The scones came out of the oven just as the survivors in attendance all sat down around my dining room table.
This is a feat for me.
As a host, you can usually expect to be welcomed into my home with warmth and disorganization. As long as I believe deep down in my heart that I have more time than what the clock reports, punctuality will never be my gift.
After some polite conversation with the participants of The Firecracker Calendar Project about where we were from, our children and our jobs, we settled in to get to work.
I explained The Firecracker Foundation and what I hoped it would accomplish. I preached to the nodding choir. I shared a vision that has become my totem and the theme was decided on. We started to brainstorm images, ideas and concepts. We discussed what we’d wear, where we’d meet and other logistics.
The room grew silent and then something shifted.
The sharing began.
It was just the outer rim of the stories but still enough to know we were all in the right place. I watched eyes meet as comfort and understanding was shared. We got up slowly and hugged on the way to the door. It was hard to leave the space where we all knew similar truths.
When I decided to move forward with the idea of a calendar of survivors, I was focused on the children I hoped we would one day serve together. As we work to protect and heal children, we will lean on the strength of adult survivors to champion their cause. We will need their help to express why counseling is so important to those who may not understand.
It occurred to me yesterday that I have never attended or participated an event to honor survivors of sexual trauma. I know they must exist but I have no experience of them. It made me wonder how many times the survivors who are bravely sharing their images and stories in an act of advocacy had been honored.
In a single moment of wondering, I realized that this calendar is not just about the children. It is about sounding the trumpets. It is about streets lined with cheerful onlookers celebrating bravery like Time Square on V-Day.
The Firecracker Calendar Project is about honoring all survivors and their experiences.
As we met this weekend, we all noticed that there was one thing missing from our table of survivors and their family members – men. If you are male survivor or a male family member of a survivor you’d like to represent, please consider participating in this project. We’d love to honor your bravery too.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Volunteers will be contributing snacks for our participants. Heather Jarous of City Salon will be providing hair and makeup as well as a comfortable place for us to meet. Jena McShane of McShane Photography will honor their concepts through her artistry.
Your mission is becoming a reality.
We have raised enough funds to provide 3 children with a full year of counseling. Our goal is to provide 5 children with individual counseling in 2014.
We are so close. It’s a real nail biter.
The yet to be named calendar will be sold on our website for $20.
The experience will be invaluable.
PS – Wanna help? Invest $100 or more before September 19th and I will send you two tickets to the next Lansing Derby Vixens bout on September 21st. I’ll meet you there!