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Krista Loveland : Founder of the Women’s Informational Network

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There comes a point in many people’s lives when they realize that things have got to change. Krista Loveland came to that point when her now ex-husband almost killed her at the height of their abusive marriage. As a result, she left him, knowing that she and her children deserved better.

They entered into the social services system without knowing what to do or what to expect.  In the system, Krista found the stability that she needed for her children, but also saw gaps in the services.  A concern for other women she met along the way began to grow within her.  Krista decided that she wanted use her skills to help better the system.

Krista has finally regained all she had lost from her abusive marriage, and more.  She helps local women and their children with the same problems she once suffered from. Krista completed degrees in both Psychology and Family & Human Services from the University of Oregon in 2004 and is just under a year away from receiving her Master’s degree.

Krista started WINS (Women’s Information Network Services) in 2002 out of two cupboards and a donated space.  It has since grown into a successful program.  The WINS program offers services such as emergency shelter vouchers, emergency transportation, food, clothing, diapers, baby items, formula, prenatal information, and referrals to safe houses and other services. It also provides low or no cost therapeutic and drug/alcohol counseling services by certified professionals, weekly networking meetings, and a one-year therapeutic sheltering program called the Transformation House for victims, and their children, of domestic violence.

Krista has expanded the organization to include the Once Again thrift store and the Tea &Things tea shop.  Both are staffed by volunteers and help fund the organization. However, Krista’s newest and most inspiring addition is the Transformation House.

For the first time, Cottage Grove’s local women have a place to go to escape their violent relationships. This program differs from most safe houses in that it requires a one-year commitment. This allows the women ample time to accomplish the changes to be able to stand on their own feet confidently.

“What happens is that your self-efficacy is destroyed and you feel isolated… We’re not just administering a service, we are asking them to be included in the program,” Krista explains. “The only way to rebuild self-esteem and self-efficacy is through successes and accomplishments. We let them know that they are valuable and that we appreciate them.”

Another difference is that most safe houses do not allow male children over the age of 6; at the Transformation House they believe that all ages of male children need to be safe.  They need to be out of the violent environment and learn social skills that will prevent them from carrying on the cycle of violence.

Breaking that cycle is very important; another part of it is breaking the negative thoughts that surround women of abuse. After talking with these women, one hears a broken part of them that doesn’t believe in love or respect anymore. When a person has been convinced that he or she is nothing and is terrified to even take a breath, the idea of formulating a plan and getting away seems too overwhelming to even consider.

The house has been a dream of Krista’s for the past three years and it has been a reality for the last three months. She describes the process as much like that of giving birth to a child, “You carry it in you, you give birth to it, and now it’s in its toddler stages…it’s part of my life, part of my passion and part of my faith in God.”

One house member remarks that, “It is helping me stay clean and sober and get to where I can be self-sufficient. After just four months I am rebuilding relationships with my family and dealing with my anxiety. I don’t know what I would have done without this program here in Cottage Grove.”

The program has great support from community foundations including the Woodard Family Foundation, Doyle & Donna Sheppard Foundation, Self Development of People, McKenzie Gathering Foundation, and the Faye & Lucille Stewart Foundation.  With their help it is growing quickly to aid as many families as possible.

Visit the WINS website at www.cgwins.org to see how you can help the women and children of Cottage Grove.  Any quality used donations are welcome.

The need to help others is ingrained in all our being.  Krista Loveland’s example of making a promise to herself to extend her gifts, talents, and love to other people is one we can all learn from.  Aiding others has helped her to realize that life is truly blessed.

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18 Comments - (Leave a comment! »)

  • Connie - Washington said:

    This article was close to my heart as it is a passion I share as well. I too have started a Foundation to help survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives after they have left their abusive relationship.

  • Connie - Georgia said:

    This article was close to my heart as it is a passion I share as well. I too have started a Foundation to help survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives after they have left their abusive relationship. I offer my Yoga classes to help fund it.

  • Elizabeth – New York said:

    It’s encouraging to see people making a difference in the lives of others. I found the article to be very informative about what services it provides for woman.

  • Isabel said:

    I have also been a domestic violence victim so to my surprise this article touched me. I am originally from Oregon and have dealt with community services that are lacking in some aspect or another with regard to services. I was impressed with the supporting agencies listed and feel that this is something important for readers to know so that they can either utilize the information or pass it on to someone they know who could use it. In short it was very useful information.

  • Tyer - Texasa said:

    This was a beautiful article covering a variety of topics. Something I can relate to although I never had to go through the shelter system. The article gives hope to women who are in an abusive situation. Krista is an inspiration to all the people around her simply because she took a situation that was traumatic and turned it into a life changing organization. Knowing she only started with donated space and a small cupboard is incredible considering the growth of her organization. The amenities she offers to women who are there makes it a calm and neutral setting. This allows quicker adaptation and reintegration for the families who receive services. I loved this article and could not find a single thing that I did not like. It has a great concept, it has meaning and a plethora of information. It tells how she started and why by explaining her traumatic experience. As a person with trauma induced PTSD I have faith this woman is very bold and has the strength like no other. One of the best parts of this article is touching base on the anxiety she is still dealing with. The article is not a “hey I turned my life around and now we are not going to talk about it anymore, just leave out the important stuff” kind of article. It is important to know that she is still struggling with the traumatic experience. She is not hiding it but it shows how she uses that anxiety and hurt for a good cause. She is helping other people and building a relationship with other people who have gone through what she has.

  • Kate – Minnesota said:

    Hello, let me start by saying that the message of your magazine is one of strength and perseverance. Sharing these inspiring stories with others has the power to help so many, and this is absolutely something I would like to support. The story about Krista Loveland, founder of the Women’s Informational Network, really struck a chord with me. I think we have all known someone who has been in a situation similar to the one Krista found herself in. However, the sad truth is, not all of these stories have such a happy ending. It is of vital importance that women and children who end up in abusive environments are not alone in their struggles. Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement and support for a person to realize their own strength. This is what Krista is offering to the women and children she continues to help through WIN. She really is changing lives and I was truly inspired by her story.

  • Kim – Indiana said:

    From what I can see, your magazine stands out against the negative noise of the world and gives a positive, inspirational alternative. I have read through your website, and enjoyed what I read. I think the short-form article with clear information about why a person is celebrated is a great platform. I read the above article which told Krista’s story well, in a casual and easy to read format. I liked the progression of the story, from abject desperation to leadership.

  • Jessica– Ohio said:

    I appreciated that the article illustrated ways in which she not only helped other women in abusive situations similar to her own, but also the ways in which she helped herself. It explained the services that she is able to provide, but also pointed out that she has earned a college degree and is working towards her Master’s degree. There was an enlightening parallel between the way she was able to grow from an abused woman to an independent college graduate and humanitarian and how her foundation began very small within her home and has grown into a multitude of services and support centers for women and their family. I felt the article was very detailed, both about the WINS foundation and its founder, making it a well-rounded piece. It pointed out that Transformation House admits male children over the age of 6, but I would have liked to know a bit more about the educational and therapeutic services offered to children to help them heal and to prevent the cycle of violence of continuing.

  • Tanya – Pennsylvania said:

    Because the story of Krista Loveland relates closely to my own personal life story of danger and violence in a marriage, followed by escape and creating a new life for myself and young children, I’ve enjoyed this article, the information on a strong and powerful woman who made a difference not just for her own life and that of her children, but for other women in desperate need of the same help. The world needs more people like her, because the issue of domestic violence is not taken seriously enough by our legal system – for example, there have been numerous times I have reported my ex-husband (who is on bail awaiting jury trial, they are simply taking their time to get to it – I was severely beaten for 5 1/2 hours weeks after delivering his son to the point of having to have my eye socket rebuilt, he will be going to jail for a very long time) for PFA violations of threatening voicemail messages, following me around; some rather extreme things and yet they refuse to violate him even one time. It is things like this that inspire women like Krista Loveland and many others to fight for our freedom and rights to survival.

    I like the article, and am impressed with the woman the article was written about.

  • Hillary - Tallahassee said:

    This would be a very well-written article if it was an endorsement for WINS. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed learning about the program and was pleased to read how well it is doing. However, information was lacking on the “winner” Kristen Loveland. For future articles I would recommend focusing more on the individual rather than the program created by the individual. Definitely include a paragraph or two about the program but since the mission of the magazine is to recognize people, I would suggest focusing more on Krista rather than the program she created.

  • Tina S -- Florida said:

    This was the perfect opportunity to paint an articulate picture of a woman who has devoted herself to providing safe haven to abused and battered women, and their children. Yet, we learn so little of this courageous woman, whose own tempestuous relationship led her to finally break free and become a beacon to others escaping their own dusfunctional domestic relationships. What does she look like? Who IS she? As a reader, I felt emptiness where I should have felt uplifted.

  • Alanna – California said:

    while I agree with some of the commenters that the writing could be improved and a few of the details could be expanded on, I found the content and subject of the article to be fascinating. In fact, Niki Hampton’s article reminded me of an article that appeared in the Cuyahoga Falls Patch, called “Cuyahoga Falls Resident Helps Victims of Domestic Violence in Honduras,” a profile story about Amanda Ruiviejo, who is currently in Santa Rosa De Copan for a year continuing work she began last year setting up a domestic violence shelter.

  • Jesse -- Canada said:

    I thought it was a little bit brief but had some nice points.

  • Virginia S -- Canada said:

    I like the idea that the articles on Winners Within Us™
    are able to raise awareness about the amazing work that people like Krista are doing to assist people in need.

  • Cheryl P said:

    I enjoyed the piece for several reasons: topic, style, length and the author’s choice to not beat it into the ground; she gave her readers the website should they desire more information.

    Like most readers in this day and age, I get bored easily if an article doesn’t hold my attention or provide me with new information. Ms. Hampton’s story did not dwell on the hideous details of the subject’s abuse; rather, she assumed her readers knew full well what abuse is and, instead, concentrated on the good news your publication aims to share.

  • Janet said:

    I found this to be a good,solid article-good information-I thought the quotes were well placed. Krista offered hope and inspiration to others with her determination to improve her skills and return to school. The article did not dwell on Krista’s plight as much as focus on the positive side of her nature. This would be an uplifting article for anyone who has been faced with similar abusive situations. Janet

  • Betty Dobson said:

    As the sister of (formerly) abused woman, I can relate to this article and to the actions Krista Loveland took after extricating herself from a bad situation.

    This article does a fine job of shining the spotlight on a woman who overcame adversity and created something worthwhile. I especially liked hearing from one of the other women she has helped.

    While the article itself is a little choppy, that doesn’t diminish the message. Thanks for sharing!

  • Emily H said:

    The article has a good merging of information with a variety of well-integrated quotations and specific details. I like how it directs readers to the Women’s Informational Network and suggests ways in which to help the organization. Finally I like the inclusion of information about boys over the age of 6 and how this particular organization stands out from the rest with who can use the service.

    The article could be improved with more details. It mentions the thrift store and the tea shop without further elaboration. I also found myself very curious about Krista’s personal story as I was reading. How did she get out of her situation? What specifically was happening to her? Who did she turn to for support and aid? I wanted the whole story. I am curious about Karen as a person- what she does on a daily basis, how she helps her clients, what her life is like outside of work, etc.

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