“A mom and her two teenage sons stayed in shelter with us. It was over the course of the summer, and there was a lot of free time for the teens. One day I took the family to Crystal Bridges. Since they were new to NWA, they had not been to this wonderful amenity. As we drove back to the shelter after our visit, the family was reflecting on our time at the museum and came to realize that this was the first time they had ever done something like this as a family. They had been living in trauma for so long, daily life was about survival and not about enjoying the world around them. Being able to be part of moments like these are one of the things that has kept me here 11+ years.” ~Rachael, NWAWS employee
Often, survivors have been conditioned to take care of their abuser above all else, forgetting that their needs are important, as well. Part of empowering our clients is teaching them to practice self-care, and we provide them with the tools to do so.
Helping our clients have access to resources that supply for their basic needs is incredibly important to us. However, we also want to recognize the humanity of our clients on a much deeper level through providing them with opportunities to learn basic skills, participate in enjoyable activities, and spend time with their children (if they have them.)
Additionally, for our children in shelter, we partner with a group called Birthday Blessings to provide a monthly birthday party. Also, one of our community partners called Love on a Leash brings in therapy dogs once a month for our kids (and adults!) to play with.
Every other weekend, we provide our clients with movie packs, complete with popcorn and candy and invite them to gather in our family room to enjoy a movie together.