The stories we bring you are a testament to the
strength that women and children have to overcome
tremendous conflict and painful realities.
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donation to help families who desperately need it.
It’s people like you who make a difference every
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I am a member of the WINGS program. I wanted to take time and let
you know how beneficial this program has been for me and my daughter. I
came into WINGS in September. I was pregnant and had nowhere to live and
had no money. I had decided to keep my daughter from the start of my
pregnancy. I truly believe that if it weren’t for WINGS I wouldn't be
able to write you this letter, let alone have a beautiful, healthy baby.
WINGS helps you gain confidence and strength to deal and function in
today’s society successfully. I just wanted you to know that my
background is upper-middle class. I was born and raised in the northwest
suburbs. I’m a high school graduate and have some college. I want you to
know that homelessness doesn’t just pertain to low income, uneducated
substance abusers or just plain lazy people. Bad things happen to good
Since I grew up in the suburbs I was ignorant to homeless shelters. I
assumed the shelters had drug users and vagrants. I was truly frightened
when I called. It was comforting to know that the WINGS program wasn’t
anything like that. I lived in a big house – not a big hall with cots
I had chores such as cleaning bathrooms, or the living room. I also
cooked one night a week. I was truly like living with a family in a
home! In knowing this little bit of information I hope you continue in
your support of WINGS. It is something to be proud of.
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Before I arrived at WINGS, I was in an abusive home with my young
son. I made many phone calls and inquiries after a violent incident. I
was in touch with several organizations but all of them told me to go to
The thought of exposing my son to a small dirty place with many, many
mothers and their children was not what I felt would be best for my son.
Just when I was ready to remain in my situation as I'd done many times
before, for the same reason, the Township put me in contact with WINGS.
The staff assured me that we would be in a safe, clean environment. We
arrived at the shelter that weekend. I was very scared and my son was
unsure of everything. We were greeted with open arms and hearts from all
the staff members and volunteers.
During my stay at WINGS many setbacks occurred in my life including
getting laid off from my job, my car breaking down numerous times and
dealing with my son’s father in court. The staff was there available
anytime and every time I needed them.
I would like to thank all of you for giving me hope for our future and
the caring I needed when I didn’t think I was worth caring for. God
bless all of you!
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I cannot say enough about the Mentoring program through WINGS.
My mentor and I were matched up in 2002 (not sure about the date). I
knew right away that I needed assistance with budgeting. For many
people, money management comes easily, but for me it has always been
somewhat of a challenge. As my mentor has been a CEO for many years and
for more than one financial institution, she was deemed my perfect
"match". I truly believe that a big part of making this program work has
to do with matching people appropriately & the staff did an excellent
job bringing us together.
Over the course of our relationship, my mentor has managed to bring me
through many difficult times . . . the company I worked for at the time
we started, had just filed bankruptcy & eventually ended up going out of
business & while all of this was going on I had major surgery &
eventually ended up getting laid off. My mentor was by my side the
entire time. We had the option, after 6 months of participation, to
discontinue the mentoring program, but she would not think of leaving me
during such turmoil in my life and we continued until I had secured
employment and seemed to be back on my feet.
We reconnected last April by attending a dinner for the "graduate"
mentors'/mentees'. I had run into some financial difficulties once again
& was on the verge of filing personal bankruptcy. I was preparing to
contact my mentor anyway, but attending the dinner did it for me. Since
then, she has worked very hard to help me recover from my new
difficulties & we continue today to work towards a better financial
situation. I can never thank WINGS or the mentoring program, or my
mentor for this "gift". I don't believe I could have pulled myself out
of where I was at a year ago without her help. There is no lonelier
feeling then when you are afraid to reach out for help & no warmer
feeling then when someone selflessly comes to your aid. Even though it
can never say it all, Thank you!
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am writing this letter to express my extreme gratitude and appreciation
to all of you for the extra support that I have received after
graduating from WINGS. It has been comforting to me to know that you all
are still here for me if I ever were to need anything. I haven’t had
that in many years.
I am mainly speaking about the continued counseling that I have been
receiving. I have been out of WINGS for some time now and can honestly
say that my counselor has been such a big help with me being on my own
again. They’ve basically helped me realize that I am a strong enough
individual to make it on my own in the future.
When I think about myself when I first came into WINGS and who I have
grown to become, it makes me so proud of myself and very grateful to the
staff at WINGS. Because as sad as this may sound – I didn’t know how to
be proud of myself before.
Thank you so much for the shelter, meals, the car, and support but most
all thank you for helping me become the strong, independent, confident,
person that I am today.
I truly from the bottom of my heart love and appreciate you all for your
Joanne – A former resident
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Staying at WINGS has
proven to be a positive experience for me. I was a victim of domestic
violence . . . A phone call in desperation led me to a wonderful place
called WINGS. There certainly was an element of peace, and above all
else, hope. I was very impressed with all the supportive staff! They
were always there for me. Services such as job placement, resume
dispersal, internet job searches and ongoing individuals and group
counseling helped me quite a bit.
I am very happy to see that someone finally realized that a nightmare
could turn into a nice dream. I am soon to be leaving WINGS in about
three weeks and hopefully moving into my own apartment with the help of
supportive staff. I will remember all the wonderful things and
accommodations that I had at WINGS.
My hope is that there
will always be a WINGS house for battered women, offering a ray of hope
to them and their children.
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Tracy and Family – May 2005
I just wanted to put in writing to say thank you for providing me
help when I needed it most.
When I first woke up to realize that I was in an abusive relationship,
it was real scary not knowing what to do or where to go. I searched
everywhere, high and low looking for someone to take me and my children
in. I happened to get on the internet and found the WINGS website and
thought I had died and gone to heaven. I couldn’t believe that GOD had
answered my prayers for help.
When I told my children that I had found somewhere for us to live, they
were excited but afraid of the change as well.
I remember walking in the Stage 1 house in Park Ridge; we were welcomed
by Mary and the other women who were home. They were so inviting and
welcoming that I thought I was in the wrong house. My children and I
were not used to that. It turned out to stay pleasant the whole time me
and my children lived there. We loved it.
In Stage 2, when we first walked in our own apartment, my children and I
were overjoyed with excitement. Especially my youngest son who made such
a joyful scream that a neighbor had to knock on our door to make sure we
were o.k. I reassured her that everything was fine.
In closing, I really want to thank you again for all that you have given
to me, not only material things like a car, apartment, clothes, etc.,
but all the emotional things like strength, courage, dignity and lots
and lots of love and care. I am in the process of writing a book about a
woman who has overcome her abuse and plan on helping other women. You
deserve the credit for giving me the inspiration. So keep on doing what
you’re doing for other women in need.
Tracy and Family