McConnell Honors Kentucky Women's History Month
By WestKyStar Staff
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks to honor Women’s History Month:
“I rise today to celebrate Women’s History Month. This March, we pay tribute to the generations of women in America whose commitment to their community, their State, and their Nation has proved invaluable to society. I know Kentuckians are proud this March to honor the more than 2.2 million women who live in the Commonwealth.
“Women’s History Month began as a National celebration in 1981 thanks to an act of Congress, and since 1995, every president has issued an annual proclamation designating March as Women’s History Month. For Women’s History Month 2013, I would like to shine the spotlight on some very admirable women’s groups in Kentucky who are working hard to make the Bluegrass State a better place for women to live, grow, and prosper—and making history themselves.
“The Family Scholar House in Louisville is an organization that strives to end the cycle of poverty for many women by giving students who are single parents the support they need to earn a four-year college degree. By working from poverty to self-sufficiency, these parent-students are then able to provide their children with a better life. The Family Scholar House is transforming families and communities through the power of education, and I had the pleasure of meeting with some of this organization’s leaders in my Capitol office last week.
“The Chrysalis House, in Lexington, provides substance-abuse treatment programs for women. Their mission is to support women and their families in recovery from alcohol and drugs. In operation for over 34 years, Chrysalis House specializes in treating substance-dependent expecting mothers, allowing them to keep their newborn babies with them while in treatment. They also counsel the children of these women on substance abuse prevention. Chrysalis uses a combination of the 12-step program, long-term living arrangements, and a caring and nurturing environment to ensure women and their families live fulfilling lives free of abusive substances. I have visited Chrysalis House and seen first-hand how much good they are doing, and I want to especially recognize president Lindy Karns and her husband, Rick Christman, for their dedicated efforts.
“The Hope Center, also located in Lexington, is an organization that addresses homelessness on multiple fronts. They provide food, shelter, and clothing to the homeless; recovery for those who are addicted; health services for the sick; diagnosis and treatment for the mentally ill; employment services for those looking for work; housing for those who need it; and child-care and higher-education opportunities for single-parent families. The Hope Center seeks to identify the underlying causes that compel people to seek out their services, and then work to address them in fundamental ways.
“The Isaiah House, located in the town of Willisburg in Washington County, seeks to provide real hope for those who suffer from addiction. This faith-based program helps men but also has special facilities and programs for women. They exist to help provide women struggling with drug or alcohol addiction the peace and serenity they have been searching for, through counseling that tends to the spiritual, mental, and physical needs of the residents.
“Then we have the Western Kentucky University Sisterhood. Western Kentucky University, located in Bowling Green, is one of the Commonwealth’s leading universities, and with women making up 65 percent of the school’s current students and half of all alumni, the WKU Sisterhood is a way for women to make an impact at the University. The WKU Sisterhood is a group of women who donate at least $1,000 each, and then decide collectively how that money shall be used. Two grant recipients, the groups Women in Transition and Project CLASS, are both programs specifically geared to help women succeed in college.
“The New Opportunity School for Women, located in the town of Berea, was founded to improve the educational, financial, and personal circumstances of low-income, middle-aged women in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. In the past 23 years, the New Opportunity School for Women has hosted more than 580 women in its three-week residential program, and provided hundreds more with career and educational outreach and counseling.
“What a marvel it is to consider all of the resources, programs, and charities that have been founded in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, by women, for women, to empower women to improve their own lives and then, in turn, improve their communities. Kentucky is truly blessed to have so many people of compassion.
“And this Women’s History Month is an entirely appropriate occasion on which to pay tribute to them and their accomplishments on this floor. I know my colleagues in the U.S. Senate join me in congratulating the leaders and supporters of the several groups I’ve enumerated here, as well as the many others I did not get to mention, for their good works. And the people of Kentucky thank them as well. History will remember them for their dedication and achievements.”