“I am strong. I am beautiful. I am me. I am worthy. I am valuable. I want you to write down on that piece of paper and pin it up on our affirmation board.”
These are the words Karen Kuciver wants every female veteran to remember.
"I'm going 10 years clean and sober and for the first year of my sobriety, I wrote these affirmations. I felt these affirmations.” Kuciver knows what it’s like to struggle and overcome. a few years ago, she started interning at the Primavera Project Action for Veterans when she got an idea.
“I came across a female veteran who had two sons that recently got off the streets and into their apartment. while interning there, i saw that these female veterans are under served, so i decided to become their voice," said Kuciver.
inspired, she started women warriors and began collecting donations from the community. "As it continued to grow, i ended up with this beautiful building and decided to bring everything here for our female veterans," said Kuciver.
Now, she’s preparing for the grand opening of the Women Warriors Program and Wendy’s Collection Boutique. "If you’re a female veteran and you would like to come shop at the boutique, come on in. we'll do an application and you’ll get store credit. everything that is in this boutique is free for you," Kuciver.
Veterans like Rebecca Dugan. "Women Warriors has helped me regain my self-esteem. I see myself as having value and worth again something I was really struggling with in the beginning of the year when i met Karen at the VA.”
That’s why Dugan wants to pay it forward as a volunteer coordinator.
“That’s my goal now. Find these female veterans and give them hope," Dugan said.
Inside the boutique, there’s all kinds of help for female veterans.
"We have job interview clothes. We have everyday clothing. We have workout clothing, purses, necklaces, shoes, whatever you need to go to work or get a job," Kuciver said.
Also available, information about housing assistance and PTSD support groups. Kuciver says there’s even a food pantry and many other ways to serve the women who have served our country.
"We will do some case management for you. We will do some financial budgeting if you need. We will do resume writing skills, interviewing skills if you need because it's a lot different out here. We will be providing haircuts, makeovers," Kuciver said.
Makeovers in more ways than one. Kuciver wants to make sure female veterans know they matter. "I want them to be able to come in here, feel safe, get a beautiful haircut, get some makeup. Come in here shop, get a brand new outfit, and walk out that door with their head held high.”
The grand opening of the boutique is Saturday, Nov. 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at 5851 E. Speedway Blvd. Suite 141.
Even if you're not a veteran, you can shop there and the money will go back to Women Warriors helping their mission in giving back to our female veterans.