When we began this adventure of philanthropy without funding whatta concept we were naïve enough to think we were joining an army of do-gooders who tirelessly worked to support people eon need. The 1970’s ad 80’s had brought a wellspring of brilliant non profits from youth, women, African Americans and Hispanics not to mention the gay and lesbian populations that have grown to serve the entire population.
Unfortunately this is not the case in 2010. Non profits are big business. Stretched to the limits with funding and filing responsibilities, most do not have the time or the staff to create programs for their populations.
Our donation drive held the week after Mothers Day was heartwarming as it was illuminating. This year we again partnered with Safe Horizon. I had great anticipation at meeting the residents. And why not? Now I would be able to share the hopes of their participation in our Domestic Violence Empowerment Series. I could share the beautiful items created and get first hand responses. The day began with two of our original volunteers stopping by to visit – Ramona Kearns and Al Asia Shelton – it was kismet!!
When I arrived at the residence I was welcomed by the director and social worker. Sue Rock Originals Everyone brought 12 huge bags of hand knits, donated clothing, shoes and purses. We also received a shopping bag full of hotel size toiletries, a generous donor collected from amongst her friends (truly a brilliant idea!)
When we settled into the common room, I situated myself among the women (and one man!) and began to speak…….
As I spoke the women looked at each other……
The one man left the room visibly moved…….
I told the story of our loss and how Sue Rock Originals Everyone seeks to assist each resident at the level they are able to receive help at this point. No questions need to be asked. No invasive forms to be filled out. Just come and receive the plentiful resources that are available to enable them to replace all the items they had left behind. Giving them the skills of their grands and great grands….
I then encouraged everyone to select the items I had showcased around the room (to their amazement)….
And then the tears began to flow……
Speak with the social worker who had facilitated my visit, she said over and over
“You have no idea what this has meant to these people. To give so generously of your time and bring handmade items for everyone is just amazing. These women have stories you would not have wanted for your worst enemy. And you just spoke to them from your heart – for some the first time since they have left that someone spoke to them like a human being”
I was curious as to what the feedback was form other groups who had come by and I learned the sad truth –
- I want to thank Ms Rock for coming over and sharing the things she brought over. The program is very exciting and wonderful to hear how there’s a program out there that is willing show us and help us. She didn’t know me and made me feel welcome.
- I Love the styles, new colors, color mixes, the shape of the ideas bring out the personality in people’s styles. It also leaves hope for the future and a chance to give back.
- Ms. Rock introduced to us a window to learn how to make our own apparel and décor for ourselves. She was very informative and very kind in giving us sample so what people have made and donated.
- I am planning on going to this program. I am interested in learning how to make curtains, clothes, etc and I thought Ms. Rock gave an incredible presentation.
- Ms Rock I truly appreciate your innovative approach to helping and supporting the DV community. I’m inspired and motivated by your idea. THANK YOU TRULY AND SINCERELY you’ve made us feels acknowledged and appreciated!
And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?