Ya’ll know that I have a deep and undying affection for pretty shoes. Undying.
It’s true. All of them. I love them.
I also have a deep and undying love for good. Charity, compassion…you know, Jesus stuff.
Two loves that I cannot let go of no matter how hard I try. I could buy so many more shoes if I didn’t care for charity and I could give so much more to charity if I didn’t buy so many damned shoes. This, ladies and gentlemen, is my first world problem. Don’t pity me. I am ashamed.
Last night at Grace Boutique in Old Town Lansing, my two loves met on the dance floor and reenacted the final dance in Dirty Dancing. Full on with lip singing to the song Time of My Life and everything.
It was amazing.
Me and my girls decided to host a party for Shining A Light. They are an organization that combats poverty with education and income generating opportunities for women and children in Tanzania.
|Me, Tiffany from Shining a Light and Summer, owner of Grace|
The women being helped by the organization have likely been abandoned by their husband, shunned by their family and are inches away from giving their children up for adoption to ensure that they are able to eat. Can you imagine making that decision today? Can you imagine loving your children the way you do and having to give them up? The very thought of it ties my stomach in knots and brings tears to my eyes.
|Shining a Light Sandals|
Sara, Summer and I, invited Tiffany from Shining a Light to bring her sandals over to Grace for a party. Grace currently keeps a few in stock but this was a special event. We invited everyone and many, many women came to check out the goods. I shopped around Grace because it’s my favorite store and I already have a pair of sandals I wear all the time.
Let me introduce you to the lovelies.
This is Summer Schriner. Basically, aside from her allowing me to call her Summer Lovin’ instead and being the absolute best shopper ever, she is amazing. Smart as a whip, funny and just about as cute as God makes people.
She owns Grace Boutique in Old Town where nearly all of my favorite pieces have come from. You see, when you buy something from Target, you call it what it is. It is a t-shirt, a clutch or earrings on clearance. I love Target. I joke that I could find a Target if dropped into the middle of nowhere.
When you buy something from Grace, you gently wrap it in tissue and keep it high in your closet to pull out on special occasions. It is a piece like those hung in a gallery. The best difference is that you get to wrap that art around you and wear it. And that my dear people is why Summer Lovin’ is the very best shopper in the world. She fills that little boutique with art all the way to the edges of the frame. Le Sigh.
Anywhoo…there I go rambling about fineness again.
These two ladies on stage left are Sarah and Emily and they run Lunch with A Purpose with a few other friends. They encourage people to spend one hour a week, during their lunch time giving back to the community. They even come to the Nyaka office! I love when they come because I think volunteers are dreamy. Um, because they are. These two have started a phenomenon. These volunteers go everywhere. Non-profits all over the capital city are saying prayers of gratitude for these two ladies and they should be. Join the group and start a chapter in your town. You could do worse than becoming a hometown hero.
This is a photo of Racha and Jamie. Not pictured here are Jamie and Summers, mother and sister Macie. We laughed and drank cocktails. We discussed our figures, the perfect dress and how the 40’s would have been a lovely time to live for the clothes alone. We tried on clothing and oohed and aaahed at each other’s selections. Apparently Racha and I are related closely as she is my sister from another mister. I didn’t know that before last night and it makes me exceedingly happy.
We raised a good chunk of change for an amazing organization. I found a dress, quite literally, made for me and many women left feet adorned with a story that they will share with others.
I can’t give a million dollars to everyone that I want to. I can barely match socks in my own laundry hamper. I can find others who want to pull resources together for the greater good. I can reach out with my wild ideas and watch those around me doing good and wading in to it deeper as well. There are worse things than making ends meet for non-profits.
You can check out photos of the event and the dress I found compliments of Grace Boutique on The Mother Flippin’ Fan page. Check it out and consider planning a party.
There are worse things you could do.