KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) ― A Knoxville non-profit is working to uplift women in the program in more ways than one. The nonprofit decided to uplift these women with a new makeover.
Hand Up for Women is a life-management and career-works readiness ministry.
“We know that they are beautiful as they are, but all of these ladies have never had a vision of frankly how God sees them, and we want them to see themselves in that light,” Executive Director Eva Pierce said.
For the 11 women in the program that have faced a variety of obstacles, this makeover puts the mirror in their hands to reflect on what they’re truly made of.
“It’s really an external reflection of the internal changes that they’re making and working really hard on,” Pierce said.
Some of the women have dealt with addiction, jail time, homelessness or abuse.
“I was abused by my mother. She hated me and she didn’t have any problem telling me,” said Linda Phillips, a member of the program.
She faced over 50 years of agony in multiple relationships. It was a continuous pattern she didn’t think she could escape.
“I didn’t think I’d ever be better,” she said.
After a friend introduced her to Hand Up for Women, she said every day she gained the strength to be the person she always imagined, and after 14 months in the program, the makeover was only part of the transformation she has been going through for over a year.
“This is who I am, and I forgot that. It’s [Hand Up for Women] the best thing to happen to me,” Phillips said.
She’s not the only one who’s made the realization. The program has given more than just a new look to the women involved.
“Not only did I make a lot of friends and people I can call family now, but I’ve also got a support group that I’ve never had in my life before,” said Brittany Glenn, a soon-to-be graduate of the program. “This program isn’t just for someone who’s lost in faith or someone who can be an addict, it’s just someone who can be alone in the world and be around people who have struggled just as much as they have.”
When life doesn’t seem picture perfect, these women said it’s all about what you make it, and sometimes all it takes is someone or an organization to help you see that.
“It’s been able to give me a lot more than I thought I could have and a lot more than I expected from it,” Glenn said.
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Hand Up for Women will have an online auction in the coming weeks, with over 200 items to auction off. All of the proceeds will help the women in the program.