“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.”
Were you one of the three million people who marched this week? Were you someone who didn’t understand the point of the march while you watched on the news? I disparage none of you, regardless of where you stand. I was moved by the march—not due to one central theme—but because I think it’s incredible to live in a country that witnessed the peaceful transfer of power on a Friday, and on Saturday, millions mobilized in the very definition of a peaceful protest. And I think that’s amazing.
Many people in other countries—especially women—would be beaten, jailed, or killed for much smaller offenses. Disagree with the march or not, it was an incredible piece of history to witness. I’m not sure which side of history you fall on, dear readers. I often find myself wandering down the middle of the proverbial aisle, wondering where I belong and who I should sit with at the lunch table. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by strong, beautiful, willful, and kind women. I feel heard. I feel loved. But still I see the women in the shadows of my life. The fact that there are countless women who are hurting and lonely and wondering how they’re going to get through the day is indisputable—and something that (I hope) we can all agree needs our attention.
I see you, Lula, the homeless woman selling The Contributor on the corner. To the mom of the newborn who I saw when I was working as a nurse? I see how ashamed you are as you ask for formula samples that you can’t afford while you won’t make eye contact with me. I see you. And you? I want to know you. Let’s have a conversation. I want to know someone who is different from me.
In that spirit, I’m sharing a list of places where you can volunteer in and around Nashville to support women who need it. These women who, at times, feel voiceless. If we missed a cause that’s dear to your heart, please add it in the comments. If you want to get involved but are still uncertain where to start, comment here, message us on facebook, get in touch with us! We’ll help you. Together we are stronger.
Sex trafficking and slavery are, of course, not women-specific issue, but it’s global epidemic assuredly. According to their website, “In the state of Tennessee, 94 teens a month are deceived, tormented and sold, usually for sex.” That’s a terrifying number, and there is something you can do.
This organization aims to help neighbors in need by providing a “central place to send people who needed help with food, clothing, and financial assistance.” Do you feel called to help single moms? This is a great place to start.
“Hope Clinic for Women is a faith-based, safe, and confidential place for anyone dealing with unplanned pregnancies, prevention, pregnancy loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or abortion), and postpartum depression.”
If you feel led to help women and their families struggling with addiction and recovery, The Next Door is a wonderful option for getting involved. They provide treatment, recovery, and re-entry services for women affected by addiction.
Thistle Farms, originally Magdalene, provides services to women who are recovering from addiction, prostitution, and trafficking. They are able to house 32 women, provide services to hundreds more through outreach, and manage an inmate program for six incarcerated women.
Serving the refugee community of Nashville, helping them to “achieve their full potential now and for generations to come.”
SFH teaches refugee how to sew—a marketable skill—to help them settle into their new city. After completion of the program, women are awarded a certificate and their very own sewing machine.
Most Nashvillians are probably familiar with this nonprofit. But were you aware that they have a separate campus for women and children? See how you can get involved!
This wonderful organization works hard to keep entire homeless families together, then provides aid to ensure that they are able to achieve self-sufficiency.
World Relief has been providing a way to embrace refugees in Nashville since 1987.
Home Safe is a resource in Sumner County for women who are victims of domestic abuse. They provide both emergency and support services for those who have found themselves in an abusive situation.