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Update from A Woman’s Place

by Lisa DeAngelis

Ifeoma (Ify) Aduba radiates hope and optimism, even at the end of a year that could have undone many of those responsible for operating nonprofit organizations.  As the Executive Director of A Woman’s Place (AWP), Ify struggled last year for funding to keep AWP operating during the long Pennsylvania budget battle.

That battle has left Ify bloodied but unbowed. She gives the credit to her very supportive Board of Directors for ensuring that AWP weathered the storm.

On May 12th, Ify was honored as one of the YWCA of Bucks County’s Salute To Women Who Make A Difference award winners.  Last October, she accepted the NAACP Bucks County Branch’s Freedom Fund Community Service Award in recognition of her leadership in the community in education, human rights, and the NAACP organization at the 64th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet at Parx Casino.

Asked what an ordinary person can do when they have reason to suspect domestic violence, Ify is quick to reply: “Tell her you know what is happening and it is not her fault. Tell her she does not deserve this. Then tell her she can call (800) 220-8116 for help.”

Asked what she wants the public to know about AWP, Ify answers, “We’re not in the business of breaking up families. We’re here strictly to help.”

In Full Swing is a resale shop benefiting AWP, both through funding the shelter and also by giving their clients a way to develop their own personal and professional styles. When an AWP client goes into the thrift store, maybe anticipating the start of a new job, there are sales volunteers ready and willing to provide a full wardrobe at no cost to the client. Even a patron wandering in off the street will find a visit rewarding.

In Full Swing has clothing at heavily discounted prices for women, men and children, including shoes and jewelry, a varied housewares section, and a nice selection of books. The store moved two years ago to its new location at 225 W. State Street in the heart of Doylestown. Hours are Monday to Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm, and Sundays, noon to 5:00pm.

At that time it was renamed In Full Swing because it is an idiom meaning ‘at the peak of activity and moving forward.’ It’s also a synonym for ‘flourishing,’ which is the vision for AWP – a society where all individuals are safe in their relationships and can ‘flourish.’

AWP held their Annual Breakfast and Community Recognition Ceremony on May 19th at the Northampton Valley Country Club in Richboro.

“This was a wonderful event,” says Director of Public Advocacy, Heather Giampapa, “where we updated our supporters on AWP’s work in our community, and also honored those who have helped fulfill our mission.”

This year, the keynote speaker was Peg Dierkers, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

AWP also honored the following people and organizations:

  • Bucks Promise for Youth Consortium is a countywide coalition whose energetic mission to mobilize, build and strengthen the community around our youth to enrich the quality of life in Bucks County supported The Prevention Project of AWP;
  • Alekhya Gunturi is a dynamic young woman whose community fundraising efforts greatly benefited AWP clients and their children;
  • Kohl’s Bensalem and Kohl’s Doylestown store employees provided dedicated service and volunteerism at AWP events, ensuring a positive experience for attendees and first-rate fundraising that benefited the organization;
  • Makefield Women’s Association is a local nonprofit composed of a diverse grou00 of women dedicated to raising funds and providing services to community beneficiaries, whose years of loyal support made a positive impact in the lives of AWP clients;
  • John Ordway is owner of Jules Thin Crust, who took it upon himself to lead the restoration efforts at AWP’s emergency shelter and created a warm and comfortable space for those at greatest risk in our community;
  • Thomson Toyota is an active community business whose donation of space and services made possible great things for The Empowerment Project of AWP, clients, and community members.

PHOTO CAP: Ifeoma Aduba, Executive Director of A Woman’s Place.