Meet Stephanie Bowman, Founder & Visionary of One Heart for Women and Children, non-profit that offers HOPE by helping with food, clothing, school supplies, parenting classes, and many other resources that are so needed in the community.
Stephanie Bowman is a compassionate woman who is constantly working to make a positive impact on the lives of as many people as possible. She was a victim of domestic violence for years before she left home with her two daughters in 1998. They were homeless for about five weeks, and then Stephanie fell into drug and alcohol addiction. As she spiraled down further and hit the rock bottom, her kids were sent into foster care. She finally joined a rehab and calls it the hardest phase of her life when she came face to face with herself and accepted her actions. Fortunately, she found excellent mentors who life coached and guided her along the right path.
Bowman was 8 years clean when she started One Heart. Having experienced homelessness herself, she knows what it’s like to live on the edge. This is what has made her compassionate and kind towards others. Stephanie grew up in a loving and supportive environment at least till the time she was 15. Her days were full of adventure as they used to travel from Florida to Virginia to be with their cousins and grandparents. The whole family would play, cook, and serve the community together, something which stayed with Stephanie and inspired her to continue to serve.
Talking about her organization, she says, “One Heart for Women and Children is providing HOPE for our community through the gift of fresh food, personal care items, and meeting the needs. Hoping one person at a time.” They “offer a full spectrum of educational and preventative services, focusing on topics like: life skills, parenting, drug, and alcohol abuse prevention. One Heart even helps coordinate special projects with our community partners like planting community gardens, performing home renovations, and more.”
Bowman’s initial challenge was to find the right team of board of directors who would resonate with the mission of the nonprofit. Next was raising funds to provide the services and programs. But as they started networking with the right groups, it became less intimidating and easier to navigate. She believes that we need to be there for each other and feels that it’s her job to share the resources that were freely given to her.
The community has been welcoming towards the nonprofit initiative. “We just hit a milestone: We have provided enough food for over 5,000,000 meals just during COVID,” she adds. For the amazing work she does, Stephanie was interviewed by the Kelly Clarkson Show in 2019, People Magazine, and a cover story was published on her in an international magazine called Exquisite.
One Heart For Women and Children came as a ray of sunshine and hope in Bowman’s life. She turned over a new leaf 14 years ago with the nonprofit, and now it is an irreplaceable part of her life. Over the years, she learned the importance of leading by example. This is what led her to make a difference in the lives of people in need. Leaving an inspiring message for her readers, she says, “Be gentle with others as we never know where they were before they were with you AND TO Love others wholeheartedly.”