The Definition of Support

Tonight, we celebrate milestones the best way we know how- good friends, good conversation, and of course, cupcakes!

Between the seven of us, this small room is packed. Not just with people, but with warmth, smiles, acceptance and understanding. There is no room left for discomfort. These women hold each other up and hold each other accountable. They ask all the right questions to each other; and praise every accomplishment- big or small. This is the definition of support.

The air in this room is lighthearted and riddled with eruptions of laughter- since humor is a great coping tool. These women identify with each other in challenges overcome; and the mistakes and adversity that lead up to them. They strive to find balance between the highs and lows; recognizing where they’ve come from and pushing ahead to where they want to be. This is what inspiration looks like.

The dynamic here is so much more than being a cheerleader when someone is having a bad day. They know the importance of healthy relationships, and the blessing of being able to share struggles and successes with caring and competent friends- because at one time, they didn’t have that. When difficulty strikes, they are not alone. They know these conversations are vehicles for processing problems, healing from hurting, and motivating forward movement.

“I wouldn’t have thought anything else was possible or different from the life I knew before this program. Now, I know what healthy is and have something to compare to.” – Holly, Participant.

Moving into it’s 8th year of operation, the Side by Side program grows with the entrance and exit of each participant, mentor and volunteer. No one walks away from these interactions empty handed; everyone involved imparts us with a wider perspective, increase in consideration, and other invaluable qualities you weren’t expecting to receive. When someone’s term in the program ends, we love to see the transformation come full circle and create a ripple effect.

“We are more alike than we are different.” – Tammy, Past Volunteer.

This is a program about breaking down barriers between all of us. It’s about self-awareness, setting boundaries, reaching goals, and connecting to others through it all. This is community in it’s purest form, and Side by Side is how we can change ours going forward.

BW Tea 2018

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