“Prayers & People”
It all began as we were working on the 4th Annual Dancing for C.A.U.S.E., our gala fundraiser. I was feeling especially tired, frustrated, defeated and disappointed. The sponsorships and ticket sales were not where we needed them to be. It seemed everything within the organization was moving at a snails pace and I was becoming doubtful of the path I had chosen to honor my sister.
If you didn’t know, my sister, Sue Weaver, had been raped and murdered by a twice-convicted sex offender hired to do service work in her suburban Orlando, FL home on August 27, 2001. Unbeknownst to her, the department store she hired to clean her air ducts, subcontracted the work out and two convicted felons were sent on the service call. A single woman, home alone, two convicted felons. Six months after the service call, one of the workers, a twice convicted sex offender, returned to rape and murder Sue. He then set he body and her home on fire in an attempt to destroy the DNA evidence.
I knew in my heart we are making a difference in Sue’s memory. There isn’t a speaking engagement, whether the audience is consumers or professional groups, that someone doesn’t come up and either share a personal experience or say “oh my gosh, I never thought about it, I assumed the company I hire would be sending safe workers into my home.”. With that said, it is really difficult for us as a nonprofit to qualify our success, especially to a prospective donor. For instance, an animal shelter can tell you how many puppies they can feed or place for every dollar donated. We just don’t have that luxury. Therefore, I periodically struggle and question if we are really making a difference. And when feeling selfish, I think there are a lot more “fun” things I could be doing with my life.
So, combined with the struggles of planning the annual fundraiser and having a period of self doubt, it was then that I came up with my daily mantra of “prayers & people”. You see, in my mind, I was praying for Dancing to sell out. IF, we had a full house then that would confirm I was doing what God had planned for me. “Prayers & People”, “Prayers & People”
About this same time I received an email from a new volunteer, Stephanie, who lives in CA, we are in TX. I sent her my standard response of suggestions, including like us on FB, follow us on Twitter, share Sue’s story, “Don’t be home alone with a service worker, invite a friend over for coffee”, you get the idea. Bless her heart, she wasn’t having my “standard” response. Although she wasn’t geographically close, she took a passion to help with Dancing for C.A.U.S.E. We chatted one afternoon and I asked her if she would like to find more victims. I shared that we were going to highlight different victims at the gala. We intended to have a different victims’ story at each seat, there were 8 seats to a table so I needed at east 8 victims. Ideally we would highlight a few more victims by using news headlines on the back. This task would involve hours of google searching and reading through articles and confirm the perpetrator used his job to find his victim. Stephanie agreed to give it a try. I really think the first email of victims came in that same night. For days, maybe weeks, all hours of the day and night she just kept sending me email after email, victim after victim.
Oh my gosh! These were my “Prayers and People”! My people were the victims! Even I had no idea how many victims there really were. Thank you Stephanie for being an angel on earth reminding me I am doing what God has planned for my life!
Please take a few short minutes to watch this video and remember “the victims”, ALL of them, even those not on the video. If so inclined, please say a prayer for these “people” who lives were so tragically cut short.
And for me, I will TRY not to doubt God’s plan. Instead, I will take joy in knowing I am serving Him.
Here is some more information about our organization if you’re interested in learning more.
The Sue Weaver C.A.U.S.E., Consumer Awareness of Unsafe Service Employment, is a nonprofit organization that protects you and your family, one service worker at a time. You see, it is probable that if the employer had done a criminal background check, they would have found a twice convicted sex offender would not be an appropriate person to send into clients’ homes. It also would have saved them from a negligent hiring lawsuit. Thus, C.A.U.S.E. promotes the use of proper annual criminal background checks on anyone working in our homes or with the vulnerable populations.
We even have a free web-based resource for consumers to hire safer workers. These are businesses that have agreed to background screen all of their employees, contractors, and subcontractors annually following our screening criteria. C.A.U.S.E. Certified companies can even give their clients secure web access to see a picture of the worker and physical description before he arrives at your home. The program is C.A.U.S.E. Certification.
Please visit www.SueWeaverCAUSE.org