Contributors, Latest News

Libera wants to free people from societal struggles

Our state’s motto may be “Mountaineers are always free,” but many West Virginians struggle to find true liberation. Without the proper tools and support to face and overcome challenges, we can become trapped by our financial, relational, spiritual or other struggles.

A local nonprofit organization called Libera believes connection and understanding are the key to freeing women and teens in West Virginia from the societal pressures that hold them back. Through one-on-one interactions and small group sessions, the trained team of volunteer Listeners offers a safe space for women and teens to share their stories, identify obstacles and discover resources tailored to their needs.

Since its founding in 2016, Libera mentors have traveled in two distinctive blue buses to visit schools, foster homes, libraries and juvenile detention centers in all 55 counties, ensuring that individuals in every corner of West Virginia have the opportunity to tell their stories. Listening groups typically run weekly for eight to 10 weeks and can be in-person or virtual. In addition to its mobile units, the organization opened a brick-and-mortar location at 8 Suburban Court in Morgantown earlier this year.

Libera pursues its mission through other initiatives as well. The LovePacks for Foster Kids program provides kids at risk with age-appropriate mental health resources, abuse prevention materials and a handwritten note of support, all packed into a drawstring backpack. A collaboration between SHIELD Task Force and Libera provides student body safety to K-12 students at school assemblies. And, most recently, Libera launched its social enterprise, the Lila Bear Explor(her) subscription boxes, which uses stories of Appalachian women to promote STEAM education and outdoor exploration to children ages 7-12.

At the heart of Libera’s vision lies a commitment to listening, understanding and providing the tools necessary for individuals to break free from whatever is holding them back. If you’re inspired to join the mission, reach out at and join the movement toward a brighter, more liberated future for all.

EVA MURPHY is a freelance business writer for The Dominion Post. She writes a column on businesses, churches and other entities in the city. To suggest a topic, email her at