The following was written by a Hendricks County woman who came to United Way supported Sheltering Wings after suffering years of abuse at the hands of her husband.
“Before coming to Sheltering Wings, I was in a bad place in my life. I felt alone, trapped, depressed and hopeless. I felt like I had no one to turn to. I was afraid to open up to others about what was going on because this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I was a new mom and had a good career. I tried to put on a happy face because I felt that was what was expected of me. I felt like no one else could understand what it was like to be in my shoes. I tried to convince myself that it was all in my head or maybe if I was a better wife, maybe he wouldn’t treat me that way.
“Going to the shelter was not an easy decision for me but I know now that it was the best decision I have made for myself and my child. The biggest thing that held me back from leaving my abuser was I felt trapped by the fact that I couldn’t afford to put a roof over myself and my child’s head. Sheltering Wings provided me with a safe and secure place to live. I was welcomed with open arms. I’ve received nothing but kindness and support from the staff and other residents. The staff has been there to listen when I am struggling or having a bad day. They never make me feel ashamed of my situation and have always encouraged me to see my strengths and realize the potential I have to create a better life for me and my daughter. I am so appreciative of the generosity Sheltering Wings and its donors have shown to me.
“The donations of diapers, daily hygiene products, household items, and food have been a blessing because it helps reduce the financial burden during this difficult time. Now I can focus my resources on making improvements in my life and making sure my child has the things she needs. I am thankful for the community resources Sheltering Wings has connected me with in order to make positive changes in my life. Sheltering Wings has helped me become a better parent by providing educational resources and support from staff. Sheltering Wings is like a big family and everyone shares in the joys of my daughter’s smiles, laughter, and milestones.
“I am thankful and appreciative of the kindness and generosity Sheltering Wings has shown me. I know that since I have come to Sheltering Wings I have become a different person. I am more confident and sure of what I want in life. I don’t know where my life will take me but I realize I deserve to be treated with respect. No words can express how thankful I am for everything Sheltering Wings has done for me and the impact it has had on my life.”
Note: United Way brings together compassionate people committed to improving lives in our community. We help Central Indiana residents achieve and maintain self-sufficiency by directing resources toward four key areas of community impact – Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs. Sheltering Wings is one of over 90 United Way funded agencies working to address one or more of these priorities. Since 2001, UWCI has invested over $3.6 million in support of their efforts to provide an array of services to families who are facing domestic abuse and to the community as a whole. This funding includes $1.1 million in special grants for facility needs using funds that have been donated expressly for those purposes. The agency’s current Community Fund allocation is $104,133.
Photo by Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland (Konferenzeindrücke) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons