L’Oréal Paris “Women Of Worth”

We love beauty brands that embody the essense of a woman. So much more than superficial beauty, L’Oréal is on it’s 12th year of their “Women of Worth”. The program hand picks ten women out of thousands of nominations to be honored for the work they do and the difference they are making in the lives of others. L’Oréal gives these women a grant of up to $35,000 and national recognition. Just in time for Mother’s Day, I encourage you to nominate women who are doing remarkable and courages things to make an impact. Vote now through May 19th at  www.WomenOfWorth.com.

Women of Worth, 2016 Honorees

Last year these women were recognized for their remarkable philanthropic work. They are women like you and I. They live normal lives, parent their children, work day jobs and go through lifes ups and downs, just like all of us. The difference these women have made thus far is to be praised. They have individually managed to carry out small acts of kindness that have left a mark in the lives of complete strangers.

Sandra Gunn, Leslies Week Organization

What inspired you to start your organization?

I am a Stage 1A breast cancer survivor who met Stage 4 Breast Cancer women in the “Gear Up” classes prior to our surgeries. I listened to their stories. Stage 4 Breast Cancer women lose everything that defines them as a woman. They lose their breasts to mastectomies. They lose their hair to Chemotherapy. Their skin burns from Radiation treatments. They no longer recognize themselves in the mirror. These are the forgotten women. They are terminal. There is no Stage 5. Their children are the “watchers” as they observe their mother’s lives slowly diminishing each day. They inspired me with their will to live as long as they could. I decided to begin a nonprofit on their behalf so they could have a vacation away from cancer where they could make Memories that Outlast Cancer. We are not about “The Cure” – we are about “Memories”. Memories are forever!

What’s your Attract?

My determination to fulfill my destiny and add to the destiny of others puts the spring in my step, the music in my voice, and the light in my eyes.

(Learn More About Leslies Week Here)

Jessica Kidd, Gracies Gown

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What inspired you to start your organization?

As the mother of a special needs child, and of children that have had surgery, in addition to working in the medical field for 10 years, Gracie’s Gowns was inspired out of the need to provide children who spend most of their life in the hospital with a better fitting, more cheerful, and personalized hospital gown of their own. Children in the hospital setting have little to no say in what happens to them, it is a battle for the life, and saving it is all that counts. I’ve witnessed so many children wearing nothing at all before they’d be caught wearing one of the hospital’s scratchy, boring, one-size-fits-no-one gowns. Out of the memory of a little girl name Grace, who passed away from neuroblastoma in 2007, Gracie’s Gowns received its name. She loved wearing princess clothes, and just being a normal kid every chance she could…we’re taking back childhood, and bringing those moments into the hospital setting.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

Oh my, the advice I would give a younger version of myself…the biggest one would be this. Not all dreams come true, live won’t always go as planned. And it’s okay to not be okay about it, but never give up hope because new dreams can always be made when you follow your heart.

(Learn More About Gracies Gowns HERE)

Diane Latiker, Kids Off The Block

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What’s the biggest thing you’ve overcome? 

The biggest thing I overcame was the fear of what I didn’t know. I realized that it would take more than just listening to help the kids in my neighborhood. So I researched to find out who were the movers and shakers in my community. I started to attend every event/meeting, sitting at the alderman’s office almost every day and researching what I needed legally to accept donations for computers, etc… I learned that if I wanted to really help, I needed to seek help from all sources/people available.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

I would tell my younger self to remember that there’s a bigger world out there and that I can care about others, give, and love beyond my environment. It’s okay to be involved and not sacrifice who you are. Finally, I would tell myself that there are many like me who want a peaceful and caring world.

(Learn More About Kids Off The Block HERE)

Carly Yoost, Children’s Rescue Coalition Organization

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What inspired you to start your organization?

Prior to co-founding Child Rescue Coalition with my sister, Desiree, I served as Co-CEO of TLO, LLC, a data solutions provider founded by our father, Hank Asher, that specialized in investigative and risk management tools and child protection technology.  He passed away suddenly in 2013, and we were shattered. He was such a giant figure our lives. I knew that his legacy needed to live on which is why my sister and I retained ownership of the child protection technology needed to start Child Rescue Coalition. I want to raise my children in a safer world… this is the best way I know how.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

I would tell my younger self to have more confidence and go after what you believe in. Knowing that you can work toward something you believe in – no matter the scope and complexity — and make a difference is something I wish I believed at an earlier age. I’ve realized that, as you get older, you don’t regret the things you do in life, you only regret what you do not pursue.

(Learn More About Children’s Rescue Coalition HERE)

Kathy Tillotson, Build Futures Organization

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What inspired you to start your organization?

Shortly after settling in Huntington Beach, CA to retire, I heard about two homeless youth through my husband’s Kiwanis group.  I felt compelled to help these youth, legally adults but still children in many ways.  The girl and boy had tried to attend college but had to drop out because they were homeless.  At the time, my own daughters were 20 and 18 in college. 

After scouring Orange County for a year, I found there were no existing programs for housing homeless single youth. I founded Build Futures to fill this gap in services and used my business background to develop a structured, step-by-step program of intervention called Steps to Success to take these kids from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

Decide to do what is right and then do it, don’t give up.  You can achieve the impossible with hard work and a “can do” attitude.

(Learn More About Build Futures HERE)

Get Involved! Give To Those Who Have Nothing To Give You In Return. Give Because It’s In Your Heart To Give!

By: Alexandra Torres, Managing-Editor

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