READING, Pa. – It's a collective borne out of the painful, unstable limbs of suffering — but has since spread out upon the strong arms of support.
"June 25th of 2020, I feel like God placed it on my heart that I needed to take my story of trauma, of being raped, and let other women know that, that's not the end of their story," said Candice Newton, founder of Berks Women Inspiring Women.
Now, Berks Women Inspiring Women's one-year anniversary is fast approaching, and members are looking back on their growth, all the events they've been part of, and the impact they're having on others.
"I had a woman come up to me and say, 'I see your posts, they're very inspiring,'" Newton said. "'The one day, I didn't want to get out of bed and I saw one of your posts and I got up out of bed.'"
Having had no prior experience creating an organization, Newton secured office space off Fairmont Avenue in Reading within nine months of the group's inception. She credits the support from those around her.
"The women that we have, have tremendously helped the women that come to us and not only the women that comes to us but our sisterhood," Newton said.
The group is in the process of planning its biggest event yet in August at Denver Memorial Park, with music, motivational speakers and more. It's an effort to continue to build strong branches of support.
"My goal and inspiration is to branch out to another county every year," Newton said, "so this year is Berks and Lancaster, and next year it will be something else."