Truly Seen

Monique Calderon Blog, Outreach Leave a Comment

Have you ever been in a room full of people, but still felt alone?  Have you ever spoken up to say something and been ignored as if you didn’t have a voice?  Something came over me prior to heading out into the strip clubs on this warm May evening.  All at once I was overcome by, what I like to call, “the ugly cry”.  I wept in front of our entire team of volunteers because I felt this feeling so strongly in my heart. 

I imagine that there are times in which the women we serve feel unseen, unheard, and unloved.  Even though they are surrounded by a crowd of people in the clubs, I wonder if they are still feeling alone.  As we enter the clubs and search for the women we hope to provide gifts for, I sometimes notice a specific reaction to my eye contact.  It begins with avoidance, moves toward slight confusion, and then becomes a look of surprise.  That surprised reaction sometimes remains on their faces throughout our interaction, but sometimes their faces light up with joy! 

Many of the women on the Treasures team who have worked in the industry tell me that when they were in the clubs, while they were looked at all the time, they rarely felt seen. When I witness that look of pure joy as the women receive a gift from our team, with no strings attached, I pray that they know how truly loved, valued, and purposed they are.  We want the women to know that we see them.  When I walk into the club and look into their eyes, I see a beautiful woman who has passions, opinions, individuality, heart, drive, and value.  She is more than her makeup; she is more than her body; she is more than her job title.

I had the difficult experience of being in a bad relationship once, where I was made to feel like my voice didn’t matter, my opinion wasn’t valued, and my boundaries weren’t respected.  Maybe that’s why the thought of the women working in the clubs, potentially feeling undervalued in any way, brought me to tears. No one should ever be made to feel invisible. 

The Treasures Team goes into the strip clubs every month because we want the women working to feel seen, known and loved.  In fact, if you are currently in the industry we would love to get to know you better! To receive a special gift please visit

If you would like to learn more about how to get involved, visit us at


Article By Hannah Wilson



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