Rediscovering the True Meaning of the Holidays With Redwood Women

by | Nov 2023

DURING THE holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the shopping, decorating, and planning of extravagant meals. But for Redwood Women’s founder, Tasha Williams, and her fellow members, the holidays mean something much more profound — a time for giving, sharing, and bringing hope to those who need it most. This ministry and its incredible mission exist to make the holidays and every day brighter for women in their community. 

Redwood Women is a group of dedicated women who have come together with a common purpose — to serve others and bring love and support to those who need it most, especially during the holiday season. Williams and her close friend and co-founder, Megan Scott, lead this remarkable ministry. The story of Redwood Women’s beginnings is one of divine inspiration and a deep desire to make a difference in their community. 

Williams recalled the moment of the inception of Redwood Women. “June 24, 2021, was our first group meeting. We’re still growing and just really trying to be led by the Lord. I’ve learned I could have so many good ideas, but I want to do what He wants me to do.” 

Williams faith played a pivotal role in shaping Redwood Women’s mission. 

The group’s journey began when they identified a need in their local community. Many of the women had become preoccupied with work and the demands of life, causing them to drift apart. Williams felt called to bring them back together, fueling both personal growth and service to others. 

During this time, Williams sought divine guidance for the group’s name. She stumbled upon an inspiring story about a giant redwood tree in California. This enormous tree’s roots only extended 3 feet into the ground, but they reached for miles, intertwining with neighboring trees to draw strength. Redwood Women was born in that moment, symbolizing their unity and shared power.

The group initially started with simple meetings, allowing the women to bond and refocus on their spiritual growth. Williams soon found herself involved in ministry at the Bedford County Jail, where she had a life-changing encounter with a woman named Laticia Gaona. Gaona shared the challenges incarcerated women face during the holiday season, where they grapple with newfound sobriety and overwhelming emotions, often separated from their families.

This conversation with Gaona struck a chord with Williams and sparked a remarkable idea. She realized many of these incarcerated women’s children were in the care of grandparents who faced obstacles in providing a joyful Christmas. Some lacked access to programs like Angel Tree due to limited computer skills or transportation.

Williams heart was moved to action. She decided that Redwood Women would step in and make a difference. They set out to provide gifts to these children, personally delivering them to the homes of families who needed them most. Their mission was not just about gifts but about showing love and support and praying with them during a challenging time.

The group’s efforts bore fruit, and they began collecting donations and organizing their first Christmas gift drive in 2021. Williams, Scott, and their dedicated team wrapped over 130 gifts, each carefully chosen and prayed over. They mapped out their routes, divided into groups, and embarked on a journey to bring smiles to children’s faces and share the love of Christ.

What sets Redwood Women apart is the involvement of their own children in this meaningful endeavor. As they deliver gifts, their children join them, learning firsthand the joy of giving and the impact they can make on others’ lives. The experience is a profound lesson in compassion and generosity that will undoubtedly shape these young hearts.

“So we’re not just experiencing taking gifts and giving them to kids less fortunate. Our children [can] see what it does to be a good person and a joyful giver.”

Williams shared her own experience of receiving a special coat one Christmas. It was a gift that filled her with an overwhelming sense of love and value. This transformative power of a thoughtful gift fuels her desire to bring joy to others. Williams journey from a troubled past to a place of giving and purpose has created a lasting hunger to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. 

Williams vision for a future where churches and ministries partner with jails to bridge the gap for women reentering society is inspiring and achievable. 

Redwood Women’s mission represents the profound impact one small group of dedicated individuals can have on a community. As the holiday season approaches again, Redwood Women will continue to shine as a symbol of love, compassion, and unity, reminding us of the true meaning of the holidays — giving, sharing, and spreading hope. GN 

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