Women’s Committee aids Women’s Refuge

By Cecelia Davis

With the daily hardships and the environmental crisis nowadays, it can be a struggle to see hope at the end of the tunnel. Constant grief and sorrows whisper through the homes of the young and the old. Imagine a seventeen-year-old woman homeless in the frigid night air, worried about where she could safely rest her weary head and not only feed herself but the unborn baby she has been carrying for three months. Now, imagine being that young lady. Or better yet, imagine her being your daughter. What do you intend to do?

Our Local 249 UAW has a committee that dedicates themselves to helping better women inside and out. They find ways to support and empower women around them. They also help educate the women within the local union of the labor’s position on local, state, and national laws regarding women’s issues.

The Women’s Committee helps to provide leadership and educational training for members, so that they may become more active in the local union and seek leadership positions inside and outside the union. Not only is the Women’s Committee setting a great example within the union, they are role models for the community of all ages.

On September 8, the Women’s Committee decided to expand their leadership role and reach out to Mother’s Refuge. Mother’s Refuge is a darling location where homeless soon to be mothers or young mothers are welcomed with open arms.

When women arrive at the refuge, the staff coordinate appointments to ensure that mothers and their babies receive the required medical care efficiently and as medically directed throughout and following after the pregnancy. They offer a five step program to enhance the young women life skills. They provide classes to assist in improving parenting, infant care, money management, mental and physical health, and community awareness. Once the mother has graduated from the program, Mother’s Refuge helps them move into their own place with a small donation of 500 dollars to help jump start their future.

The refuge keeps all lines of communication open to them, to reach out to the home for continued comfort and support. The refuge accepts the mothers who range from twelve to twenty-one years old. The home is equipped with pregnancy rooms, where the women that are pregnant share a charming little room accompanied with a bed, closet, and a dresser. Once the child is born, they are then moved to a serene and harmonious room just for the mother and newborn.

The UAW women felt instantly connected as they were greeted at the door from the coos of the infants that would curiously peek their tiny heads outside their bedrooms. While the UAW Women‘s Committee was there, they were presented the opportunity to help out with maintenance around the house.

They freshened up the home by repainting some of the rooms and hallways, and helped reorganize and update their food pantry. They also partner with the Harvesters after care program. After the hard work was completed, they helped set up a birthday event for one of the in-home expecting mothers while reminiscing about their heartfelt moments of becoming a mother.

“The Women’s Committee chose this organization because in this day in time there is such a great need to support young women in their life struggles. To be a model of giving back and showing love. We also have a member of our committee who benefited from this organization. We wanted to choose an organization we could get behind to foster good relationships in our community as well as show our membership and the community why union should be supported and upheld. We’re not just working for our local but for our community as well. I truly enjoyed myself and I can’t wait to go back,” said Robin Taylor, the Women’s Committee chair.

Robin encourages anyone and everyone to take the time to reach out to Jesse Moreno, who is the outreach coordinator for Mother’s Refuge. “She was such a delight to provide us a tour and explain to us the daily routines that they provide these young ladies with to set them in the right direction,” said Cecelia Davis, who is new to the Women’s Committee. “I wish they had this type of advance program back in my early pregnancy. It definitely would’ve made my life a bit easier.”

As the Women’s Committee continue to strive forward, feel free to connect with Robin Taylor if you would like to volunteer or provide a donation to this life changing operation. With the right approval, the Women Committee plans on partnering with Mother’s Refuge and foresees monetary contributions given in the near future.