EMMA ROUTLEY/CHRONICLE PHOTO
Staff and volunteers at Womenspace must maintain some anonymity. The group includes Barb, Brandi, Cynthia, Delanie , Kim, Leticia, Nell, Miriam, Shelley, and Stephanie.
It was late spring, and the floodgates had opened. After an “eerily quiet” first few months of the Coronavirus pandemic, an overwhelming number of calls swamped Womenspace.
“So we get this one call,” said Julie Weismann, the center’s executive director. “‘Is there any other way that we can help? What can we do?’
“I’m like, you know, what we really need is food.”
Requests were coming in from survivors who the organization had worked with in the past, who were struggling in a shelter-in-place environment and dealing with unemployment and layoffs.
“I said they just don’t have enough food,” Weismann recalled. “So we started buying up food and bringing it down to Creswell to the survivors that we work with in that community. And then they allocated some more dollars to us.”
Creswell First! – the nonprofit that is responsible for the distribution and oversight of the City’s charitable giving – sprang into action and requested an exemption from the City to grant additional money to nonprofits.
Jenni Donley, a Creswell resident who has been on the CF! board for three and half years, said the group realized “that there are going to be a lot of extra needs because of the quarantine. So we went to the city and asked, ‘If there’s COVID-19 related issues can we grant more money?’ and the city said, ‘Absolutely!’”
Womenspace then received another $2,500.
“We’ve tried to find ways that we can support Creswell community members,” Weismann said.