By Meg Dickens
The Women of Mountain City started its nonprofit journey in early 2020. Need in the county is prevalent, but the COVID-19 pandemic put further strain on people everywhere, closing down some businesses and costing workers their jobs or livelihoods. Despite difficulties nationwide, people locally donated funds to secure a building for the Women of Mountain City. The Women of MC’s first location, at 1971 B South Shady Street, will open at the beginning of 2021.
“2021 in Johnson County is going to be female,” explained Founder and President Olivia Stelter. “Women of MC is opening its doors to women of all walks of life in Johnson County this Friday. They will officially open up to the community Monday through Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm, and Fridays from 10 am to 2 pm. Thursdays will be Emergency Delivery Day to deliver emergency products around the county to those that do not have transportation.”
With the current pandemic, this will not be a traditional grand opening. Stelter encourages the public to attend virtually instead of in-person. She plans to host a live feed from the location through Facebook Live. Those interested in attending should keep an eye on the organization’s Facebook page on the evening of Friday, January 1.
According to Stelter, Operations Manager Hannah Dunn will run the Women of MC operations, and Ellen Watkins will work on grassroots projects. Future events include self-care, trauma, and sexual assault awareness classes and empowerment talks.
More details will be available closer to time. Women of MC will work with partners across Appalachia for classes and other related activities while maintaining COVID-19 safety measures along with personal safety.
The Women of MC advertises its headquarters as a “safe space.” Women of all walks of life are welcome, and a strict no male policy during office hours gives women “peace of mind.” The only exceptions to this policy are children age eight and under and Tech Tuesday volunteer Robert Thompson. Thompson will help women sign up for programs such as food stamps, government housing, and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) using donated computers each Tuesday.
The Women of Mountain City is a nonprofit organization that provides feminine and hygiene products, clothing, and academic and professional development resources to women in Johnson County anonymously, free of charge, and tailored to local needs. For more information on this organization, its plans, and donating, visit womenofmountaincity.com or @womenofmc on Facebook. All funds go directly back into the program to make events possible.