The Board of Directors of Women of Worth (WoW) is pleased to announce that Jessica McGuire will take over as executive director at the nonprofit. McGuire has been a part of the organization in various roles since 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Sacramento State and has nearly a decade of experience in the fields of domestic violence, human trafficking and mental health.
Additionally, Naomi Cabral came on board as Director of Development in February and brings with her years of experience with nonprofit development. New office manager Kaylee Salas has also joined the team and will oversee administrative duties.
The new team says it is excited to move forward, honoring the legacy and vision of founder Sandra Escobar Schmidt, who retired from WoW for personal reasons after 20 years of dedication and devotion to the women she served. Schmidt remains as Director Emeritus and Founder of Women of Worth.
With the onset of lock downs and restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision was made to relocate clients then housed communally at Hetty’s Haven. Participating families were relocated, and some were able to return to independent living with the help of WoW’s Fresh Start program, which provides deposits, first month’s rent, home furnishings, and other items needed for families ready to get back on their feet. With over seven years of experience with Women of Worth, McGuire says, “After being on maternity leave, it feels good to be back and begin a new chapter with Women of Worth. A new emergency shelter has been on the horizon for some time. The old Hetty’s [Haven] was a great place for a long time and we are grateful for the time spent there. We thought a change was needed to address the increase in support that Women of Worth wants to offer. Currently, we provide the means for families to get to safe places where they can regroup and gain some respite while making arrangements to move away from domestic violence. We do that in a number of ways. With a new Hetty’s Haven, we will go back to full time emergency housing for those who need a longer time to adjust into safe housing. We decided that the time was right to move our location. This kind of transition doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a positive step for WoW and it will enable us to increase the number of families we support.”
While searching for a new location for Hetty’s Haven, Women of Worth has continued providing assistance to families with short term lodging and Air BnB stays, relocation services, travel expenses, resources, and client case management.
“Our goal is to have the new Hetty’s up and running by the beginning of 2023,” said Cabral. “We are still looking and hope there is someone out there who has a property or a large home they would be interested in donating to a good cause. If so, please get in touch.”
This is the perfect time to join as a board member, added Cabral, and the nonprofit is also accepting volunteers to join their fundraising committee as they plan for their annual Butterfly Ball next year.
Those interested in donating to WoW are encouraged to visit womenofworth.org, where there is more information about the legacy program, which allows donors to arrange estate planning for legacy giving.
Women of Worth has been helping families leave domestic violence and abuse, with emergency housing through its transitional home, Hetty’s Haven, for over 10 years. The program gives women with their children a place to live for up to a year in safe housing and provides job and life skills training to help them become independent.
Donating to Women of Worth will ensure that the program participants receive the resources and tools they need to rebuild their lives. Tax-deductible donations can be made by sending a check to Women of Worth at P.O. Box 213 Cedar Ridge CA 95924. Or donations can be made at online at womenofworth.org.