All the good stories of the past have been told.
The bad stories of the past have been referenced as obliquely as possible; as clearly as necessary; and with as much empathy as time and healing allowed.
Now it is time for me to embrace change.
Now it is time for me to be the change that I want to see.
For that reason, I have brought together a committee of courageous women, and a cadre of survivors who use their art to signal their own determination to embrace change. Together, and with your help, we come together to support two agencies which also understand that those who have experienced violence must survive and thrive.
On Saturday, 23 September 2017, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., all of us will unite to present HOPE FLOATS: Surviving and Thriving after family violence. We aim to raise funds and awareness. The money raised in our silent and live auctions, our raffles, our tip jars, and in direct contribution, will be equally divided between SAFEHOME and Rose Brooks Center. These agencies provide crucial services to women and children who have experienced family violence.
Please join us. Bring your checkbooks, your wallets, your compassion, and your empathy. The evening’s entertainment and art augment the primary purpose of the gathering, which is to provide a venue for contributing as much as you can to these extraordinary facilities.
But additionally, the venue allows survivors to have a voice.
We do not focus on blame or shame. We want to cast aside feelings of victimhood. Rather, we join arms to salute each other; the staff of SAFEHOME and Rose Brooks Center; the clients whom they serve; and you, who understand and appreciate what community can do for survivors in need.
Because I know the statistics, I realize that my words might be reaching many who themselves have survived the terrible trauma of domestic violence. This entry might in fact fall into the inbox or onto the social media feed of some still caught in the throes of violence in their home. If you find yourself grappling with such a situation, KNOW THIS: You, too, can break free.
We know it is not easy.
We know in fact that it is damnably difficult.
But there is help.
You can call SAFEHOME’s 24 hour crisis line at: 913-262-2868.
You can call Rose Brooks Center’s 24 hour crisis line at: 816-861-6100.
You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-799-(SAFE) (7233).
You are not alone.
I know, too, that I am not alone. I could not have pulled off the preparations for this event without Miranda Erichsen, Karla Hull, Lori Hooten, and Jilli Nel. Our fabulous participating artists, Lori Hooten, Jill Huxtable, Ruthie Becker, and Amy Fisher put themselves on the line to show their genuine emotion depicted in visual art and the written word. The Accidental Project performs and will auction off a house concert. Jackson County PA Jean Peters Baker, Johnson County DA Steve Howe, and Family Court Commissioner Martina Peterson again appear to support this effort with their knowledge and their words. A host of individuals and businesses have contributed to the auction, the raffle, and the evening’s fare.
The event will be truly stellar. I hope you will attend.
I know some of you have already sent donations, and thank you. Others have indicated that they are not available tomorrow due to prior commitments, but that you will be sending donations, and we thank you for that as well. You can mail checks made out to either SAFEHOME or Rose Brooks Center, to me:
M. Corinne Corley
CORLEY LAW FIRM
4010 Washington, Suite 100
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Write “HOPE FLOATS” in the memo section, and we will include your donation when we tender the proceeds to the agencies. The agencies will send tax receipts for your monetary donations.
We are expecting a good crowd, despite the fact that it’s coinciding with the second night of the Plaza Art Fair. Our silent auction bidding starts at 6:00 p.m. The official welcome, and introduction and remarks by speakers, commences at 6:45. The live auction starts at 8:00 p.m. Bidding closes on the silent auction at 8:45. Raffle drawings will be held intermittently. You do not have to be present to win an item in the silent auction, but you must be present to win in one of the raffle drawings.
I chose the slogan of HOPE FLOATS because of the touching and sweet imagery of the Sandra Bullock movie. But I choose tonight’s message, “Be The Change”, and the attached image, in honor of my sister Joyce Corley, for whom transformation has so recently blossomed, and without whom my own change would never have been possible.
I hope to see you all tomorrow night. Thank you.
You don’t know this new me. I put the pieces back differently. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes