Break the Chain

Today’s was so amazing!  I had so much fun I honestly can’t even put it into words!

So it started at arriving at WAR Chest Boutique at 8:30 but the other volunteer hadn’t arrived yet with the key.  She had to take an alternative route because of the mass amount flooding the Chicagoland area experienced Thursday, many roads are still closed.  On top of that, our manager, wasn’t going to be there until later because she was at a conference at Wheaton College so I was in charge of a group of volunteers that came down from North Central College coming that morning.

The volunteer arrived and she gave the speech about what we do and showed a few videos about Women at Risk International (the links will be at the bottom) to the 8 NCC volunteers while I ran around getting some of the tasks ready.  Then I joined them for the question section of the presentation.  I always like to mention a project that I’m working on, a map of the Chicagoland area where I mark Prostitution, Pandering (basically what pimps do) and Child Pornography charges.  It’s really shocking the amount of prostitution charges in Naperville, a lovely, thriving, six figure neighborhood.  It’s something that, to me, brings the problem home and makes it something a little more real since it is here, where you don’t expect.

Then it was my turn to take over and I was really nervous, I really did not want to be making any mistake, so I got to work assigning jobs.  My plan was to split the volunteers up in groups and putting them to work while I go get some other work done and assign them new jobs when they finished.  That was NOT how it went.  I was literally running around from about 9 till noon when their lunch came answering questions, assigning new jobs, helping them find tools, doing this and that and it was tiring!  I don’t know how our manager does it.  I was just so happy that we got all of the jobs done and there weren’t any problems.  So job one done!

So at noon, I just ran around checking some of the things the volunteers did.  Most of them left to go to another site while 3 stayed with us to go down to the dance and get the crowd involved!  At 12:30 some dancers and teachers began to arrive and I was  talking to one of our dancers and she had a spot right in front of Anderson’s Bookshop!  Now throughout the day, I had been driving down there trying desperately to find a spot, but had no luck.  So I was so excited when she said she had a spot and we both ran down to switch our cars.  By the time I got back at 12:45 most of the dancers had arrived at WAR Chest.  Then I asked everyone if they wanted a rehearsal and they said yes, so we got it set up and ran through the dance twice and then started walking down to Anderson’s.

The exciting part was earlier in the morning, Naperville 17 News called and were sending someone down to interview and record us.  The not so exciting part was that our manager was still going to be at her conference and wasn’t going to make our dance which means someone else would have to be interviewed by the reporter.  There was one staff member that came out to dance and she was going to do it.

So we got everyone lined up and ready to go and I started the music from my car and a small crowed gathered!  NCC volunteers passed out buttons and it went so well!  We did it one more time and it was so much fun!  Then we took some group photos and did some cheers!  The second time we danced, people across the street cheered at us!  I honestly can’t even explain how much fun it was!  The song lyrics (click here to listen to the song) are just so good for raising awareness of women’s risk issues and it’s a fun beat and music in general is so liberating.

Music is the one thing, the only thing, that can liberate us from the chains that secure our minds, our bodies and our souls.

Then it was interview time, so the staff member, who is a bit younger than I am, went over and she told me to just stand next to me because I’m nervous and I was totally fine with that.  I didn’t have to talk and that was perfect!  However, the reporter had other ideas and interviewed me too!  It was so nerve-racking!   I wish I could have prepared something.  I wanted to include the 3 dance teachers and their studio names and the location of WAR Chest. I am still nervous about it, I’m so afraid I made a mistake in one of the studio names or something!  My family was there taking photos and video taping it, so like funny parents, they video taped my mini interview and took photos of it.  I felt like a celebrity! lol

Then back to the store and Ashley was back and I gave her an overview of what happened and I was just so happy that nothing went wrong.  I was so nervous!  I do NOT want to mess this internship up, but I think I did everything o.k.

Another cool thing was at the store we had a free chair massage from a chiropractor and it was just a wonderful way to end to a very busy day!

All in all, this was an AMAZING day!  I had so much fun. We honestly had some of the greatest women ever come out and dance with us and I felt really good that my manager felt like she could leave me with these project and the NCC volunteers and at the last-minute, the dance.  I was never completely alone since the volunteer who was in the store at been with WAR for 2 year and the dance teacher could help, which was a bit of a relief because if I did need help there was always someone there, but I think I handled everything well.  This was just so much fun, I just don’t have any other words I can use!  I just love my internship so much!

MINI-UPDATE – I just checked Naperville 17 News and here is the mini report they did on us!  How exciting! 🙂

Below are some of the videos from Women at Risk International

Introduction to Women at Risk International

Women at Risk Overview

Pray for WAR Babies

Women at Risk International Civilian First Responder

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