‘I love where I’m at now’; Restoring Women Outreach hosts inaugural fundraiser  

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Restoring Women Outreach Executive Director Summer Burden with Mindy Stewart and her daughter (Cayla Grace Murphy for The Cullman Tribune)

 

CULLMAN, Ala. – Restoring Women Outreach (RWO) hosted its inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 17. The fundraiser was a sold-out, intimate event at Stone Bridge Farms. 

RWO is a 12-step-based sober living program for women that has been serving Cullman and the surrounding area since 2011. 

Guest speaker, Cullman County District Court Judge Rusty Turner, spoke very highly of the program, sharing its impact on the legal system in Cullman. 

“At court, on the dependency side, where I’ve got men and women who are neglecting their children because of the addiction issues, this program is one of the best to help these mamas get back on track,” he said. “It’s been kind of unique to see how this program has benefited so many people. It shows an opportunity that there’s another aspect of life out there that they can enjoy and feel fulfilled.”  

He concluded, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. We’ve all made mistakes. Sometimes your mistakes cause a little bit more problems than others, but you can change it from this point going forward.” 

Another guest speaker, Mindy Stewart, is an RWO graduate who is approaching four years of sobriety. Through laughter and tears, she told her story of sustained recovery that she said was only achievable through RWO.  

Noting how angry she was at the world when she arrived at RWO, she said, “I got willing. I prayed to have the willingness to be able to change. These women right here, they all poured so much into me. I got really humble. That did a world of good for me.” 

She continued, “Life is good, even when it’s not good. I’ve had friends pass away; I’ve had a cancer scare. None of that is worth a drink. If I ever have that fleeting thought, it’s like I blink and I’m getting out of the car again in the rain at RWO. I love where I’m at now.” 

RWO Executive Director Summer Burden showed much gratitude to those in attendance, sharing how thankful she and the women were for a good turnout.  

“To hear anyone in the community outside of us bragging on them, you know, it makes a difference in what I do,” she said.  

Find out more about RWO at www.restoringwomenoutreach.org.