Good Day! As I write this blog entry, the first for our new and FABULOUS website, I am excited to report that our 501(c)(3) package has gone into the mail to the IRS. The countdown now begins to when we will receive our tax-exempt status. Not that the last year hasn't been "real", but it makes it even more "official" and a solid indication that the four of us are committed to this project. I'd like to personally thank the fantastic women of My Friend Mayvis Foundation, Inc., Natelvi, Sue, and Nan. Because of a real life experience and a mission to fill a gap, you jumped right on board to help me make this ministry happen. No words can really describe how I feel. I could have never done this without you three and I am so thankful for you. Additionally, thank you to so many family members and friends who have contributed to this effort. All of your support with graphic art, ideas, edits, and advice have brought us here. We're still going slow, but we're persistent and trying to do it right so we have a solid, sustainable helping organization. Most of our governance has been completed. We're now fine tuning and finding that it's time to get out and start learning from others in the industry.
I'm now beginning to network with others in the nonprofit sector in Arlington. After attending a seminar hosted by Congressman Moran on the future of nonprofits a few weeks ago, I left impressed and in awe at what people do for others. I have so much to learn but everyone has been willing to reach out and offer what they've learned in their own growth and development. Thank you. In fact, one woman, in particular, acted swiftly to invite me to an event hosted by her nonprofit, Empowered Women International. It was a beautiful presentation by MIT Professor and author, Zeynep Ton, that supports the all-around benefits of respecting, empowering, and paying people good salaries for what they do for any given business. The title of her book, The Good Jobs Strategy, is worth reading, particularly as our nation is in the midst of debate about minimum wage. What if everyone with a job could actually support themselves and their family with what they earn without going on foodstamps or being on the edge of homelessness. What if mothers and fathers could plan their schedules and be there for their children to love, nuture, and guide them through life. What if.....
We go live today [with our new website], so for those that are following the progress of My Friend Mayvis Foundation, Inc., it's official. We are going full speed ahead. Soon, we'll be looking for volunteers to serve as champions to walk alongside our survivors. We're also planning our fundraising strategy, which is a whole skill-set we're exploring. But, rest assured, we'll get there. Your generous gifts of support will allow a woman who's stuck in an endless vortex of isolation, hatred, manipulation, and helplessness to get a second chance at life. She'll connect with a friend to encourage her and help her see she's worth more than what her abuser accuses her of. She'll work with her champion to set goals for becoming self-suffcient and then devise a plan to achieve them. And when she has barriers that prevent her from moving forward, we'll [all] be there, with money if needed, to help her take the next step. And we see her smiling and back on her feet, she'll reach out to others to help them along, as well. It's a beautiful thing....helping others. And with the week my family has had, we've been reminded that it's what life is really all about.
Our first fundraiser has begun! We haven't received our nonprofit status as of yet, but in the interim, we're raising funds so that as soon as we get the green light...We Can Go!!!!!!! We're well on our way and hope you'll help those who suffer, often in silence, from the hidden scars and trappings of emotional and financial abuse. This is call to action! Will you please help?
Oct 9, 2014
Last night marked the 30th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). I can hardly believe that in my lifetime, it was considered acceptable for a man to control or opress his wife or girlfriend. Society didn't talk about it and law enforcement didn't know how to deal with it. Today, it's a crime, and yet, one in four women continue to be a victim of physical, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse in this country. Last night, I attended a gala at Carnegie Library in Washington D.C. to celebrate the VAWA and support the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Lots of people gathered to raise money for this important,policy making organization. And I'm sure lots of money was raised as celebrety chef, Carla Hall, auctioned off one of her chef coats for more than $1400, as well as many other fantastic items. And then there was us, a small team of ladies from My Friend Mayvis Foundation, there for the same purpose, but on a much smaller scale; a more personal scale. We're here in your neighborhood, in your living room, and at the coffee shop, one by one with just you, who may or may not ever get to the point of calling out for help from the vast network of resources available. For those that know they are abused, fear for thier safey, and not afraid of the consequences of their seeking help, these resources will point you in the right direction and help you take your life back. But, for those of you who haven't yet gained the courage to reach out for help, don't know where to go for help, or not even sure anyone would believe you anyway, My Friend Mayvis is here to help. We'll sit down over a cup of coffee, either in person or on the phone, and together, figure out where you are, where you want to be, and help you figure out how to get there. Let us be your friend and help you get your life back.
Given the Right Tools....
May 18, 2016
GIVEN THE RIGHT TOOLS….
by Julie Verry
“Even the simplest tools can empower people to do great things.”
Christopher “Biz” Stone, co-founder of Twitter and author of Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind
Simple tools can make all the difference. With simple tools, like a hammer and saw for carpentry, or a shovel and rake for gardening, skilled hands can make all sorts of things great and small, like a cradle for a newborn baby or a vegetable garden planted to feed a family. Simple tools also enable access, without which doors remain closed and opportunities remain missed. Simple tools like public transport, phones, and Internet connections are basic necessities for people to connect and communicate, to fill out forms and track down information, to do homework and apply for jobs, to hear the news and learn about all things wise and wonderful. And without simple tools, many challenges of life are that much harder and that much more time-consuming to overcome. All this is why, when we connected up with Dawn, a struggling mother of three, we weren’t surprised to learn that what she really wanted most was a simple tool: a computer with Internet access for her family at home.
Dawn is a client of My Friend Mayvis Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping women and children facing domestic violence and the myriad impacts that this has on family life. Dawn is a hard-working woman with three children under the age of six. A short time ago, her husband abused her and then fled the country to avoid arrest. Without any resources of their own, Dawn and her children moved into a homeless shelter before transitioning into low-income housing. With limited English skills and no documents proving her qualifications, Dawn is struggling to find work that will support her family.
To start, Dawn must obtain a GED in order to gain meaningful employment. Of course, this means that Dawn needs to study while also working on a job search, managing her home and raising her kids alone with very limited income and an absent father. When My Friend Mayvis first connected with Dawn this spring, her basic, practical request was for a simple computer and Internet access at home that would enable her to move forward on all these things.
Upon hearing of her need, the TMI and My Friend Mayvis Foundations teamed up to help Dawn out. In April, TMI Foundation donated a refurbished laptop for Dawn to have at home. This simple tool is truly a godsend for Dawn, giving her direct access to study for the GED, research and apply for jobs, as well as have the basic connectivity that we all need to get things done efficiently and effectively for our families. My Friend Mayvis is paying for Dawn’s Internet connection at home as well as providing the much-needed guidance for bringing her family through the trauma of domestic violence.
At TMI and My Friend Mayvis Foundations, we feel fortunate and thankful to have had the opportunity to walk alongside Dawn and her children by providing them with these simple tools. May they be blessed with all things bright and beautiful in the years to come!