With one flip of the calendar, I am in an autumnal mood! I become giddy with the thought of cozy sweaters and crisp air. While many folks are thinking about the start of the school year, my mind immediately fast forwards to Thanksgiving — that marvelous food-centered American holiday.
Every year, whether spent in the company of friends, family or simply with Lenny the Pug, I silently give thanks for all my blessings.
In the fall of 2011, while this company was in its infancy, I lost what little financial security I had. I was shaken to my core and terrified of how I would survive. Luckily, I had an incredible support system who offered me everything I needed to keep my head above water and Lenny in kibble. They refused to let me falter and in return I promised that I would do everything possible to make this company successful.
It is terrifying to start over. It takes a leap of faith to dive into the unknown. And I’ll be honest, there were many times my faith wavered. Sometimes it was a kind word or hug, others it was looking at Lenny and knowing I needed to do everything I could to provide for him, and still others were pure determination to not allow “them” to beat me. Whatever it was, I managed to break through the haze and find the light each time things grew dim. Three years and many ups and downs later, Lenny and I still have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, clothing on our backs, and the “little company that could” is steadily growing and making its mark not only in people’s tummies, but in their hearts as well. But what of those who are not as lucky?
It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the amazing folks at Coalition for the Homeless during the past year and a half. The First Step Job Training Program is near and dear to my heart not only because the program director, Elizabeth Henderson, is one of my closest friends, but because it “gives homeless and low-income women the training, social support, education and work experience they need to overcome a tremendous array of stability obstacles, empowering them to build a better life for themselves and their families.” If starting over WITH a support system in place is terrifying, I can’t begin to imagine what it feels like to begin anew with nothing.
These women choose to stand up and take control. They choose to make a difference in their lives — their families lives. They are able to meet the challenges these changes present with confidence gained through the First Step program.
I admire each and every one of them for taking the risk because I cannot say for sure that I would be as brave as they if the tables were turned.
And so that brings me to my annual “giving thanks.” I am proud to announce that we have partnered with Coalition for the Homeless for our first annual “Pie-giving” benefitting the amazing ladies of the First Step Training Program.
Thanks to our generous and compassionate fans, every woman in Class #126 will be receiving an Alecia Bakery NYC Pumpkin-Gingersnap pie this Thanksgiving! Let’s do it again next year!