Our resilience to tragedy is never realized until we are faced with it. When the reflection of what we know or how it is becomes distorted, we try to find some type of understanding, but the reality is that we can become paralyzed in fear, express anger and outrage as never seen before. The traumas can be so devastating and bring emotional and physical illness, depression and many other emotions can surface.
In September 2015 more than 1200 homes were lost in the Valley Fires in Lake County California and nearly two months later, Middletown community and surrounding areas are still trying to find stability in their lives as they rebuild.
As an Independent cabi stylist, I was able to share the outpouring of love from The Heart of cabi Foundation to the women who lost their homes. The Heart of cabi Foundation sent thousands of articles of new clothing to Middletown and a clothing boutique was built inside the Middletown High School gymnasium for all women who lost their homes and clothes in the fires. The cabi Stylists came from miles away to support this event and help the women build their new wardrobes.
Each stylist was able to connect with each woman to help her feel good as she tried on many outfits and clothes. The smiles and joy on the faces of women as they left with bags full of new cabi clothes was heartfelt and full of gratitude. This reminded me that we live in a world that may have tragedies, but it's the heart of people that can lift any situation into something good.
I personally was asked to help a teenage girl named Paige find new clothes she might like. As I showed her many items, she kept saying. "No, I don't like that", and was not very forthcoming as to what she might like. It took patience and many suggestions to discover her style and what she liked, but when we did, the fun began and found many items for her to try on. We sorted through what she had chosen and left with a big bag of many new items. She kept her new jeans and top on, and stuffed away the pajamas she came in. She said, "I feel good in this outfit." She opened up, and seemed to be very happy and was smiling, different from when she walked in the door. Her mother thanked me and told me that her daughter was smiling and had not seen her smile in a very long time.
What an incredible day we had getting to know these women, hearing their tragic stories and how they continue to look for the good. They were able to spend the day shopping with ease, no cost and have fun connecting with cabi stylists. I believe we uplifted their spirits and showed them we care and they are not alone.
Helping others and raising spirits in times of need is what we do as humans and this is when we can find the good in everything. This was an emotional day for me and the other cabi stylists as we touched the hearts of these resilient women. Our hope was to shine a light on their new reflection as they continue to keep an eye on the positive. The Heart of cabi Foundation will continue to help women in need and always look for the good.