I am the President and Chairman of the Board of a not-for-profit organization I co-founded in 2009. The organization is The W Connection: Widows Helping Widows Rebuild Their Lives. I am also the Chapter Leader for the W Connection located in Sea Cliff, New York.
I was suddenly widowed in 2006 at the age of 56 after 33 years of marriage. During my second year of widowhood, it became clear to me that I needed to create a new life for myself – I needed to find a new “normal”. Though there were many organizations that offered bereavement support for newly widowed women, there were no organizations in existence that helped widows rebuild their lives. I co-founded The W Connection to fill this void.
The W Connection is one of the first nonprofits run exclusively by widows for the support of widows. It is unique because, unlike other organizations for widows that deal solely with grief, this organization’s focus is to help widows move forward, beyond the initial stages of bereavement, so they can rebuild their lives. Since 2009 we have helped thousands of widows. Recently a member told me that “The W Connection saved her life”.
The statistics cite that the average age of a widow in the U.S. is 55 years old. The majority of women I have worked with are strong, resilient and talented. Older workers have lots of experience that can be utilized in a wide range of situations. I consider myself an excellent example: I have been able to apply much of my 35 years of experience in corporate America to the building and managing of my nonprofit.