(Originally published in the March 26th Exposure Magazine.)
What does a young single mom who was raising her son alone do when she struggles to find resources to connect to? She creates her own Not-for Profit faith-based organization called Tigerlili Resources. She felt an overwhelming push from God to create this entity to help women succeed when they felt most vulnerable and alone. Tigerlili Resources originated in Florida and has continued to grow in its outreach and various ministries. What started as a simple organization to empower single moms in the St. Louis Area, like it had in Florida- has become so much more. While they are still very involved in connecting moms to services, clothes, and coaching for job interviews, etc., another mission became important. Through connecting with law enforcement agencies and social services, Meredith became aware of the need for aid in helping young women out of the sex trafficking trade (Yes- it is not just somewhere else- it is in your city, too). The Tigerlili Resources outreach program The Scarlet Line- The Road to Redemption was formed from this need. You can watch Meredith tell her story of “Invisible Amy”, and how powerful this motivator was in the creation of the House of Rehab, and even why this became an important outreach for Tigerlili Resources. She is actively working to fund raise for The House of Rahab to come to fruition. A Black-Tie Gala ball is scheduled for May 11th in St Louis. Meredith, true to form, has become a warrior fighting to save every girl that finds herself in this position. One might not understand how this happens. I was shocked to learn just how easy it is for these young girls to fall prey to this type of victimization. Most have no money, limited family involvement, they struggle in school, and don’t have many people paying close attention to their behavior and movements. These girls are easy prey for the traffickers because they are often lured in slowly, given gifts, shoes, clothes, makeup, and jewelry they couldn’t otherwise afford. Meredith works closely with the law enforcement and is often called down to intercede when these girls are arrested or found cowering in a closet or hiding somewhere. Part of the difficulty in working with these young women is that the pull of having all the things that make her feel special often override rational judgement. Differentiating right or wrong becomes distorted. Purchasing a prostitute that is 15-17 years old is only a class A misdemeanor. The penalty doesn’t match the crime. Fortunately, Meredith doesn’t discriminate in the helping. Her heart is so big. She is also working on a 12-step rehabilitative sex addiction program for the people who are soliciting the girls. This is a full-service program designed to end trafficking and for those who solicit. For more information please go to www.tigerliliresources.org and click on the Scarlet Line tab. If you wish to further this mission please visit http://www.tigerlilipb.org/give-now.html. You will not find a more compassionate child of God than Meredith Seithel Mittlestadt, who literally puts her faith in action every single day!
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine February 27, 2018).
Experiences shape who you are, but they don’t dictate who you become.
Imagine being 15 years old and giving birth. Your world has turned upside down. Myesha Collins found herself in this position and had to make hard choices. Incredibly, she stayed in school, parented, and graduated high school right on schedule. Even after moving with her parents to a new state where everything was new, she pressed on. After high school, she enlisted in the military, and found herself in a situation where she was sexually assaulted. The incident was essentially brushed aside. The inner turmoil that resulted and began to manifest wasn’t pretty. Myesha became very wary and introverted over time. She went into therapy after leaving the military, and with the help of a spiritual advisor, was able to sort through some of the emotional trauma that came from the physical assault. She was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from sexual trauma. Ironically, Myesha seem to draw other wounded women to her, who she truly enjoyed helping, but she was still stuck herself. She started to heal as she shared more of her own personal story and journey with others. From pain came great personal growth. She became very passionate about helping other women stand in their personal power by being more transparent. From this space, Blue Girls Turned Gold was born. She founded this Not for Profit to empower women. Her mission became to share her story to help other women move from the place of feeling less than and broken-Blue, to a place of personal power, strength and courage- Gold. Myesha Collins could have been a statistic. Instead, she rose up from her challenges and has become an advocate for women. Helping them to feel strong, empowered, and to have a voice is just part of her mission. You can read about her journey in a collaborative effort co-authored with Andrea A. Moore. The book is entitled Blue Girl Turned Gold and can be found on Amazon. Myesha Collins is a strong, capable, and resilient young woman with so many things to accomplish yet in this world. To learn more about how you can support Blue Girls Turned Gold or volunteer or donate please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the community on her Facebook page, @Bluegirlsturnedgoldtm.
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine January 24, 2018).
Andrea A. Moore believed she could be more and do more, so she decided to venture into coaching. As fate would have it, she was drawn to youth and women, desiring to empower them into becoming strong, creative, bold human beings! Hence the Passion Pusher community was born.
She was influenced greatly by her mother. Her mother was a foster parent and showed great compassion and love, yet a firmness and directness that Andrea herself represents. Andrea’s business has grown in many directions. She multitasks as a wife, mother, successful entrepreneur and PASSION PUSHER. She became completely focused on helping others connect to their passions and enhance their dream building. She teaches people to learn to love what they do, and works with people to find their true self and connect with their personal passions. She created a business called Mindset Empowerment Coaching. She is completely fueled by helping other grow. She herself has a personal coach as well.
Andrea moved from Racine WI to Killeen TX to build her dreams further, even though it meant being farther away from family. It was a leap of faith, and has been rewarded with fabulous relationships and personal growth. She currently works with people by both individually coaching and group work. She does some coaching by phone, and some by using zoom conferencing. One of her greatest passions is helping people get unstuck, slap fear in the face, and step into their greatness. Seeing people make those breakthroughs and watching it help them grow physically, financially, and spiritually fuels her daily.
She has co authored 2 books available on Amazon.com. The first, co-authored with Wynter Snow, is called “Blue Girls Turned Gold”. The second is “The Unexplained Pain- A Sisters Cry” by Alwayz Moore, which chronicles her pain in losing her sister. Pain does fuel growth. It can also create being stuck. Luckily, Andrea is here to help you connect to your passion and, get unstuck and live your ideal life! You can connect with Andrea A. Moore at email email@example.com. You may also follow her on social media by joining the Passion Pusher Community on Facebook/IamAndreaAMoore/
(Originally published in Exposure Magazine December 20, 2017).
Recently while I was in Kansas City, MO for business, my friend suggested we meet at lunch at Trago Bar & Tapas. I took the opportunity to learn a bit about the place, the owner, and its origins. It was such a unique experience, I decided to do a review and share.
Trago is in a busy shopping area, so it’s convenient for those who might be multitasking. The appearance outside is rather unassuming and basic. The inside, however, is very inviting, warm, and welcoming. I was greeted by the owner, founder and Chef Kandi Kerns. The décor, the food and the atmosphere are just like Kandi: warm, friendly, open, and inviting. It’s understandable that the place is packed on the weekends, including the outdoor patio area.
Sherri: This is a very interesting space, Kandi. How did you arrive at the idea of this kind of establishment?
Kandi: It was inspired by my late grandmother. Her name was Anna Maria Rosa Carlota Urrutia Evans. All the recipes are inspired by her recipes in some way. I was going to start with a food truck, but then suddenly I found myself in this almost 2500 square foot building due to some unexpected financial help.
Sherri: What is your mission with Trago Bar &Tapas?
Kandi: When I returned to Kansas City, I was so welcomed into this community. I knew I wanted to create something that promoted community and made people feel welcome and connected. I wanted to incorporate parts of the community into it, also. We made the bar from repurposed materials, and much of it coming from the Habitat for Humanity store. The tile, the construction, everything is a little part of this community. We have local musicians play every Wednesday evening, which is ladies night.
Sherri: Who is your target customer or patron?
Kandi: (Chuckles) Myself! I strive to put together a place where friends and family could gather in an upscale, yet comfortable place with friends and family, and experience custom drinks and fine dining. A place where memories are made. It’s more than just food and drinks, but an experience people never forget!
Sherri: What do you see as your long-range goals having just celebrated your one-year anniversary on Halloween?
Kandi: I would love to see us within 5 years also in a free standing 2 story building, which would allow more events, live music and entertaining!
Kandi then asked what I chose to eat. Because I knew I wanted to sample a few things, I ordered 3 items to sample and share (which is what Tapas means- shareable plates- usually paired with drinks). I ordered Albóndigas en Salsa de Tomate (Spanish meatballs), Tacos Hinchados (Puffy Tacos), and Pan Plano con Brie (flat-bread with brie). It was so delicious. Fresh ingredients, and a very unique presentation to each dish as well. Palette appealing as well as beautiful to look at. We had fabulous service by Jessica, and I learned so much. Too bad I was driving, because the drink menu is stellar! Be sure to stop in at the Trago Bar & Tapas if you are in Kansas City. You can visit them online at TragoKC.com, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/tragokc or stop in at 9261 NE 83rd Terrace, Kansas City Mo. I absolutely give Trago Bar& Tapas thumbs up, a 10, a 5 star rating or whatever measure you prefer. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss. Order the Puffy Tacos!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."