Turning other people's panic-stricken, crying moments into hopeful smiles is what Deborah Williams lives for. As founder of Women Empowering Women Foundation, a Frisco-based nonprofit whose supporters assist families affected by domestic violence with resource information to find safe transitional housing, this inclusion-focused special education teacher knew early in her career she wanted to make a difference in the lives of those facing sudden homelessness and despair.
It all started when Deborah was asked to be a guest speaker to outline how to become a positive influence for women who were in domestic violence situations.
"It's been a long, hard road since 1999, but also an exhilarating journey," reflects Deborah. "I believe we all have a purpose in mind and my purpose is to empower women who need assistance in a violent situation or just need someone to be a positive influence."
Part of WEW's vision also is to strengthen families through training, workshops and resources to build new lives free from violence.
Deborah says they typically partner with Hopes Door New Beginning Center regarding emergency shelter and emotional counseling. WEW volunteers also gather and supply gift bags with health care, hygiene and beauty products, along with inspirational messages, to women in need at domestic violence shelters.
"Too many of our local women flee domestic abuse, and are sleeping in their cars, without money, and there are not enough shelters. Or, shelters are simply full too much of the time. We'd like to raise enough monies to fund our own shelter," Deborah says, indicating that she's even personally paid for housing some victims in hotels for a couple of days until further assistance can be secured.
To support WEW efforts, Deborah says donating funds is always helpful, due to the temporary shelter typically needed.
She says she's currently working with a real estate agent who is searching for a building to specifically help victims in Frisco, McKinney and Plano. No domestic violence shelters in Collin County, she adds. "There are women who are scared to leave abusive situations because there's nowhere else to go. We pledge to assist, encourage and inspire our downtrodden and less fortunate."
WEW also needs product donations to fill the support bags, such as hair care options, gift cards, cosmetics and personal care items, including deodorant, lotion, body wash, toothbrushes and feminine products.
"I really hope more of our young women see the signs of empowerment by being with the right group of women," concludes Deborah.
Note This Upcoming Event Supporting Self-Employement: WEW, along with The National Home-Based Business Association, is scheduled to present 'Duval’s Side Business Start Up' Luncheon & Seminar For Women on May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Academy Of Black Arts And Theater in Dallas. Discover 175-plus side businesses that can bedstarted with less than $100.