Local Charity Spotlight: We Are Brave Together
Tell us about your cause?
“We Are Brave Together is a non-profit organization that provides respite, support, community, inspiration and mentoring for mothers caring for children, any age with any disabilities, special needs, or other medical or mental health challenges. We are working to fight the compassion fatigue and isolation that caregiving-mothers face in their unique and difficult journeys.”
What inspired you to launch this cause?
“Given that my second son, Ryan, age 16, was born with a medically complex and rare, genetic disorder, called Prader-Willi syndrome, I know the highs, the lows, the grief and the loneliness. Because I have learned what it means to transform dashed expectations into new perspectives and gifts, I wanted to empower other moms. Motherhood can be so isolating and overwhelming, just as it is. When you add disability to that, the stress and pressures go up exponentially.”
“Although in todays’ culture there is so much more awareness and understanding of disability and neurodiversity, I still hear again and again how moms feel so isolated. Their lives have been dramatically altered and no one truly understands. Our consumer-centric society has been well documented as promoting absolute perfection as an attainable ideal. With the onset of social media, that effect has been pushed into overdrive. We live in a Pinterest-Perfect Motherhood culture which truly is in direct opposition to our special needs journey. We are just trying to survive daily, hopefully, with a bit of gratitude and sanity, let alone trying to make Pinterest worthy meals or parties or fancy bento box lunches.”
What is one of your proudest moments?
“My proudest moment since launching We Are Brave Together was when I was able to offer retreat scholarships to mothers who otherwise would not be able to attend a weekend of rest and respite.”
What can one expect when getting involved?
“Mothers who get involved will find their tribe! Mothers will find other moms who “get” them, even though all our stories and children are diverse. We offer support groups, resourceful and inspirational workshops and retreats, all to empower and educate moms. We also have a Facebook Group that is private and secure, with a community across the United States, where moms can seek resources, ask questions, vent, share stories, victories and humor.”
How can the community support you?
“We are a new nonprofit and are always seeking new donors! Every dollar makes a difference in a young organization! They go directly to all our gatherings, support groups, including speakers’ fees, venues, and subsidizing retreats. We only charge $150 for our retreats (2 nights away) in the hopes that mothers will be able to take a much needed break, and connect with others during an inspirational weekend. We cover the rest of the costs. And because there are moms who cannot afford the $150, we launched a retreat scholarship fund in 2019.”
Tell us a little about you:
“My family and I have lived in the South Bay for over 17 years. My husband, Chris, grew up in Palos Verdes and we bought our first home in 2002 here. Our kids were all born here and we seriously do not dream of retiring anywhere else. Our children are Luke, age 19, a freshman at Loyola Marymount University; Ryan, age 16, a sophomore at Peninsula High School, and Kate, age 14, is in 8th grade at Ridgecrest Intermediate School. Although PV is off the beaten path, so to speak, we have loved its beauty and schools and community.”
What do you enjoy doing in the South Bay when you are not working on your cause?
“In my free time, I love to run, read, write, hike local trails with Chris and my kids, or enjoy coffee and a breakfast burrito at Malaga Cove Ranch Market.”