On Sunday I was invited to speak at the Queens Rock the World Expo in Decatur Georgia. This event was hosted by a new nonprofit organization, Goddess Love Inc. This organization serves teen mothers by providing them with the tools they need to parent effectively, achieve their goals, and live a fulfilling life despite what the stigma is. This organization does not encourage teen pregnancy, but it fills a much-needed void as this population of teens often goes overlooked.
Aside from this being an amazing cause, a very important theme stood out to me...this organization's efforts was a collaborative effort. A network of organizations and individuals that came together in support of Goddess Love Inc.'s vision.
1. Increased Financial Resources
I know in nonprofit organizations money isn't often at the forefront of a discussion, but being real for a second it takes money (and I am not talking chump change either) to pull together not only an event such as this one, but for day to day operations and for the resources that are offered. I witnessed a teen mom - doing well in school and on track to take some study trips within the next year, win a $100 gift card and a basket full of baby items that I am sure were both needed and appreciated. There was a room filled to the brim with FREE baby clothes, diapers, breast pumps, formula, baby food, and much more! There were FREE condoms on site as well as FREE HIV testing. And what I'd like to make a point of is that these things were given away for free, but they still cost money.
2. Increased Knowledge
Standing on a panel with some very amazing women was truly an honor for me. A variety of perspectives, all at various stages in our lives, and while our stories did overlap in some areas, we all offered a wide array of information to the audience.
3. Network Building for All Involved
A result of being invited to speak at this event and working with the organization founder, is that we are now plugged into one another. Meaning we have access to each other's network and resources, which is an amazing thing. I did not know anyone present at this event except for of the two people I knew prior to the event, so I was able to meet and get plugged in to partnering organizations, speakers, and guests.
It can be difficult to partner if ego is in the way. For your collaborations to be impactful you must be able to see past yourself and never take your eye off the big picture. Thank you for reading and until next post...