Women’s Center of Greater Lansing to host “517 Day” fundraiser while continuing to help navigate and support the community 

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To help get connected with those who aren’t familiar, The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing hosts events to gain support and spread awareness. They are set to host an upcoming fundraiser on May 17 or “517 Day” called “Over the Edge”. Those who raise their goal will be able to rappel down Boji Tower in downtown Lansing. 

Since its opening in 2005, the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing has provided support for over 10,000 women. Being a non-profit and community driven agency, the center relies on grants rather than government funds and has no religious ties. The non-profit thrives off of aiming to help everyone feel connected to those around them and recognize their potential.

“WCGL serves all clients regardless of income, race, language, documentation, housing status, and even gender,” said communications director, Angie Wooster. 

Once a week from March to September, members can be found representing the center at local events, including health fairs, to talk to community members about their mission.

“We’re on the ground every day and always aiming to help people and give directions to those that need it,” said executive director, Rebecca Kasen.

Hosting events and outreaching to the community allows people to seek out stability and independence that could go unnoticed if unaware of such opportunities that the Women’s Center brings. While there’s often a misunderstood narrative surrounding violence survivors and those in tough situations, the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing provides customizable support to fit everyone’s needs in their own way. 

Volunteer coordinator, Samantha Burnett said, “Clients come to us during or after difficult events in their lives and seeing them use the tools we provide to take charge and better their situations is amazing.”

The center provides services such as career and individual counseling, resume preparation, support groups, a free computer lab and professional clothing boutique.

Business clothes provided at the Women’s Center

“Every service that we offer has an absolute end goal of helping our clients realize their own potential and have the skills to achieve their goals,” said Wooster.

While members are content with their success and how they’ve been able to help the community, they emphasized how the media tends to negatively portray those in at-risk populations. 

Burnett said, “These barriers make it harder for these individuals to get their footing in whatever situation they’re in.”

According to the 2022 Michigan Incident Crime Reporting annual summary, 69,765 people in the state of Michigan alone have experienced a form of domestic abuse. While these are the number of reported cases, not all seek help due to lack of resources, among various reasons.  

While some cases go unnoticed and have nowhere to go for assistance, it’s important to bring attention to places that are of great use and the possible circumstances surrounding individuals who seek the center’s guidance.

Through the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, community members from all walks of life can seek support, while knowing their needs will be met and supported by those around them.

“I want people to know that small steps make big changes and if you find yourself needing support with the small steps, we’re your place,” said Burnett.

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