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Bring It Like a Broad: Bitty-Broad Isis Brown Faces Her Bullies

Bring It Like a Broad: Bitty-Broad Isis Brown Faces Her Bullies

Today is one of my favorite days of the month! That’s because it’s the day we publish our monthly series, Bring It Like a Broad!  I love it because it’s a chance to celebrate females, and all we are capable of .

Remember, the purpose of this series is to highlight real ladies who are doing or have done the extraordinary. Our goal in celebrating these special people and their accomplishments is that each of us will be encouraged to believe in the possibility of our own goals and dreams. We also hope that seeing these women changing the world will blaze paths for all the little girls out there who will grow up someday and want to join their ranks.

 



This month’s Broad is actually one of those little girls. We’ll call her a Bitty-Broad. In fact, when the following events unfolded, she was only in 7th grade! Which just goes to show, we can learn things from our kids every day. Sometimes they display wisdom and courage far beyond their years, as did our Bitty-Broad.

 

THE BROAD

Imagine being named after an Egyptian goddess. Now imagine that goddess represents magic and healing, and was one of the most important deities in Ancient Egypt. Pretty cool stuff, no?

That’s how our Bitty-Broad, 14-year-old Isis Brown felt. In fact, people would often tell her how beautiful and unique her name was. She was proud of her name.

 

Statue of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.

Statue of the goddess Isis, courtesy of http://www.resurrectisis.org/

 

Then, around 2013, her name became famous. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, it wasn’t the kind of “famous” a 7th grader, or anyone, wants. The news outlets began extensive coverage of a terrorist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. If there’s one thing the media loves, it’s nicknames. So the term ISIS became a household name.

Little Isis Brown from Oklahoma was suddenly thrust into the spotlight at school. People no longer complimented her on her unique name. Instead, they called her a terrorist. They accused her of killing Americans, saying they saw her on the news. She could hear the kids whispering behind her back, calling her a killer and anti-American.

It began to have a detrimental effect on Isis. She started avoiding certain classes, hiding out in places where she wouldn’t be bullied. She would often come home from school crying.

 

Isis Brown, the brave 14-year-old who faced her bullies head on.

Photo courtesy of www.news5cleveland.com

 

But it didn’t just affect her school life. Kids took to Facebook to make fun of Isis. The bullying even began to destroy one of her favorite hobbies, deejaying. Many gigs she had lined up dropped her because of her name. Music was one of the biggest parts of her life. Can you imagine having so much of your life turned upside down, just because of your name? Now imagine that happening to you at 14-years-old. It would almost be impossible to bear.

Finally, our Bitty-Broad reached her limit. She could not go on letting these kids bully her, without sticking up for herself. Isis didn’t go to her principle privately, or ask her parents to intervene. No, she was even more courageous than that. She took to Facebook and created a video to address her tormentors.

In the video, she encouraged other people who share her name to be strong, remember what their name means, and not cower or avoid places where bullies will be. “No, you be the bigger person and show you’re not putting up with this anymore.” she stated. “That you can fight this battle, that you’re not going to let some wannabe bullies pick on you.”

She concluded the video by saying, “So you kids out there with the name Isis, “Love your name, cherish your name. I’m still learning – and I know you guys are too – but, in all reality, you’re named after a goddess. You’re not named after the terrorist group.”

Do you know what happened? The kids at school apologized! They now describe her as being brave and strong.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

There are a few things I really love about our Bitty-Broad’s experience.

First, it is incredible to see such a young girl gather the amount of courage Isis did, and face her fears. Remember, courage is not lack of fear. Courage is taking action despite being afraid.

Second, Isis went through three years of torment before she made this video. Sometimes, it takes us a while to get up the gumption to defend ourselves, and that’s okay.

Third, you don’t have to save the lives of thousands of people, or become the CEO of a huge company to be considered brave. Sometimes, a little girl in Oklahoma can show just as much courage as anyone else. In fact, when you show courage in the small things in life, it helps you to stand tall in the bigger things.

Lastly, you never know who you can learn a life lesson from. It’s not always the old experienced people that have profound wisdom. Sometimes we can learn as much from the bravery of one little girl, as we can from volumes of historical figures that changed the world.

Isis Brown is one of my personal heroes. She has taught me that your voice, no matter how small, can influence and help others. She also reminds me that your name isn’t who you are. No, it’s the way you live your life that defines your true character.

 

 ***Watch Isis Brown’s video response to her bullies here.***

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? Is there a woman from history that you look up to? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Be brave!

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***We want to know your opinion on anything you read in this article, so please COMMENT. All opinions are important, whether they are positive or negative. We want to hear from you!***

***This is a new blog, so each time you share our posts with your friends or comment, it helps us to grow! Thank you Broads, because without you we are NOTHING!***



 

I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

Bring It Like a Broad: Irena Sendler Saves 2,500 Children During the Holocaust

It’s that time of the month again! The time where we celebrate women, and all we are capable of . Yep, it’s time for Bring It Like a Broad!

Remember, the purpose of this series is to highlight real women who are doing or have done the extraordinary. Our goal in celebrating these special people and their accomplishments is that each of us will be encouraged to believe in the possibility of our own goals and dreams. We also hope that seeing these women changing the world will blaze paths for all the little girls out there who will grow up someday and want to join their ranks.

 



The first two installments of this series were interviews with women I know personally, who have majorly inspired me. Today, we are going to honor a woman from the past who made an enormous impact on the lives of those around her.

 

THE BROAD

Most of us have heard of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved the lives of 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust. He has been the subject of books and movies, and is a person who is incredibly inspiring for his courage and bravery. But he is not the only person who risked his life to save others during the Holocaust.

Meet our February Broad, Irena Sendler.

 

Irena in 2005, photo courtesy of irenasendler.org

She was a Polish woman born on February 15, 1910 near the Warsaw ghetto. Today would be her 108th birthday, so it’s fitting she be recognized as our bad ass broad this month.

Irena’s father had a great influence on her throughout her whole life. He was one of the first Polish Socialists, and was a doctor, whose patients were mostly poor Jews.

During World War II, the Warsaw ghetto was the largest Jewish ghetto in German-occupied Europe. Irena was a Senior Administrator of the Warsaw Social Welfare Department. This organization provided food, money, and other services to the elderly, to orphans and to the poor and homeless. She was the equivalent of a social worker today.

 

Photo found by Teresa Prekerowa, courtesy of Wikipedia

 

When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Irena began to use her position as a social worker to aid the Jews. In November of 1940, the Warsaw ghetto was sealed off. Almost 400,000 people had been driven into the extremely small area, only about 16 blocks. Conditions were horrible. Good hygiene was impossible, there was no food or medical supplies, and there was no space. Soon, disease became rampant, as well as death.

Because she was an employee of the Social Welfare Department, she was given a special permit which allowed her to enter areas of the ghetto where the Jewish people were. She was supposed to be checking for signs of diseases like typhus, because the Germans were paranoid about the diseases spreading beyond the ghetto.

She began sneaking clothing, money, and medicine in to the Jewish people. She would report the Jewish families she was helping as having highly infectious diseases, in order to prevent the Germans from coming to inspect.

Irena joined a secret group called Zegota (the Council to Aid Jews) in 1942. This group was organized by the Polish underground resistance, and Irena was one of it’s first recruits. She became an integral part of the organization, and a huge reason they were able to accomplish so much. They created over 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families. In 1943, she was nominated to head Zegota’s Jewish children’s section.

Irena and her coworkers began to smuggle infants and toddlers out of the Warsaw ghetto, saving them from being sent to concentration camps. They got very creative in the ways they would sneak the children out. Sometimes they would use ambulances, but more often they had to hide the children in suitcases and packages.

 

Children in Warsaw ghetto, photo courtesy of iwka.wordpress.com

 

Remember, it was no light slap on the wrist if you were caught helping the Jews in World War II. In fact, it was a huge risk, punishable by death. To make things worse, the Nazis wouldn’t just kill the person aiding the Jews, but also that person’s whole family, and sometimes even their close friends or acquaintances. She risked her life every single day, and she had to be very strategic in order to protect those close to her as well.

Once the children were hidden and smuggled out, they would be placed with either Polish Christian families, or into orphanages and convents. The children were protected further by being given false names. They were also taught to recite Christian prayers, just in case they were ever tested by Nazis.

Irena and her helpers were very careful to make sure the children didn’t lose their Jewish identities. They kept detailed documents listing the children’s real names, fake names, and locations. Of course, they couldn’t risk those documents being found, so they would hide them in jars and bury them. Irena was determined to get each child back to their family after the war was over, if at all possible.

Sadly, the Germans eventually caught on to what Irena was doing. In 1943 she was arrested and her home was ransacked. During this event, Irena was able to toss the lists of children to her friend, who hid them in her loose clothing. Her friend was never searched, thus keeping the children safe.

Irena was brutally tortured and beaten horribly. The Nazis fractured her feet and her legs, among other things. But Irena was courageous, and never betrayed any of the children or her coworkers. She was sentenced to death by firing squad.

 

Pawaik Prison, where the Nazis held Irena, photo courtesy of irenasendler.org

 

Fortunately, on the way to her execution, members of Zegota were able to bribe some of the greedy Germans into letting her go. She immediately went in to hiding.

You would think that would be enough for her, but it wasn’t. Irena had a determination and drive that isn’t seen a lot in this world. She returned to Warsaw with a fake identity, and began working with the Zegota organization again, continuing to help and hide Jews. She also worked as a nurse.

 

Photograph by Anna Mieszkowska, courtesy of Wikipedia

 

When the war ended, Irena and her coworkers turned the children’s records over to one of their colleagues who attempted to find the children and return them to their parents. Sadly, almost all of the parents had either gone missing, or had been killed in concentration camps. That goes to show that if it weren’t for Irena, most of those children would have been murdered, too.

It’s a travesty that Irena’s accomplishments went virtually unnoticed for decades. In fact, it wasn’t until 2000, when four students at Uniontown High School in Kansas won the Kansas State National History Day Competition, that Irena’s story became mainstream. They won by writing a play about Irena’s accomplishments, called Life in a Jar. It brought the spotlight to Irena and all she had done. The world finally took notice!

Irena lived a long and meaningful life after the war, still staying involved in activism. She passed away in May of 2008.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

By the end of the Holocaust, six million Jews had been removed from this earth. The absolute horror of the atrocities that took place during that time are indescribable. Before the war, there were 9 million Jews in the 21 European countries that would eventually be overrun by the Germans. By the end of the war, two out of every three of those Jews had been killed. 1.2 million Jewish children were murdered. That doesn’t account for the thousands of children who were left disabled, missing body parts, and without families.

 

Irena with some of the children she saved, photo by Mariusz Kubik, courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Irena Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children. That’s more than twice the number of Jews saved by Oskar Schindler! She used her position to do what she believed no one else could. She risked her life, enduring torture and ridicule at the hands of the Nazis, and almost being killed, only to go right back out and do it again.

I can’t think of a more courageous woman than Irena. She reminds me that sometimes we have the ability to help a person, and we always should. It wasn’t her fight, but she fought it anyway. Those children mattered to her, and she knew she could make a difference, so she did. Imagine the 2,500 children she saved, and how many people’s lives that affects. Those 2,500 people now have children and grandchildren, all of whom wouldn’t even exist today if it weren’t for the courage of this woman.

 

A tree planted in Irena’s honor, photo courtesy of iwka.wordpress.com

 

“I did nothing special. Any decent person would do the same thing under the circumstances. When somebody is drowning, you reach in to save them whether you can swim or not. Race, religion, nationality don’t matter.”  -Irena Sendler

Isn’t her humility incredible? When we go through hardships in our life, stop for a second and look at the big picture. Not to say our problems aren’t relevant, but just remember, no matter our situation, we can change this world, just like Irena did. We may not save thousands of lives, but if we can affect just one person for the better, then our life means something more.

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? Is there a woman from history that you look up to? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Until next time,

***If you like this post, PLEASE share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, or wherever the hell you want!!!***

***We want to know your opinion on anything you read in this article, so please COMMENT. All opinions are important, whether they are positive or negative. We want to hear from you!***

***This is a new blog, so each time you share our posts with your friends or comment, it helps us to grow! Thank you Broads, because without you we are NOTHING!***

Information for this article was taken from:

wikipedia.org

irenesendler.org

iwka.wordpress.com

patch.com

 



 

I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

Bring It Like a Broad: See the World Through Madelyn May’s Lens

It’s that time again, Broads!

Last month we introduced a new interview series here on The Bonafide Broad called Bring it Like a Broad! Each month, this series features a real life Broad who inspires those around her, by doing the extraordinary everyday.

We hope that celebrating these special ladies and their accomplishments will help each of us to believe in the possibility and the reality of our own goals and dreams.

 



 

In case you missed it, our December Broad was Grace Garfield. She is a totally rad 20-year-old who founded A Helping Hand Global, a nonprofit that creates Feminine Care Kits for women in need, and is expanding to do so much more!

The response was awesome, and confirmed to us that we are on the right track with this series.

It’s time to introduce our January Broad!

 

The Broad

Meet Madelyn May.

 

Madelyn taking a self-portrait

 

She is not only one of the most driven, determined, and inspiring Broad’s I’ve ever met, but I also have the privilege of being related to her. She is my cousin.

Madelyn and I spent quite a bit of time together before my parents were divorced, when we were girls. I have always reserved a special space in my heart for her, and I knew from a young age that she was different. She was going to have good life. Even if she didn’t know it yet. Because she was going to make her life exactly the way she wanted it.

I’m happy to say my intuition was correct. Although we haven’t been able to be as close as we were when we were girls, I’ve watched this Broad from a distance, and my heart swells seeing the person she has become.

She is stunning, on the inside and out, and I’m honored that she was willing to do this interview, so all you Broads can see what I see in her!

Let’s get to know her!

 

The Interview

ME: Who are you? Describe yourself to me, the person you are.

MADELYN: Oh man, this is a hard one. Isn’t this what we’re all searching for? “Who we are”… as if we aren’t constantly changing? I’ll try my best to answer.

 

Madelyn working at a wedding

 

My name is Madelyn. My friends and family wonder how I have time to do all the things I do. I guess that describes me, not just busy, but always trying new things and growing the things I love. I have a lot of “drive” as my family says. I get my energy from my grandmother.

I think people limit themselves daily and sometimes I catch myself doing the same. I don’t want the average life. I want the freedom to do what I want when it really matters. I am always hustlin’ and grindin’ but when I do get a break, I make sure that it’s spent with people that matter the most to me.

Oh, and I am a social worker and a photographer….yes both! Talk about stress and being busy. Keep reading to hear more.

 

ME: What projects/ businesses are you currently focusing on?

MADELYN: PHOTOGRAPHY….hands down.

 

Madelyn May Photography’s company logo

 

In photographer years I have only been doing this for a short time.  My fiance bought me my first camera as a gift and I just dove in head first.

I started with free/cheap shoots to build my portfolio and website, and then I started charging based off time spent. I found some photography mentors to help me with MANY questions, I took classes, and I sat on YouTube for hours and hours. Also, I found some Facebook groups with other photographers to learn from them.

But I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my fiance. Not just because he bought me my first camera, but because he is the one that taught me not to limit myself and not to have a basic life just because it’s easier that way.  When I’ve doubted myself he questions my doubts and helps me move past them.

What I love the most about photography is that my creativity is unbounded. I get to help couples capture the images they’ve always wanted, but didn’t think were possible. I get to listen to love stories and see couples connect through my lens. Photography will always be in my life. Even if I fail, I will never stop.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

What’s happening right now? My next project will be in the spring. I have another amazing idea for a shoot, so stay tuned! Madelyn May Photography will have a lot of changes coming soon. I am going to be focusing on adventurous epic shit! It will be life changing. I can’t wait!

Also, I have a super messy craft room full of stuff that I love to do. I love to hand letter, watercolor, knit (I am pretty fucking good and this was my first business), crochet, make candles, sew, scrapbook, and so much more. These are fun outlets for me.

Another outlet is the outdoors: camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, finding new locations for photo shoots.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What is your background?

MADELYN: I am a social worker and a photographer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon in Family and Human Services.

I went to college to be a probation officer for juveniles because I wanted to help those kids who were dealt a bad hand and had to find family in the wrong areas. I know how it is to grow up in an less-than-ideal environment and I want to give back.  Now I work with the same kids, just in a little different way. I am also helping the parents who were probably dealt an even worse hand.

When I said “I know how it is…” I meant it. I wouldn’t say I had a normal upbringing, or anything even close to that. At a young age, my siblings and I had to grow up VERY fast. People say I am an old soul often, but they don’t know why. I may be 28, but I feel like I am 38 (which can be a curse).

My childhood wasn’t peachy, but it’s exactly why I am who I am today. It’s all about perspective. I could use [my past] as a crutch, or I could use it to change the world. This is why I am a social worker, why I want a better life for my future children, and why I choose to do what I love. Because that’s the point of life, right? To not waste it?

Helping people is my passion, but what really keeps me going is being creative. It’s what gets my heart pumping and my wheels turning, to where it’s hard to sleep at night because I am so fucking excited! Photography is one of my creative channels, among others. Photography really has me asking myself often…”Is this real life?”

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What did you want to do with your life when you were young? How old were you when you began making your life plans and setting goals, and why do you think that was the magic age for you?

MADELYN: I didn’t have any idea until senior year of high school… and I thought it was either going to be in the military or college. I started college and thought I wanted to be a web designer. So I attended a class to write code and make a website, and I hated it.

I attended photography, drawing, and Human Services 101 classes and then I knew.  This is what is crazy to me: I was interested in the same things ten years ago. But now I know where I want my focus to be: photography, while still giving back to my community.

 

ME: What steps did you take when you realized you wanted to accomplish the things you did, to get yourself on track toward your dreams?

MADELYN: I got my transfer degree to save money. I went to Portland State University for one term and didn’t like it (location/majors). So I started researching undergrad programs and came across University of Oregon. The Family and Human Services program was amazing! They required a new internship that you chose each term, to get you ready for a job after graduation.

Now my goal is to start traveling and start doing photography all over the world.  ← Doesn’t this sound crazy? Check back in with me in a few. This will be true!

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: How have you learned what is needed to run a business, and to accomplish the things you have?

MADELYN: Research and asking a ton of questions to those who already do it. There is never a dumb question.

 

ME: What obstacles have you faced along your journey, and what have you done to overcome them?

MADELYN: This is a hard one, I don’t look back and think “Oh that was an obstacle but I am here now.” I just keep going. There were some jobs that I absolutely hated, but I kept going until I had another plan to get to my bigger goals.

Right now my lack of time is my biggest obstacle for my photography business. I would love to have way more time to grow my business and complete all my little goals that are still pending.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how do you pull through and move forward?

MADELYN: Yep. More than people may think.

“Oh I am just one out of millions of other photographers, so why try?” Then I snap out of it or my fiance helps me snap out of it.

I am different because my photography will continue to get better and I will be different because there’s no other Madelyn like me, that has dreams, a drive, and support.

 

ME: Do you have a quote, a song,  or a mantra that you tell yourself to keep yourself going?

MADELYN: If you’ve been on my Instagram you know I love me some quotes. I don’t have a favorite, it changes with my moods, but here are some:

“ You can have anything you want if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.”

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.”

“To begin, begin.”

 

ME: What has motivated you the most and helps you to keep moving forward?

MADELYN: Seeing my progress, and being able to be creative with my photography. But mostly, my fiance. He helps me keep motivated.

 

Madelyn with her fiance

 

ME: What is a typical day for you like? How do you balance everything and still have time for yourself, your guy, your family and your animals?

MADELYN: I wake up, listen to photography/business podcasts,  go to work, meet with children and parents, problem solve, go to court, come home, cuddle my pup, start dinner, edit photos, finish dinner, and watch a show with my fiance.  Repeat.

I don’t know how I balance everything. Sometimes I fail and run out of time for my deadlines. I think one thing that helps me is setting little goals to get to the bigger goals. I will feel more relaxed if I have made even a little progress towards my goal. Then I can do self care.

 

ME: Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire the most, or who has given you inspiration to accomplish what you have?

MADELYN: You already know, my fiance.

Also, my grandmother. I will always admire her drive and energy to get shit done.

 

ME: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

MADELYN: I already talked about my photography goals above. I see myself as a full-time photographer, married with two kids, with some property, and 2-3 pointers to keep Copper [my German short-haired pointer] company…and maybe a pig, too.

 

Madelyn with her fiance and her pup, Copper

 

ME: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

MADELYN: Be patient. Never give up. Let it be. Be aware of your perspective and how it might be running your life.

 

ME: What is your best advice for others who are going after their goals and dreams?

MADELYN: Keep going, no matter how many little doubting thoughts you have going through your head. If you want it, it’s yours.

 

 

Final thoughts:

Isn’t Madelyn awesome? I’m not kidding when I say she is one of the most resolute people I’ve ever met. She has taught me that you never have to be a victim of circumstance. If there is something you want, there is nothing that can stop you from getting it except yourself.

Madelyn has some major goals for the future. I absolutely believe her when she tells me the things she is going to do. So stay tuned! This may be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to meet Madelyn, but it won’t be the last.

She has already made her mark on this world, and she won’t be satisfied until she reaches every goal she has set!

 

More information on Madelyn and her current  projects:

Madelyn loves to travel, so if you have an upcoming event you would like photographed, no matter where you are located, don’t hesitate to contact her.

Also, that wonderful fiance she talks about? They’re getting married this year!  Follow her social media accounts to keep up with her wedding plans, projects and travels!

 

Madelyn May Photography’s website:

www.mmayphoto.com

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Instagram account:

www.Instagram.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Contact Madelyn:

madelynmayphotography@gmail.com

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Until next time!

 

 

We love to hear from our readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 

 



I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

Bring It Like a Broad: Grace Garfield Lends a Helping Hand!

Bring It Like a Broad: Grace Garfield Lends a Helping Hand!

Women changing the world. Isn’t that something we should be celebrating? Of course it is! Which is why I am super stoked to introduce a new monthly series here on The Bonafide Broad, called Bring it Like a Broad!

Each month, Bring It Like a Broad will feature a woman who inspires me and those around her. Some months this will take the form of interviews with women changing the world today. Other months, a lady from the past who made her mark on this world may be featured.

 



 

The purpose of this series is to highlight real women who are doing or have done the extraordinary. It is my hope that celebrating these special people and their accomplishments will help each of us to believe in the possibility of our own goals and dreams. I also hope that seeing these women changing the world will blaze paths for all the little girls out there who will grow up someday and want to join their ranks.

Without further adieu, I’d like to introduce our first Broad in this series!

 

The Broad

This is Grace Garfield:

 

Grace Garfield, founder of A Helping Hand Global

 

She is very special, which is why she is the perfect person to be the very first Broad featured in this series. Guess what? She isn’t just beautiful on the outside!

Grace is a twenty-year-old woman who is bound and determined to change the world for the better! In fact, she is helping people in need every single day. I had the privilege of meeting Grace a few months ago, when my sister briefly lived with her, and I can honestly say she has changed my life for the better. She is a person that radiates love and motivation. Her drive is more contagious than a yawn!

Grace is the founder of A Helping Hand Global. What is that, you ask? I’ll let her explain:

Grace: A Helping Hand Global is a 501(c)(3) based in Vancouver, WA. We distribute free “Care Kits” to women through our connections into other nonprofits and programs that serve people in need.  In these Care Kits we provide free and necessary feminine hygiene products such as tampons, pads, pain relievers, hand sanitizing wipes, and feminine wipes. We are excited to provide a few women with eco-friendly options such as menstrual cups and reusable pads.

Grace is truly an amazing person, and I want you Broads to know her a little better. She may just change you like she has changed me and so many others! I had a chance to ask her a few questions, and her replies are insightful and super motivating. Enjoy!

 

THE INTERVIEW

ME: What is your background?

GRACE: I was nothing spectacular in school. For example, I wasn’t great at math, or science, or basically anything that didn’t genuinely interest me as a person. While I was an average student, it was probably more toward the lesser than average student. I think I had a C average. I’m not ashamed at all, the school system sucked.

My freshman year I was accidentally placed into an Intro to Marketing class with a Mr. David Johnson. Trust me when I say this, it really did change my life. My teacher pulled me aside and told me I had an actual knack for business and marketing.

[Over] the next 3 years, I qualified for state and went to international competitions twice. It was the only thing I was authentically good at, and it felt awesome. After graduation, I took some classes at Clark College. I didn’t do too well there either.

For anyone who understands this, I’m an INFP in the Myer Briggs scale of personalities. I highly recommend this quiz (https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test). Being an INFP means that my job or what I do with my time has to align with my values, emotions, who I am, and who I want to be. Above all, am I being authentic? So I stopped going to school to figure me out.

 

 

Grace holding one of her feminine care kits

 

 

ME:  How did you come up with the idea for A Helping Hand? What was your motivation for creating a nonprofit?

GRACE: My family went down to Louisiana when they had bad flooding last year. I had to work and didn’t have the funds to go and help, and I was really, really, really disappointed. I am an able-bodied person with first-aid and CPR training, and I wanted to go. But I had to work.

I thought to myself, “What can I do myself, here in Washington?” I thought of sending food and blankets, but a lot of people already had that covered. Over the next few weeks, it was like I was searching for an answer but I didn’t even know where to really start. I mean, a lot of people were helping.

As life happens, I got my period and went about my normal life. I then thought to myself, “I don’t ever hear about people donating feminine supplies to people, ever.” On no occasion, in TV-series, movies, documentaries, nobody talks about women’s menstrual cycles, ESPECIALLY when there is a natural disaster. My creativity stepped in and I started thinking about sending tampons in basically Altoids cans. [They would be] durable enough to last, waterproof while being light, and easy enough to transport to disaster areas.

Through a lot of back and forth with my good friend Sam, I was able to come to our current “Care Kits.” I also didn’t like the idea of waiting for a natural disaster to occur to be able to send help, so I made our mission to provide free Care Kits to any woman, in any situation, for free.

 

 

A feminine care kit created by A Helping Hand Global

 

 

​The actual ideas and prototypes started in late 2016. By January of this year, I was ready to commit my time and money to get this started. I built my website myself. I started my first campaign and received many positive reactions. It was so exciting people liked my idea! [Over] the next few months, I started to become legal and [figure out] why I wanted to do something like this. It was never about the money, so a nonprofit was an obvious choice for me.

I don’t want to toot-my-horn or anything, but I did everything myself. I did press releases, business plans, writing Board Member handbooks, finding board members, etc. The weird thing is the paperwork was the easiest thing to do out of everything. It wasn’t that hard. I had to file with the Secretary of State for an EIN. (employer identification number) so I could then go to the IRS to finish the rest of the paperwork.

 

ME: Can you walk me through step-by-step how you got the ball rolling and got to where you are today?

GRACE: I filed with the Secretary of State to register and get an EIN. I then followed the IRS website word for word, found what paperwork I needed, printed it off at work (lol), and then paid the fees and registered. The legal formalities of Articles of Incorporation and liabilities were a little complicated, but I just dedicated some time to studying, and I figured everything out.

 

 

 

A Helping Hand Global’s logo

 

ME: What obstacles have you faced along your journey, and what have you done to overcome them?

GRACE: Time mostly. I worked as a CNA and an office administrator when I first started getting the ball rolling. It was very difficult [to be] working 40+ hours a week caregiving and not making decent pay and still have energy and motivation to work on my nonprofit. The nonprofit only works when I have time to push it forward; otherwise it stagnates. I wish I could run my non profit full-time, but I have to find a balance.

 

ME: Did you ever feel like giving up? If so, how did you pull through and move forward?

GRACE: I feel like I’m letting everyone down when I don’t have time or energy to put into my nonprofit. I know what steps I need to take, I know my plan, but on the day-to-day it’s difficult to push forward with a few hours here and there. It helps to move forward knowing that Rome wasn’t built in a day; I always get ahead of myself. It’s so easy to be stagnate with seeing how much further you need to go, but I got here, so I will get there eventually.

 

Original artwork on one of A Helping Hand Global’s feminine care kits

 

ME: Do you have a quote or mantra that you tell yourself to keep yourself going?

GRACE: John 15:12- “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

Deuteronomy 15:11- “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”

Acts 20:35-  “I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

ME: You said you have a regular job outside of A Helping Hand, AND you go to school. How do you balance your obligations and find the time to get everything done?

GRACE: It’s very hard. Sometimes I’ll go a few days without focusing on my nonprofit just because of life. I work as a CNA for adults with developmental disabilities. I’m currently working on getting certifications so that I will be qualified to work with children with developmental disabilities.

 

  

Original artwork on one of A Helping Hand Global’s feminine care kits

ME: Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire the most, or who has given you inspiration to accomplish what you have?

GRACE: My grandmother Jean Simmons. She passed away a few years ago and it’s still hard on me. She was a bigger-than-life person and she had an even bigger heart. Everywhere she went, she helped and loved.

She worked closely with Must Ministries down in Marietta, Georgia for years. They are a program that helps people in a few towns with food, job preparations, resume builders, business clothes, elderly help, school programs, holiday programs. They just do everything you can imagine for their people in need. I mean, just the love and sense of service is an amazing thing to behold.

My grandmother was the one who started a backpack program for children so that everyone would have food, new school supplies, new clothes, everything to help them achieve their education. She started it small and it grew to be HUGE. I remember fondly helping her with her annual back-to-school event. She taught me so much and I am blessed to be following in her footsteps.

 

 

Original artwork on one of A Helping Hand Global’s feminine care kits

 

 ME: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

GRACE: I’m not really sure and I don’t really care. As long as my nonprofit is functioning and helping women, then that is my goal. I hope to build my non profit very similarly to Must Ministries. To provide business clothes to women, have volunteers to help build their resumes and find jobs, find affordable houses, and just anything I can do to help someone in need to live their best life.

 

ME: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

GRACE: Take a deep breath.

 

 

Original artwork on one of A Helping Hand Global’s feminine care kits

 

ME: What is your best advice for others who want to achieve a goal similar to what you have achieved?

GRACE: You are here on this earth for a reason. You have unique and beautiful gifts that only you have. Your passion and spark is what makes you POWERFUL. Use that passion and don’t look back. The best things happen when you come out of your comfort zone. Do not be scared of failing. Laugh, and live. You’ll have a blessed life when you follow your soul.

 

 

A final thought from Grace:

GRACE: I will never have any education or requirements to work or volunteer with me and my nonprofit. We are here to help each other through life by showing love and generosity to others. I hope you’ll come with me on this journey. If you would like to be partners, become a donor, or be a sponsor please contact me. I’m excited to start new relationships!

 

 

Original artwork on one of A Helping Hand Global’s feminine care kits

 

My final thoughts:

See what I mean, Broads? It’s impossible to learn about Grace without wanting to change the world yourself! If there’s one thing Grace has taught me, it’s that nothing is too big, and if the motivation behind your actions is truly good, you can be an unstoppable force.

Good luck Grace! We are all rooting for you, and walking behind you, using the footsteps you’ve created to guide us!

 

 

More Information on Grace Garfield and A Helping Hand Global

If you would like more information about A Helping Hand Global, Grace, or anything else in this article, here are some resources for you:

A Helping Hand Global website:
www.ahelpinghandglobal.com

A Helping Hand Global’s Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/ahelpinghandglobal/

Grace’s LinkedIn account:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/grace-garfield-60576754/

Contact Grace:
gracegarfield@ahelpinghandglobal.com

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? There are no guidelines–if a gal you know is one of the women changing thew world everyday, we want to know her!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

 

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Have great day, my pretties!

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.