By Haley Miller
Lisa Brandenburg started the Facebook page Women Building Friendships in Westfield after seeing a fellow mother post about needing friends and other moms echo the sentiment, so Brandenburg started the Women Building Friendships in Westfield Facebook page as a support system for women who needed it. Now, the page has grown to more than 400 members and counting.
The page serves a hub for Westfield women to connect and build relationships through volunteer work, weekday lunches, walks, arts and crafts, workshops and other events. But most importantly, Brandenburg said, the page is a support system for any woman who needs it.
“It’s infectious,” Brandenburg said. “Women are naturally skeptical, but when you can see that every woman here is here for friendship, it just spreads like wildfire.”
Women Building Friendships in Westfield is a private group on Facebook, but it is open to any female resident in Westfield who wants to join. Brandenburg doesn’t allow advertisements or general community questions on the page because she instead wants the focus on facilitating meetups and highlighting upcoming events, she said.
Although Brandenburg is the group admin, many different women contribute. She said she credits the members for the group’s success.
“It’s not me,” Brandenburg said. “Everybody creates Facebook pages. It’s the people who come on to them, and they are active, and they’re willing to go out.”
Brandenburg said she sees the group becoming more active in humanitarian work as the page grows. She plans on establishing a branch of the Blessing Bag Brigade, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that distributes essential supplies to homeless people.
“I’m right now building my army of these warrior women who are going to make such a difference in this community,” Brandenburg said. “Can you imagine what this is going to look like in six months?”
Brandenburg said the group welcomes all adult women, regardless of age, beliefs and what they hope to gain from the page. The only requirement, she said, is an open mind and willingness to serve one another.
“You don’t need to come back to anything, and that is fine,” Brandenburg said. “We’re not here to judge you. You get what you need from this group.”