Woman turns garage into boutique to help women after abuseOct 29, 2018 03:56PM ● By Jana Klopsch
West Jordan garage turned into boutique for abused women. (Photo courtesy: Martha Garcia)
By Jennifer Gardiner | [email protected]
Wanting to make a difference for women who have experienced abuse, Martha Garcia turned her garage into a clothing closet and continues to do everything she can to help others get back on their feet.
Garcia recognized a need for women who had left abusive relationships. She envisioned a big building, a store which had everything a woman might need — things to help make her smile and be happy. She wants to offer them really nice things since many of them left all their belongings behind.
Garcia, constantly involved with women’s and homeless shelters, always had a passion for helping others. After spending the last 23 years making pies for the homeless and serving them every year for Thanksgiving, Garcia decided to go a little further with her dream starting a nonprofit organization she calls Passionate Wings.
“My heart has always been about helping the women out,” said Garcia. “I just think as a mother, if we are not strong as a woman, how can we be strong for our children?”
Garcia’s dedication lets other women know they have options, since many who leave abusive situations are doing so under dire circumstances, often leaving behind friends, family and everything they own in an attempt to find safety.
“Our children are our future,” Garcia said. “I have two little girls and a granddaughter; I want to pave the road and teach them, as a woman learn how to stand on your own two feet. I want them to get all the education and knowledge you can get, so you will be very independent and get a good job and make your own money.”
Garcia said she knows her purpose in life is to help out as many women as she possibly can.
“I know God gave me a big mouth to use my voice for the women that lost theirs,” said Garcia. “There's so much evil out in this world; it breaks my heart to hear the stories that these women and children went through.”
Garcia said she has close friends who had horrible things happen to them as children and as adults, and it hurts her to see so much pain.
“No one has the right to sexually abuse or physically abuse these children and women,” said Garcia. “So, Passionate Wings is full of everything a woman will need to help her get back on her feet.”
The Passionate Wings closet has new and used items, anything from casual clothes to professional clothes, to shoes, jackets, makeup, curling irons, panties, bras, socks, jewelry, purses and more.
Garcia said the response to her closet has been great, and she continues to be grateful for all the love and support she has received. She relies solely on donations.
“Right now, people are just reaching out to me if they want to donate,” said Garcia. “I will meet them somewhere to pick up the donations.”
Garcia also says there is a great need to have programs around the schools for prevention to provide children with the knowledge that they have a voice.
“One of my main goals is to prevent this kind of abuse before it actually happens to our children,” said Garcia. “I want to be able to help women who have been affected by abuse to heal so they can get their voices back and can see and believe how beautiful and strong they are.”
Garcia is currently trying to work with shelters in the area where a social worker can drive the women to her home so she can pick out everything she needs. For those wanting to donate or help with Passionate Wings boutique, please visit the website, Passionatewings.org.
According to Domesticshelters.org, there are 20 organizations in 16 cities in Utah that provide domestic violence services at some level.
The most common organizations are the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition (800-897-5467), Catholic Community Services (801-977-9119), South Valley Sanctuary (801-255-1095) and the YWCA Women in Jeopardy (801-537-8600).
If you or someone you know is living in an abusive situation, please call the Utah Linkline at 800-897-5467 for help with resources, shelters, assistance and for help implementing safety measures when attempting to leave an abusive relationship.