If you would've told me that in three weeks I would plan an event that would change the lives of over 100 families I wouldn't have believed you. I would have scoffed and said Me? No way! Not a chance! Yet here I am, a walking testimony of the great wonders we completed Saturday,
July 30th, 2022 at our Back to School Backpack Giveback Bash.
After spending the school year in Daytona Beach tutoring at a local center and interacting with the kids, I truly saw the need for additional resources in the particular area. The kids would tell me stories about their lives at home and the things they were exposed to, and in my heart I knew immediately if I could, I would want to give back to this community in some way. At the time, I had no inkling of what I wanted to do, but I knew that if I was to run a business, I wanted it to also be known for giving back.
After doing some networking in Daytona for my own personal brand in regards to books, I was able to meet some people who had offered me a location to host an event. From there it hit me! School just let out, and I wanted to reconnect with the kids again but how? So I figured why not backpacks? Why not help them out in the upcoming school year? I felt like God just gave me a contact for a location, I had the vision, and I was ready! So ready that I started to tell people about it. If I wanted it to actually happen, I needed to speak it into existence.
The first stop in my journey was telling Monique. I confided in my friend who is an event coordinator about this idea I had, and its purpose. I asked her if she thought I was crazy, or if it was even possible to pull it off. She immediately said YES! From our very first conversation, she was on board, willing to help in any way she could. My very first blessing was connecting with Little Shops Marketplace. Her business is the epitome of helping small businesses and she did just that. Monique led me to my second blessing, Michelle V. Michelle V, owner of Feels & Flowers has the creative mind of a god! It was an instant connection and collaboration. We told Michelle the idea I had and she was like yes! She wanted to give back as well and thought it was a great idea to help the community. With our three brains, we came together and planned the specifics of what I wanted BBGB to look like.
The plan was looking good and I was optimistic. I thought we had it all together and it was going to be easy. We were three months out until July, I had a group of girls behind me, we had a location, all we had to do was market and get the people…piece of cake.
I was quickly mistaken! Pitfalls truly began to destroy my vision and I began to feel defeated. How did something that seemed like it was a great idea cause so much havoc? I called other organizations I knew of in the area to partner with me and they loved my idea, but they would need to get back with me. The location I was counting on fell through. I had another location, but we would no longer be able to aid the community I wanted. So many turmoils, so many closed doors, and yet our time was still ticking. The girls constantly reminded me of my vision, and told me not to settle. Daily phone calls scouting places, looking for recruits, I grew frustrated. I prayed and said, “God, if you want this event to happen, you're going to need to make it happen. And don't have me looking crazy either cause my big mouth told WAY too many people about it for it not to happen!”
The Man Upstairs must have heard me. Then my next blessing came, in the form of Michelle D., owner of Just A Girl Crafting It. Monique raved to Michelle D. about the idea I had and asked if there was a way to help. Michelle D. then quickly introduced me to Isaac Brown, owner of our partnered nonprofit ministry God Gotcha 365 International Ministries. When I say quick, I mean quick — I was on a lunch break at work when we hopped on a 10-minute phone call. I said my hellos, shared my vision, and he said we’d be in touch. Again, I've heard that many times before so I wasn't getting my hopes up again. I had 30 days to figure something out, I couldn’t possibly count on a man I met 10 minutes ago.
Boy, was I wrong!
Isaac Brown told me that he was completely on board with my vision, and he actually grew up in the area I was wanting to aid. He insisted that I had nothing to worry about and that “God Gotcha”. I was skeptical, but again I was running out of options. I told Isaac I only wanted to do something small as we were running out of time and I hadn’t done much of anything yet. Isaac said “30 backpacks?! We’re going to do 100! And don't worry ‘bout a thing!” He told me “God never gives us a vision without provision” meaning He WILL make a way.
I met Isaac and his heaven-sent wife Kim for the first time the weekend after. He told me he was helping a woman, Latrella Davis, owner of Helping Hands, feed the homeless in Daytona that weekend. I was immediately on board. The first Sunday in July we passed out 100 plates to the homeless in the community. After such a success, LaTrella offered to feed the kids with 100 hotdogs at our upcoming event and the rest was history.
From then on, in 21 days God’s Team of Blessing Carriers: myself, Monique, Michelle V., Michelle D. (who is the reason behind our DOPE shirts) Isaac, Kim, and LaTrella made it happen. We put into motion an A+ success, Backpack Giveback Bash where we gave out over 100 backpacks filled with school supplies and hygiene kits, we gave out free food and ice cream to the students and gave away 100 lunch kits for the children to take home. Our event was so successful, God Gotcha 365 International Ministries orchestrated a giveback this coming weekend to accommodate our overflow list.
When God gives you a vision, he will always give you provision. Don’t ask him how, just trust that he will. Our blessings come in the form you’d least expect. BBGB is a testimony and I am a witness to the great things that God can accomplish. If there's a will, there is a way, and God will make a way! Do your part and just START. I promise everything else will fall right into place.