I know it's been a few weeks since the WBN (Women's Business Network) Christmas event, and I did promise you a blog about all the exciting things to come,with my business, but I will get to that this weekend. I want to get this blog done first, because it's pulling at my heart strings and needs to be shared all over again, in more detail.
First of all, WOW. What a truly incredible, honoring, humbling, amazing experience that was to have been asked to give a speech and be the guest speaker at their year end Christmas event. Public speaking is still way out of my comfort zone, but it is getting easier, and this opportunity was truly amazing. Just amazing.
I got to sit at a beautifully decorated table, all done in Holly, and I was surrounded by these fabulous women who I got to laugh with, brain storm with, shed tears with, be inspired by and motivated by. My cup was so filled that night.
And all I kept thinking about was how incredible it would, WILL, be, to be there again in the future, as a member, being able to contribute in different ways, and to be able to give so freely that I can purchase items to give back even more.
As the night wore on and it was my turn to stand up there in front of all those women and give my speech, I rose on shaky legs and took a deep breath and just went. I just put one foot in front of the other and got up there and gave it my all, even though my voice was unsteady and unclear and I cried a bit and I had a hard time looking at the audience, I did it.
I spoke a little about my life, and then about my experience at the shelter, and I made damn well sure that those women there that night knew that those services they were donating to were being used, and were NEEDED. I let them know that the money and items and services they were donating to actually change lives.
When I was done, I let myself shed a few more tears, and then everyone stood and clapped for me and I shed a few more. I cannot express to you how amazing it felt to be surrounded by all those women, some who share similar stories, some who help, some who listen, all who love and empower and encourage.. I felt hopeful, love, renewed all over again.
Afterwards, they gave a chat about these hot chocolate ornament balls they had for donation. Each one was $50, and they were for safe nights at the shelter. Oh man, cue the water works. I'm actually starting to tear up all over again right now. Each night at the shelter for women and children costs about $50 if you factor in ALL the services they may need, legal, financial, shelter, food, clothing, guidance, victim services, support, to name a few.
They sold every single one of those balls that night, and all I could do was cry. I know very well how important it is for those safe nights, and it was so incredibly amazing to see everyone around me want to provide that for more women in need.
And then, as if that couldn't get any more emotional for me, I was gifted 5 of them for the 5 of us that took shelter at Crossroads, myself, my 3 children and my exes daughter, who I had custody of for 6 months. That sort of did me in. Wow. So over the holidays, my children and I are going to snuggle close by the Christmas tree and enjoy our gifted hot chocolate and our love and our new life and be grateful for each and every second of it.
The whole experience was so emotional. I met a ton of incredible women that night, and saw some amazing donations be purchased and then redonated again, all for the shelter. In fact, I was gifted an amazing social media training package from my AWESOME business mentor Carey, so stay tuned for all that is going to bring in the new year!
The shelter here is only funded 40% by the government, and I didn't know that at all before I started putting myself out there to share my story and help however I could right now. They truly rely heavily on the wonderful generosity of this community, to come together with support, supplies and funding.
And it is honestly amazing to see that happen, as a woman who has used those services, and knows how badly we need them.
The entire evening left me feeling inspired to help and share and bring as much awareness to them as I can, as well as to help, motivate, inspire, and give back in every single possible way that I can. I hope to continue to do this more and more into the new year.
Thank you all so much for reading this my friends, and for being a part of my journey. It really means everything to me.
If you are local, please considering sharing this blog, or my video on facebook, or the YWCA Peterborough facebook page, or their twitter, or if you can, reach out and see about donating.. whether financially, or with supplies or a service you may offer. Check their websites to see what's in need.
If you're not local, why not reach out in your own community, and see what services are available, and how you may be able to help. Your help really does change lives.
Tis the season...
Happy Holidays everyone.
Author Carissa McIntyre xoxo