In January 2017, a friend I’d grown up with passed away. I'd learned he had a stroke several years earlier and had lost all mobility. A close mutual friend, who also knew this man’s wife, reached out to arrange for me and my husband to visit him. Sadly, he passed before our visit.
Afterwards, I found out that his remarkable wife, had served as his full-time caretaker for many years without receiving much help. Her story moved me, and I wanted to do something special for her. Not knowing how she would respond, I reached out. When we finally spoke, I told her, “I know you don’t know me, but I grew up with your husband.” I explained that I’d heard her story, and that it had touched me so deeply. Finally, I shared that I was a jewelry designer, and invited her to go to my website and pick any piece she wanted—I wanted to give her the experience of treating herself to something nice, no matter the cost.
Somewhat reluctantly, and with stunning humility, she accepted my offer. She chose a pair of earrings and called to thank me after receiving them. She cried as she told me she had named the earrings after her husband, and that every time she wore them, she would think of him.
After giving her this gift, something inside of me clicked. Growing up, my family had very little money. My parents—business owners and community members—did charity work often, and always lent a hand. 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 have never forgotten 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 had donated to many organizations in the past, but now I felt it had all come full circle.
I know, now more than ever, that giving my jewelry to women who are exceptional human beings, women who have faced tough situations and circumstances in life, is one of my purposes here on earth. I feel that I have been given a gift, and I want to share it.
After my experience with the remarkable woman who sparked this idea, 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, Mrs. Josephine, who is an awe-inspiring lady. I have been so excited to watch the Selina King Empowerment Project grow and blossom in its next stages. I look forward to finding new recipients every year, continuing to uplift, celebrate, and spread joy in the lives of deserving women.
If you know someone who is selfless, loving, and has done incredible acts of kindness for others, I would like to meet them. To submit a nomination, please reach out to us at
email@example.com with the subject line: Empowerment Project Candidate, and a short paragraph about what makes them special.