Denise’s hero is her warrior daughter, Jennifer. Several years ago, Jennifer developed psoriatic arthritis, a painful and debilitating auto-immune disease. She has lived with constant pain ever since. Denise told us that Jennifer unexpectedly became pregnant with twins. “She was an extremely high risk case and had to go on disability. She was on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy, which ended with emergency c-section 2-months premature. Her girls had to stay in the neo-natal intensive care unit for 31 days. From day 3 her daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with PVL, but later on it was determined that she suffered a stroke in utero. All the while, Jennifer was suffering from severe high blood pressure and could have suffered a stroke herself.” Each of those days, Denise drove her daughter to the hospital, so she could take care of her own daughters. Meanwhile, the company Jennifer worked for closed and left her without a job. Her insurance was terminated. Things with Emma have continued to be challenging. She has cerebral palsy. Denise said, “Jennifer never takes no for an answer when it comes her girls, she truly is a hero giving these girls her all so […]
Nominated by her friends, Kathy became another one of our shining Sheroes. What the entire friend group told us was that Kathy lights up the room. But not just any room; there are lots of people who can do that. Kathy lights up a damp, cold, cinder-block room in a local prison. From that dismal room, Kathy creates light that spreads out to warm the prisoners, their families and friends, and all who encounter this project. Twice a week, Kathy, often after a shift as a hospice nurse, where she’s already exhausted from bringing light where little exists, leads a team into the Northwest Arkansas Community Correction Center to provide a storytelling workshop. It’s called the Prison Story Project. The concept is simple: Kathy and her team, plus as many as 12 incarcerated women, meet for twice weekly workshops for 4 months and create a script from those writings. They hire actors and produce a staged performance that gives voices to the voiceless women behind bars. Most of the inmates have suffered sexual or physical abuse as children and as adults, all suffered severe emotional trauma, most dropped out of high school before graduating, most only ever had low-paying jobs, and all […]
We are excited to introduce you to our Boob Squad! This has been their name and their campaign for a decade – and we love it. The Boob Squad was our pioneer team for our new Peer-to-Peer fundraising offering. We are so grateful to them! On the very same week that we launched our new fundraising platform, Erin wrote to us asking if she could raise money for Together Rising. She explained that she and her friends band together each year to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Erin’s best friend lost her mom, Jodi, to breast cancer when they were in college. “I’m writing today because my friends and I would like to do a fundraiser with all the proceeds going to Together Rising. My best friend lost her mom to breast cancer when we were sophomores in college. We were just babies when she had to say goodbye and although she is still kicking butt at life, it’s a painful struggle for her to not have her mom. For the past nine years a few of us have banded together as “The Boob Squad.” This year, as something special for our 10th year, […]
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 […]
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