Women Giving Back 2018 Annual Report

Our Mission

WGB’s mission is to support women and children in crisis, and build their confidence and self-esteem, by providing great quality clothing at no cost, assisted by caring and committed volunteers who offer personalized service and interaction.


Our greatest asset is our volunteers. Please join us in making a difference in someone’s life. You can help sort clothing, be a personal shopper, raise funds, coordinate a donation drive, facilitate corporate & community outreach and much more.

The Store

The WGB Store is filled with wonderful clothing, accessories, shoes and more for our clients that are currently in shelters or transitional programs. We open a number of days each month or by appointment. Clients are referred by their Case Managers. Our clients leave standing much straighter and prouder than when they walk in.

Store location:
20 Export Drive, Sterling, VA 20164

Executive Committee

President, Denise Harrover
Van Metre Companies

Vice President, Cyndi Shanahan
V.P. Freddie Mac (ret.)

Secretary, Tara Craven
Carr Homes

Treasurer, Shona Bell
Aspire Solutions

Past President, Terri Stagi
The Stagi Group

Executive Director, Nicole Morris


Emilia Philip
O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Leslie Strittmatter
New Homes Guide (ret.)

Connie Bucko
American Airlines

Diane DuBois
The Washington Post (ret.)

Cindy Dwyer
Weichert Realtors

Lisa Geraci-Rigoni
Organizing Mentors

Cecilia Hodges
M&T Bank

Tracy Graves
Comstock Homes

Jane Lyons
Lyons & Sucher Advertising

Rebecca Taylor
Model Home Interiors

Shay Onorio
Red Thinking

Eve Weber
Selling Loudoun

President's Letter
Denise Harrover, President

Every year, WGB strives to provide our services to more women and children. That drive requires us to take a hard look at what tools we need to accomplish the mission. Due to the generosity of our donors and grants, we were able make a number of improvements to reach that goal:

Our Executive Director, Nicole Morris, hired our first Program and Volunteer Coordinator Hunner Rezek. By bringing on this second paid employee, Nicole would be able to focus her time and efforts on outreach, as well as focusing on implementing reporting and tracking of ‘metrics’. These metrics are needed to report our progress and outreach to various agencies for funding.

This effort is measurable: In 2017, we raised $34,000 through grants; in 2018 we were able to secure over $81,000.

We purchased and installed a volunteer software program. This program helps us to track all our volunteers, the hours they put in at WGB and to provide feedback. All of this information is instrumental in tracking what it takes to keep our doors open and service our clients.

In 2018, our development committee focused their efforts on bringing in new donors, and increasing our efforts in fundraising. Their efforts saw an increase in money raised at our Cinco de Mayo fundraising event, and a 33% increase in the number of new donors.

All of these efforts led to an increase in the number of women and children served in 2018. WGB served 7,331 women and children in 2017. In 2018, we were able to serve over 9,960 women and children.

We continue to expand our community outreach allowing us to connect with faith based organizations, local charities and other grass root programs to continue to serve even more women and children.

With over 2,000 volunteers, two paid full-time employees, and a committed board of directors, we are as determined today as we were when we started in 2007, to reach every woman and child that needs our services.

All of this is possible due to the generosity of our donors - with every dollar and every minute they give to WGB, we are working to make a difference.

The March of Dimes recognized this effort by recognizing our own co-founder, Terri Stagi. Terri was awarded the Herione of Washington DC Lifetime Achievement for her vision, commitment and dedication to WGB. Well earned and well deserved!

Denise Harrover
WGB President

Executive Director's Letter
Serena Williams quote

Dear Friends of WGB,

Each and every year we are beyond grateful for your enthusiasm, dedication and generosity to Women Giving Back. In 2018, over $1.8 million dollars of clothing was donated to Women Giving Back and thanks to those generous in-kind donations we were privileged to serve 9,960 women and children in crisis. That’s a testament to the commitment and compassion of our partner agencies, our financial supporters, our volunteers, our board and our staff. It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had to adjust our processes and make hard decisions. We’ve asked more from our supporters than ever. But the result of all that effort is undeniable.

The question is, where do we go from here?

Our board will spend the better part of 2019 laying out a new five year strategic plan in order to answer that question. Our strategic plan will guide us in decision-making, planning and use of resources.

As you browse through this Annual Report and learn about our accomplishments, please know that though our agency may evolve and expand, the one thing that remains the same is our commitment to be a vital resource to the vulnerable women and children in our communities. That commitment will continue for our next five years—and beyond.

For those of you who have tirelessly committed time and energy to the success of this organization, we thank you. For the many of you who are new, we welcome you to WGB. I look forward to working with all of you in 2019.

With gratitude,

Nicole Morris
Executive Director

2018 Highlights
  • January – After serving as Board President for 10 years, Terri Stagi passed the baton to Denise Harrover who took on the role.
  • We hired our second employee, Hunner Rezek to fill the new role of Program & Volunteer Coordinator.
  • February – WGB was one of the charities featured in Carahsoft’s All-Hands-In Giving program. Each Carahsoft team member selected a charity and out of 200 charities more than 50 Carahsoft employees selected Women Giving Back as their choice to “gift” company dollars. As a featured charity WGB received double the dollars and was sent a check for a whopping $10K.
  • April – During National Volunteer Appreciation week we announced our Volunteer of the Year Bill DuBois (Individual) and Sisters4Sisters (Group).
  • May - WGB was a recipient of the Fairfax County Neighborhood & Community Services Distinguished Partner Award for our partnership with Coordinated Services Planning (CSP). CSP is a call center referral line that connects Fairfax County residents to services and resources to support individuals and families in crisis.
  • June – Nicole Morris was promoted to Executive Director. “The WGB Board has unanimously selected Nicole Morris to be our first Executive Director,” says Denise Harrover, Board President. “We are so lucky to have her and are grateful for her passion and commitment. She has taken our mission to a new level and we simply could not be happier with the decision.”
  • July - Loudoun Hunger Relief and WGB joined forces so our women could shop for clothes and then obtain free groceries after! The pop-up food market turned out to be such a success with almost all of the groceries gone afterwards! Many families went home with new wardrobes and groceries, leaving for a wonderful day.
  • September - WGB was the chosen charity to benefit from the grand opening of the new HomeGoods in Sterling we were presented with a check for $10,000!
  • October - WGB was honored to be named a Community Champion at Purple Runway, a nationally recognized fashion show extravaganza to raise awareness of domestic violence awareness. Thank you to the Founder of Purple Runway, Gigi McMillan for giving nonprofits like us a platform to raise awareness for the growing need for services to support domestic violence survivors.
  • Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Heritage Contracting, WGB held their first Fall Fundraiser at Top Golf. Over 50 supporters turned out to Tee off for WGB and enjoyed great food, an open bar and lots of networking and raised more than $8,500.
  • November - Our very own Terri Morris Stagi won the lifetime achievement award at the March of Dimes Maryland-National Capital Area Chapter Heroines of Washington awards gala! Terri goes above and beyond to make a sustained impact on our community through service efforts. The March of Dimes Heroines of Washington Awards Gala is one of Washington’s most esteemed events, recognizing professional women in the D.C. Metro Area for their dedication to community service. And congratulations to fellow board members, Denise Harrover and Cecilia Hodges being named Finalists!

The community distribution partner program began as a pilot project in 2017 and became a full program for Women Giving Back in 2018!

Through the community distribution partner program, WGB provides organizations in the Washington D.C. metro area, across the nation, and throughout the world the opportunity to request gently used clothing from us. Each of these organizations provide clothing to women and children at no cost. What started as an effort to share clothing with others in need in our local community who cannot get to our Sterling location has increased to a full fledged program. In January 2018, we shared over 1,900 pieces of clothing through the program. We gave an average of 3,800 pieces of clothing to other organizations each month for the remainder of the year. During the most successful month of this program, we provided over 11,000 pieces of warm winter clothing to those who were in desperate need.

The organizations that WGB shares clothing with are located in places where the need is great; where a large percentage of the population lives in extremely poor conditions and where the local community is not able to share quality clothing with those in need. Locations include areas that provide almost 100% of students with free lunches, shelters where mothers do not have the means to provide clothing for their newborns, areas experiencing chronic homelessness, like some parts of Tucson, and those where people fleeing from harm can leave only with the clothing on their backs, such as refugees from Syria who have found their way to Jordon.

Clothing donated to WGB makes a difference in the lives of women and children who can come shop with us as well as those who are nearby and far away in critical need of the warmth and comfort clothing provides them.

Special Events

In 2018, Women Giving Back focused deeper on ensuring our resources were attainable to at-risk youth.

We provided over 1,000 snack packs to kids facing food insecurities while they are not in school (weekends and seasonal breaks). Along with the snack packs, we have continued to provide breakfast for children during our morning stores – keeping in mind that some children skip their breakfast shift at shelters so their family can come shop at WGB.

This past summer, we gave out 430 backpacks filled with new school supplies to our young shoppers going back to school. Kona Ice also donated their truck for an hour after a busy Saturday store and everyone was able to enjoy free-flavored ice on a hot day! In addition, kids were able to partake in educational activities with the FBI and Sterling Library, such as learning about cyber security.

In December, over 4,000 brand new holiday gifts were given out during Santa’s Workshop – one of our major programs to give back to the families that shop with us and help make their holiday season brighter.

During Prom season, WGB distributed 38 dresses to high school aged girls in need – helping bring their prom dreams to life.

We also have had an increase in youth volunteers, helping us better understand how to relate to our young shoppers. Our youth volunteers volunteered several hundred hours in our store, warehouse, as well as hosting clothing drives in their schools.

Stats at a Glance
2018 WGB Statistics
Case Manager Open House

In October, WGB held our annual Case Manager Open House. There was lots of useful information and networking for our overworked case managers who work tirelessly for our community. In addition, we provided a few well deserved treats like make overs and head shots, as well training provided by the Resilience Network and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office on compassion fatigue and youth gang prevention.

The following organizations were represented at the Case Manager Open House:

A Woman’s Choice

Artemis House


BritePaths – Financial Empowerment Center

Carried to Full Term

Centreville Immigration Forum


Crossroads Jobs

Dulles South Food Pantry

Fairfax County Department of Family Services

Fairfax County Progress Center

Fairfax County Protection & Preservation Services

Friends of Guest House

Good Shepherd Housing

Greater DC Diaper Bank

Healthworks Northern Virginia

Inmed Partnerships for Children

Just A Diva Encouraging (JADE)



Loudoun County Department of Family Services

Loudoun Co. Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Developmental Services

Loudoun County WIOA

Loudoun County Workforce Center


Northern VA Community College

Northern VA for Alcoholics Anonymous

Northern Virginia Family Services

Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative

NVFS – Family Reunification Program

Prince George’s Child Resource Center, Inc.



Shelter House

The Resilience Network

Training Futures


Vint Hill Transitional Housing

Windy Hill Foundation

Special thanks to Leesburg Daybreak Rotary Club for their support of $2,000 for this event.

2018 Financial Goals Review
2018 Financials chart
2018 Grants

Thank you to our 2018 Grantors!

100 Women Strong

Cloudbreak Foundation, Inc.

County of Loudoun, VA

Gannett Foundation

Giving Circle of Hope

Leesburg Daybreak Rotary Foundation, Inc.

M & T Charitable Foundation

Synchrony Foundation

The O’Shaughnessy-Hurst Memorial Foundation

The TJX Companies, Inc.

The Wawa Foundation, Inc.

Volunteer Honor Roll
2018 Golden Hanger Awards
2018 Volunteers of the Year

Groups that volunteered 100 hours or more in 2018


  • Miller & Smith
  • National Charity League
  • Sprint
  • Verisign
  • Salesforce
  • GMU Patriot Leaders
  • First Service Residential
  • First Excel Title
  • Lowes – Sterling & Leesburg
Our Supporters

100 Women Strong

Al Ramos

Alan Salisbury

Alexander Wright

Allan M Zendle

Allison Brochu

Andrew Britton

Andrew Ferris

Angela Williamson

Ann Hawkins

Ann Lehman

Ann Marie Boyle

Annandale Millwork and Allied Systems

Anne Vinh

Anonymous Friends

Ashlee Seward

AV Architects + Builders

AV Builders LLC

Backflow Technology

Badger Sumrall & Co

Bahareh Moradi

Bank of America

Bank of Clarke County

Barbara Brugel

Basheer & Edgemoore

Beau & Dea Van Metre

Benjamin Winn

Benji Hutchinson

Bernardine Turley

Beta Burger

Betsy Clevenger

Billy Casper Golf

Blair Smith

Borcz Dixon

Bradley & Kathleen Mansolf

Brambleton Group

Brian & Jill Pope

Brigitte Wazana

Brittani George

Brookfield Residential

Bruce & Linda Utter

Bryan Payne

Burton’s Grill

C.W. Strittmatter, Inc.

California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.


Carlyn & Company Interior Design

Carol Barbe

Carol Kearney

Carol Mailander

Carolyn Blanchard

Carolyn Jarratt

Carolyn Lorenzen

Carolyn Sidor

Carr Homes

Casimira Rodriguez

Cate Major

Catherine Baum

Catherine Leach

Cathy McKinnell

Cecilia Hodges

Cecilia Ross

Ceilie Holmes

Century Tile

Charles & Susan Strittmatter

Cheryl Settlemyer Beebe

Chris & Alicia Skoug

Chris Sowick

Chris Werner

Christina Michael

Christine Kelley

Christopher Companies

Cindy Dwyer

Cloudbreak Foundation Inc.

Coal Fire Pizza of Cascades, LLC

Cohn Reznick

Commonwealth Vault & Storage

Comstock for Congress

Conrad M. Kutyn

Cooley LLP

Coral Indusutries, Inc

Corey Lancaster

County of Loudoun, Virginia

Courtney Ross

Craig Havner

Cristina Sindhu

Cross Eyed Band

Cushman & Wakefield

Cynde Jackson Clarke

Cyndi & Ed Shanahan

D.R. Horton Homes

Dan Ryan Builders

Daniel Mongeon

Daniel Webster

Database Marketing Inc

Dave & Karen Baer

David & Carol Hess

David Flanagan

David Heimburger

David McClure

David R Torrealba

Dawn Vankeuren

Deborah Byrd

Deborah Rosenstein

Denise Harrover

Dermatology Center of Loudoun

Diane DuBois

Donald Graham

Donald Knuston

Donna Grauel

Doug & Ann Smith

Drees Homes

Easy Day Yoga, LLC

Ed Spall

Edward & Madison Byers

Eichstaedt M

Eileen Griffee

Eileen Paul

Eleanor N Chiogioji

Elena Sonnino

Elizabeth McGuiness

Elizabeth Rutherford

Ellen Gerhard

Elm Street Development

Emilia Philip

Emily Curtis

Emily Miner


Eric Dugovich

Erin Cornell

Erin Rice

Eugenia Gardner

Eunice Martin

eXp Realty

Fang Deng

Fannon Petroleum

Farida Gozari Saafi

Farideh Mullafiroze

Fashion Optik LLC

Fauquier Bank

Fiona Hughes

First Excel Title

First Virginia Community Bank


Florine Williams

Frank & Lauree Connors

Gannett Foundation

Gary & Shay Onorio

Gary Welschenbach

Gavilan & Associates

GCI, Inc.

Genevieve Concannon

George Korzeniewski

George Mason Mortgage

Georgiana Handermann

Gerard Patricia Sylvester

Gibbs and Haller Attorneys

Gifts for Good

Giving Circle of Hope

Glenda Roasa

Granite Source

Great County Farms

Greg Smith

Gregory & Elizabeth Carter

Gregory Adgate

Halle Companies

Hamiltons Sofa Gallery

Harold Blot

Harry Wheeler

Hearts & Pints

Helen De Bearn

Helen Ramsey

Herbert Brooks Martin

Heritage Contracting LLC

High Heeled Happy Hour

HOAR Construction

Home Savings & Trust Mortgage

Hometown Title & Escrow

Hwa Young Hanna Chung

I.J. and Hilda M. Breeden Foundation

In memory of Debrah Farnell

In memory of Ella & Kenneth

In memory of Shelley Radomski

Integrated Sport Medicine Physical Therapy of Loudoun LLC

Integrus Holdings, Inc.

Interior Concepts

J. Jerry Fletcher

J.G. Wentworth Home Lending

J2 Engineers Inc.

Jacquelyn Allder

James A. Scott & Son, Inc.

James Dundas

James Grant

James Lynn

James River Equipment

James Taylor

Jane Lyons

Janelle Arrighi

Janelle Larco

Janine R Woldt

Janis Schiff

JBG Smith

Jeannie Marshall

Jeffrey Falk

Jen Earle

Jennifer & Stephen Garthwaite

Jennifer Hamilton

Jennifer Price

Jennifer Ramirez

Jenny Quinn

Jere Morris

Jerry Berman

JG Wentworth Home Lending

Jill Maroney

Jim & Terri Stagi

Jim Podratsky

Jo Anne Bitner

Joan Coullahan

Joan Kasprowicz

Joan Katz

Joan Walsh

Joanna Skinner

Jody Kotler

Jody Pilka and Associates LLC

Jody Tompros

Joe Redding

John & Ann Marie Terzaken

John & Barb Brugel

John & Bernadette Heenan

John & Donna Monacci

John & Linda Stokely

John DeZinno

John G Vlahakis

John Gauss

John Glotzbach

John Griff

Joseph Driscoll

Joy Maniscalco

Joy Rahat Photography

Juliana Slye

Julie Denworth

K. Hovnanian Homes

Karen Catella

Karen Natoli

Karen Owens

Karen Sparks

Kathryn Beatty

Kathryn Lipp

Kathy Keller

Kathy Lombard

Keith Scott

Kelly Lucas

Kendra Scott

Ker Li

Ketterman’s Jewelers

Kevin O’Connor

Kim Greer

Kimberly Bunts

Kimberly Johnson

King Street Oyster Bar

Knights of Columbus Family Man Council

Koko FitClub Reston North Point

Kristin Francis

Kristin Mika

Kristopher Alvarez

Lalitha Dongre

Lansdowne on the Potomac HOA

Lansdowne Resort

Larry & Peggy Friedman

Laura Fahl

Lauren & Jonathan Kinard

Lauren Rega

Laurentian CFO Services

Laurentian Consulting Group LLC

Lavonne Robbins

Leesburg Daybreak Rotary Foundation, Inc.


Leidos NoVA Chapter of the Women’s Network

Lennar Homes

Leslie Kane

Liberty Republican Women’s Club

Linda & Fred Lees

Linda & John Stokely

Linda Culbert

Linda Kobrin

Linda Malone

Linda Wilson

Lisa Datoc

Lisa McGrail

Lisa Rigoni


Lyons & Sucher

M&T Charitable Foundation

M/I Homes

Maid Brigade

Malcolm Marshall

Malcolm Smith

Margaret Blum

Margaret Edwards

Margaret Morre

Marie Phoenix

Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation

Marjorie Tufts

Mark & Connie Bucko

Mark Deegan

Martha FitzSimon

Martha Hill

Mary Ellen Barrett

Mary Flowers

Mary Harrell

Mary J Kolarik

Mary Lange

Mary S Cottrell

Mary Wisker Snyder

Maryland Sign Design

Mason Nation 9/11 Day of Service

Matthew Johnson

McGuire Woods

McLean Mortgage

Meg Donnelly

Meg Dwyer

Meg Wepasnick

Meldoy Rush

Meredith Actkinson


Meridian Imaging Solutions

Merrill Lynch

Meryl Hershkowitz

Micael James

Michael & Eve Weber

Michael & Jennifer Dillon

Michael Coogan

Michael J Zazanis

Michael Reilly

Michael Stevens

Micheal Bonamassa

Michelle Jorgensen

Michelle T. Campbell

Mike & Rita DeFilippo

Misti Lorusso

Mitchell A Goldstein

Model Home Interiors


Monica Barragan-Smith

Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington, Inc

Mosaic Tile Company

Mosiac Tile

MVB Mortgage

My H Duong

N Muehr

N’Used Fashions

Nancy Bonilla

Nancy Cornell

Nancy Gilreath

Nancy Kane

Nancy Sears Crouse

National Settlement Services

National Title Insurance Corp

NDG Communications Inc

Network for Good

New Homes Guide

Nick & Lori Grosz

Nicole Schultz


Nora Hohenlohe

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, Inc.

Northern Virginia Women Attorneys Association

Nova Derm Institute

O’Haira’s Salon & Day Spa

Oakton Wines

Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.

Oliver Luann

Ollin Toler Jr.

Pacific Union Financial

Pam Hess

Patricia Daniel

Patricia de Bearn

Paul W Dahlquist

Paula Delgado


Phillip & Barbara Gray

Potomac Boatyards, LLC

Potomac Concrete

Potomac Truck Center

Pulte Homes

Purple Runway

R P Murphy

Rachel Marcian

Rachel Wilson

Raymund Favis

Rebecca A Merwald

Rebecca Dunn

Red Thinking

Reingold, Inc.

Reston Limousine

RGS Title

Richard A Levine

Richard Popkin

Rita & Roger Carlile

Rita Bailey

Rita Bamberger

River Creek Club

Robert & Leslie Strittmatter

Robert Brown

Robert J Meyer

Robert Jerome

Robert S Foust

Robert Schwartz

Ronda Davis

Ronnie Elias Hair Salon

Rosemary Theurer

Rosenstein Research

Ruppert Companies

Ruppert Family Foundation, Inc

Russell & Ellen Rosenberger

RW Dykes

Ryan Lopez

Saira Sufi


Sally Crosen

Samskara Yoga & Healing

Sandra Green

Sandra Kelly

Sandra Shoemaker

Sandy Bishop

Sarah Harrison-McQueen

Sarah Nisler

Scott Harris

Scott Insurance

Second Avenue Photography

Selling Loudoun

Shannon Kitchen

Shari Pataky

Sharri & Ed Dean

Sheila & Augie Dunheimer

Sheila Grooms

Shirley Clark

Shona Bell

Sidney & Penelope Mace

Soil Safe

Spanky Enterprises Inc.

Spanky’s Shenanigans


Stacey Marchetti

Stephanie Bills

Stephanie Kohan

Stephanie Rafail

Stephen E Hersshkowitz

Stephen Howard

Steve & Marjie Alloy

Steven Kostakis

Stone Tower Winery

Student Council Association

SugarOak Corporation

Sumukha Ravishankar

Susan Allder

Susan Commander Samakow

Susan DeMello

Susan Go

Susan Gray

Susan Markel

Suzanne Neff and Associates

Synchrony Foundation

Tammy Bjorge

Tara Craven

Tara Houston

Tara Nadzadi

Ted Britt Ford Lincoln Chantilly Automotive

Teresa M Campanaro

Teresa Nickerson

Terraforma Church Inc.

Terri Drake

Terry & Nicole Morris

The Big Yarn

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties

The Community Foundation of Northern Virginia

The Halle Companies

The Knutson Companies

The Organizing Mentors

The O’Shaughnessy-Hurst Memorial Foundation

The Peterson Companies

The Stagi Group

The TJX Companies Inc

The Van Metre Family Foundation, Inc

The Wawa Foundation Inc.

The Weymouth Scully Fund

The Women’s Integrated Network at Cushman & Wakefield

Theresa Ellis

Thomas F Consimano

Thomas Kane

Tobi Cares

Todd Brinkman

Toll Brothers

Tommy Light

Tonia Dolinka

Tracey & Eric Mahr

Tracey Nguyen DDS

Tracy Graves

Tripp & Rebecca Taylor

United Nations Federal Credit Union

United Way of the National Capital Area

Van Metre Companies

Van Vanderwal

Vienna Vintner

Virginia Residential Construction Inc.

W John Eckel Jr.

W.C. Ralston Architects

Walker Title LLC

Wallace & Company

Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley and Walsh

Walter Jones

Walter Walge

Washington Post

WC. Ralston Architects

White Hall Capital LLC

William & Kristine Martin

William & Sheri O’Brien

William DuBois

Wilson De La Rosa

Winchester Homes

Wise Oils, LLC

Wouter Vanderwal

WWGA 9 Holders - Westwood Country Club

Wybersky & Associates Ins. Agency, Inc.

Your Networking Ninja

Yuliya Yastyshina

Yung-Hao Pung

2018 Cinco de Mayo event
Cinco de Mayo

Another incredible event was held under the “big top” in May. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, a great time was had by all. Awesome food, wine & tequila tastings, music and dancing were a few of the festivities.

We raised over $175,000 thanks to your generosity.

If you would like to be a sponsor for the Cinco de Mayo event, please contact Nicole Morris at nicole@womengivingback.org

2018 Cinco de Mayo photos
Finding Acceptance

Sonja is a remarkable woman who has been through an intricate journey that has led her to become the powerhouse she is now. Having previously worked for top government organizations and possessing a security clearance, she never imagined living in a shelter with her son. Sonja would come home, bringing her checks to her husband, which he kept in his possession–leaving Sonja without financial means for her and her child. Sonja went to the Katherine Hanley Shelter and loved her time there. She worked full time while living at Katherine Hanley and would help out there as much as she could because she was appreciative of them providing her a home for her and her son. She was in the shelter for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years–all of which she celebrated the holidays with her fellow peers in the shelter.

When told lucky her son is to have someone like her, she teared up as she explained that her son was a result of marital rape. Her family questioned if she wanted the child and she said of course. She was so lucky to have him. Everything that she has powered through has all had meaning and contributed to who she is now.

Today, she has a job, with clothes that Women Giving Back has provided, shares custody of her child–sometimes driving over an hour to spend 11 minutes with him to see him off to school and has started volunteering at WGB! She made a full circle from client to volunteer and hopes to continue encouraging other women to keep moving and excel in the paths they choose.

Her advice for other women? Don’t quit and keep moving. She says every step is a step forward and you have to keep moving and never give up. Sonja is empowering, inspirational, and quite frankly, unstoppable.

She plans to open her own shelter for survivors of domestic violence and include tender, love, and care as the forefront of her mission for supporting other women. We are so proud of her!

Women Giving Back
20 Export Drive, Sterling, VA 20164
Federal Tax ID #32-0464606