The Power of a Story: An Outreach Update
By Monique Calderon
What if I told you that every circumstance—every single thing that has ever happened to you—could be used for good? Would you believe me? I know life isn’t all rainbows and laughter; I know it’s a journey paved with anguish, hurt and feelings of abandonment. But nothing is wasted in your life or mine, not even pain. Let me show you just a glimpse of this good…
On Friday night, during our monthly strip club outreach, some of the women working in the clubs thought questioned our motives in showing up that night. They wondered if we were judging them.
One woman pulled Sarah’s story from our gift bag and began to read. I hesitate to to even call it a story because it is true life; it is Sarah’s life —her hardest, most trying moments, her brokenness, her darkest deeds—written on a card for all to read.
After reading it, the woman asked, “Hey, what are you trying to say? What are you trying to do, save us?”
Those words have been playing over and over in my head for days now.
The question was an opportunity to share my own story. I too had once worked in the industry. The moment I told her my story, her whole demeanor changed, and she understood that our being there wasn’t about condemnation but it was because we genuinely cared and understood where she was coming from. That was a glimpse of good.
See, it took courage for me to share my past, but the moment I did, it disarmed someone.
There is power in our story. I wonder how many women are out there, who if they just took courage and shared what they had been through, what they’ve come out of, or even what they are going through, who they might inspire or give hope to.
We as women, often put on a façade that everything is all right, that we aren’t struggling with things, that we have everything under control. What we don’t realize is that we are hindering our potential to lift the heads of the discouraged and give them the comfort that they are not alone.
It took great courage for Sarah to write her story down—the good, the bad, and the ugly—knowing that thousands all over the country would read it, but many women have connected to her story and reached out to Treasures because of it. And if it weren’t for Harmony Dust’s boldness and courage to share her story, Treasures and these gifts would never even be. Two more glimpses of good from pain.
We got gifts into every single club that night, including a club that had consistently turned us down for eleven years!
We believe in the power of the stories of the women working in the clubs, so no matter the opposition, no matter how many times we get turned away, we will continue to pursue, we will be bold and courageous, because every woman working in these clubs matters. She has a story to tell and there is power in her story.
There is power in your story. Your story matters.