We first heard about Violet from an Angel in our midst, Sunyata Choyce. Sunyata is co-founder of Project COLORS. Their mission is, “Conveying resources, supplies and opportunities directly to those who need them most.” Sunyata was the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Canadian Red Cross Young Humanitarian Award and is a regular guest on CBC Radio where she shares her life’s work and vision. The Angel Pendant has been helping support Project COLORS over the past 5 years because we both make “designs for love”.
THE STORY OF VIOLET – A True Angel Among Us
So, you had a tough day, huh? Maybe you’re tired, don’t like your job (if you’re lucky enough to have one right now), not sure if you’re going to be able to take that long weekend at the beach next month and to top it all off, your kid is failing “Circle Time”. Wait… seriously? I’m thinking your kid’s teacher is failing to understand that “Circle Time” IS, in fact, an appropriate time for burping your ABCs! That’s what I think. Well, time to take a few minutes for you. Brew a cup of white tea – no caffeine right now – and read the rest of this article. I think you’ll feel a whole lot better soon.
LIFE IN AFRICA – Often Unforgiving
This morning, Violet, a 60 year old, single mother of a teenager, woke up and went to work. She runs a crèche (day care) where she looks after upwards of 55 (yes, 55) children. She feeds them, teaches them and nurtures them. She is loved by the children and highly regarded in her community.
When the workday is over, Violet helps out with various charitable programs, like Project COLORS. She also participates in a knitting group. After all of that, she goes home and feeds… the neighborhood. Kids from all around her show up because they are hungry for food, love and kindness. Though she struggles, “no” is a bitter taste she prefers to avoid.
Before bed, she does laundry and dishes. The area where the spigot is located has no drainage. She stands in a puddle of mud late at night while she washes clothes, bed linens and dishes for the children. There is not a lot of free time in her day and life in Africa can be unforgiving. Before bed, she does laundry and dishes.
AN AFRICAN PROJECT – Angelic Acts of Kindness
But Violet has a dream. No, she doesn’t want to go to Paris or meet Justin Bieber. (Alright, everyone wants to meet JB!) Brace yourself – she wants to open a soup kitchen. That’s because Violet has a very different idea about what makes a “tough day”. To her, that means not being able to feed all of the hungry children around her or, to find that yet another child has become orphaned. She lives in Thembalethu, South Africa, where 50% of the population is HIV positive. Children losing their family is not uncommon there.
My intention is not to trivialize our everyday struggles. Rather, I mean to highlight the divine strength a gifted few have been endowed with. Just as the physical limits of Michael Phelps are much greater than ours, so are the limits of Violet’s compassion. She is a gold medalist of grace. I will be notifying the Olympic Committee.
DESIGNS FOR LOVE – Limitless, Unconditional Love
Designs for love can take any shape or form. They are limitless – unbound by convention. Violet is an Angel whose designs for love take the form of her crèche and dream for a soup kitchen to feed her ‘kids’; nothing could more Angelic than that. The world is in desperate need of her style of kindness and compassion. So it is with GRATITUDE that we chose to present Violet with The Angel Pendant.
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BELOW, I’ve included the original correspondence between Sunyata Choyce and me regarding Violet and what she needs for her soup kitchen:
Dear Stan and Sue:
Here is the information on Violet’s Project you asked for. Violet is truly an Angel. It will be wonderful to present her with one.
Here is the proposal brief I wrote this month for Violet’s soup kitchen. She already has a pre-school COLORS where she helps with 55 kids…she is truly amazing! Read more:
Violets crèche/ Pre-school wants to create a soup kitchen.
Violet is a very humble lady and she never asks for anything. She is a 60 year old single mom to a teenager (who might be adopted) living on her own.
I found out through volunteering with her that she longs to create a soup kitchen. She has been feeding the community children with her own food whenever she has enough but I know she struggles. Violet has a group of local women who help her with her extra projects as COLORS is also running a knitting group from her space. She has over 50 kids in her care each day and other children come to her home often as they feel safe there and will get some of her famous stew or shackalaka.
What she needs:
- Violet needs plumbing! She has no sink or washing machine so she is often outside at the tap (surrounded by mud/ no drainage) till late at night as this is her only time left to wash all the sheets and kids clothing…and cups and bowls from the day.
- Sink – Washing machine – Stove with oven for baking – She needs pots, bowls, silverware. Food: For this to launch, I would hope to supply big bags or rice beans and baking supplies. We can then apply for the municipality to help and add her onto its list of food drop offs for soup kitchens once she is up and running. Thank you for your gracious support!