Winter Haven is home to so many small businesses. Our main office is surrounded by many different types of businesses. There are flower shops, restaurants, boutiques, pubs, and in walking distance, from us, there is a business that is really making a difference in the community called the Women’s Resource Center.
The Women’s Resource Center was founded in 1984. It was first a service project that the Junior League of Winter Haven was working on. As they went along it continued to grow, and they now offer a variety of services to the Polk, Hardee, and Highland counties. Their big program is called the Independence Program. Through the program, women are able to become part of a support group and change their lives. Each week, clients are able to attend sessions and earn points towards finishing the program. These sessions allow women to get information and learn skills that will be helpful to them as they work towards becoming independent. Some of the session topics include resume writing, budgeting, and body image & relaxation. The women also come up with goals for themselves, both short term and long term. They are recommended to stay in the program for three months and receive graduation when they are done. The center also has a thrift store called the Cheep Boutique. All sales from the store go to benefit the Independence Program. There are also numerous resources available on their website for housing, food, and abuse counseling.
We have been involved with the Women’s Resource Center in the past as a firm but this time we wanted to try something different. The Women’s Resource Center has a theme of empowering women and we thought, what better way to do that than give them clothing they can wear to job interviews and work? So that is exactly what we set out to do. At the end of January, we put out flyers to as many local businesses as we could get our hands-on. In February, we kicked off a professional women’s clothing drive. Of course, we knew we would have some clothing due to the fact that our firm is primarily women, but we did not expect the response the community would have to the drive. On our first day, we were able to fill up two entire tubs with clothing. By the end of the clothing drive, we covered our conference table with a mountain of clothing, shoes, and purses, all to be donated to the Women’s Resource Center. Luckily, their building is only two doors down from us and we were able to easily transport the donations.
We would like to say thank you to all who participated in the drive. The support we get from the community is always overwhelming. We are huge fans of the Women’s Resource Center and all that they are doing for the community. Though our clothing drive is over, we do encourage you to continue to give back and the Women’s Resource Center is a great place to start.