Our Community Minute highlight for the month is Widow Wednesday. They are a non-profit organization that was founded in 2012 by Jimmy Chouteau. His goal was to assist widows and widowers in the Kansas City area by connecting and building relationships with the widows in the community. They desire to show love and care in visible, practical ways. Sometimes that looks like helping widows and widowers with small tasks that they may no longer be able to manage. Sometimes it is simply spending some quality time with them.
What started as one man’s idea and personal family project has grown into an organization of people committed to serving the widow near us. They have an especially tender and compassionate heart for those who have experienced heartache and loss and are committed to serving and loving them. They are committed to equipping and empowering others to serve widows in their own lives. Widow Wednesday is more than just an organization, it’s a lifestyle of service to people every day.
Jimmy and Cynthia, who were both missionaries with an organization called YWAM and traveled for the first five years of their marriage. When asked, both Jimmy and Cynthia believe that missions become part of you forever. They had been serving widows for several years before officially launching Widow Wednesday in 2012. When the founder, Jimmy Chouteau, began noticing the needs of widows around him, he started taking off work every Wednesday to visit and help with small household chores. Accompanied by his wife and children, Wednesdays simply worked with their schedule, so they made it a regular part of their week, thus “Widow Wednesday” was born. Jimmy currently also serves as President of Widow Wednesday.
As Widow Wednesday has grown beyond a mid-week break, the name has stuck for its history, but more importantly for the way it signifies an every-day, common, consistent concern for the needs and well-being of widows and widowers around us. Join them on a Wednesday, or any other day of the week in helping serve widows in our area. The foundation of their service to widows is in building community. Volunteers from churches all across our city are coming together to serve and love widows together. People are committing to regularly visit widows to offer practical assistance with house & yard work and whatever a widow may need, as well as simply spending time getting to know them.
One of the most stressful events a person can go through in their lives is the loss of a spouse. Life is completely transformed, and nothing is the same. Grief can be a long process and Widow Wednesday wants to come alongside widows and widowers and be a help in their unique, individual journey. They partner through community groups and workshops. Bi-weekly, local community groups are available for widows to gather for support and encouragement in a safe, friendly setting. Being involved in a strong, empathetic community is an important part of the journey of grief. In addition, a few times a year, they gather with widows from all over the area to discuss issues pertaining to widowhood. These issues include home skills, emotional and physical health, and the importance of community. It’s a great resource for widows to connect with others and learn skills for a new phase in life.
If you would like to contribute to the amazing things that this organization is doing for the community, you can volunteer or financially contribute through monthly gifts or a one time donation. If you are considering volunteering, please know that their goal is to cultivate community and therefore they need caring and consistent people to volunteer. You can fill out a volunteer form here. If you are not sure if you can regularly volunteer, we ask that you consider a donation to help Widow Wednesday. Proceeds go to:
- partnering with area churches and volunteers to form teams of ongoing service and care for widows.
- Offering widows more resources such as grief counseling, support groups, and opportunities to connect with others
- Continuing to raise awareness through special events such as our Fall Rake Day, Valentines Rose Delivery, and our annual National Widows Day Banquet
- Maintaining and developing our online resources and support community
- Developing materials to provide other cities with resources to start similar ministries
If you would like to consider donating, you can find more information here.