Mission & Legacy
Women of Worth Mission
For 22 years, Women of Worth has helped victims escape and recover from abuse and violence in Nevada County and surrounding areas.
WoW helps families in crisis, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. We also offer programs to increase self-reliance and improve quality of life by helping victims rebuild their lives with dignity, hope, and safety.
Women of Worth is a hands-on, grassroots organization entirely dependent on private funding and in-kind donations of time and resources from our generous community. WoW receives zero government funding to provide free services to our clients in recovery.
In 1999, Sandy Escobar Schmidt founded Women of Worth, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. As a survivor of domestic violence, she started WoW from a passion to see the lives of abused women and children restored.
Selected as The Union’s 2011 Best of Nevada County – Citizen of the Year, Sandy’s legacy is grounded in the words of her community nominator:
“From victim to survivor to volunteer, Sandy has given over 30,000 hours to save lives. She believes that every person deserves to live, and to live free from fear. That belief has driven Sandy … to start Women of Worth… .
Women of Worth was birthed from Sandy’s own personal experiences with abuse and the obstacles she faced when trying to start a new life as a single mother with three young children. … In 2010, Sandy opened a home for women and children fleeing in fear, a place where they can go to be safe. Sandy knows personally that when women leave a violent relationship, the risk of fatal injury increases. She was compelled to open Hetty’s Haven, a supportive safe-haven home… [See Hetty’s Namesake for details]. Hetty’s Haven enables women to build strength, confidence and trust along their journey to a safe new life.
Sandy’s passion is to provide a safe way out for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Beyond shelter, Women of Worth offers practical assistance and support services, including counseling, advocacy, support groups, life skills and mentoring, assistance with re-entry into the workforce and/or schooling, transitional housing, and furniture and personal items.
Sandy has rallied the incredible support of her community. The result is that families can live in safety, renewed hopefulness, and growing productivity – free from fear, the threat of violence and abuse, which creates a healthier community for all.”
Women of Worth’s transitional home is named after Hetty Williams. She is the mother of two daughters who found joy in nature and teaching. She is a gentle, loving and dedicated woman who put her whole heart into everything she did. Beginning with a career in landscape design, she later worked as a teacher for at-risk students, finding purpose in a career adapting classroom lessons into tactile learning experiences for a blind student.
After more than 20 years of marriage, Hetty and her husband began separation proceedings. She moved out of their shared home in 2005. Friends noticed the joy Hetty radiated in finally standing up for herself, though most never knew the dark secrets she kept about her marriage. She was ready to live by her favorite quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” but she never got the chance. Two weeks after leaving, her husband murdered her with a nail gun in the home they once shared.
Hetty touched the lives of so many children, teachers, friends, and family in her community. Her loss is devastating. Hetty’s Haven exists in her honor and reverence.