“I was in a very bad place and pretty much kicked to the streets in Oklahoma City when WMF [the Wonderfully Made Foundation] gave me a home and gave me the support I needed. I will never forget WMF and the kind-hearted folks who helped me get my life together.”
This testimonial, a true story from a local survivor of domestic violence, is the perfect representation of the life work of Lisa Miller-Baldwin, founder and executive director of the Wonderfully Made Foundation (WMF). Miller-Baldwin is in the business of changing lives and empowering victims of domestic abuse—a calling that is close to her heart, as she herself is a domestic abuse survivor.
Drawing its name from Psalm 139:14 (“I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”), the WMF works to provide a sense of hope and restoration to victims of domestic violence and individuals who find themselves homeless or in need.
In addition to providing domestic violence awareness, the WMF also works to provide life skills such as budgeting, job readiness and building foundations for healthy relationships. These life skills are designed to help WMF’s clients to learn to sustain themselves and become productive members of society.
The WMF opened their Wonderfully Made Home in 2011, providing a 90-day transitional housing program for women and children struggling with homelessness. The organization’s Wonderfully Yours Clothing Closet provides free clothing, shoes and toiletry items to any woman or child in need, and can help women rebuilding their lives to find professional dress attire for job interviews and work. The EmPOWERed Teens program works to educate teens about dating violence, self-esteem, self-worth and the benefits of healthy relationships. These programs all dovetail into Miller-Baldwin’s mission of minimizing the societal effects of domestic violence and strengthening individuals to live to their fullest potential. “We just opened a new office to accommodate all our growing programs and we invite the community to come out and tour it [2001 N. Martin Luther King Blvd] on Thursday, July 11 from 5:30-8:00pm,” Baldwin says. “We will have family-friendly activities such as a moonbounce, plus an art display of local children’s art work.”
Here is more about how this 47-year old mother of five dedicates her life to empowering women in need.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I would like to become an artist with my work displayed in an art gallery.
What are you passionate about?
Seeing others reach their potential and to fulfill my purpose until my last breath is taken.
How has motherhood changed you?
When I became a parent, unconditional love became a way of life. Motherhood also placed a personal mandate for me to leave a legacy behind of which my children could be proud.
How do you banish stress?
When I have time, I enjoy exercising and sitting at the lake or any body of water. I love water!
What inspires you?
To excel in the work that God has birthed in me and to witness my children grow into unique individuals and their roles as parents, wives, husbands and leaders.
What do you like most about your job?
Being able to make a difference and impact areas [of life] that many people tend to shy away from.
What is on your wish list?
Professionally, I would like to find funding to open another house for the homeless, so that we can provide housing to many of the homeless families we turn away due to our limited capacity. Personally, I’d love a trip to Paris or Africa.
What are you most proud of?
In April, the WMF was selected as a finalist for an Oklahoma Center For Non-Profits Excellence Award. Out of 19,000 non-profits in the state of Oklahoma, 24 were selected for this award, and WMF was among those selected in the self-sufficiency category.
What motivates you?
A challenge to create, build and empower.
How do you find balance in your life?
By creating it! Due to current responsibilities, I have to create balance and take time for family and friends.
Advice for other moms?
Cherish the time with your children because they soon will become adults. Each milestone and accomplishment is very important. But, equally, you must never lose yourself! While maintaining your identity as mom, car pooler, counselor, wife, coach and/or professional, you mustn’t lose who you are.
What’s the biggest challenge in your life?
To juggle the responsibilities as an executive, wife, mother and friend, as well as ensuring the vision of the organization is properly funded so we can serve those in need.
How do you help others?
By supporting people exactly where they are. Whether it’s providing housing for the homeless, guidance for domestic violence victims or advocating for those in need, I work to provide them with the appropriate resources to aid them in becoming sustainable.
What is your parenting style?
Non-authoritarian directive; direct but not intrusive.
Favorite quote or advice about motherhood?
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” —Mother Teresa
Quick Facts About Lisa:
- What are 5 words that describe you? Tenacious, loving, passionate, driven and caring.
- What’s your favorite indulgence? Reading, writing and chocolate.
- What’s your favorite movie? The Bucket List, The Lion King and The Ten Commandments.
- What’s your favorite TV show? Touched by An Angel.
- What’s your favorite date night venue? The Melting Pot.
For more information about The Wonderfully Made Foundation, call 405-778-6870 or visit www.thewonderfullymadefoundation.com.
Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.
Have an awesome mom that you would like to see featured in our column? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.