Dream, Girl ~ Reach for the Stars! May 8, 2014 Walnut Hills Country Club

Join us on May 8, 2014 at Walnut Hills Country Club from 6:30 – 8:30 pm for our signature event! Emceed by Kelly Rossman-McKinney and a keynote address by Judi Brown Clarke should be enough to get you there BUT THERE’S MORE!  This is the only event where you, our generous and awesome supporters, will hear directly from our clients and interns what their experience has been at the Women’s Center.  Bring tissues because you will definitely be moved by their stories. Kelly and Judi might make you laugh until you cry so there will be more than one use for hankies.

We also give out the Tribute to Women Award. This is a prestigious award given out to women who have overcome barriers in their chosen profession; served as a mentor for other women; and are leaders in this community. The nominees for this year’s award are:

Susan Lupo, Shenetra Moses, Traci Ruiz, Dawn Smith, Rev Sameerah Shareef, Emily Weigel.

Sponsors for this event include: The MI Department of Transportation (Pat Collins), The Billingslea Family In Memory of Ms. Adella “Mother Dear” Smith, and Upstream Investment Partners.

We will again silent auction the centerpieces. There will be submissions from local garden clubs, florists, local artists and potters, and other really cool stuff.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchase through the website – go to the DONATE button. In the company line write DG tickets or by calling us at 517.372.9163.

10 Ideas for Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

Losing a loved one often feels like the end of the world. It doesn’t have to be. We hope these ideas with help you during this difficult time.

1. Reach out to a friend or family member
Family and friends can be your pillars of strength at a time like this. Talking to them about your grief and planning activities together can help alleviate the emotional pain and help you learn to live your life without the person you lost.

2. Write in a Journal
Letting your feelings out through a journal can help calm your mind and provides an outlet when you have trouble expressing feelings verbally. Experts advise writing your thoughts, feelings and even daily activities when in an emotional turmoil. Writing is beneficial in a variety of situations because it helps us to organize our thoughts, provides an outlet and the physical act of writing helps us heal.

3. Listen to music
Music has the power to heal. Period.

4. Go for a walk – outside if possible!
Simple things like taking a walk can help you take things off your mind, while providing a physical outlet and release for the stress you are experiencing. Walking outside has the added benefit of connecting to the earth and grounding ourselves. Grief can often make us feel disconnected from everything around us. Walking outside and taking deep breaths will also help you sleep better which in turn will help you feel better.

5. Write a letter to the deceased or to someone else experiencing grief
It has been found to be cathartic if the person experiencing grief writes a letter to the person they lost. Although the person that died will never see it, it is a way for the person grieving to express the things they didn’t have a chance to say when their loved one was alive. However, this can be a very difficult process and not everyone experiencing grief is ready for this task.

6. Play with a pet
If you are an animal person, chances are some furry friends would give you much relief than any of these other tips! Fret not if don’t have one, visit a friend who owns a pet or the local pet shelter. There are some furry hands waiting to lend you much needed support!

7. Take a bubble bath
At times of high stress, we often forget to take care of ourselves. A simple indulgence like a bubble bath can help refresh you inside out. Add some essential oils or fragrances to soothe you.

8. Read, watch movies or television
Consuming media content often distracts you from what you are doing, filling your mind with new thoughts. Use this effectively by reading or watching what you enjoy the most.

9. Attend a grief support group
Women’s Center of Greater Lansing offers support groups. Contact us for more details!

10. Talk to a counselor
Grief is individual, nobody experiences it the same way. Letting your feelings out to a counselor can help you deal with the unique problems that you face while grieving.

Anonymous Donors Give $65,000 as Matching Gift!

Wow, I’m still shaking. This has never happened to us. It’s still a little hard to wrap my brain around it.

Just when you think you’re doing this work and nobody really notices or cares, along comes two people who have noticed what we do and value our work in their community; they noticed our successes; saw our challenges; got up close and personal and talked with women they referred here for services and even a couple of our interns.

And made a decision.

With a string attached.

These wonderful people who wish to remain anonymous (I believe because they are the kind of people who do not want public accolades and just want their generosity to make a positive impact on our community) made a contribution that they will match dollar for dollar your contribution up to

How cool is that? The impact of their contribution will help sustain and grow the Women’s Center in so many ways. It will help us to:

make some needed repairs to the buildings
increase our programming
reduce expenses by refinancing our mortgage
update our computer programs and equipment, and ~
add an additional staff person to help with marketing, public relations and managing our social media.

Like I said, I’m still in awe at the possibilities this has presented for the Center.

We need YOUR help to maximize this incredible gift.

That’s where the string comes in. We need your gift by December 31, 2013 to take full advantage of the offer. These wonderful people see the needs the Center has, the value in our community and want us to be able to make the changes now to create a more sustainable financial future.

Will you help by making a donation today?

Click here:


Click on the donate button. In the Company line write “matching gift”. Thank you.


On behalf of the board of directors, staff (Patsy & me), our interns and volunteers and especially the women we serve, thank you for your generosity.

We wish you a wonderful Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice or whatever you celebrate!

Cindie Alwood
Executive Director &
Chief Hope Officer

Donations! Stuff We Need

Are you starting to feel the winter chill too? Many of the women who come to the Center don’t have coats, boots, or other stuff to keep them warm. This is where YOU come in! If you have coats, boots, hats, gloves, scarves, or any other warm stuff you can donate, please drop them off at the Center anytime Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

We are also still taking donations of interview-worthy clothes for our Professional Clothes Closet. We especially need blouses, shoes, and purses.

Your donations make a huge impact on the people who receive them. Thank you for supporting the women we serve!

Realizing Your Economic Action Plan (REAP)

Now accepting applications for the REAP program. REAP has been developed to assist women, especially women in domestic violence situations or who have experienced intimate partner violence, with determining what goals are important to you and what steps you wish to take in order to meet those goals. REAP provides economic information and offers a learning opportunity to assist you with laying out a detailed plan that will help you begin to take financial control over your life. Through the REAP classes we will support you in detailing a step-by-step plan which will assist you with finding and accessing the resources necessary to accomplish your goals and become economically secure. Safety for you to attend this program is of utmost importance to us. All activities in the REAP program are done in a confidential manner putting safety first. This a multi-session program that will be customized to fit your needs. Please call the Women’s Center (517.372.9163) and speak with Patsy if you have further questions or want to sign up. You can also email the Women’s Center at womenscentergl@gmail.com. There is no charge to attend the REAP program.

Economic abuse is defined as:

  • Controlling the financial resources (checkbook, income, gas money, grocery money, etc.)
  • Destroying credit (taking out lines of credit in your name, letting your car get repossessed, intentionally paying bills late to ruin your credit score)
  • Taking your money (stealing cash, checks or money from your ATM)
  • Making you ask for money or giving you an allowance
  • Controlling access to financial information (checkbook, insurance policies, other account information)
  • Gambling or spending life savings
  • Demanding details of how money was spent
  • Not allowing your names on accounts
  • Not letting you talk about money with other people
  • Devaluing your financial contribution
  • Expecting you to “behave” in a certain way because he makes more money than you
  • Preventing you from having or keeping a job; or destroying homework for school

**REAP is made possible in part by a grant from the Capital Area United Way