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Hello to our WomenWithGifts.org Supporters,
We were recently asked the following questions in hopes to be apart of another media outlet. Although our answers to their questions didn’t meet the requirements of their magazine, we still wanted to share their questions and our answers with you because we feel the information about our organization is very valid.  Please take a moment to read more about Women With Gifts International.
Question: How did the idea to start Women With Gifts International originate?
Women With Gifts Internation was originally a BLOG that we used to inspire WOMEN that may have felt like giving up or didn’t have hope based on their everyday life circumstances.  Circumstances such as divorce, being single and feeling lonely, being broken both mentally or financially. We started off the blog by posting quotes written by some of our board members or even scriptures then the blog took off from that point. One of the first members that wanted to be an actual organization was Lisa, who was one of the founders of the organization. At the time of starting the organization, we had no idea that Lisa had cancer. When Lisa passed away, LaNette who is currently the founder went through depression and also had an illness which caused her to have short-term memory loss which also caused her to have to learn how to read and write all over again as an adult. After overcoming the illness, LaNette began to use her writing to reach people that shared similar experiences via the blog.
One year, however by wanting to do more and wanting to reach more women, we hosted I Survived Gospel Concert to reach victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and breast cancer. That’s when we decided to move forward with having a non-profit organization. Before this event, and even as a blog we collected coats and gave them to people less fortunate in Texas, Tennessee and also in Virginia.
Question: What are the specific initiatives you have to uplift low-income women around the world?
Our organization has a mission to reach, teach and empower women. We would prefer to not label the people we assist as “low-income” because it’s our hope that after receiving help and guidance they will not be at a certain income bracket. However, we are very well aware that we have a low-income to medium income-based audience. Annually, we host or have hosted the following to assist low-income women/families:
I Survive Gospel Concert which focuses on the 3 highest silent killers of women. Which were at the time of our first event, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and breast cancer.
As recently shared on American Progress about domestic violence,  in 15 states, more than 40% of all homicides of women in each state involved intimate partner violence.
Hat & Heels Fundraiser which focus on single mothers. Some who had children out of wedlock, and some who were single, based husband or significant other being killed in a line of duty as a police officer or military.
Concert 4 Coats also focuses on single mothers, but it’s a way to raise money or coats for women and children in need.
Mother’s Day Blanket Drive focuses on all women in nursing home facilities. We really use the blankets as an excuse to spend time with the women in nursing homes for Mother’s Day. You would be surprised the people that are left in those facilities with no family support. {This initiative happens in both Texas and Tennessee}
This wasn’t submitted as one of the answers but we also host weekly episodes called, 5 Steps To A Better You, this is done virtually via our Periscope channel and it’s where we find a challenge related to women and solve them in 5 steps. 
Question: How much of what you do is localized vs. national vs. international?
Around the globe, we offer inspiration, motivation, and empowerment. At the moment, our organization is only able to connect with other women outside of our local areas via online sources and that’s what we use to teach and empower.
In recent years, our founder has also spent time going to different schools to speak to students about the importance of education and creating book clubs for teens.
Question: Could you also clarify where you’re based? It is Texas, Colorado, or elsewhere?
Women With Gifts Internation was started and is {currently} stationed in Texas. Also, most of our efforts also happen locally in Texas and/or states where volunteers are willing and present to assist. Our NEW office is located in Colorado where we are working to create a chapter there as well.  Our office will be used to host interview classes, a monthly meeting for domestic violence and sexual abuse victims.
Question: How do you define low-income? Are you using any specific group or jurisdiction’s guidelines? Why do you focus on low-income women?
We actually do not focus on the income level we focus on the need of women. Some people assume that when someone works they are doing amazing but nothing is guaranteed. Not even your income! We can’t remember who said it, but someone once said, “1 out of 3 Americans is 1 paycheck away from being homeless.”
If someone has a spouse and is considered to be doing good, that spouse could pass away or could lose their job, a female could lose their job. So we really don’t focus on incomes, we focus on circumstances.
Question: How is being a low-income woman different than being a low-income man? Most women experience being low income because it’s no secret that women are overworked and underpaid. Not only is pay a factor in women’s financial being but most women, especially if they are also caregivers have to make the choice of having a career or being a caregiver. Most women will always choose to be caregivers especially when children are involved.
Question: What specific challenges do women face? Most women face emotional stressors such as not feeling good enough, depression, and low self-esteem. This normally comes from being compared to other women, not being aware of their greatness and not being inspired or motivated to do more. Again this is not for women with low-incomes this is women in general. ALL women struggle with something regardless of their income level. For women with low-income status, they may sometimes experience struggles such as not having enough to feed themselves or meeting family needs. Having to make tough decisions such as whether to eat or have necessary clothing such as coats or shoes.
Question: What do you wish more low-income women knew? (In general or about themselves?)
Here’s what we wished women knew. We wished women knew that they have no boundaries. Regardless of their social backgrounds, WE as women are powerful and we are able to do any and everything we put our minds to. We also wish we knew to hold our heads up high and never look down unless there’s a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Funny to think about but seriously, keep looking ahead.
Question: What stereotypes about low-income women do you wish to combat through your work?
We would really like for women to not fall into the stereotypes that PEOPLE put them in. Stereotypes are only judgemental jails that we allow people to put us in first, then we end up there waiting for someone to let us out. Our motto is “we are changing the world one women at a time.” We believe when you change someone’s mindset you unlock the door to their destiny.  We teach women to be fearless and to continue to move forward REGARDLESS! One match can light a fire and we plan to continue lighting fires to help women help other women. The more women receive the help they need regardless of what it is, they won’t allow people to place stigmas and stereotypes on them.
Question: How have things for low-income women changed under the Trump administration? 
In our opinion, the Trump Administration has changed for low-income women or just women in general because The Trump Administration is an administration built for people that are very self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency is an amazing plan if people were implemented with a plan beforehand as to how to become self- sufficient. It’s like running a race against people that started the race years ago and you’re one of the ones just getting the memo to start the race. Most administrations before the Trump Administration was more about “no person left behind,”, “the trickle-down plan” and plans that really didn’t get women or people in general ready for their future or the economy.
Question: Do you have any special outreach or initiatives for women of color, immigrant women, or other sub-categories of marginalized women? Or do you think it’s more effective for you to serve and unite low-income women of all kinds?
 Everything that we do, everything that we strive for is created with ALL women in mind. Our overall focus with the organization is to showcase UNITY and we can’t really emphasize unity if we consider diving our programs for a certain sector of people base on the color of the skin or religion or etc.. We are in one location now but our goal is to have chapters in different cities, states, and countries.
Question: How can our readers support Women With Gifts International?
 We are a donation-based organization and we feel if more people know about us and what we do, the donations will automatically come. Your readers can help our organization by continuing to be supportive of our organization by sharing what we do from our website. In addition, we are always looking for volunteers to be apart of upcoming events and fundraisers.
This wasn’t submitted for the original interview, but if you’re interested in donating to our organization please click here. If you are interested in volunteering please click here
Question: How can our readers contact you to access your services?
Readers are able to contact us via our website
To our supporters: 
We would like to thank you for continuing to support everything that we do. In addition, if you know someone that is “feature worthy” please nominate them for our Women Are Roses 2020 Award. You are also able to support our recent book, Women Are Roses where 10 authors got together and shared their story via a book. All proceeds of this book go to Women With Gifts. 
Please also take a moment to read more Questions|Answers from Failure To Thrive No More about our organization!

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