What a Valentine’s week I was blessed with! After last year I was DESPERATE for a hoot & a giggle. I really wanted to start this year with joy and gratitude. I am so very blessed to be safe, healthy, and I have more than enough. Since I cannot be with my relatives or go home just yet, I thought to curate something nostalgic and whimsical. I wanted to do something uplifting, fun, slightly decadent, but thought provoking. As a lover of grazing, appetizers, little tastes of many things, and slightly too much I thought Lady Tapas!! Savory morsels, sleepover-esque snacks, refreshing wine jellies, with a bit of deep dark chocolate. I planned exactly the kind of thing I miss from home with a twist. A mindful forward-thinking twist. I want to model the behaviors I want to see more of.
There are so many niceties and gentilities I crave, so I thought to myself, “Why not make it a fundraiser?”
In 2014 I started Sister Care. The main objective of Sister Care is to aid the underserved Sister in crisis, in this case it is the plus sized survivor of domestic abuse. Here in Australia when a woman flees from violence, she is given a voucher for local Thrift stores that she is to outfit her new life with. These shops NEVER have undergarments, sleep wear, or professional attire in larger sizes.
I can only imagine what that must feel like, having no options, nothing to wear in your size, or if you are lucky men’s clothing. When you need societal armour most, there is nothing for you. This is not good enough! The dignity to dress in clean clothes meant for your body is no small thing. In a society where image is often the precursor to who you are, this can be a huge step forward into rebuilding the psyche and the expectations for a woman remaking herself in a healthy new image. I want to offer a dignity that people sometimes forget to add with the helping hand.
I invited women who each have modelled something that means so very much to me. Some I admire for their minds. Some for their creations. Some for their cool. Some for their joi de vivre I invited women who I know barely made it out of last year, and some who I had been eager to share quality time with. It ended up being a mix of well lived women filled with compassion, wisdom, and moxie! You could have fuelled Times Square with the laughter, tears, and real talk we exchanged on Saturday afternoon. The dress code was ‘cutie pie comfort’ and the beautiful way each woman showed her personality through her style was gorgeous! Everyone had a great conversation with a new acquaintance, there were a few reconnections, and a few surprise long-time friend catchups. The energy we conjured was intoxicating.
But, best of all the donations were staggering. Over 65 pairs of new plus sized undies, over 20 complete job interview worthy outfits, hygiene and pantry goods too many to count, and cash donations over $700 to a local crisis center and the Women’s Health Center. Not bad for 15 women on a sunny afternoon, eh? It was so great I committed to one a season. Selfishly it will be a fun party I get to attend without leaving my home, and for these souls, I hope it is an opportunity to be part of a solution, feel a bit spoiled and cared for, and have a day off of personal woes. All in all, a WONDERFUL way to Love in Action!