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“We give each other strength...”
I was raised with every opportunity. I went to a private school, joined the military, then things just fell apart.
Everyone saw me as this woman of incredible strength, but I was in need. I remember sitting on my sofa for days, in what I now realize was a depression. In my culture, I don’t think we knew what a depression was. There was a period when I wanted to take my life. I didn’t think it had any value or any worth.
This was the period where I had nothing - no hope, no money, no job. This was truly my bottom and it was scary. I didn’t have anybody, and there was this shame as well.
I was staying at a woman’s shelter and a woman - a stranger - said to me: “I don’t see you eating.” And I remembered thinking: “Someone noticed me?” I’d spent the last few years being invisible. She said: “I’m going to give you half of what I have.” She then handed me three cans of soup and twenty dollars.
But it wasn’t really twenty dollars - it was hope!
And now, through my donations, I’m paying it forward.
I had an opportunity to share my story at a Foundation event, and someone gave a donation. At first I thought the cheque was for $2,500, but then I looked again. It was for $25,000, and there was a note which read: “Women need to support other women.” I was amazed: “Someone donated $25,000 based on what I had to share, based on my passion?”
It’s funny - the donors think they are giving the participants something, and the participants think they are receiving something from the donors. But really, we’re giving to each other. We give each other strength.
I think the next 20 years are going to be phenomenal. It feels like something exciting is happening. I feel this amazing surge. It feels like it’s just starting to move.
I can’t wait to do more.
Jinger Forde, Director of Operations, Oliver Capital Partners Inc.
Donor and Volunteer