MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Bringing access, awareness and confidence — that’s what the Women of MC nonprofit organization is all about. After months of lending helping hands to ladies in need, it opened its doors for the first time Friday.
Located in the one of the highest valleys in Tennessee lies Mountain City, a community that one local woman believes needed more access to resources for women.
Women of MC Founder Olivia Stelter strives to be that liaison between women and those resources.
She said that she wanted to create a new sense of normalcy for women within Johnson County, one that includes education surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault while also providing feminine necessities.
Stelter spent time away from Mountain City as a graduate student, which is when she noticed there was work to be done within her home community.
“I quickly realized that there was just something off about the way that we grew up and the generational poverty and the trauma — the things that went on in our area that weren’t necessarily normal in other places,” Stelter said. “I think that’s contributed by the isolation that a lot of people feel being here in Mountain City.
“So, I wanted to fix those problems, and I thought the best way to do that was to start a grassroot nonprofit and start addressing things like trauma, sexual assault, domestic violence — some of the things that I feel are responsible for the hopelessness that a lot of women and people in general feel in our area.”
Services include period packages, mobile distributions and small groups featuring guest speakers addressing topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault and further education.
The Women of MC doesn’t work alone in fulfilling its mission; the 501-c partners with other local agencies to create a network of access and resources. The grassroots organization depends on donations to continue its community outreach efforts; those interested in helping can CLICK HERE.
The operations manager, Hannah Dunn, broke down how Women of MC connects those to additional necessities.
“We are a resource hub,” Dunn said. “So, if a woman comes in who’s hungry, I’ll have those resources here available…if they need access to a shelter or legal advice or long-term birth control, we have resources for that.
“Anything that they need, if we can’t immediately provide that, we know someone who can.”
Stelter founded Women of MC to uphold a quality that she prioritizes among herself and other ladies: confidence.
“We wanted everybody to feel as confident as we do,” Stelter said. “They can achieve anything that they want to. We’re also aware that sometimes that takes somebody giving you a little bit of help and somebody lifting you up on their shoulders, and we’re happy to do that.
The office is located at 1971B S. Shady St. Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.