Serving others…

I serve my community in many ways, too many to get into in one post but I wanted to share one event that really filled me with joy. Some days, I show up as Sadgirl, I sign autographs, take pictures, give hugs and words of encouragement and most importantly, I LISTEN. I listen to people share their lives, their stories of struggle and victory. As an artist, a servant and a woman of color, it’s an amazing and humbling place to be.

But on this day, I did not go as Sadgirl. I went as Angel, the do-whatever-needs-to-be-done, homegirl of my friend Nina Womack of Let’s Be Whole. This was a Women’s Wellness Retreat for some very special women.  In the above flick,  had just worked my ass off to be a part of a team that served some women who really needed serving.
I have no makeup on . There is no filter. But still, it’s one of the best pictures of my real life that I can share with you.
What you see here, is PURE JOY!.

On this particular Friday, I was scheduled to facilitate a workshop for a retreat put on by Let’s Be Whole. I am not going to get on here and even try to explain how things ended up the way they did. I am just going to say this… I am a servant. So whatever God calls me to do, I get to doing it. On this day, instead of doing the workshop that I had done a hundred times, I ended up catering an event for some eighty or so women!

Photos by Donna Dymally

We used a combination of donations from Whole Foods and Food Forward as well as some purchased items and we created an improvised vegan menu! How much catering experience did your homegirl have? ZERO! So on this unexpected day, I used what I DID have. I used the ingredient that I have always told my kids was the most important ingredient of all… LOVE.

I was not alone! Thank goodness, I had a group of women that came in to help with washing, and chopping and serving. Adrian is a nurse and her daughter was Elise was only fourteen. Unlike some teens, who would have been aggravated at the amount of work that was involved THIS young lady did all that was asked with such a cheerful attitude, I was given life! She painstakingly, washed at least 20 bags of cherries that had been donated. Some of the cherries were already turning so she hand picked the best ones to present a giant bowl for the ladies to snack on.

Sharon Lofton came in like Wonder Woman. We were only expecting    around 45 women but she came in with her No Salt chicken and greens and there was plenty to go around. @nosaltbp Your faith was everything.

Kila Ealy I already told you this but I’ma say it again, I COULD NOT have made it through without you and your AMAZING daughter.  Tribe recognize tribe and I was  sooo tired. I had completely underestimated the kind of work cooking for so many people was. My whole body was BEAT. When it came time to serving and breaking down the kitchen, you 100% had my back. That kitchen fed literally twice as many people as we had planned. And our beautiful guest tasted love that day.

Tonya Rodriguez thank you for being willing to touch people’s hands and hearts. To all the other practitioners and volunteers. BRAVO and thank you.

The pains of rape, abuse, abject poverty, drug addiction, mental illness, and all kinds of other trauma, RUN DEEP! One post, one event, person or organization…. Cannot complete the healing. This is why we need community. We need workers in the field. I do not post these things to toot my own horn. God knows my ❤️ but what I want to share more than anything is that your experience matters. You don’t need followers or a degree, or money to make a mighty difference. You need to know that everything you have been through has a purpose. And you can recover from your own pain while also being of service to others.

Nina Womack, your honesty and hard work INSPIRE ME. Thank you for allowing me to put my passion for food justice, homelessness, mental health awareness, and holistic wellness to work.

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