When I moved into my office at Calvary Women’s Shelter 15 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined that I would still be here. Why have I stayed so long? Because Calvary is an amazing place and I continue to be inspired by the people I meet through my work.
There’s the woman who moved into our Sister Circle program last month. She explained to me that this is the first time, in her 53 years, that she has had keys to her own apartment. After years of struggling with addiction and domestic violence, she is healthy, strong and ready to live a new life.
There’s the donor who recently pledged a significant gift to support Calvary’s expansion efforts. He told me that this is the largest contribution he has ever made and that he is confident that his money will be used wisely. He could have spent his hard-earned money is lots of ways, but he chose to invest it in this organization to benefit women in need.
These people, and so many others, motivate me to do my very best work. They spark my passion for social justice because of who they are and how they live in the world.
Tuesday evening, May 18, will be another opportunity for me and others to be inspired. Calvary’s Hope Awards Dinner honors women who bring hope and change to their community. This year’s honorees, Phyllis Caldwell and Shonda Schilling, have both committed themselves to improving the lives of women and children in the places where they live and across our country.
When asked about her position as the Chief of the Office of Home Ownership Preservation at the Department of Treasury, Phyllis Caldwell remarked, “It’s a position that will allow me to continue all of our efforts to make sure that families are able to buy and keep affordable homes. As we all know, owning a home is critical to wealth creation for women-headed households in particular.” Ms. Caldwell is also a past President of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
Shonda Schilling, founder of the SHADE Foundation, is a strong advocate for skin cancer awareness and sun safety. But that isn’t her only passion. Ms. Schilling has also written a book about her family’s experience with autism, and is a spokesperson for the ALS Association with her husband, Curt Schilling.
I am certain to walk away from the Hope Awards Dinner feeling inspired and energized. I hope you’ll check back on our blog and website for photos and stories from the event. And, I hope you too will be inspired.