Last year, we began bringing Together Rising’s work to Glennon’s speaking events. It is our dream to somehow serve every city Glennon visits, to be introduced to communities and address their specific needs. We tested our dream out at an event in Herndon, Virginia. We asked Becca, beloved minister of the venue, Trinity Presbyterian Church, what her community most needed. She met with her team and reported back, “BOOKS. Our beloved elementary school across the street serves many low-income students and always in need of books. We feel like we should collect kids’ books.” Herndon Elementary is a Title I school—57% students qualify for free and reduced lunch and 45% are English Language Learners. Many of the children don’t speak English at home and their families don’t have much money—so they don’t always have access to books when they go home for the summer. The school’s privately-funded program to help the kids who were most behind in their reading had been recently cut. One passionate Herndon teacher, Lizette, was particularly sad and worried about her students. She started to dream about creating a Bookmobile. Her dream was that she and a team of other volunteer teachers would drive a truck into two of the most […]
Jennifer nominated her “one in a million” friend, Casey, for our Shero award last year. Casey means the world to her friends and her people. And the world means everything to Casey. She’s a mom, foster mom, and stand-by-your-side friend. After the tragic 2010 earthquake, Casey’s husband, Ron, began taking trips to Haiti to help rebuild. He fell in love with the country and its people. Together, along with their sons, Casey and Ron regularly traveled on international missions to Central America, but Casey had never joined Ron in Haiti. In June 2014, they departed on a cruise stopping in several ports to do service projects. A visit to Roatan, Hondoras made the greatest impact on Casey. She was deeply touched by a mother and daughter, living at a garbage dump site, that she met while handing out bags of rice and beans along with hygiene items. As a gesture of her gratitude, the mother placed the bracelet she was wearing on Casey’s wrist. Casey and Ron returned a few months later to those places with twelve pieces of luggage filled with donated items. Later the same year, they returned once again to the Roatan dump site in Honduras to deliver […]
Friends, meet the O’Brien family. Look at this beautiful group! Mom, Raquel, is the one right in the middle. This is fitting, because, as her daughter Felicia wrote in to tell us, Raquel is a shero. She has stood firm in the middle of her family, holding it together through sickness and heartbreak. Here is how Felicia introduced us to her mom and dad: “She experienced unspeakable trauma at an age when girls should be protected and cherished. She had to grow up and mature far too early. At a time when she should have been worrying about school and friends, she was raising her five younger siblings. For a girl to become pregnant as a teen, while living in a residential placement home, and to decide to keep the baby is very brave. For that girl and that boy to learn how to love, when their parents did not teach them the skills necessary to do so, is a miracle. For that couple to marry, create a family, make a home, and remain unconditionally in love 28 years later is nearly unheard of. The childhood trauma endured by this couple would bring tears to your eyes. How a person can […]
Friends, meet one of our Sheroes! We first met Jasmine when her friend, Sarah, nominated her for our May 2015 Sheroes Love Flash Mob award. Taken into a life of prostitution when she was only a teenager, Jasmine struggled with abuse, drug addiction, and homelessness. When she decided to get out, her trafficker threatened to kill her if she tried to leave. After years of dangerous, failed attempts, Jasmine finally broke free. Now, she helps prevent others from going down the same path she did. Jasmine found her calling as a speaker and educator in the anti-trafficking movement. “It’s about changing the culture of how these young girls and women are viewed,” she said. “The average age for a girl to enter this life is 13 or 14 years old. They are promised the world and end up getting beaten and addicted to drugs and forced to sell their bodies. If we see these girls living on the street we’d judge them as drug-addicted prostitutes, but we need to ask, ‘how did they get there and what was their situation?’ Each of those girls has a face and a story to tell.” Jasmine established “Bags of Hope,” an outreach ministry that distributes bags filled with practical items (socks, […]
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