Throughout her nearly three decades living in West Chandler, Leslie Burchi never lost her passion for friendship, personal development and a desire to help those in need.
And thereby lies Burchi’s connection with Women In Networking and Service, better known as sheWINS, an East Valley group of business professionals whose efforts are focused on giving back to Arizona children by raising funds and donating critical items to Childhelp.
The nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit advocating for abused and neglected children, Childhelp focuses on helping to diminish the ranks of the estimated five children who die each day from abuse and neglect in the United States. Childhelp has worked for over 60 years to combat this epidemic.
Locally, SheWINS is a group of professional women of all ages and industries who come together each week to support each other, network and give back to the community. In early 2020, SheWINS selected Childhelp as the beneficiary of their annual gala taking place in April 2021.
Lynn Fordham, co-founder of SheWINS, said her group’s efforts have become a rewarding enterprise for all involved.
“Because of our passion to give back, the decision to support Childhelp was unanimous. After touring the advocacy center in central Phoenix, an emotional experience to say the least, we moved forward at full-force to support their mission and the children they serve.”
As the coronavirus pandemic peaked, Fordham said, SheWINS recognized Childhelp’s dire need for face masks as they struggled to keep up with the demand of the hundreds of children a month walking through the doors of the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona Dedicated to Linda Pope. To date, SheWINS has donated over 400 handmade masks for the staff and children brought to the advocacy center for services, Fordham noted.
Since 1998, in Arizona, CCCAZ has served over 140,000 abused and neglected children by providing treatment, intervention and investigation services. Recognized as a best practice agency, it continues to serve as a model for advocacy centers nationwide.
“In addition to choosing Childhelp as the beneficiary of their next event and donating beautiful handmade masks, the SheWINS women have visited the advocacy center with their cars loaded with food, toys and brand new clothes for the children,” said Kathy Emig, director of Wings and Arizona chapter coordinator at Childhelp. “These incredible women have given so much during these trying times and we could not be more grateful for their love, passion and support.”