Group helps women, kids escape poverty for better life

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- Women & Children’s Center of the Sierra (WACCS) provides services to support women as they work to move out of poverty and improve their lives. WACCS, in southeast Reno, serves women as they work toward their individual goals on their journey out of poverty and away from public safety net programs.

"When you think you're prepared, you're really not 100% prepared,” Heidy Hernandez, a young mother living in Reno, says, “You might have everything at home that you think the baby might need, but the baby might need more."

Hernandez lived in poverty growing up. She got pregnant at age 16 and again at age 22. She needed help to support herself and her children, and that’s where WACCS came in.

"Our mission is to help women escape poverty in order to provide a better life for themselves and their children,” Pam Russell, Executive Director of WACCS, says.

Women can go to the local non-profit organization and ask for help. Its comprehensive approach includes education, job search and preparation, a free diaper bank, crisis intervention, and information and referrals for any other community service a woman may need to move forward in her life.

"We are here to help. We're not here to judge; we are here to honor women," Russell says.

The organization also counsels, supports, encourages, guides and empowers women as they strive to transform their lives.

"There are no closed doors here; it's all open,” Hernandez says. “There's nothing but love and kindness, and everyone takes care of everyone here."

In order for WACCS to give and support women in poverty, they need help from the community. Donations needed include monetary, diapers, food, books, gently used clothing, and volunteers. If you’d like to donate, click here.