In January, I learned of a friend who I knew growing up and his passing. I had heard he had a stroke and had lost all mobility and recognition of his surroundings. A close friend of mine knew his wife and reached out to arrange for my husband and I to visit him. However, he passed before our time to visit.
I found out that his wife had been his full-time caretaker for many years and didn’t receive much help. Hearing her story inspired me to want to do something special for her. I reached out not knowing how she would respond. When we spoke, I told her, “I know you do not know me, but I grew up with your husband.” I explained that I had heard her story, and that it had touched me so much. I shared that I was a jewelry designer and that I wanted to give her a piece of jewelry. I invited her to go to my website to pick out any piece she wanted. She, somewhat reluctancy and humbly, accepted my offer.
I wanted to give her an experience of treating herself to something nice, no matter the cost. This isn’t something that everyone can do. She chose a pair of earrings. She called to thank me after receiving them. She cried, explaining how she had named the earrings after her husband, and that everytime she wore them she would think of him.
After giving her this gift, something connected inside of me. I knew now more than ever that giving my jewelry to women who had either faced tough situations in life or were exceptional human beings was my one of my purposes here on earth. I feel that I was given a gift, and I want to share it.
Growing up, my family had very little money. My parents did charity work often, and there was always someone we were helping. My father told me, “Even though we don’t have much money, there is someone else in a worse situation. We need to help others.” I’ve lived by this rule my entire life, and I will never forget what my father and mother did for so many. I have been given an ability, a gift I can share with women to empower them and make them feel good about themselves. I’ve donated to many organizations in the past, but now I felt it had come full circle.
I reached out to a friend of mine, Julie Jones, who is the Assistant Director at Bluffton Self Help here in South Carolina. Through this connection, I found my second recipient. Her name is Mrs. Josephine, and she is a very special lady.
I’m so excited to watch the Selina King Empowerment Project grow and blossom into its next stages. My goal is to continue to find more recipients each year and to keep spreading this special gift into the lives of more deserving women. If you know someone who is selfless, loving and has done incredible acts of kindness for others, we would like to meet them. To nominate, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Empowerment Project Candidate.