Meet Donnella Cranford
FAITHFUL GILGAL VOLUNTEER (2008)
My name is Donnella Cranford and I am the founder of Women After God’s Own Heart Ministry, Inc. (known as WAGOH). Our ministry was birthed in 1998, a little over 21 years ago. We’ve had the pleasure and honor of being involved with Gilgal since 2008, about three years after its inception.
I have always had a heart for women and wanted to do more outreach to them. Actually, my desire was to identify and support an organization that provided services to women and children. I asked one of our members, Dollie Smith, to do some research and she found Gilgal. Honestly, Dollie had a personal interest in substance abuse recovery because she’d been a school counselor. For me, Gilgal was a perfect match. We discussed several organizations she had identified, but Dollie’s heart was set on Gilgal and mine was too. Gilgal was in its infancy during this time, and we felt our involvement would be a “win-win” situation.
WAGOH has been engaged with many activities at Gilgal like the beautification of the property, personal tutoring, and professional development seminars. One of our members, Michelle Lee, has also served as a mentor to Phase 2 residents, and teaches financial literacy at Gilgal. Our group also provides monthly financial support to the agency, and has made donations of MARTA passes, groceries, Christmas gifts, and clothing. In addition, we have hosted a “Purses with a Purpose” fundraiser for Gilgal and we support Gilgal’s annual Blue Jean Gala. We also host monthly “Breakthrough Sessions” that Gilgal staff and residents attend.
WAGOH’s mission aligns well with Gilgal’s because it is founded on Christian principles and lead by women who have a heart for God. It is a perfect fit! Gilgal’s founder, Val Cater, makes no apologies for being a Christian organization. She never waivers on this, and I greatly admire that. Together, both organizations are used by God to keep His Kingdom work ongoing, as we experience a ripple effect that touches the masses.
What keeps us coming back is our love for the women of Gilgal, Ms. Val (the founder), Ms. Cheryl and all the additional staff. We feel a very special connection, one that blesses all involved in the union of the two organizations. There is always a warm reception when we come together, and WAGOH is continually blessed to be in the presence of the Gilgal ladies and their staff.
Being connected and involved in the lives of the women at Gilgal confirms for me over and over again that with God all things are possible. Every time I attend a Gilgal graduation my heart is warmed, and I’m inspired to be a better person. The perseverance and courage that it takes to overcome an addiction is strengthened by the women who are at Gilgal, and that makes them excellent role models for the women of WAGOH. The Gilgal ladies’ sisterhood keeps them going. Our sisterhood keeps us going. And together we are all continually empowered and strengthened.
For those of you thinking of getting involved with Gilgal, I’d say, if you want to experience Christian leadership, impactful successes, open arms ready to receive, and find true love — Gilgal is the place to be! The relationship continues to mature and evolve and that is a BLESSING. To God be the GLORY!