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Shedd Aquarium

Wooden It Be Lovely

501 S. Douglas Ave., Springfield, IL 62704

Specialty Stores

Wooden It Be Lovely is a non-profit social enterprise designed to give women in need unique and empowering employment and job training, enriching relationships, and housing. This program was founded by Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church in 2016 and became a separate 501 (c)3 non-profit in 2021.

The program is in response to a great need. Women healing from lives of poverty, addiction and hope often find it difficult to find jobs or a support system to connect them to available resources.

Charity has always been a part of society. In recent years it has become apparent that one-way giving (i.e., giving money to those in need upon request) subtly implies that the recipient has nothing of value to give in return. Over time this type of giving establishes dependency on others, causing a cycle of oppression and loss of dignity for those involved. This type of giving also does not give the recipient skills to support themselves in the future.

Wooden It Be Lovely provides women in transition (those healing from lives of poverty and/or in recovery) with a unique and empowering job. The women refurbish donated wood furniture, sew unique products, and make candles. They sell their products to the public. The work environment is supportive and empowering.

The women work side by side with volunteers from the community. It is the belief of this program that both those with material poverty and those with skills and means benefit by working together and developing new relationships. The women receive classes on employment skills, life skills, recovery tools, and job and interview skills. 

Women that are healing from lives of poverty and addiction often feel like society does not want to deal with them. The WIBL women relate to the metaphor of old furniture; often discarded, cracked, wobbly, unloved, and stained. With love, time and attention these wonderful women, like old furniture, can be refurbished into something lovely. 

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