The LWRWC was founded to create friendships and support among members of the Lakewood Ranch community by contributing to civic responsibilties and charitble causes. In the 20 years since it’s founding, the Women’s Club had contributed over $200,000 to local charities. Every two years the Women’s Club “adopted” a charity to support. Since 2012, the Club has concentrated on three:
- SMART (Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy)
- SOLVE Maternity Home
- HOPE Family Services.
The LWRWC meets every January to award the profits earned from the previous year’s fund raising efforts.
HOPE Family Services, Inc. was founded in 1979 in the home of a dedicated advocate. When a grant was secured to pay off the mortgage, HOPE was established as Manatee County’s only domestic violence Safe Shelter. By 1987, Services included counseling for children of domestic violence victims, parenting support and an added full time outreach counselor for victims.
HOPE was one of the founding members of the Domestic Violence Council of Manatee County and by 1996 saw the inception of a new program called “Community Policing.” HOPE opened their first thrift shop in 1998 called The HOPE Chest. They are in partnership with the Junior League and the Selby Foundation to make the Outreach Counseling office a warm, welcoming and healing place.
With media’s attention focused on the long-standing epidemic of domestic violence and abuse, community awareness of HOPE’s mission continues to grow.
SMART (Sarasota Manatee Association of Riding Therapy) is dedicated to enhancing the physical, emotional, and cognitive growth of individuals with special needs through a quality educational and recreational horseback riding and carriage driving program.
SMART provides and all encompassing horsemanship program. Participants learn to groom and tack up their horses, ride to the utmost of their ability, and care for their horses afterwards.
All of these horsemanship skills provide the participant with many physical, emotional and cognitive benefits such as an increase in physical strength and stamina, an improvement in posture, balance and coordination, and an increase in attention span and independent skills.
At SMART, the movement of the horse, the connection to the horse, and the natural environment are all used to help heal the body, mind and spirit of each SMART rider.
SOLVE Maternity Home has been helping women and their families with unplanned pregnancies since 1976. SOLVE has assisted over 1000 young women and their unborn babies by providing safe housing.
SOLVE operates two maternity homes in Bradenton and one in South County Sarasota. SOlVE strives to assist women who have no place to go and works to redirect their lives when all seems impossible.
SOLVE is willing to stand with mothers by loving them, helping to restore relationships, and giving them the tools they need to be successful in life. They provide a structured program individually customized for each woman.