The Board of Directors of Phoenixville Women’s Outreach (PWO) announces the retirement of Executive Director Cheryl Messere. Cheryl’s passion, innovation and deep commitment over the last six years has elevated PWO as a leader in providing safe and affordable housing solutions in the community. “We have the deepest gratitude for Cheryl who has served so generously,” said Mike Bryson, President of the PWO Board. “While she is retiring as Executive Director, Cheryl will remain on the Board as the founder. Her giving spirit has been as inspiring as her vision for this mission.”
While Phoenixville had a family and a men’s homeless shelter, it did not have a housing option for single women. It became Cheryl and Barry’s dream to create a housing solution that would offer a transitional program with a unique shared living model. The dream soon became a reality and “The House” opened its door and welcomed its first resident on New Year’s Day in 2015. PWO’s program now provides women with safe housing as well as training and guidance in essential life skills such as economic planning, resilience, and self-sufficiency. It recently expanded to include a second property – the Next Step House – a permanent supportive housing solution for women with limited incomes.
Messere’s retirement now ushers in a new chapter for PWO. We are pleased to announce the selection of Andrea Blue as PWO’s new Executive Director, effective March 1st. She comes to Phoenixville from upstate New York. “Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and so proud and happy to live and work in the area,” she says.
This is an exciting time for PWO and we are grateful for your continued support during this transition. We look forward to our upcoming Gala event on October 21 when our Board and Staff will honor Cheryl and Barry’s legacy of service, celebrate Cheryl’s retirement, and recognize the accomplishments of Phoenixville Women’s Outreach over the past six years.
The Board and Staff of Phoenixville Women’s Outreach
The Board of PWO has set a goal to MATCH all donations made on Giving Tuesday up to $2,000! Please consider donating today! Facebook is also matching donations if made on FB so your gift could be tripled!!
We owe a debt of gratitude to many amazing community members and companies. It takes a village to help empower women to break the cycle of dependence and poverty – and we are grateful to all who help us reach this mission.
Big thanks out to Omar, Matt, and John from Two Men And A Truck in Norristown for moving furniture for our ladies last week. We appreciate all of your trips over the past 6 months to help us! Your donated moving services make our lives so much easier. We can not tell you how grateful we are for such thoughtful, and strong, helpers! You truly are “movers who care.” Thank you!
Big thanks to Lee-Ann Barber, owner of Two Hearts Dance & Yoga, and Marilisa Beatty, Miss Pennsylvania, for organizing to raise awareness and funds for Phoenixville Women’s Outreach through a donation based yoga class last week. The studio provides “whole-hearted movement for every body” in an environment that fosters personal growth – which is just like our mission, to empower women to grow and become self-sufficient. The class raised $150 for our non-profit and we are full of gratitude for the time, energy, and effort put forth by these yogis. Namaste and thank you!
Thank you to all the community members who came out to support our fundraiser last Saturday. We are extremely grateful to all the donors who supplied the goods and all the buyers who were generous in their donations. This money will help us reach out mission of empowering women to break the cycle of poverty and dependence.
Stay tuned for our next yard sale – Fall 2021! Don’t miss it!
Fall is approaching and we’ve got some small fundraisers in store for you! Considering all the time we’ve spent in our homes during this global pandemic, we thought these 3 fundraisers might be a good fit for October.
Amazon Prime Days: October 13th and 14th
Amazon wants to get you shopping early for the holidays and so they will have tons of deals on these two days. You can make a difference while you shop Amazon Prime Day deals on October 13 & 14. Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/47-2270202or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon Shopping app and AmazonSmile donates to Phoenixville Women’s Outreach.
Boscov’s Days: October 14th and 15th
Because of CoVid they are doing it differently this year. There is no shopping pass needed and no upfront cost. You will still get 20% off of your purchases and if you mention Phoenixville Women’s Outreach at checkout or when purchasing online, PWO will get 5% of all purchases! It is a win-win.
Shred Event:October 17th from 9am-12pm at Kimberton Park
We imagine during CoVid and stay-at-home orders, you might have had time to go through that old desk or drawers and have some papers you’d like to safely shred. Bring your items to shred for free – donations encouraged!
Community Yard Sale:October 24th from 8am-12pm at 201 Starr Street
It’s time to get outside and enjoy the fresh fall air! Come on by to stroll, shop, and find your treasure at the community yard sale!
If you’d like to donate something to be sold at our yard sale, drop it off to 201 Starr Street’s porch between October 15th -October 22nd.
Gladly Accepting Donations: Every Day All Day
Please consider making a donation directly to PWO on our website – click on the Donate tab on the left hand side. Thank you so much!
Phoenixville Women’s Outreach works entirely off of community support. From individual donations of toiletries and groceries, to businesses providing items off the wish list, to community foundations providing grants for larger home improvements – we are always grateful for the support from Phoenixville and beyond. We quite literally couldn’t serve our community without that support!
The items we ask for impact the women in our program in small and big ways. The tower fans we just received will make a big difference for the women’s daily life at The House – thank you, Abby Lucas! And the big screen TV for the Next Step House donated by Jim DiGuiseppe and his team from the Blues Festival in town certainly brought big smiles – thanks, again, Jim!
These donations go a long way to helping the women be able to relax, rest, and heal as they process what led them to experiencing homelessness. It is that healing space that really allows the women to recover and build strength and skills to break the cycle of poverty and dependence. So when someone understands that and donates thoughtful items to the women themselves, not just the house, it really melts our heart because we see the sincere gratitude on the women’s faces.
Recently, Temenos, a local software company, donated beautiful boxes for the women of The House. Each box was FILLED with very nice personal self-care items that brought smiles to the women’s faces and made them feel special. Greg Morton and his team were so helpful and a pleasure to work with as they collected the items and delivered this donation (pictured above). This donation is a part of the ShoeBox Project which has locations in cities across the country. Thank you, Greg and your team at Temenos!
“A Shoebox gift is a powerful reminder for a woman that she has not been forgotten and that she remains a valued and respected member of her community” – Shoebox Project
If you are in a position to donate and give at this time, the biggest need we have right now is general funds. Due to Covid-19 shutting down our last 3 planned fundraisers, we are down from where we hoped to be at this point in the year to cover overall costs like our mortgage, utilities, and payroll. Given the economic impacts from the shutdowns, the need for our services is on the rise and our typical donors are declining.
We are hosting an upcoming Art Auction and we hope this will help secure most of what we need to maintain in good standing through the remainder of 2020. If you are an artist or know of one, we are accepted donated artwork as well as consigned pieces in order to also help our local artists! Check it out under Upcoming Events. Thank you!
BROWSING: Now until August 8th – Check out the amazing artwork, including original pieces by local artists! REGISTER: Register as a bidder to get your bidding number so you’re all ready to bid starting on August 8th BIDDING: August 8th at 9:00 am through August 15th at 6:00 pm. There are many mediums and styles of art to choose from! LIVE AUCTION: ONLY August 15th at 6:00 pm through 8:00 pm. Selected original pieces from local artists will be available (can browse now)
With the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, we have had to truly get creative in figuring out ways to raise awareness and funds for our non-profit helping women move from crisis to independence. It has became very clear that our need will only grow as the days pass with businesses closed and unemployment growing. Our team has been hard at work figuring out the best solution and has decided on a new and exciting venture – an online and live-stream Art Auction including both new and up-cycled pieces!
We were inspired by the acts of kindness happening all around us and felt that hosting a fundraiser that benefits our non-profit should also help others in our community if possible. (Similar to our Charity T-Shirt Drive where we gave portions of every shirt sold to the PXV Food Drive!) We are hopeful that many artists with local small businesses will get involved in this event so we made an option for them to consign their works of art and receive funds from this as well. Please consider if you, or any friends, have any art you’d like to donate or consign for this fundraiser. Types and mediums of art accepted into the auction, and the form to submit art, is below.
Thank you for always supporting our mission to help women break the cycle of poverty and dependence and move towards self-sufficiency. During these tough times, we hope you can take time to see the beauty that exists all around you in art of many forms. “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” – Thomas Merton
We look forward to “seeing” you at the Art Auction!
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT ART TO BE DONATED OR CONSIGNED FOR THIS ART AUCTION – Deadline is July 20th
If you have any questions, please contact our Board Fundraising Chair, Diane Campbell at email@example.com or (610) 331-2202.