'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has'. That quote by Margaret Mead inspires me...to give, to make a difference.
This is #MyGivingStory....a Story about 'Sport n Art 4 a Cause'
Early morning. a well-made Espresso. then a PCH ride on my motorcycle. After a few miles of feeling the ocean breeze - a cool little question popped up - 'What makes me happy?'...That just meant, time for a stop at the Marmalade Cafe...Along with an egg-white-frittata (highly recommend it!) breakfast, came a little answer.
I have always been passionate about Sport & Art. Realms that have always brought joy to me - high tide or low tide. But then a question came up 'What's passion without purpose?'
By the time i got my Shadow to kick up again to top gear, i came up with a fundraiser idea - for this awesome non-profit (A Window Between Worlds http://www.awbw.org) that uses Art as a Healing Tool for survivors of trauma ’n abuse, thereby making a positive difference in their lives.
An idea..that would be fun..that would bring in art for the sports fan..with a purpose.
.and when Passion meets Purpose, Life happens!
Check out this short film about my journey of 'Sport n Art 4 a Cause’...a football-themed facepainting fundraiser towards AWBW's cause.
It’s truly a #OurGivingStory with so many amazing people involved in making this happen. Special Thanks to L.A Cheeseheads and So.Cal Seahawks. They are such a fun, philanthropic football fan community out here in So.Cal
I'm grateful to share this experience with all of you for #GivingTuesday. Wishing u the very best in your journeys!
Review from #MyGivingStory
I'm not only a volunteer but have also been a client served. I have worked with A Window Between Worlds for over 10 years and have never been more impressed with any other nonprofit organization. It is no doubt due to the talent commitment and efficiency that permeates this organization that they have grown to impact thousands of lives across our nation. Even now they continue to expand their mission and reach to serve a more diverse population, promoting healing and empowerment to our fellow citizens effected by violence. My affiliation with this organization is a great source of pride and purpose.
Review from Guidestar
I dont think there is enough room in this little box for me to explain what a wonderful orginazation A Window Between Worlds is. This orginazation gave me "ME" back, if that makes any sense, they helped me in opening up about stuff i wanted to keep bottled up and hidden. Windows helpd open a door i had closed, i had never talked with my children about what we as a family had been through, i didnt know how to do it. Through an art project the door opened all on its own, i sat and talked with my oldst daughtrand that was the first step to our healing process. The healing isnt easy and what I love about AWBW is that they know that and they honor that, they take the time as other programs i had been involved with give you 12-18 classes and then you should be "healed" being a survivor is a life long process and AWBW is there for you!! The AMAZING women that work for windows are women who actually care about us. They are real with us and help us see the positive side of what feels like th emost negative issue. I love when they call or email just to say hi to check in. I go to the once a month Survivors Art Circle and the empowering feeling when i enter that room is amazing, I wish they could offer a circle evry weekend , I am such a happy woman when i levae there i feel so positive!! AWBW is the reason i am still safe the reason i am still alive and not felt the need to return to my batterer AWBW has given me hope back, it has instilled in me it wasnt/isnt my fault we went through the awful things we went through, they have helped me believe that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that one day ill be ok!!!!
I began volunteering at AWBW in 2010 because of a small blurb i came across on the internet. From the first time i stepped into the office, the warm, positive and ambitious nature of the AWBW staff surrounded and inspired me. I was amazed by how such a small staff of less than a dozen individuals could affect the lives of tens of thousands of individuals dealing with domestic violence a year. I was able to be a integral part of the program as a volunteer, taking part in fundraising events, shelter leader training preparation and educational conferences. AWBW is like a second family to me and i talk about it to everyone i know because it truly deserves every bit of attention it receives. The impact AWBW has on the community only continues to grow as more and more people become involved in this amazing non-profit.
AWBW has brought clarity to my life. It helped me to find my passion for helping women and children, it gave me the confidence I needed to be an artist, and it gave me a network of guardian angels (AWBW staff) that have inspired me to be the young woman I am today. Through my experience with AWBW I have learned the ins and outs of a non-profit organization, how to work effectively with a group of strong women (which usually ends badly, but not at AWBW !), how to use art as a healing tool in my everyday life, how to understand the healing process of survivors. But most importantly I have learned that doing what I am most passionate about is not only for me, but it’s for all of the lives that I touch on that journey, and that if I take the journey with AWBW I will never be walking alone. I continue to volunteer with AWBW because their mission is my mission. AWBW values their volunteers in a way that leaves a lasting impression on every volunteer’s heart. I spent three months working in the office and I didn’t want to leave. Actually, I still want to go back! I continue to volunteer with AWBW because there is no greater feeling in the world then being a part of another person’s healing process. Watching women heal, seeing the pain leave their eyes, watching the weight lift off of their hearts, hearing the new found clarity and confidence in their voices, that’s why I will be a lifelong AWBW volunteer.
I became aware of A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) in 1993 when a friend told me she had become involved as a board member. It really pulled at my heart strings as I, as many women, had left an abusive relationship and understood the need that AWBW was fullfuling in the lives of women and their children. As an artist, I wanted to volunteer in any capacity that they would have me. I volunteered whenever there was an opportunity and all these years later I am on their staff. I've witnessed first hand the life-changing impact that this organization has on the lives of women and the empowerment that it gives them to make the changes necessary for a violence free life.
I believe this organization does amazing work, the staff really does care about the organization and the people it empowers. AWBW helps people become self sufficient and learn about their inner strengths they did not know they have deep within themselves.
I began volunteering with A Window Between Worlds in 2009. I am a survivor of domestic violence and sexual abuse. For ten years, I was trapped in my house, suffering from agoraphobia. I never went more than three miles from home, and went out only if a friend came and got me. My therapist suggested that I find a organization to volunteer with that I cared enough about to leave home and travel more than three miles. A Window Between Worlds was it for me. Not only were they helping women and children survivors through art (I use art in my own healing process,) but they provided a safe environment that I quickly came to trust. Each year I find myself volunteering more hours. I recently began volunteering during the week in addition to the volunteer day each month. I'm also signing on to help with AWBW special events. I went through a lot of research and visiting other volunteer groups before I found AWBW. It was worth everything I did to find them. I would like for AWBW to be honored as often and as much as possible. The work they do provides concrete help with an issue that affects the whole world.
I was feeling depressed after the loss of my mother. Not yet ready to get back to work full-time, and not sure if I should implement a career change, what I did know is that I wanted to do something useful, something that I felt good about. I decided that I wanted to contribute to a cause that I believed in and one that had a positive impact on my community. I remembered a flyer that I had received about an organization that helped survivors of domestic violence through healing art projects. I thought it was super cool. I have always found art to be a healing force in my life. (It is now apparent to me that I became an art major in order to save myself, without even being conscious of it at the time)! So I filed the flyer away, thinking that I might like to get involved later on. In my state of desperation I looked for the flyer and found it and thought this may be the place--especially when I saw that it was located in my very city. Keeping it local also appealed to me. I checked out my spiritual centers non profit affiliations, and saw that they were also involved with a healing art program. This seemed like an omen to me, it solidified my decision. I knew for sure that this was where I need to concentrate my energies, efforts and love and see how it unfolds. I wrote a letter to Lonnie, the Volunteer coordinator at AWBW and she responded right away, and enthusiastically. Probably echoing my own enthusiasm. She asked when I would like to come in, we set up a time, and I have been forever grateful to her since. Everyone there made me feel so welcome, and they were so appreciative of everything that I did. I looked forward to going in the office. I saw first had the work they put into changing the lives of women and children who have suffered. It made me feel so good to be a part of the process. Even if it was just preparing art supplies -- sharpening pencils, or cutting strings for an art workshop. I loved being there so much that I think Audrey (the operating manager) must have noticed and asked me to help with a temporary position. Being there everyday, even if for a little while, solidified my feelings about how great the work they do is. Being there also had another side effect that I was not quite prepared for. My memories of my own abusive parents started to come up for me. I had certainly recognized in the past that I had an abusive family, particularly my step Father, but I don't think I ever dealt with all of my feelings around it -- at least not full on. Participating in one of the workshops while attending as a volunteer, I had a very powerful and moving experience, painful, but very cathartic. It made me think that perhaps I should join AWBW's, monthly healing art group -- Survivors Art Circle. It has taken a while for me to admit my past publicly, but and it has genuinely helped me further along on my personal journey of healing. And now I really see how it impacts the lives of so many, like myself. AND I also can vouch for how beautifully executed and heartfelt everything AWBW takes on turns out. I am honored to be a volunteer for AWBW, and I would encourage anyone looking for a great organization to get involved with to do the same. Lisa Pearson
A Window Between Worlds has made such a big impact on me, in so many ways. As a survivor of multiple traumas back to back to back, I would have never thought that I could emotionally or mentally be so strong. They have empowered me to accept what I have been through and move forward instead of looking back. I am in NO way an artist, but creating has been an integral part of my growth. I am a SAC (Survivor's Art Circle) member, and began volunteering because I wanted to give back to such a special place, and hopefully help others that are too afraid to speak up. I was one of those people, and now you cannot keep me quiet! I attribute that to AWBW. I have never in my life even liked myself, let alone love myself...and now I can happily say with strength that I LOVE myself. I also know that I will NEVER EVER be abused sexually, emotionally, mentally, financially, or physically again! Before I used to say it, and still be the victim of all kinds of abuse. NOW, I can truly from my heart say...IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!