A little over two years ago, I founded my non-profit- I’ll Wait Ministries, Inc. The following year I blogged, traveled, and spoke through my ministry in the church community about the importance of dating with purpose. The message of my non-profit was one I felt was lacking in the church and because of that it was widely accepted.
When I decided to compete in my first pageant in 2015, I decided to derive my platform, Dating With Purpose, from my ministry because it is something I care with my whole heart about. Instead of just speaking to the religious community, I wanted to bring my Dating With Purpose and Expect Respect message to a broader audience. When I won my first local title, I had the ability to go to schools, clubs, and events and do just that. Over the past year, I’ve had over 60 speaking engagements and spoken to all different age groups on Dating With Purpose and Expect Respect. I have surveyed students and received feedback from teachers on my presentation and what is good/bad and what could be better. I have loved the feedback and constructive criticism I have received because I only want to improve my platform and make it better.
Since Miss Alabama last year, I have still been thinking and brewing on how to expand my platform and improve upon Dating With Purpose. Over the past few months I have been working on growing the #ExpectRespect aspect of my platform. I see my Dating With Purpose presentation almost as a domestic violence preventative program as I speak to self-value/worth, creating personal and relational boundaries, and the importance of setting standards for those in our life and the way they treat us.
In addition to helping students respect themselves and encouraging them have healthier dating relationships, I want to help prevent dating violence and abuse. I am working with multiple women’s shelters because they deal with the back end of dating or domestic violence and I want to be doing my part to help on the front end.
I am so excited about broadening my platform’s scope because I feel preventing domestic abuse/dating violence goes hand in hand with promoting healthy dating because dating is where it all begins.
I am excited about this new aspect of my platform and even more excited about the first fundraiser I will be doing for Mary’s Shelter. Wildflower’s Boutique and Evolve Fitness Spa will be serving as drop off sites for my “V Day Drive”. Mary’s Shelter is always in need of diapers, cleaning supplies, etc. and I would ask you to visit their website, find out what their needs are, and drop a few things off at one of the drop off sites! This “V Day Drive” will be running through Valentine’s Day and I’m grateful for your help in supporting an incredible resource our community has when it comes to domestic abuse and dating violence. They do so much for our women and children- let’s help give back!
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