Disclaimer upfront – Girlfriendology is all about women supporting women – regardless of our differences, beliefs and convictions. I want all women to feel welcome here so I don’t discuss religion, politics or controversial issues typically. The following blog does note some of my personal beliefs and if you’re offended by that or not interested, feel free to visit other areas of Girlfriendology. I just feel the need to express the following and hope you’re open to sharing with me too.
Hope, friendship and really good juice
I couldn’t commit to a weekly gig, or even a monthly routine of volunteering but I felt the need to get involved in my community. So, last year I offered to teach a class at my church on LinkedIn to people who were searching for a job. As happens at our church, be careful of coming up with an idea because you’ll soon be in charge of a program that turned into a repeating three-week series for job seekers.
Last week was the fifth time the “Job Seeker Workshop” series happened and several hundred people have attended in 2009/2010. (Note – I just oversee the program and rely on the knowledgeable HR professionals who volunteer – like Linda, Amelia, Jennifer – shown here speaking to the group, Kendra and others who share amazing information, inspiration and insight.)
The most challenging aspect of this program is a room full of people who have varying degrees of hope and, more common, hopelessness. From people in their 50′s and 60′s who are facing the job market at a really tough time, to two of our HR volunteers losing their jobs while generously helping others try to find employment, to the underemployed who want to pursue their dreams yet struggle with how to do that – hope is a big issue. So, I always share this verse (that a girlfriend gave me for inspiration) with them:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.”
I don’t quote scripture. Seriously, ever. Actually, for being a minister’s daughter, I don’t really know scripture well enough to quote it. But, ‘being transparent’ and feeling strongly about the need for HOPE, I have to share it when I feel it is on my mind for a reason.
Hope, or hopelessness, was something I witnessed this week on the trip to TX for Genesis Today. (Genesis Today is a company who provides natural, nutritional superfruit foods/supplements/solutions and, another disclaimer, they sponsored this trip as well as a contest that I am honored to have won. But, regardless of the prize and opportunity to work with them, I only share this because it fits into the goal/brand of Girlfriendology – of offering inspiration and, as girlfriends do, sharing information that may HOPEfully make your life better.)
One of the bloggers on the trip has dealt with more medical issues than anyone should have to in their lifetime. Personally, I don’t know if I would have the strength to maintain any hope or the energy to leave my house if I had similar medical challenges. Thankfully, Dr. Lindsey Duncan, founder of Genesis Today, shared hope with her. As he said, “she wasn’t there by accident, there was definitely a reason why she was involved.” He offered to help and actually shared information with all of us on the healthy benefits of superfruits like Goji, Acai, Resveratrol, etc. It was pretty amazing. Afterward she even tweeted “I feel drained. Very drained but at the same time uplifted and perhaps hopeful ” (She granted me permission to write this and quote her. Here’s her story.)
In the coming blogs I’ll share some information on their products and the things I learned on this trip. Again, I’m honored to be selected as one of the finalists, much less the winner. (Genesis Today said all five ideas were excellent and the decision was extremely difficult). I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to learn about products that (like female friendship!) make people healthier (Acai!), happier (Goji!), and live longer (Resveratrol!). But most of all, I’m feeling happiness for a girlfriend who needed, and received, hope. That’s what we’re here for – to make each others’ lives better. And to share HOPE … with job seekers, friends who are struggling, each other.