The theme set this past year by UN Women is Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls. This has ALWAYS been at the heart and mission of what we do at EllieFunDay. From day one, our purpose is to empower women who are victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking. (read more about Wanila's story)
As a woman, a wife, a sister and also a CEO of a company that empowers women it makes me even more accountable to action. We are female owned, with a female advisory board with female beneficiaries. If we stand for equality what are we going to do about it? We all marched, but what next?
This prompted me to look for ways to be more proactive. I was inspired by this post on Medium, for the everyday person to do something that matters. I'm not talking about something HUGE that will consume your daily life, but something "little" that could lead to an even bigger impact.
These "simple" actions can lead to larger ripples. We marched, but what do we do with the fire that is still in our bellies? So I've decided to share these simple steps.
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO STEPPING UP:
STEP ZERO: Give yourself a moment to breathe.
STEP ONE: Make a list of what you’re GREAT at.
STEP TWO: Make a list of your limitations.
STEP THREE: Make a list of people and organizations who need support.
STEP FOUR: Make a list of people and organizations you are connected with.
STEP FIVE: Put it all together.
Step Zero: breathing is meditative and helps focus the mind. I find that when I breathe and take it all in, it grounds me. This is not a one day task, but an ongoing commitment.
Step 1: Write down ALL the things that you're GREAT at. Not just "ok". I say GREAT because that will really help you hone down your gifting. For me, I would have to say my greatest strength is really design and gifting. I love making "just" the perfect gift for the right person then personalizing it.
Step 2: We all have limits; whether its time, money and physical limitations. This is a fair question to ask. How much time or money do I have and what can I do within my limitations. Knowing this keeps things manageable.
Step 3/4: We all have networks, and organizations that we are really passionate about whether locally and globally. If you'd like to see a list of rated non-profits, GuideStar is great for giving you some oversight into where to go. I personally have a soft spot for single mothers and children that are sick. We've donated our blankets to victims of Hurricane Harvey through Baby2Baby. We love our friends over at EPA Made that empowers with single moms with job creation in East Palo Alto as well!
Step 5: How might your skills fit within your time to help these people? My dear friend, Evita started an organization called Broken Dishes because of her love for connecting communities. Broken Dishes sees beauty in imperfection. Their mission is to gather people from different walks of life through celebrations and beautiful meals, where each person can share their unique story, meet new friends and form tighter communities. She's partnered with EPA Made to put on Thanksgiving meals for the single moms and has hosted spa days! I love that she took something she loved and found a partner to bring impact into her community.
I hope that this provides a simple guideline for you to activate and stay forward focused!
Speaking up can lead to self-sustainability, dignified jobs and a safe place for women who are marginalized. With that being said, our collection of stuffed bunnies is made by My Choices Foundation's Peacecrafters. Each one of our dolls helps provide access to counseling and safe alternatives for women suffering from domestic violence.
Keep on dear sisters and brothers! We stand united in this!
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