In 2000, I, was navigating through a divorce and “inherited” over $200,000… worth of debt! Each month I was $300-400 short on expenses, and it was a rapid downward spiral! Naively (on my 50th birthday), I purchased a women’s resale shop thinking that would augment my teaching income.I drafted two girlfriends to run the shop during the three days per week of operation, while I continued teaching full-time.
One day while my friend Jackie was minding the store, a dejected young woman came in and sheepishly handed her a gift certificate from a local agency for domestic violence. Jackie looked at the gift certificate and thought, “I don’t know anything about a gift certificate! Sally’s a ‘softy’ – she’ll probably honor it, but if she doesn’t, I guess I’ll pay for it.” All this flashed through her mind in a split second! Looking at the young woman Jackie asked, “Would you like to look at some skirts?” “You don’t understand – this is all I have.” The young woman had left an abusive situation with literally the clothes on her back.” Jackie never missed a beat – “How ‘bout some jammies?”
She helped the woman find sleepwear, some oversized sweaters, and jeans – double the value of the gift certificate! When the gal left our shop, her whole countenance had lifted. When I arrived that day after teaching, Jackie shared what had happened, and I cried. That was the first nudge as to what this organization was supposed to become…a long-term resource for women, particularly women in transition or crisis! Two astute businessmen walked me through the process of securing nonprofit status…and we’ve been redeeming gift certificates at Half Off (allowing twice the buying power) ever since!
Then I drafted my sister and other like-minded women to walk alongside me responding to a need – tangibly “affirming the treasure” within women navigating challenging journeys. We love what we do – and would love to have YOU join us!