The Center for Wisdom's Women

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Lewiston, Maine

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WHO WE ARE: The Center functions as a grassroots collaborative of women who work together to break their isolation and build community toward the bettering and enriching of each other’s lives.

The Center strives to support women in…becoming aware of their inner resources, pursuing life affirming relationships, and developing their potential.

The Center accomplishes its mission…by providing activities, programs and support groups, in and through community, by building partnerships with businesses, other agencies and service providers, and through advocacy on behalf of women.

The primary value that underlies all the work of the center is respect. Women of all races, ethnicities, classes, religions, backgrounds, abilities are welcomed and valued for who they are. Each woman is treated with dignity and in a way that honors her as a unique individual.

HISTORY: The Center was opened in 1999 by the Daughters of Wisdom, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. Over their nine years of operation, The Center, located in the “B-Street” neighborhood of Lewiston, reached 1000 women, logging over 22,000 visits. It became a valuable resource in the community, but in June 2008, the congregation found it necessary to discontinue the work. A group of volunteers and guests organized, raised funds and approached Trinity Church about fiscal sponsorship. The Center re-opened part time, with volunteer staffing that fall. In October 2009 we hired a Director and increased programming and operating hours. In 2011 through the end of October we have logged 1965 visits and 1645 volunteer hours, with an average of 20 people volunteering monthly. The Daughters of Wisdom continue as one of our major funders with a commitment through 2014. The Director has recently become an Associate of the Daughters of Wisdom.

WHAT WE DO: The Center is open weekdays and provide compassionate listening, personal and spiritual guidance in an atmosphere that honors all traditions, a wide range of activities and programs & groups, an opportunity to meet and network with others, assistance in finding resources in the area, encouragement and support toward healthy life choices, a safe and hospitable place for women who desire companionship, a warm place during the cold of winter.

Current regular programs designed to gather women together include various arts and crafts, game days, and a writing workshop. Specific programs, all with a focus on positive growth and change, are offered monthly, many in partnership with other area agencies. Topics have included nutrition, women’s health, budgeting, and spirituality. Several small groups focus on wellness & self esteem and we have an Al-Anon & a Fibromyalgia Support Group. We have a meditation room in which we gather each morning. We have sponsored several special events, field trips, and a retreat weekend. One on one conversations that focus on spirituality or wellness are regularly available. Coffee & Tea is always on.

All programs are volunteer led and offered free of charge. We partner with several area agencies for programming: The Nutrition Center of Maine, The Sexual Assault Crisis Center, Silent Voices (the area domestic violence agency and shelter), Tri County Mental Health and the USM Nursing program, Revelation Massage, and soon will host The Art Van.

Our core volunteers are called “Companions.” They are the non-anxious, non-judgemental listening presence at the Center. Each Companion give at least one full day per week (the same day each week) and one or two Companions are on site during all open hours. They build relationships, become a trusted presence are there to offer a listening ear, and generally hold the space and tend the spirit of the women who come to us. They meet monthly with a local LCSW who donates her time for supervision. This is a unique aspect of our work that sets us apart from other service agencies.

Klara Tammany
Executive Director
The Center for Wisdom's Women
wisdomswomen.org
"Helping women. Changing Lives.
207-513-3922
PO Box 1016
Lewiston, ME 04243

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