“When we lift up a woman, we lift up humanity,” says Melinda French Gates. And she’s 100% right—because when women are supported, when they’re given opportunities to run their lives and their careers and their families, it makes the entire world flourish. We can definitely see that in the work of our guest this week, Holly Christine Hayes. Holly is the founder and CEO of Sanctuary Project, a nonprofit social enterprise employing and empowering women who’ve survived lives of trafficking, violence, and addiction. Holly and Emily talk about the amazing way Holly turned her painful story into purpose, how women can lead other women well, and how we can each lift up other women in our own circles of influence. Because when a village of women comes together, there isn’t a more mighty force for good in the world.
(And PS: if you haven’t seen the jewelry that Sanctuary makes, run to their website, because you’ll want to give pieces to your mom, your sister, and all your friends — it’s so delicate and beautiful)
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“The longer I’m on this earth, the more I realize why I was put here. I’m here to serve other women, so their paths can be smoother than mine, and so maybe, they can make the path smoother for the women coming behind them.” – Emily Ley
“Women are really like the the glue in our like the fabric of society.” – Holly Christine Hayes
“It's just such a gift to see to see women walk in the fullness of themselves. But we have to believe it exists first.” – Holly Christine Hayes
“If a woman is empowered to be employed, if she has a way to get to work, if she has childcare to help her work, then you're able to keep these families together. She's able to raise her children. There's nurturing happening, and we actually can prevent all of these societal and systemic issues just by caring for the women in our society. Because when you look at the breakdown of society, it kind of all comes down to the breakdown of women being cared for, and being women being safe, women having jobs, women being lifted up.” – Holly Christine Hayes
“Everyone's going through something, and we all need someone to walk alongside us. We all need someone to believe in us.” – Holly Christine Hayes
A Blessing for Your Week
May you look at the women around you—
Your daughter, your mother, your friends and aunts and mentors—
And say, “Thank you for the ways you’ve touched my life.”
And in their honor,
May you find ways to lift up other women you meet.
Sending a note of encouragement to a younger colleague.
Leaving a generous tip for the single mom who’s serving your table.
Volunteering to watch your friend’s children while she studies for a big test.
Using your dollars to support a women-owned small business.
Voting for women who represent your values.
And may you remember that empowering women in the small and big ways means that our world becomes a more flourishing place.
Simplicity Tip of the Week
Listen, you don’t have to shake up the world by yourself to make it a better place. All it takes are small actions done with intention and love.
This holiday season, maybe you could try to find some meaningful gifts from a women-owned small business. Whether it’s a boutique in your town, or an online business, or even a social enterprise like Sanctuary Project, there are thousands of businesses that would love to help you honor your loved ones with something practical or beautiful. If you need some ideas, check out our Small Business Holiday Gift Guide episode we did a few weeks back in episode 88. I guarantee you’ll impact so many women and their families when you decide to intentionally spend your dollars there.
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