Katie Bell and I (both Olentangy Liberty High School students) are focused on making a vast impact in central Ohio through our club. Women At Work strives to provide aid and assistance to domestic violence survivors in central Ohio by volunteering at women’s shelters, homeless shelters, and hosting events for survivors to share their stories.
The club volunteers for several organizations, including but not limited to, Lutheran Social Services and the Van Buren Center. Over the past year, we have volunteered at trunk-or-treats for less fortunate children and helped make birthday gifts and care packages for struggling families.
Women at Work was created in March of 2022.
I remember reading a statistic that in Ohio alone there were 112 domestic violence fatalities for the year ending on June 30, 2022. Katie and I had been thinking about starting a club at our school to make an impact, and I knew that this was our sign. Soon after, we started Women at Work and began reaching out to different organizations in central Ohio. Through volunteering at women’s shelters in Ohio, I had the opportunity to learn more about this issue and its importance.
Women At Work’s first event was in October 2022. The club members went to the Van Buren Center in Columbus to pass out candy at a trunk-or-treat event. The members enjoyed meeting all the children and seeing their costumes.
“Trunk-or-Treat was so much fun and probably my favorite event of the year. I loved working with other girls, while also supporting the community. Being in Women At Work is fun because we get to empower women and work with other girls our age,” Ally Bosma (class of 2024) said.
In March 2023, Women at Work also went to Lutheran Social Services to pack care packages, birthday boxes, kitchen & home sets, etc. for survivors leaving the shelter. We spent all morning putting together hundreds of items including pots, pans, soap, towels, bath/beauty products, sponges, curtains, bracelets, gift cards, and more.
“This year, I hope to hold more events and donate more to the community. I also hope to grow recognition for domestic violence survivors, by collaborating with more women’s shelters and organizations, and hearing stories from survivors about their experiences. It would also be nice to host donation drives so we can give to the community,” said Bell (class of 2024).
The 2023-2024 school year marks the start of Women At Work’s second year as a club. We will be returning to Van Buren and Lutheran Social Services, and hosting some of our own events for students to volunteer and hear from survivors. We are always looking for new members and organizations to partner with, so if you are a student interested in joining Women At Work, or a company interested in partnering with us, you can follow womenatworkorganization on Instagram or email the founders at [email protected].
Kristine Anyanechi is an intern for The Gazette.