I had the opportunity to meet with another non-profit this week to see if we could partner together. This non-profit serves low income inner city children. In non-PC terms, that means black and hispanic. I knew the demographics of their clientelle before I attended my meeting. And this organization knew of me and had my photo for referernce, blues eyes and blonde hair. But I was met with several questions early on in the meeting about how would I "handle" working with these children because they were different than I was. Another thing this director said, "They aren't easy cookie-cutter children."
That made me sad, but I try to always respond with kindness because only kindness can conquer a hard heart. It gave me a chance to share part of my life story with her. The devil and his demons don't discriminate due to eye or hair color. I was a single mom for most of my daughter's life. I also came from a tiny little town on the other side of the country where most people don't leave. It's so important, as the old saying goes, to not judge a book by it's cover.
My response, in part, was to explain how important it is to accept one another and get to know one another before deciding if you like or dislike another individual. The women that Pink Pixie serves does come with abrasion from time-to-time. It's not the norm, but it does happen. But the beauty of our program, is for the women that finish and graduate into transitional housing become our friends, true friends. So even if they didn't think they wanted our help in the beginning, especially from a blonde haired blue eyed woman, they still stay connected to me when they are back in the world on their own. They want to keep our connection. Accepting one another is a TWO-way street, but it always has to start with one person.