On Tuesday, May 15th, Our Little Haven Trustee, Risa Zwerling-Wrighton, was awarded as a Woman of Achievement for her impactful leadership. The Women of Achievement is “an award program that recognizes and honors women, who through their volunteer efforts, have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life in the St. Louis community.”
OLH opened its’ doors in 1993 to serve the youngest victims of abuse and neglect. In response to a call for action, Risa began volunteering in 1993 as a Baby Buddy working directly with the kids – holding, nurturing, feeding, comforting (and, yes, fending off ring-worm and the always important diaper changes.) Risa brought her hands-on leadership to OLH’s initial response.
Risa gave Our Little Haven the opportunity to understand the need of the organization: to both serve well and communicate well – to develop and manage an authentic approach to care for the young child, in a holistic fashion, and to develop and manage an invitation to the community to assist in this endeavor. Risa lead us to the question of how do we as a community best serve the youngest victims of abuse, how to measure this success and how do we explain the significance of this service to others? And, just as importantly, she helped us answer those questions.
Risa’s leadership, determination and consideration allowed Our Little Haven to grow from one building to four, from one program to six, from an all-volunteer staff to a staff of 35 professional care-givers, from a budget of $50,000 to a budget of $3,000,000 – all the while keeping the organization focused on the kids and families; All the while keeping the organization focused on the Mission; All the while keeping the organization focused on how to best serve.
We are proud to have Risa as a Board Member and thankful for her integral part in shaping Our Little Haven.
For more information about Women of Achievement, please visit https://woastl.org/