Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking The Initiative for Inanna House

 Success comes to the person who does Today what you were thinking about doing Tomorrow.

I remember looking at people who fundraised for various causes, and found myself curiously wondering at their passion, their dedication and, of course, their perseverance. I would look at them and think,"Jeez! What on EARTH lit a fire under that guy's ass!" Lol - you know what I mean...What created that motivation? What happened to them?

Well, one random early April day, I finally got a taste of this elusive fire; it literally exploded within me as I learned that my step-father and mother were, after thirteen years, ending their marriage, and...that this action was partly due to his inability to understand or even accept how Lyme Disease has affected me and my life. 

In fact, he became so adamant and abrasive towards me about the fact that my illness was, "ruining their marriage" that I actually had to leave the house and was graciously taken in by my Uncle and Aunt.

At the time, I was already planning my first Inanna House Fundraiser, but the events mentioned above made me take it to a whole new level. I simply could not process all the emotions I was having regarding the situation, and my role in it, that I found myself obsessively trying to distract myself by creating bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, Dead Sea Salt Scrubs and Mud to supplement the donation classes that had originally been intended as the main fundraising tool at the Yoga Studio we were having the fundraiser at.

The only thing I was capable of focusing on was the idea of Inanna House, and how it simply needed to exist so that something like an illness tearing a family apart due to ignorance and a lack of resources, such as a place that offered in-patient longterm care for people like me, would never happen to another family again.

Looking back on the last two months, however, I can't help but notice that good things CAN come from seemingly catastrophic events. I don't know how long I will be staying with my Aunt and Uncle, but my time spent here has literally been an oasis of different from the tension that I suppose I always knew was there when I was living with my step-father and his children. I think I'd have to invent a new word for them, because "gratitude" simply can't contain or even explain the bursts of emotion I feel every time I realize where I am...all I can say is that I haven't slept this well in years!

Although I hate that it happened the way it did, I can also honestly say that I haven't seen my mother this excited about her future in years...she has already sold the house and is steadfast in her decision to move out to Ojai, California with my sister and eventually, me. In my heart I know she has always dreamed of moving to the west coast. 

As for the fundraiser itself, I honestly didn't make as much money as I had hoped for them, but I still have tons of handmade items left that will eventually be sold at other upcoming venues. So, when all was said and done, we made a whooping $655.00, and in my mind...that's a pretty good start : )

Here is a slide show of the event and some of the products we made for the fundraiser:

It would have been impossible to pull something like this off by myself, so I kindly like to take a moment to thank the people who made this event possible:

Kaitlyn Orchanian is an amazing instructor and marketing director at the Bikram Yorktown yoga studio, and is the person I initially contacted to see if "Inanna House" could be part of the studio's Community Karma weekly donation classes designated for non-profit organizations. It is because of her that this event was even remotely possible.

Jane Kartsch is the owner of both the Bikram Yorktown Studio and the Bikram Bronx Studio. I hadn't realized that both studios were participating in the donation classes for Inanna House, and was overjoyed to learn that $350 was donated from these classes alone. Thank You Jane! xo

There isn't enough I could possibly say to Tracy and Tony Mosca (my Aunt and Uncle) for all they have done for me these past months...I wouldn't even know where to begin! 
They have not only given me a safe, peaceful space to heal, but have also supported my fundraising efforts, and amazingly donated tons of supplies for creating jewelry that has been left over from their own six-year, $61,000 worth of fundraising efforts in Yorktown, NY's Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society. This year, on June 8, I'm honored to be joining in on their team and plan on donating 50% of all items sold to Relay, and the rest will go to Inanna, that's what I call a win/win situation : )

Lauren Bova and I have known each other since Grade School. In fact, we were inseparable our Senior Year, and even then I was truly astonished of her unique, artistically funky and creative ways. Her re-entrance into my life has truly been a gift, and I would say that she has been a great muse and teacher to me in my own creative efforts. 

Her talents to create fashion mixed with a deep passion for everything "Green", and an ability to take something old and transform it into something unbelievable and new is entirely uncanny. At the moment, her products such as handmade jewelry, rugs, scarfs, hats, crocheted purses, satchels, and pocketbooks are exclusively sold at Salon Elle in Armonk, NY, but she plans on supplementing this with an upcoming Etsy Shop called Bovella. Look for it in the future and be's a taste of what you'll find: 

I'd also like to thank Lydia Cassia, owner of Salon Elle Hair Artistry for lending me ALL the supplies, gift boxes, and wraps, needed to present the products sold at the fundraiser. I literally think she saved me a small fortune by doing so! Thank You Lydia!

When I told my Mother that my "Dead Sea Salt Scrubs" HAD to be organic, I don't think she envisioned spending hours of her time grating two bags of limes so that I could add real lime peel to the concoction, but she did it! She also managed to help set up the event, which meant putting up with my wretchedly incessant OCD remarks about how EXACTLY things should be placed and where. And, she did all of this during one of the most trying times of her life with as much grace as I have ever seen. So, of course, my final BIG thanks goes out to my Mother. I love you! xoxo 

Much Love and Many Blessings,