The Martha Award breakfast was very well attended. We had 39 people attending the event, the ages ranged from a couple of months and up. Since the speaker for Women Aware was not able to be here due to travel problems, the Director of Development, Bruce Naidoff from Women Aware had a CD for us to listen to. It was an example of a phone call to their hotline. Many tears streamed down many faces while we were listening to this harrowing account of abuse and how it had slowly evolved to the breaking-point. It made us all aware again on that it doesn’t happen overnight to reach this difficult decision as to break up one’s family. Mr. Naidoff also told us one out of every three (3!) women at one point in her life experiences abuse and or domestic violence. Think about that and look around you and do the math. So many cases must be invisible for so many reasons.
Maria Betanzos, the honoree, was very touched by her award and the gifts that she received. She was grateful for her team, they made her a better worker and together they provide very meaningful and needed services for the community.
One of the things that we learned from the hotline call was that women don’t have to bring anything with them when they go to the safe house. Women Aware provides them with all the essentialsneeded, from toothpaste to clean clothing. During the breakfast, the supply of essentials also was talked about. We learned that they can always use extra supplies of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, tooth brushes and soap for clients. In addition, the safe house is in need of flashlights in case of emergencies.
In the past we have collected items for Church World Service and Elijah’s Promise, and this year we will collect for Women Aware. Please bring in any items you want to donate and put them in the basket with the label “Women Aware Supplies”. I will try to have it available in the back of sanctuary on Sundays and keep it safe in the office during the week.
The Martha Award event concluded with a keynote speech from Claudette Reid, coordinator for Office of Women’s Ministries of the RCA. First she asked us to talk with our neighbors about a (female) hero in our lives and to name her. After this she proceeded to tell us that there are many named and un-named heroines in the Bible. She talked about the unnamed women who gave her last food to Elijah, and only after that she got her promise from him. We learned a lot from her as well.
It was a very meaningful event, many of us learned various things, and I hope we can have another event next year! If you know a woman of the community whose talents and commitment to her job make her a remarkable blessing to those she serves and to her organization, in particular a woman whose work is generally “behind the scenes,” in other words, the outside world is not aware of her deep expression of her work; however the organization she serves would be at a great loss without her devotion— please let me know so we can start the planning.