In 25 words or less, what is The Center for Wisdom’s Women?
It is a unique day drop-in center for women. All women are welcomed. All programs and services are offered free of charge. FMI see the "About Us" page on our website.
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes. Until such time as we can obtain our own 501(c)3 status we are working under the fiscal umbrella of an existing non-profit - Trinity Episcopal Church. Trinity is located in the same neighborhood, and has a history in the community of supporting and spinning off two other area non-profits. Checks should be written to Trinity Church/Wisdom's Women.
What is the history of The Center for Wisdom’s Women?
It was begun in 1999 by a Roman Catholic community called "The Daughters of Wisdom" when they discerned a need for a drop in center for women in Lewiston. They named it "Wisdom's Center." Although they regretfully had to give up the work in 2008 and no longer run the center, the Daughters of Wisdom continue to contribute financial support. FMI see the "About Us" page on our website.
Is The Center for Wisdom’s Women a religious organization?
The Daughters of Wisdom are grounded in the Jewish and Christian theology of Wisdom as the side of God who leads us in spirit and truth. Trinity Episcopal Church now serves as our fiscal sponsor. However, all women are welcome, of any faith or none. Although the center is now independent of any religious organization or denomination we maintain the wisdom charisma of the founders by tending to the spirit of those who come. We do so through deep listening, community building and the arts. We have a meditation room and make personal and spiritual guidance available on request. There are no faith based expectations and no proselytizing takes place.
Who is running the women’s center now?
A group of committed women who have been involved in the Center as guests, volunteers, supporters and Advisory Board members have dedicated themselves to the continuation of the Center's presence and service in the neighborhood. Together these women have the energy, vision, experience, and education to raise funds and continue the work that the Sisters began. In the fall of 2009, after sufficient funding was raised, a full time Executive Director was hired. We outsource our back office needs for booking, database management and other tasks. About 20 people volunteer each month serving as Companions, front desk greeters, and program, activity and group leaders. We often also have student volunteers or interns from Bates College and USM's counseling and nursing programs. FMI about volunteer possibilities and requirements, see the "About Us" page on the website. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the Executive Director. We are governed by an 11 member Board of Advisors that meets monthly and functions as would a Board of Directors. The Board has drafted policies and by-laws and generally oversees finances and governance. We have a Development Committee of the Board that takes primary responsibility for fundraising, and have recently started Finance and Marketing Committees.
Has the women’s center changed since the founding nuns left?
The Center remains in the same location and the Daughters of Wisdom donated all furnishings and equipment in the center. In the summer of 2012 new owners renovated the facility, adding handicapped bathrooms (one with a shower), a kitchen, a larger activity space and small group room. It is much brighter and open now. Legally, we were required to change our name. Formerly called "Wisdom's Center" the new name is "The Center for Wisdom's Women". Most regular programs offered previously have been continued and offerings have expanded with collaboration from other area agencies and organizations.
How much does it cost to run the women’s center?
How is the women’s center funded?
We have substantial support through 2014 from The Daughters of Wisdom, The Sister of Charity of St. Hyacinthe. We have twice received funding through The Maine Charity Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and are a current United Way recipient. Other donors include Greenfire Retreat, Concordia Partners, Liberty Mutual, BIW and Empower Lewiston as well as The Robitaille Family Fund, and an angel who has been paying the rent who wishes to remain anonymous. Many individual donors support our work, with smaller gifts or as SHEROs - those who give $20/month to sponsor one woman's participation at the Center. The women at the Center make and sell "Wisdom Boxes" and collect spare change as their offer of support. FMI see our Fundraising page. We invite you to join our community of support!
Where can we get more information?
Center For Wisdom's Women 97 Blake Street Lewiston, ME 04240 Phone: 207.513.3922 Send us an Email. (We are between Pine and Ash St. behind the Healy Terrace building. An off street parking lot is available. Look for the sunflower on signs! )