In the past 12 months, WISE staff provided 4,942 advocacy and support services for 440 clients. The shelter in Big Rapids housed 87 individuals and provided 5,451 safe nights of sleep to shelter residents; served 16,353 meals and used over 6,000 diapers for children taking refuge at the shelter. The intensive services provide more than just a shelter – they are customized to meet the needs of the victims in Mecosta, Osceola, and Newaygo counties.

Today, we are launching our Giving Tuesday campaign so that we can help more people live a life free from violence. Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 and is a global day of giving, raising funds, and generating awareness that harnesses the collective power of individuals and organizations to improve their communities. 

We would like to invite you to support WISE as we work to meet our mission of providing crisis intervention and support services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and sex trafficking. Giving Tuesday is November 30, 2021. 

We have already received pledges in the amount of $6,000 to match the funds that are donated! Make your donation go farther by donating to WISE for Giving Tuesday! Due to COVID-19 concerns, we may not be hosting an in-person event this year. All donations received between now and November 30th will be counted toward our Giving Tuesday fundraising goal of $40,000 and will be eligible for a matching donation! Funds raised for Giving Tuesday 2021 will support WISE programs and will help fund the repair of the roof at our emergency shelter. If you would like to make a donation, you can donate online or you can mail a check to WISE at PO Box 1249, Big Rapids, MI 49307.  

WISE recently worked with a client, who for confidentiality purposes, we will call Andrea. Andrea was admitted to WISE Emergency Shelter with a history of severe abuse and had been discharged from the Emergency Room with multiple severe injuries. Initially, Andrea rested for quite a few days and very slowly began to recover. She shared she had tried to leave her abuser many times in the past only to get talked back into returning and the abuse continued. She said if she decided to go back again, she knew the next time she may not make it out alive. A “turning point” she called it and from that turning point she began working with her advocate to never go back. WISE assisted her with filing and obtaining a Personal Protection Order. Her spouse was arrested because she was brave enough to file charges against him. WISE also assisted her with obtaining vital documents, (social security card and birth certificate).  Next, Andrea started looking for safe affordable housing. Although she had never lived on her own she knew she was able to face all these uncertainties with a new sense of growing strength. She said she finally felt free. Free to have an opinion, to make choices and free from violence.  Barriers for housing due to unpaid utilities not paid by her spouse showed up on a credit report. He had controlled all the finances and she had no awareness of the unpaid bills. WISE, through our client assistance program, and other local churches paid off her utilities, which helped her become eligible for housing. Andrea’s WISE advocate helped her discuss employment options, and she started applying for jobs.

Today this person is physically healed, living violence free and is an active participant in one of our WISE domestic violence support groups. She believes she will continue to work on the emotional healing part of her journey but believes she is making tremendous progress. The client is proactive in assisting others on their healing journey from intimate partner violence in her community and church. She has enrolled in a University and plans to become a licensed therapist. Additionally, she is working full time and enjoys her new job. She shared the safety, support and advocacy she received at WISE while at shelter and now in outreach made all the difference in her turning point success story. 

It inspires us all to see someone transform their life from fear and feelings of worthlessness to that of a woman who has confidence in her abilities and sees the importance of living her life violence free. 

At WISE, we believe empowering clients is our core MISSION. Because of the dynamic of domestic and sexual abuse, our clients often come to us feeling hopeless, worthless, scared and overwhelmed by the systems they need to access in order to break free from the cycle of abuse. Every day, your support makes stories like Andrea’s possible.

If just a portion of your annual donations this year go to WISE, your generosity will assist families to heal and start over. WISE truly appreciates the generosity of all its supporters and we depend on your donations to continue our mission and make our vision a reality. If you have any questions or would like more information you can send emails to donate@wiseagainstviolence.org.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!