Women Building Friendships in Westfield Continues to Grow

Writer / Amy Adams
Photography Provided

In January 2021, when Lisa Brandenburg started Women Building Friendships in Westfield, she had no idea that two years later the group would be approaching 3,000 members.Women Building Friendships in Westfield

Brandenburg moved with her family from New Jersey to Indiana in August of 2020. Though they didn’t know a single person in Westfield, they found ways to make connections despite it being the height of the pandemic.

A few months later, Brandenburg noticed a post on Facebook from another mom desperate to connect with other women. She says she felt God’s prompting to start a Facebook group.

“A lot of people think I started this group for me, but I didn’t” Brandenburg says. “I started this group for all the women I saw who were in the same place I was months earlier. I thought in the beginning it would be a handful of women getting together.”

While Brandenburg put a lot of work into planning and organizing events early on, she says the group pretty much runs itself now, although she still checks in at least once a day, hosts events and attends other events as she can.

“But it’s not about me,” she says. “I could be hosting an event every day, but if people don’t show up then there’s no group.”

Regular gatherings include game nights, book clubs, exercise and more. Any member can plan an event. In fact, the first event Liz Duvall attended was a dinner swap she planned herself.

Women Building Friendships in WestfieldAnd lest you think all these women must be social butterflies, Tammy Castrellon even hosted an introvert meetup.

Cheryl Browning, who moved to Westfield from Illinois in November of 2020, first attended a crafting event in the spring of 2021. From there, she met a woman who invited her to join a bi-weekly walking group.

“One of the main things I love is that everything evolves when you’re in this group,” Browning says.

Ellicia Holland discovered the group after asking for advice on another Facebook page.

“I’ve made some really close friends,” Holland says. “Ladies who will watch my daughter for me, people I can call to go over and sit down and talk with. But I know there are ladies out there who need to make friends, so I still try to go to at least one or two events a month just to meet them.”

“There are women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and up,” Browning says. “I’m in my 70s. At no time does anyone make me feel like, ‘What’s that old lady doing here?’ Everyone is so inclusive. This is the first time I have felt at home since we moved from our hometown in 1995. I wish they could bottle it and put it everywhere so that all women could be a part of a group like this.”

You can join Women Building Friendships in Westfield and view upcoming events on Facebook. You can also find Lisa Brandenburg’s weekly encouragement podcast on YouTube at https://youtube.com/@LifeIsSoAmazingOrLISA. Women Building Friendships in Westfield

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