Making a Difference: Giving Women A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

December 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

mid_w_longer_line1I am devoting some time this month to shine a light on some of my favorite non-profits and what they are doing to make our communities a better place.  What does this have to do with marketing?  Brands that associate with cause marketing benefit from the association. So I hope you are working on your brand’s social consciousness and amping up your relationships with worthy causes in your community.

Some 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about.

Here at The Lipstick Economy, we think women should help other women.  And one of those non-profits that stands out to us is CWJC of Middle Tennessee for their role in helping women to become self-sufficient.  In my own county, one-fourth of families with children under 18 live in poverty. CWJC is working to change that stat by providing tools for self-sufficiency.

1Q8Z6572BWCWJC has been working in the community for more than 15 years, helping women who are struggling to meet their financial needs because of a lack of education or job skills.  CWJC provides disadvantaged women with the skills they need to transform their lives including GED preparation, computer classes, ESL classes and job and life skills.  At the same time, they provide every student with a mentor, childcare and tutoring for the children, Bible Study and a loving environment that boosts their self-esteem.  The program is lean – it depends on 250 volunteers to serve as teachers, tutors, mentors and childcare workers.  But the results are amazing.  More than 70% of the women in the program either graduate with their GED or meet their goals of improving their status.

be a light3Be a Light! This Christmas CWJC is hoping to bring more light into the lives of women working to be self-sufficient.  During the holiday season, they are asking that donations be made to Be A Light.  A donation as small as $25 will provide free childcare for a mom enrolled in computer classes.  A donation of $1,000 will enroll a GED graduate in a college/job training program.  And $2400 would provide a scholarship for one women in the CWJC program.  To learn more, click here.

I know many of these women and I love them all.  They are no different than most of us – they are struggling to be a mom, a role model and a provider for their families.  Most work in minimum wage jobs or can’t find a job.  They ride buses everywhere, sometimes with four children.  They have been let go from manufacturing jobs that no longer exist.

I volunteer at CWJC and I have seen amazing things happen.  I have seen a homeless woman move into housing, get her GED, find her faith, get a great job and even win an award from her employer for her work.  I have seen a young unwed mother with two babies get her GED and move on to college.  I have seen women get promoted in their current jobs because they now have their GED.   I have seen a woman who was selling a homeless newspaper get new job skills that helped her find better employment.  Something transformational happens when you offer a hand-up, not a hand-out.

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