IJM President goes to NYC!

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

For anyone that knows me, it is common knowledge that I served 5 years in the United States Navy. During this time, I had the amazing opportunity to visit 5 continents while serving. Although I have been all over the world in many different countries, I have barley explored my own continent, the United States.

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to New York City. This trip was filled with many first time experiences for me.

A good friend of mine is a fabulous clothing designer, not only is her product amazing but she too fights injustice. Her company is called Elegantees, the marriage between Elegant and T-shirts. Katie makes comfortable, affordable and versatile tops that are suitable for all body types, ages, and styles.

Katie makes modest, fashionable clothing to fight again sex trafficking. Elegantees is a growing business, soon all profits from sales will go towards the fight against injustice. Even though it is only about one year old, this company is being noticed and supported by many. The short term goal of Katie and the Elegantees team is to travel to Nepal and set up sustainable sewing employment for women rescued from sex trafficking. In Nepal, they will be teaming up with the Nepali Rescue Project. This amazing twenty year old organization rescues thousands of women each year from dark world of sex trafficking.

While in NYC, I was not only able to see her new line, I actually walked in her fall fashion show. What an amazing experience! I met many amazing women, supported a great cause, and even explored the big apple for the first time.

This experience was terrifying for me, I have never traveled alone. Even in the military, you must always have three people when traveling. I took a bus, which was also a first. I traveled on the subway alone, but did not get lost (surprisingly). I even spent an entire day exploring the city alone, total self reliance. I had no plan, I just had little bit of money, my cell phone, and a subway pass.

The one site I really wanted to see was the 9-11 memorial. Not just because I am a Veteran, but because I am an American. Even for those who were not affected directly, it changed history, and our country. The museum was beautiful; there were pictures of the victims from wall to wall. What hit me the most was the wall of missing posters. Initially, they were missing people until they were found in the collapsed building. I just couldn’t imagine experiencing that. There were books of little notes different visitors to the museum wrote. I found it wonderful that they notes were written in all different languages from people all around the world. They all supported American, they were all affected, and they were sharing love and support to the families left behind. This was simply beautiful to me.

During my trip, I saw the Wall Street protesters. Without getting into my personal opinion on their protest, I did want to talk to some people. I wanted to understand. Why are you here? Why are over 1000 people living in this small park with music and signs? I listened, which honestly is all they want. These citizens just want someone to listen, someone to care, and someone to understand. I do understand; I hope that the people they are trying to reach do too. I admire their compassion and their dedication. I do not know many people that would live in the park to take a stand on any cause.

My first trip to NYC was not just about a fashion show, or even the cause that God has placed on my heart. This trip was about fear; the good kind of fear. The kind that makes you grow and teaches you to trust yourself. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to make this trip; I struggled with the decision in so many ways. I knew I needed to go, and I am so glad that I did. I made new friendships, strengthened others, showed Gods love, and became more confidence In myself. I would most definitely call that a success three days.

 

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