in the Mix
4/17/2013, 11:05 a.m.
Bright Lights, Big City…
Oneta Bobbett’s passion for “her girls” as she refers to them is so genuine and is born out of her own personal circumstance. Bobbett, a survivor of domestic violence, is the founder of the non-profit organization Jaden’s Ladder that assists domestic violence survivors with life-enhancing, post-shelter programs and support that builds confidence and fosters self-reliance.
Oneta took time out of her schedule to chat over the phone about Jaden’s Ladder and her upcoming annual Boston fundraiser.
Since the founding of Jaden’s Ladder, how many families have you helped?
We’ve helped over 200 families on the Eastern seacoast and Atlanta. We put them through a two-year program where they can become self-sufficient and we pride ourselves on personalizing the program. There are certain things you can’t scrimp on. The women do individual therapy. We pay full price for licensed therapists for the women and children, and we don’t ask for attorney fees or therapy as discounts. The message is we don’t cookie-cutter them [the women]. The women feel we make a difference. We help them to continue this progress, and our donors realize what we do and how important it is.
You’ve been very open about your experience in an abusive relationship. Who and what helped you in your healing process?
My friends and family helped me. My family never gave up on me. I knew I had to make a change.
It’s been almost 10 years now since Jaden’s Ladder was founded. What keeps you motivated to continue this work?
The progress keeps me motivated. Every day I see these women make progress for themselves.
How can someone support Jaden’s Ladder?
By supporting the fundraisers. By donating to the families. By giving whatever you can. The money goes towards the families, towards their education.
Jaden’s Ladder has chapters in Atlanta and in Boston. Any plans to expand to other cities?
We’ve had the opportunity to be in Dallas and in Los Angeles. I didn’t want to grow too fast. I know every one of our families, and I don’t want to lose the grassroots feeling. I don’t want to dilute the program.
What can we expect from this year’s Bright Lights, Big City Gala on April 20?
Beautiful stories from survivors. We do really, really big things. We provide education, housing, cars. All of these people donate their time. It’s all from their heart and you can feel it. It’s good energy.
Bright Lights, Big City Gala is presented by JoJo and Debbie White and takes place this Saturday, April 20 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston. Individual tickets are still available and can be purchased at www.jadensladder.org.
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