Coastal Women for Change now a non-profit

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It took nearly four years, but now Coastal Women for Change (CWC) finally has the status it's been working so hard to achieve. CWC is officially a non-profit organization.

"This is so big. I'm just on cloud nine," says Sharon Hanshaw, Executive Director of Coastal Women for Change.

The group focuses on women's empowerment and community development through programs for the elderly and children. With its new status, Hanshaw says the group doesn't have to go through as many steps or people to secure funding for its community services.

"When a person says, 'Sharon I'm about to be put out my house, and I don't have any money to pay my utilities.' We can reach into the budget and help them. Before, we were not able to do that," says Hanshaw.

Hanshaw says the group will also be in a better position to work with other charitable groups and have a better shot at federal grants. But, she says she's most excited about what it could mean for CWC's child care program. The program provides subsidized, in-home child care for low-income mothers, but had to be shut down last year due to funding.

"Our goal and vision is to definitely put CWC child care back on the map," says Hanshaw.

Now that CWC is a non-profit, Hanshaw sees the group accomplishing big things for the community.

"It just means you can do it. You have these challenges. You have these obstacles, but you got to keep moving. You have to have faith in God, and that's it's going to happen," says Hanshaw.

To become a member of CWC, you are asked to volunteer for the organization two hours a month and meet bi-weekly. If you're interested in joining or helping the group in their efforts, contact CWC at (228) 297-4849. You can also visit their website at

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