The goal of WIN is to provide direct service hours and support to Havenwood and Restoration Village to provide significant Issue Based Community Impact. Members provide monthly programs for the residents of the facilities, both mothers and children. Programs for the mothers include healthy cooking, breast cancer awareness, personal finances, fitness, etc. The programs for the children are tailored to be age appropriate and provide them with a safe and fun environment. WIN also hosts various holiday parties with the entire family that include crafts and professional family photos. The support provided is intended to give the families a safe and fun opportunity to expand their knowledge of various issues as well as provide time to fellowship with JLNWA members and volunteers. Through these events and programs, JLNWA hopes to provide an environment that fosters empowerment and confidence in the women and their children.
Women’s Independence Network is a small but mighty group of dedicated women committed to changing lives in Northwest Arkansas. WIN serves two long-term facilities in the Bentonville/Rogers area, Havenwood and Restoration Village.
Restoration Village opened its doors in 1989 and Havenwood was founded in 1991. Both facilities act as a “transitional housing” option for homeless, single parents and those who have a past with sexual, emotional or physical abuse. The women who enter these shelters can expect security, resources, guidance to be self-sufficient and, most importantly, hope and encouragement.
There are 24 women and 16 children currently being served at the shelters. Many have different needs and each committee member learns something from them each time they visit.
“My favorite part of serving on WIN is having a glass of tea or coffee one on one with the women and allowing them to feel and talk like a normal woman and mother. I want to make an impact by being a listener and a friend first,” shared Stephanie Mullikin, WIN chair. “Many didn’t choose this life and I’m grateful for the service Junior League gives to Havenwood and Restoration Village, right here in our own community. Our services build up their self-esteem and empower them, but also touch the committee members in a very rewarding way.”
WIN has partnered with guest speakers to offer instruction on local healthcare options, parenting skills and financial support for the women. WIN also offers creative programming for the children, including crafts, police and fire safety, holiday parties and fun educational programs.
“The Junior League of Northwest Arkansas not only has secured programming for our adult residents, but has served the children of our moms with compassion, creativity and in meaningful dialogue of conversation in the midst of the activities,” said Beverly Rose Engle with Restoration Ministries, Inc. “The personal attention of the volunteers with crafts, projects, family pictures, making of snacks, etc., builds memories for these children, a knowledge that individuals care and that individuals see them as significant. The children at Restoration Village have been able to experience acceptance and see others giving of themselves unselfishly on their behalf.”
WIN’s goal this year is to get “back to basics.” The women plan to attend each shelter monthly offering outreach programs that have the greatest impact on the women. They will focus on basic resources, basic education on local services and care, and basic take-aways for parenting, financial acumen and overcoming obstacles – of course all while having fun!
“The many adult residents are aided because the Junior League shows them that there are people who care, people who will treat them with dignity and respect while giving them the opportunity to grow in life skill knowledge and enjoyment,” Beverly said.