Hometown Hero: Rhema Word Foundation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A woman in Lexington has turned one of the worst possible tragedies in her life into a beautiful legacy, all to help others.

“I couldn’t function. I was paralyzed to this pain,” said Kivva Williams, Executive Director of Rhema Word Foundation.

In 2004, Williams and her husband Byron experienced the worst day imaginable for any parent, with the loss of their little girl.

“She was a victim of abuse and succumbed to that,” explained Williams.

Williams says she was able to get through her darkest days thanks to a strong support network but that isn’t the case for everyone.

After time and working thru that healing process, Williams started a foundation to help others, named in her daughters memory.

“Her name was Aramah. So, we took a part of her name and put a biblical sense to it,” said Williams.

Williams says the nonprofit now works to provide resources to women and children who are survivors of abuse.

“I like to call it a Comfort House because during that time, you need comfort, you need someone who understands what you’re going through,” said Williams. “That hurt and that devastation, it never ever goes away but there is ways and coping mechanisms that you can use to kind of go throughout your day successfully.”

Williams says the foundation has counselors, social service workers, and those who deal with mental healthcare to help people cope with the loss and to also look towards a brighter future.

“Our mission is to restore lives to a new normal thru love and compassion. Because when you go thru something like that your life is never the same. But you can create a new normal of a happy life,” said Williams.

For Williams, getting past the stigma and scrutiny was one of the toughest challenges but she wants to asure people in a similar situation not to feel ashamed, “Don’t feel like you have to live your whole life in condemnation because you don’t. There is freedom in finding help.”

That help includes basic necessities like clothing and financial resources, even a Thanksgiving meal and a Christmas filled with presents.

While the foundation started in tragedy, Williams says her daughter won’t be remembered for that, “I feel like my little girl Rhemy is no longer a victim. I believe her legacy of hope and healing people is living beyond the grave. So the grave was not her stopping point. Now she has a legacy.”

According to Williams, she hopes to build a crisis center which can serve as emergency housing and temporary shelter, or as a transitional home. You can find more information on the Rhema Word Foundation HERE.

If you know a Hometown Hero, submit a nomination HERE or email ABC 36’s Erica Bivens: ebivens@wtvq.com.

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