On August 16th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. celebrated their 35th Birthday at Virgil’s Sea Room on 3152 Mission Street. Founded in 1978, for past three decades, our agency has been dedicated to empowering domestic violence survivors to create lives free of violence. Originally founded as a two-bedroom shelter, the agency quickly realized that additional options were needed for survivors who, for many reasons, did not want to enter shelters. Illustrating responsiveness to community need, the Support-Line, support groups, therapy and Latina Programs were created. Most recently, our Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward) group was founded for survivors who ‘graduated’ from our Latina Program and want to stay connected with our agency. In addition to direct client services, the agency offers a wide array of community education and volunteer opportunities. Our agency’s approach has garnered much community recognition over the years. Just in 2012, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. received the Ellen Magnin Newman Award by the All San Francisco Concert Committee and the San Francisco Symphony, received the title of Top-Rated Nonprofit on GreatNonprofits, and was voted as a top 7 charity in San Francisco in a contest sponsored by 7×7 Magazine and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Much has happened in the past 35 years, and August 16th, the community came together to acknowledge the agency’s accomplishments. Highlights from the night included Beverly Upton, former executive director of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and Current Executive Director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium speaking on how W.O.M.A.N., Inc. saved her life and the special place in her heart held by our agency. We were all also very moved by Laura, one of our former clients sharing her story of domestic violence and how through utilizing support services at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., she was able to leave her violent relationship and create a better life for herself. It was testaments like these that reminded staff and community alike, why the agency was established in the first place.
To continue with the celebration, attendees enjoyed delicious food donated Bi Rite, Miss Kitty’s Kitchen, Pao Pao’s Cupcakes, and Semifreddi’s Bakery. A raffle was also held with lovely gifts donated by Maiden Lane Yoga Studio, Mezzanine, Yoshi’s, Brian Barneclo, 1015 Folsom, Thrive, Beretta, Dandelion Chocolate, Lyft, Boombotix, European Wax Center, Coupa Café, Rock Wall Wine Company, De Young Museum,The Crème Brulee Cart, Julia Conner, Far West Fungi, and Christi Lucas.
Lastly, the night would not have been so special, if it weren’t for the help of our amazing volunteers: Ylem Rubio, Monique Cortes, Laura Adkin, Julia Glosemeyer, Gina Li, Travis Marsh, Chanel Garcia, Jessica Hoh, Ashley Suehiro, Annie Fisher, Jaymie Frazier, and Amelie Booska. It was a wonderful evening and thank you everyone!