It is said that there is nothing stronger than the power of a mother’s love. Of the guests in IW’s shelter programs, more than 40 are mothers. Mother’s Day can be a difficult time, because some of our residents are separated from their children. At times, they can draw strength and purpose from working on be reunified.
The power and strength of maternal love was brought to the fore recently when we received a generous donation from a woman whose name was not familiar. After a little digging, the mystery was solved and an astonishing story emerged.
The generous donor was a former resident of the IW Women’s Center. Several years ago, she found safe, welcoming refuge there when she was at a crisis point.
In 2019, Betty had moved from Montgomery County to Nashville with her 19-year-old son. He was very unhappy with the change and fled back to Maryland without telling her. Frantic and concerned for his welfare, she borrowed money from a friend so she could drive to look for him in Montgomery County. She decided that if it would make him happier, she would find a way to move back.
While looking for her son, she lined up an interview with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She needed to remain in Montgomery County to go through the interview process, but she had run out of money and had nowhere to go. Feeling desperate, she found the IWWC, which is an emergency women’s shelter. Betty was welcomed there. She was impressed by the clean space, warm food, the ability to shower, and other personal comforts. She was also moved by the stories of struggle that she heard from other women living at the IWWC. Betty decided that she would give back as soon as she was able.
NIH ultimately offered her a job, and Betty was reunited with her son. Today, she continues to work at NIH and he is preparing to attend college.
Betty could not forget the reception she received at the Women’s Center, which prompted her to make a donation. She also plans to volunteer with IW as an expression of gratitude. Whatever the reason, we are always grateful for your support. We are committed to providing a healthy, dignified experience for all our guests and are glad IW could be there when Betty needed it.