For nearly 25 years, Barbara Lewis has been making a difference in the lives of women and children affected by domestic violence.
When she first connected with the Urban Resource Institute (URI), Ms. Lewis was asked to hold finance seminars for the women residing at Urban Women’s Retreat (UWR)—a Tier I emergency domestic violence shelter located in Upper Manhattan. For the many women residing in domestic violence shelters who have never had control over their personal finances, Ms. Lewis’s financial advice was crucial in helping individuals and their families get back on their feet and heal from the abuse they experienced.
After many years of volunteering her service and at the recommendation of URI Board Trustee Carmen J. Smith, Ms. Lewis became a member of UWR’s community advisory board. Working with funds that are donated directly by volunteers such as Ms. Lewis, the advisory board plans monthly programming for UWR residents in order to help create a warm, friendly atmosphere. Ranging from special holiday programs to restaurant outings for UWR mothers, the advisory board—though faced with difficult economic conditions—works diligently to provide comfort for UWR’s many clients.
For every 75 hours that Ms. Lewis volunteers, her employer donates $1,000 to the charity of Ms. Lewis’s choice. As she puts it, “UWR is always the charity of my choice.”