As many of you may have noticed, The Lovely Project has just had a birthday!
click here to see our top stories from our first year…
Our very first year has come and gone. I am so proud of this strong, capable group of Lovely women. To celebrate our infancy, I took the editorial team out to relax, dream and plan – We went out on an evening cruise down the Winter Park chain of lakes.
While on our tour, our captain asked me a question that I hear often:
“What is the Lovely Project and how is it different from other organizations?”
So, I invited him to listen as I shared with my team the triumphs of this last year, as well as our dreams for the future.
He heard about our passion to see the girls of Orlando, Florida, become healed and whole.
We talked about our Lovely mentor groups for young women who meet together once a week all over the city. These groups are for women from age 15 on up to 50 – Many of which are headed up by peer mentors. These are girls around the same age meeting once a week to encourage each other, laugh, cry and support one another, all as they discuss what they are going through at home and at school.
He heard that these groups serve many purposes.
The first, as I mentioned above, is for support and help. But Lovely groups are also about reaching out into the community. These Lovely girls are finding out that sometimes you need a hand up and sometimes you need to give a hand up. There is much need in this City Beautiful – so we volunteer, take care of children, pass out flyers, counsel, mentor, stir into action, bake, go to city council meetings, run for public office, run for HOA’s, go to school, start businesses, write blogs and write columns for national magazines. We work with International Justice Mission and collect money to rescue girls around the world from the sex-slave industry. We advocate for positive peer pressure. We influence girls (and give them support) to resist the voices that tell them to engage in behavior that will harm their bodies and damage their souls. We get our doctorate degrees, and master’s degrees and finish high school and get our GED’s. We are adopting children. We are traveling to Paris, Italy, Rome, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Ireland… We answer questions about love and dating. We teach marriage seminars on other continents. Lovely is everywhere you want to be! We give our message of empowerment to girls in other states here too – We are currently working on curriculum to share in schools here.
As we shared that night on the boat, our captain heard that The Lovely Project is and does many things – but the power of Lovely is in our stories, our own testimonies.
The women that lead the Lovely groups are just like you. But the pain they have gone through has produced strength and the determination to make a difference. Many of our stories are on this blog… and we plan to continue to let you in on how we are helping each other and gaining victory in areas of our lives where we once felt despair and hopelessness. How we do it and what we do – we’ll share with you. If you are reading this and you don’t believe anyone else could understand what your life is like, please give us a chance.
But just so you don’t think we never have any fun, let me assure you – the women that work alongside me are living their lives to-the-full! They are witty, creative, resourceful, generous, loving… and that’s just on a bad day! Our group is a hodge-podge of tweens, teens, young adults, newly marrieds, newly moms – all the way up to me!
Speaking of fun: This Friday night we will have the White October Silent Auction!
We have so many fun, whimsical, creative, non-expensive and expensive items to purchase, either for yourself or as a Christmas present for the people on your list. The money that is raised will go to fund the two Lovely Experiences that will come in 2014. There will be live aerial acts, song and dance performed by women who are also part of the Lovely Project.
So, back to the original question: How are we different from another group?
I can’t say. But I will say that no other group is as determined to change the landscape for women in Orlando. I will say that we are a feisty group of women who don’t easily take “no” for an answer. We support one another’s dreams and believe that we are better together than separate. Lovely women are passionate, concerned, purposed and insightful. I will also say that we are growing in numbers. We are growing in confidence. We are growing in resolve.
We are just getting started!
Drop me a line and let me know just how lovely you are,