Milly Gonzales, Executive Director of HELP of Door County is the recipient of a 2022 Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment award and a $10,000 grant.
HELP of Door County provides services and programs throughout the Door County Peninsula to victims of domestic abuse. The nonprofit organization works to improve the well-being and dignity of individuals, families, and intimate relationships. HELP’s educational programs provide information intended to teach participants how to live a non-violent life, build trust and respect, understand the legacy of choices, and respect sexual timing and preferences.
After ten years as a volunteer and board member, Milly became HELP’s executive director in 2019. Before her work with HELP, Milly managed a Transitional Living Program for a Domestic Violence Agency in Illinois. In 2018, she was honored with HELP’s Anne Kok Social Justice Award. Additionally, Milly was named one of Wisconsin’s 35 most powerful and influential Latinos and was recognized for the Si Se Puede Awards at this year’s Wisconsin Leadership Summit. She is also the Northeast Regional Director of Women’s March Wisconsin and is a statewide activist and advocate.
“I was inspired to work at HELP because the mission and vision of HELP of Door County aligned with my life’s values, mission, and vision,” said Milly. “Our vision is that we can all live in a world free of violence that recognizes the uniqueness and capabilities of all persons. Where all people have access to resources. Where all people respect each other and appreciate differences.”
Royal Neighbors employee Rebecca Cavanaugh is a member of the HELP Board of Directors and nominated Milly for the empowerment award. “Since domestic violence has a downstream impact, HELP’s program strives to maintain a robust youth advocacy program that provides valuable services in teaching youth about appropriate relationships at a young age to try to eliminate and stop domestic abuse before it begins,” she said. “All victim services are free and confidential, and that is thanks to the generosity of our community as well as grants like this one from Royal Neighbors.”
“When we heal ourselves, we impact our legacy and our future family members,” said Milly. “Our Nation of Neighbors grant will go towards advocacy, safe homes, and youth programming among other services that HELP provides. This gift will support the healing and empowerment of not only the clients we serve but also future generations to come.”