Women Outreaching Women (WOW) was the vision of one woman, Mona Mistric.
While working as a Financial Planner for H & R Block, she encountered many women from the community. Through their diversity,
she began to see a common thread in many of these women's lives, a secret many had been ashamed to share. This secret was
domestic violence. Like many others, she asked the most obvious question, "Why don't you leave?" Unfortunately the resounding
response was, "There's nowhere to go."
Mistric knew in her soul that the Lord had placed this burden on her heart.
She found herself constantly thinking of these ladies and what she should do to help. As time went by her vision became clearer.
She knew what she had to do and WOW was born with one 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, a determined woman and the heart of a caring
community for these women and their children.
Mistric began to recruit her friends and family and every able-bodied
person that she encountered. They went door-to-door to almost every business in Livingston Parish asking for help in raising
money for a much-needed shelter. Not only was she raising money, but raising awareness about domestic violence. Sheriff Willie
Graves, LaDOTD FCU Community Outreach Coordinator Alexis Anderson, School Board Member David Tate, Pastor Val Taylor and other
wonderful people volunteered to be members of the WOW Board. The community was now supporting the effort of WOW.
became incorporated in May 2002 and acquired 501(c)(3) non-profit status in June 2003. By the Grace of God, WOW was getting
off the ground and was soon able to purchase a warehouse to use for fireworks sales. This would eventually become what is
now the WOW Thrift Shop. After that 4th of July season, WOW was able to purchase their first rent house with the proceeds
from the sale of the fireworks. Mistric and the community volunteers worked two more long years and were finally able to bless
the community with the opening of the first L.O.V.E. (Livingston Outreach Violence Escape) Center on September 1, 2004. This
is the first and only shelter in Livingston Parish dedicated to survivors of domestic violence.