Wichita WIN was born when Newman University faculty members Sister Glenda Reimer, a member of the Sisters of Charity, and Sister Susan Reeves, a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, identified the need for a community program to help domestic abuse survivors escape the cycle of financial dependence on their abusers. Shelters offered a temporary solution, but Wichita Women’s Initiative Network would offer job skills and employment, so the women could support themselves and their children without having to rely on others for support.
1996 — The Sisters assemble women from various faith backgrounds to develop the program concept.
1997 — The Wichita WIN board of directors hire the first staff members and admitted the first four women participants to the program. The women begin assembling and packaging the WIN product line: three kinds of bean soup mix.
1998 — Referrals to the program continue and the product line expands to additional soups and baking mixes.
2001 — The product line continues to expand with woven rugs, placemats and dishtowels and additional food products.
2003 — To date, WIN has served 47 women. Its product line includes 17 different food products and woven items. The steady number of agency referrals and self-referrals illustrates the need for this program in the Wichita community.
2008 — The 100th participant is admitted to the WIN program, which now assists an average of 22 women each year in collaboration with an extensive and growing network with other service providers in the community.
2010 — In its first major fundraiser, WIN brings Denise Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, to Wichita to speak on domestic violence and raise funds for WIN.
2013 — West Wichita Women’s Network launches Divas on a Dime, a fashion fundraiser for Wichita WIN. The successful fashion event becomes WIN’s annual spring fundraiser.
2014 — Hand-dipped pretzels, made by the program participants, are added to WIN’s product line.
2016 — WIN participants begin contract work, assembling parts for Filimin Wi-Fi enabled touch lights.
2017 — The WIN program is redesigned to include onsite work contracts with local employers, such as the Filimin light assembly, and workplace internships for participants, along with production of hand-dipped pretzels, the remaining food product offering. The pretzels are now being sold in retail stores around the Wichita area, as well as on the WIN website.