Fighting abuse, bullying and violence can be a very long, lonely road at times. Many times the advocate can still take the brunt of bullying to try to push through prejudice barriers and strongholds. This hasn't been an easy battle for me, but it has been rewarding to see the CHANGED HEARTS & SAVED LIVES!
Yesterday, we celebrated the Abuse Bites 3rd Annual CHANGE Benefit! Although not a lot of people came out, due to another awesome event in town being planned for the same day and time, it was a success!
Success can be measured in a variety of ways, not just how many people came to our event or how much money was raised. I was a 7th grade middle school drop out, abused runaway, who was kidnapped, beaten, raped, forced into human trafficking, and nearly killed many times. Later I suffered through two horrifically abusive marriages (one physical, the other sexual and psychological).
BUT, after all that, at the age of 26 God healed me, delivered me, restored me, and called me to be a warrior. That's the day I STARTED FIGHTING THIS WAR ON ABUSE, BULLYING AND VIOLENCE. I've overcome many obstacles in my path such as post traumatic stress syndrome, panic and agoraphobia. Then I went onto college, graduated with a degree in Christian Ministry, became an award winning author, certified pet therapist and dog trainer, founded two non-profits, raised over $20,000 for needy and abused people and pets, And I'm not finished yet!
Although these have been great successes, the biggest success is knowing that when we go into the schools and communities to do our CHANGE workshops, that more than 85% of the students and even adults stand and come forth, deciding to make a change in their own lives, and knowing they can be the CHANGE for others!
Abuse, Bullying and Violence is all about making a CHANGE in our own lives, to impact others. Won't you stand with us today and be that CHANGE?
Now a word of thanks to all the angels who helped bring this about!
Special thanks goes out to our Volunteers like Ashley Thornton (below), who is so passionate to help, that even though she had a sprained ankle, she showed up and gave it her all! Thanks Ashley! We love and appreciate you!
Special Thanks to Thomas Dignan!
A great man of our community, Thomas Dignan, even found time in his busy schedule to come out and support us. Why? Because he's passionate about changing hearts and saving lives and stopping bullying!
Thank you Thom! You've got my vote!
Adults and kids alike received awesome prices thanks to our awesome sponsors.
Thank you Bob Evans...
Thanks Plush Pup...
Our children guests thank DONNA'S REFLECTIONS...
Everyone loved the Prime Time Pizza & Bread!
and we thank GiGi's for the Drinks!
Of course we give special thanks to The 401 South Restaurant
for their Delicious Cookies!
And kudos to the other great sponsors like Big John Steak & Onion, Maurices, Treasures, Jumbo's, Gilbert's True Value, Janelle's Family Restaurant, Mancinos, Crave Bakery, Wendy's, Burger King, Capitol Bowl, and Crave!
and to the Glo Kids Team for the Carnival & Face Painting!
Together we are all CHANGING hearts and saving lives!