Friday, May 2, 2014

Behind Every Good Man, Stands An Even Greater Woman.

 "I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives."  ~ Tracy Chapman.

It’s been said that behind every great man, stands a great woman. However, in my case, I feel I’m the one happily applauding the efforts of a great woman. Apart from her respected career in the insurance industry (trust me, she has the steel trap mind of a seasoned lawyer), Kathryn has a long and enviable history of doing volunteer work.

Kathryn’s volunteerism includes membership of a service club, food banks, international women’s’ education organizations & networking groups, family groups, scholarship committees, fundraising events & committees and representing road safety initiatives for pedestrians and cyclists. There has not been a time where Kathryn hasn’t been involved in helping others. Presently, she devotes some after hour time serving as President for the Families of Abuse Society (FOA). The FOA’s mandate is to assist woman and families of domestic violence and abuse in Metro Vancouver by providing basic necessities to support their transitions to safety.

A “transition” means a change from one situation to another. In the case of families of abuse, transition means fleeing an abusive environment to find a safe environment. Transition homes provide temporary safe shelter for women who may or may not have dependent children. While living in transition, basic necessities are provided, and programs and support are available to aid the family. After a 30-day transition period, the families take their next step towards independent living. The transition homes secure a new, safe home for them. The FOA provides furniture and basic household items to help set up the homes so the families can live comfortably. On an on going basis, the FOA collects and distributes donations of household furnishings, small appliances, household supplies, cleaning and paper products, and toiletries.

It’s both fascinating and heart-warming to witness the good work that goes on. Kathryn is not one who seeks the spotlight. The kick for her is simply knowing she has in some way made a difference for those who may need a helping hand during a difficult time in their lives. When she comes home and says that a corporate sponsor has donated hundreds of pillows, well, you just gotta know that this is making a vitally huge difference in someone’s life.

And so, I’m shining a spotlight tonight on my amazing wife’s noble and selfless efforts. This is not the kind of work where an audience spontaneously rises to their feet and gives a standing ovation. She and her colleagues may never meet the many people they have actually assisted. I don’t think this matters to any of them. They are not seeking fame, or glory. They are in it to win it for those who find themselves in dire need to make a transition in their lives.