The concept of Women United, United Way of Porter County’s nearly year-old program, is quite simple: Unite women. What they’ve discovered in their first year is that this simple concept can make a powerful impact.
Women United is an international initiative in more than 165 communities across six countries. Donors volunteer their time to empower others and accomplish more together. Since 2002, Women United has invested $1.5 billion into local solutions for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.
Locally, Women United Porter County is a group of more than 120 Porter County women – and growing. Their mission is two-fold: to volunteer and raise funds.
Women United Porter County has focused their volunteer efforts on helping women in our community through PACT Recovery Connection to provide life skills classes and social events for women in recovery. These weekly classes include financial stability, resume review, and even crafting lessons. Each member of Women United is asked to host a class every other month at the Recovery Connection office.
“With addiction, a lot of people have to leave everything behind in order to fully recover,” said Anicia Kosky, United Way of Porter County Outreach Manager. “We partner with PACT to help these ladies through their recovery process and support them in what comes next.”
Beyond the community volunteer aspect, Women United has been part of a fundraising effort to support that program and other initiatives in the community. In their Spring Bunco Night fundraiser alone, Women United raised more than $10,000.
As a relatively new program, Women United is still solidifying its structure and direction. They hold monthly meetings to work together to decide how they can best support their community.
“As a Charter Member of Women United of Porter County, I am excited about our upcoming August meeting to recap our first year, and plan for what next year might bring,” said Kathy Ricke, owner of blessings & blooms. “I have found it to be so fulfilling to serve these women in need. I would love for even more women to join our cause as we work together to build a stronger community!”
Ricke is joined in her excitement by Purdue University Northwest Clinical Assistant Professor Carrie Higgins, who said, “I am inspired by this recent effort to energize our community members to use their personal passions, best ideas and unique strengths for the mission of building stronger communities.”
Higgins has gone all-in on her commitment to Women United, serving as a board member, the Community Impact Chair, and also on the Steering Committee.
“As women, we find ourselves juggling work, school, and home tasks, as well as caring for children, grandchildren, and elderly parents,” Higgins said. “If one woman can accomplish these feats daily, just imagine what could be accomplished when we join forces!”
“I am inspired by Women United to energize our community to use their personal passions, best ideas, and unique strengths for the mission of building stronger communities,” she said. “Serving others is the best gift we can give to others and to ourselves.”
Women United Porter County is open to women interested in sharing their talents and passion. To get involved, contact Kasie Tenbarge at Kasandra@unitedwaypc.org or (219)464-3583, ext. 103.