Friday, September 15, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Donna Bronner during a Sept. 9 community event in Maywood. | Michael Romain/VFP
On Sept. 9, during a community event held on the playground of the former Lexington Elementary School, 415 Lexington St. in Maywood, I spoke briefly with Donna L. Bronner about her organization, Bridge to Destiny, which is designed to support women in Proviso Township dealing with domestic violence. The organization currently operates out of the Quinn Community Center, 1845 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood.
Bronner is one of many organizations collaborating with Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H) on a multipronged approached to solving complex local issues in Maywood and surrounding suburbs.
On the purpose and functions of Bridge to Destiny
We want to bring hope to women and children impacted by domestic violence. We now have 10 volunteers who are being trained in domestic violence counseling. We also offer sister-to-sister support groups and a book club, called “I am a Pearl,” where women discover that their pain can become their purpose.
We’ve been doing this since 2013. I started by helping women out of my home. I’d reach out to single women and women going through divorce or any kind of trauma or crisis. I’d bring them in, counsel them and connect them to resources.
How it all started
I had a personal experience with domestic violence. One of my [close relatives] was going through it. I had already been helping women, but when it hit close to home, that gave me a broader vision to help many other women in domestic violence situations.
Domestic violence is a vicious cycle and it’s hard to break away from. When I was dealing with it, we had nowhere else to go. Maywood just didn’t have the resources, so I wanted to bring the resources home and to connect with the police force, who are often the first responders in domestic violence situations.
Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley was instrumental in giving us funding for our first 10 women to go through training. We’ve serviced about 30 women so far. VFP