was not the nasty, useless person I had been told I was. She made it possible for me to look in the mirror again; there was hope at the end of the deepest, darkest tunnel of my life.

The staff at the Center literally saved.my.life. Eventually I healed enough to start working again. Now I encourage others to seek out the caring support and services offered here.”

Without YOU this would not have happened. Thank you.

Many, many people thank us for what we do, and don’t know what they would have done if they hadn’t had the Women’s Center to go to for help.

YOUR support makes all the difference, it:

                         →  keeps our doors open and offers a safe space for women to heal

                        → allows us to offer our services at low or no cost

                       → provides problem-solving resources all at one place

                       → provides bus passes, gas, help with auto repairs, scrubs, hair cuts, wigs and                                              specialty items for women who have cancer, emergency groceries…

                         → empowers women to realize their own unique potential

                         → saves lives! 

In these uncertain times, your gift of financial support will help ensure that the women in our community have a place to go when there is no longer a place to go.

We know things are changing. We are unsure of the impact of these changes. Women who are at risk are in danger of becoming further at risk. The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing is more important than ever. YOU are more important than ever. You can help save a life. You can help put a family back together. With your support we will continue to work together to build a strong community. Thank you.

With Gratitude,

Cindie Alwood, Executive Director

P.S. From Sara R:

“Every day, but especially at this time of year, I like to count my blessings. One blessing I would like to thank God everyday for is the staff and volunteers at the Women’s Center. Whenever I come in for help often I find myself helping others with resources available in the community. Just the other day I was able to assist a client finish putting together an outfit with the accessories she had chosen. I showed her how to tie two scarves and we found a great purse to compliment her outfit. She was ecstatic beyond words. She was happy to have the wonderful outfit and to gain a new friend too – me! Without the donations to the clothing closet all of this would not have happened.”  Thank you Sara, for giving back to the women in our community.

 

PLEASE DONATE TODAY!

*A monthly gift of $1.00 a day ($30) will help ten women with finding a good job.

In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction: An Intern’s Take

The In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction means a lot to our communications intern, Emily, who is a senior professional writing major at Michigan State University. She’s been at the Center for over a year now, and she’s gearing up for her second In Her Cups event. We sat down with her to talk about why this event holds a special place in her heart.

Why does the event mean so much to you?

Emily: My answer is tri-fold. For staters, the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing means a lot to me, and so does their success. The success of the Center directly correlates to the success of so many women in the Greater Lansing area. Events like these provide the critical funding the Center needs just to stay open, and it helps expand programs. I believe in everything the WCGL does here, and keeping the doors open is so, so necessary for our community.

The second reason this event means so much to me is more personal. My mom had breast cancer when I was a senior in high school (she’s been cancer-free since 2013). There’s a lot that a family goes through during this time, and the Cancer Care program at the Women’s Center offers the resources and support that help with the many hardships and feelings one has during a time like this. My mom came to the event last year and it was really special (even though she got herself into a bidding war with the bra I made and lost! Still love you, mom).

The third reason this event is so special is the atmosphere. It was comforting to be in a room with so many people who are champions of women’s success. You feel happy, inspired, and are moved deeply all within two hours. The Runway is also a fabulous location for an event like this.  Add food and drink in there, and it’s a win for me!

What would you say to people who are thinking about attending the event for the first time?

Emily: The event is low-pressure, and it’s fun! Once you buy a ticket you know you have helped the Women’s Center, and you don’t have to feel pressured to bid on anything (although I highly encourage going for one of your favorite pieces.)  The entire room is filled with all of the bra art submissions we’ve received, so you have the opportunity to peruse on the outskirts, or gather around for the live auction. I also find myself coming back to the whole food and drink thing — Crafty Palate is catering this year! This is a feel-good Friday event that I would not want to miss.


 

Event Info

Friday, November 4th from 6:00-8:00pm at The Runway in the Knapp’s Centre

Tickets: inhercupsbrasasart.brownpapertickets.com or they can be purchased at the door

($25 for one, $40 for two)

 

Pictures from last year’s event:

 

 

 

This Week @ The Women’s Center: Support Groups & Therapy Sessions (10/09-10/15)

Hello everyone! Here’s what is happening at the Women’s Center this week (Sunday, October 09- Saturday, October 15):

Trans Together Support Group: On Wednesday, October 12, from 12 P.M. to 1 P.M. a free support group for adults (18+) who are questioning their gender identity, who identify as trans, or who have a non-binary gender identity are invited to join together to discuss relevant topics, locate resources, and find support in embracing your truth and your journey.

Cancer Support Group: On Thursday, October 13, from 2 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. a free support group for women and men who have or have survived any type of cancer are invited to come together for support and learning.

Mindful Yoga Therapy: Also on Thursday, October 13, starting at 5:45 a yoga and meditation therapy session will be hosted at the center. Donations will be accepted and appreciated!

Domestic Violence Support Group: On Saturday, October 15, from 12 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. a free support group for victims and survivors of domestic violence will be hosted at the center.

Also, keep your eyes out for upcoming support groups, especially ‘Breaking the Silence: Art Therapy’ session for sexual assault survivors will begin on Monday, Nov. 7.

Reminder: For all support groups and therapy sessions, pre-registration is preferred, but not required! Also, for most groups, you do not have to attend every session to participate.

In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction, November 4th, 2016

bras_cause_logo
Our 8th annual
In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction will be on Friday, November 4th at The Runway in the Knapp’s Centre from 6:00-8:00pm.

Why should you attend? What is the event all about?

In short: To enjoy good company, eat, drink, view amazing br’art, and BID on it!

Bras are submitted by individuals, groups, survivors, skilled trade groups, and corporations. You’ll see creations made out of ceramic, pipe-fitter, and all sorts of surprising materials! Bras are often made in dedication to loved ones affected by cancer or traumatic events, and survivors of trauma have made bras as an outlet to heal. Selected bra art will be up for bid in the live auction, and bras will also be sold via silent auction (they sell anywhere from $40 to $350!) And of course, again this year the Mitten Mavens Roller Derby team will be modeling the live auction bras.

Your Impact

All of the money raised will go to programs that we offer at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, primarily to our Cancer Care program that provides support and resources to women and their families during and after cancer. Our other programs help women realize their potential, find economic independence, and heal from traumatic events. Your support at this fundraising event directly helps the lives of women in the Greater Lansing area.

 

Ticket Prices

  • $25 for one
  • $40 for two

Purchase Tickets Here

Submitting Artwork

Interested in submitting br’art? Follow this link to our Call for Artists and this link to our Submission Details and Artist Entry Form. We have extended the deadline for bra submissions until Thursday, October 27th!

Call the Women’s Center at 517-372-9163 for more information.