Volunteers at the Center for Women’s Ministries Inc. help females of all ages cope with their personal issues.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Low self-esteem, dealing with the terminally ill, childhood sexual abuse and relationship problems are more prevalent in Pinellas County than ever before.
Thanks to Pinellas Park’s Center for Women’s Ministries Inc. at 5580 Park Blvd., females of all ages are learning to overcome personal problems. A volunteer staff uses prayer, consultation and resource material to help women get over life’s rough spots.
Glenda Shearer is the new center director. Like other staffers, she is the victim of childhood trauma. She also is fortunate enough to have a strong marriage with her husband, Paul, who also is active in the ministry.
“We were 14 years old when we met,” Shearer said. “I had a very difficult childhood. I was broken, but I also was healed.”
Healing lives is what the center does.
One woman’s first husband was an alcoholic who had a string of girlfriends on the side. She needed change and got a divorce. She married a second time, but he, too, loved the bottle. He had anger management problems. Eventually he committed suicide.
Another woman recalled years of parental abuse and the Catholic school nuns who beat her, forced her to kneel on rosary beads and otherwise caused torment. The result was low self-esteem, fear and trust issues.
Women reported years of adolescent sexual abuse, beatings and assaults by boyfriends and husbands in later years.
Virtually all of the center’s volunteers relate to hurting souls because they’ve been there. They suffered, ran from and eventually confronted their demons through crisis intervention and faith-based counseling.
“Our emphasis is on healthy relationships with one another and with Christ,” Shearer said. “Often an individual’s pain is too personal and too deep to share with others.”
And that is exactly where the center comes in. Created just four years ago as part of a Bloomington, Ill., international faith-base organization, volunteers help people deal with depression, relationship problems, parenting, loss of loved ones and illness.
“The problem in Pinellas County is greater because this is such a transient area,” Shearer said.
Statistically, one out of every three women in Pinellas County are victims of domestic violence. That plus other personal issues make volunteers who undergo 14 weeks of extensive training an essential part of today’s society.
Volunteers are not professional therapists. They often refer women to approved professionals when non-judgmental listening, comfort, encouragement and their support isn’t enough.
The facility is open Monday-Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. Visit or call the center at 547-8557 for additional information, to make an appointment or to contribute money and supplies.