Making Your Mark: Cupcakes empower domestic violence survivors

13News Now LaSalle Blanks has the story

PORTSMOUTH, VA (WVEC-TV) -- "Linda" is a survivor of domestic violence. She's getting help at The H.E.R. Shelter in Portsmouth, but one way they're helping her might surprise you.

They're using cupcakes.

"They're helping me improve my skills," "Linda said. "It's fun."

"Linda" -- which isn't her real name -- spends part of her days baking cupcakes. They've served as a sweet form of therapy -- bringing out her smile and laughter and it's refreshing to see -- given where she was not too long ago enduring unspeakable pain.

"It (domestic violence) took me to a place that I didn't ever want to be at," "Linda" said. "Because sometimes I felt like giving up on myself."

"Linda" doesn't feel like that anymore. The cupcakes are actually part of a business at The H.E.R. Shelter. Women who are temporarily staying there bake the cupcakes -- along with a staff member -- and the shelter sells them to community groups or individuals who use them for special functions. The Shelter uses the proceeds to help fund programs that help its domestic violence survivors -- like "Linda" -- and "Linda" acquires job skills that she can put on her resume to help secure other jobs that could lead to a brighter future.

The experience also gives her confidence and helps her feel good about herself again.

"So the whole goal from start to finish is to learn how to make a great product -- to learn what it entails -- the marketing aspect, the creative aspect, the technical and the cleanliness aspects and in the end...." said Wynn, one of the staff members at H.E.R. "...hopefully to get a job in that field. Maybe not -- but it's definitely something they can put on their resumes, for sure."

The business is called "Sweet Haven" -- Baked Goods by H.E.R.

To order cupcakes, call 757-485-1445.

By the way, her sweet experience making the cup cakes has given "Linda" hope that she can open her own restaurant one day.

And she has this message for the folks who've helped her at H.E.R.: "Thank you, thank you so much," "Linda" said. 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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