Packers Women's Association

All eyes and attention may be on what their boyfriends or husbands are doing on the football field, but the women behind the Packers players are quietly making their own impact on the community. These ladies get involved and give back as a member of the Packers Women’s Association (PWA).

 

PWA was established in 1997, shortly after the Packers organization formed the Family Programs department. Sherry Schuldes, executive director of PWA, detected interest from the wives and girlfriends of players and coaches to get involved in charitable giving. The Association became a tool to introduce these women to opportunities to give back as well as connect them to each other.

 

“I didn’t know anyone my first year in Green Bay. PWA helped me meet a lot of the other ladies and we are able to create new friendships this way,” says Audi Perry. She explains participating in PWA also helped her find her way around the community.

 

“It allows us to get into the community that we are new to and help. Most of the wives are from all over the country and most have never been to Green Bay before,” adds Abbie Bulaga. “Because of the Women’s Association, we have the opportunity to get out into the community, be involved and use our talents to help others.”

 

“It allows us to get into the community that we are new to and help. Most of the wives are from all over the country and most have never been to Green Bay before,” adds Abbie Bulaga. “Because of the Women’s Association, we have the opportunity to get out into the community, be involved and use our talents to help others.”

 

YWCA Festival of Trees, completed bedroom makeovers at House of Hope, mentored students at Marion House and at-risk schools, prepared and served meals at NEW Community Shelter and visited residents at local nursing homes. Many women joined in the Salvation Army’s Adopt A Family and Give A Kid A Book programs and Service League Fashion Shows. They also lace up their shoes for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Cancer Run/Walk, Aspiro Walk and Breast Cancer Family Foundation Pink Pumpkin Run/Walk.

 

“We have the opportunity to be involved with so many different programs, from prepping food at the shelter to walking through tailgaters to collect money for Paul’s Pantry and running in the Pink Pumpkin 5k for the Breast Cancer Family Foundation. It’s great to be able to give back

in ways you never really thought you could,” says Bulaga.

 

Heaven Daniels has been involved in the majority of the PWA outreach programs since coming to Green Bay. Last year, Daniels and Perry worked closely with the Golden House, a local shelter where domestic abuse victims find temporary shelter, counseling, prevention education, legal assistance and more, as a PWA Care for Kids project. The women’s goal was to impact the youth.

 

“We helped transform an old children’s playroom in the shelter into an exciting vibrant teen room where the youth could study, play video games, and just have a place to unwind,” says Daniels. “Many of the children who stay in the shelter are forced to grow up entirely

too quick — they may have been exposed to tough living circumstances, they don’t have their own bedrooms, and in many ways don’t

have a ‘normal’ childhood. The teen room we created gives them a space of their own where they can go and hang out with their friends, have a workstation to do their homework and focus on their education, be creative, relax and get away from some of the struggles they may be

experiencing in their daily lives, have access to computers and video games, and really just be a kid, which I believe is most important.”

 

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the precise number of lives PWA has touched, participants know they are making a difference. “I know this organization has helped so many people that it’s way beyond my count. It’s wonderful to know that I’m participating in such a wonderful well-put-together organization that wants to help out the community,” says Perry.

 

Daniels adds, “I know every year there are so many people whose lives are positively impacted and touched through the services and

efforts of PWA. I am truly blessed to be a part of something so magical and special. It really warms my heart to know that we are doing

our part, and making a significant difference in our community. "My prayer is that we are able to do more, and touch more lives.”

 

While it would be easy to attract media coverage for each PWA activity — fans love to know everything about their favorite NFL team

— the group prefers to stay under the radar. Schuldes says, “We have found that being in the spotlight can take away from making real

connections with whomever we are serving. However, we greatly appreciate and need the media’s assistance to help us raise awareness

for events such as our annual Food Drive for Paul’s Pantry because the outcome or successfulness is directly dependent upon fan support.”

Beyond the tremendous feeling that comes from giving of your time and talents, PWA members develop friendships that last long after

football season.

 

“I love the sense of sisterhood it brings about. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to get together with women you love and support, and give back to the community you love and live in,” says Daniels. “I’m all about women empowerment, so it’s always awesome to meet dynamic women who are making a difference in our community, encourage them, applaud them for their efforts and learn from them also.”

 

Perry praises PWA for giving women an opportunity to get out into the community, make a difference and do what they love. Bulaga is happy to give back to a community that gives so much to the Packers. She says, “This community rallies around our husbands through the good times and the bad of the football season, so the least I could do is to spend my time giving back to the community that gives so much support to us.”

 

Bulaga, Daniels, Perry and the dozens of other PWA members have embraced the outreach opportunities. The Association is thrilled to have such eager participants year after year. “I am humbled to have been able to work side-by-side with such caring and generous women the past two decades. Whether these women are making and serving meals or sanitizing toys for a local shelter, they do it with a smile on their face and joy in their hearts,” adds Schuldes.

 

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