Valentine's Day 2012 - Giving back

There's nothing better than being able to give back.

I recently heard about a local initiative called Project Valentine. Founded to "make Valentine's Day a little sweeter for cancer patients," Project Valentine volunteers put together "goody bags" to distribute to those going through cancer treatment on Valentine's Day. When I received an email about the project, I immediately thought "I have several Stella & Dot samples that I could donate - how amazing would it be for someone going through chemo to open up a gorgeous necklace?" My next thought of course was "and maybe other Colorado stylists would want to donate samples too - we could really make a difference!" I sent out an email to area stylists, letting them know about the project, and immediately, gals wanted to help. Donations came from all around Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, even Canada! Tears came to my eyes each time I opened up my mailbox to find yet another donation, sent with a sweet card and all the loving intentions in the world.

As I sat looking at all the sweet little boxes on my dining room table, and imagined the 65 cancer survivors who will open up a box (inscribed with the words "Hello Gorgeous") on Valentine's Day to find a piece of jewelry that will brighten their day and make them feel beautiful again, I started tearing up again. I thought back to when I first started my journey with Stella & Dot. 10 months post-chemo, with my hair only inches long, and super curly, I was not loving the "clown look", but noticed that when I wore my gorgeous Stella & Dot necklaces, people would compliment me on my jewelry, and (so I thought) not pay attention to my silly hair.

I had no idea that a year later, Stella & Dot would be so much more than a fun part-time job and a way to forget about my crazy clown hair; it would be a sisterhood like I had never known before. I would meet other amazing survivors, I would meet mentors and entrepreneurs, I would meet life-long friends. I was not prepared to meet such an amazing, talented group of women, but am so grateful to have them in my life, to call them friends, colleagues, Stella & Dot sisters, generous women.

You have all made a difference in my life, and in the lives of 65 women battling this terrible disease, and for that, I thank you and am so proud of what we accomplish together.