Personal Experience Gave Life To BRA
Life is better with a good BRA for support.
For some, that’s Believing Restoration is Attainable, a nonprofit organization based in Waxahachie and founded in 2015 by Sharon Vernigan, designed to help women trying to rebuild their lives following divorce, legal separation or suddenly finding themselves widowed.
“I chose the name, because it made sense to me that sometimes after going through divorce or a sudden loss of your spouse, etc. you may feel that your life will never be restored, your hope is shattered – it’s not,” Vernigan said. “Obviously bras lift up and support, so it all just tied in together.”
Vernigan said she came up with the idea for BRA through an experience of her own.
“Believing Restoration is Attainable came because my eyes became open to the needs, the loss, the grieving that was going on all around me after the loss of my Father in 2007,” she said. “I realized that many ladies around me were just trying to hold on with no support. I felt an urgency to help them.”
And help them she has. Grocery Day is monthly, and they are averaging 45-50 per month to receive food. Helping to pay for utility bills and counseling through their transition assistance program average five to 10 women per month. And on their private social media support group pages they have over 300 members, with many of them interacting on a daily basis.
BRA works with a wide range of women, ranging from their 20s to their 70s. And while they are a Christian-based organization, everyone is welcome, Vernigan said.
“We welcome everyone as long as they fall into the parameters of divorced, legally separated, suddenly widowed,” she said.
2019 Nonprofit Organization of the Year
In its short history, BRA has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Nonprofit Organization of the Year in 2019 from the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, Vernigan is proud to note.
BRA gets funding through fundraisers at local restaurants, online fundraisers, United Way, American Honda Finance Corporation and donors.
Most of their members live in Ellis County or the Southern Dallas area, but they do have other members that are part of BRA’s other communities in Vermont, Colorado, Oklahoma and other parts of the DFW area.
Vernigan said there is even more she’d love for BRA to do to help women. She said the most common challenge is “Not having enough funds or manpower to invest all BRA would love to do, i.e. job training, retreats, mentorship, and more.”
If you’d like to help or find out more about BRA, visit their website at www.supporttheladies.org.