Christine Zucatti is 50 years old and has lived in Lewiston for two years. She received her associates degree in healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix in July 2014. She is currently working two part-time jobs, as a cashier at a grocery store and as an outreach worker at the Center for Wisdom’s Women. She also serves as a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of Center for Wisdom’s Women and is a volunteer member of Sophia Circle. She enjoys painting, drawing, making jewelry, cooking and gardening.
I came to live in Lewiston in 2013, due to my separation and eventual divorce. I was unaware of what Lewiston had to offer, and making new friends was a priority. I lived with my daughter and her family for six months, and it was very stressful for all of us, as I needed to be on my own. While there, I lived close to the YWCA and frequently went there to swim, release tension and stress, and get back into shape. I found an outreach business card there for The Center for Wisdom’s Women.
It turned out to be a most special place for me. At the center, I met some wonderful women. One of them is Klara Tammany, the executive director of the center. There are other people who regularly volunteer. They are called companions and listen very well. Being overwhelmed at this time was an understatement, as I felt worn down and very depressed with my current situation. I started visiting the center as a guest. There is always someone available to listen, to talk about anything I want to talk about.
The center is located right in the heart of downtown Lewiston, in a very low-income neighborhood, near Kennedy Park. I offered my assistance in any way that I could be useful. They readily accepted me as a volunteer. After a year or so, Klara asked me if I would like to be the part-time outreach worker. I told her, “Yes, I’d be excited to be doing something to help others.” Then in 2014, Klara asked me if I would be interested being a member on the Board of Directors.
I love being part of the board. Professionally and personally, Klara has set a great example for me about how to better help others, to work on setting boundaries, to be a stronger woman, and to bring out the positive in myself. She really became a mentor. I learn by watching her help women who sometimes just need a friend – someone to really listen.
I needed assistance finding housing, transportation, counseling, legal help, a job, and new providers since I had none here. I really needed some new friends because I was feeling alone in a city that I was unprepared for living in.
Klara is involved in helping low-income women. She looks for people who have a passion to help others. Her work inspires me to help others. She has sought my assistance if a woman comes in who is dealing with issues of domestic abuse. I have sat and listened to them, and have even taken some to Safe Voices to get assistance, and encourage filing legal papers against their abuser.
Klara inspires me to be proactive about making things right for myself, and encouraging others to do the same. Klara stays involved in public events in the community. She is a former schoolteacher and worked for Advocates for Children. She is concerned about women, their children and families.
The Center for Wisdom’s Women is a free day drop-in center for women. It is a supportive environment where women can develop and share talents, grow friendships, and help each other with the ups and downs of their lives. Women can come and get donated hygiene supplies monthly. There are many monthly activities. And weekly, we have a writing group, and do some cooking or baking, knitting, crocheting, and sewing.
I would strongly encourage women to seek out the Center for Wisdom’s Women because it is a very strong group of friendly women, ready to lend an ear or a helping hand. The Center of Wisdom’s Women is all about empowering women, supporting women, improving the lives of our families, neighborhoods, and making the community stronger and safer. It is open during July and August, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.