On Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, I attended the "Invest in Kids" breakfast at the Black Bear Lodge and Saloon in Baxter, MN. The money raised at the breakfast, and throughout the year, is for the Alex and Brandon Safety Center in Brainerd, MN. This center, run by the Mid-Minnesota Women's Center, provides a safe place for kids and families, safe exchanges for divorced and separated parents, and a place for supervised visitation. Domestic violence is a terrifying, and often deadly, reality to many families. The women's center was started in 1978 as a place to shelter battered women, their children, and their pets. The Alex and Brandon Safety Center opened in 2000. The name honors two little boys who were murdered by their father as a way of punishing his wife for leaving him. It's something we don't want to think about. We don't want to believe is real, or that it could happen in our own neighborhoods, but it does. These centers exist to help people who are in dangerous situations, give them a safe place to go with resources, and to save lives.
Rochelle Woods spoke to the group on her work with girls who have been abused.
Jade Heldt provided the entertainment with some very touching songs.
My friend Krista gave the group a testimonial about the Alex and Brandon Center and how they needed, and used, the facility when she was leaving an abusive marriage.
Tonya Heldt, director of Mid-Minnesota Women's Center, Krista Soukup, and Angela Plantenberg, Alex and Brandon's mother.
Photos from the breakfast
Here I am with Elizabeth Harris and Krista
Elizabeth is one of my blogging students. She perseveres through life and has started writing about what inspires her on her blog, Present Tense for Now. Stop over and say, "Hi" to her and offer a word of encouragement. Everyone has a story.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Do you know someone who has needed the services of places like these shelters? What stories of perseverance have inspired you?