Empowering those who Empower

$450 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 18 months
  The Reason

My name is Brittany and in 2016 I took a 10month trip traveling and backpacking around the world. I traveled throughout Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America and Europe.  (15 countries in total)  During my time traveling, I volunteered briefly in Greece during the Refugee Crisis on Lesbos Island and I also volunteered in Kenya with a small community-based organization which I'd learned about from a travel buddy. 

This was my first time volunteering international and before this, I'd never thought much about the representation of people of color in philanthropy and humanitarianism. But in both volunteer experiences, I was made aware that there was a lack.  My eye opening experience first came while doing outreach at one of the ports in Lesbos. People had been there for days waiting to for a ship to take them on the next leg of their journey, not knowing what lies ahead. Yet, upon seeing my cousin and me, two African American girls with big curly hair,  I suddenly felt like their intrigue helped them very briefly forget about all of that. They ran up to us wanting to take pictures, touch our hair..(lol) talk to us, the kids wanting to play, it was a sight to see.  Not to say that this wouldn't be the case with any other volunteer but by the sheer surprise and excitement on their faces,  my eyes were opened to something deeper.     

In Kenya, I had a similar experience while mentoring young Kenyan girls who couldn't hide the confusion on their faces upon hearing me speak with my American accent. They were so surprised to hear me, someone who looked so similar to them was an American.  They were accustomed to seeing volunteers and met my other co-volunteers with the same excitement but with me-- that had to be explained a bit more. lol. They ran up to me to ask me questions afterward, like what skin and hair products I used, what it was like living in America, and if they could email or call me. To me, it felt like they saw themselves in me somehow and it touched me in a life changing way. and that's when I realized I needed to show that there were more women of color out there like me, who travel, who volunteer, and who care about them. Wherein, InfluenceHers.org was born. 

The Goal
My mission for InfluenceHers is to provide minority women with opportunities to serve and empower their communities both locally and internationally. Which means supporting them and rallying support behind them in whatever way possible. 

I started this Go-Fund Me in my first efforts to implement a quarterly program call the EmpowerHer Program in which I will partner with minority women-led non-profits in hopes of raising money and awareness for their cause. Showing that philanthropy and humanitarianism has a diverse face, which includes women of color:) 

This quarter I'm hoping to raise money for two phenomenal organizations Huruma Trust Fund in Kenya where myself and other InfluenceHers will be visiting in June and The Star Boutique which this GoFund is dedicated to. (Hurma's GoFund Me coming soon:)

The Organization

I was introduced to Danielle Skeen the founder of Star Boutique through a friend shortly after returning from my time abroad and after hearing about her mission I was so inspired.  

The Star Boutique, Inc. is a charity-driven pop-up shop that provides clothing, shoes, accessories, makeovers and mentorship to teenage girls who are affected by homelessness in New York City. Looking beyond the physical attire that the Boutique provides, our primary mission is to promote confidence, empowerment, and sisterhood. The Star Boutique, Inc. serves young ladies ages 13 through 20. Our participants come from partner community organizations, housing shelters, and schools in New York City. Star Boutique participants include teenage mothers, teens with disabilities, LGBT youth and those who are impacted by domestic abuse and bullying, as well as low self-esteem and depression.

In addition to their Boutique sessions, the Star Boutique are actively working to plan and implement events, programs and more opportunities that will help the girls even further in developing their interpersonal and professional skills while exposing them to career opportunities. 

Where the money will go

Star Boutique- "Our goal is to invest 100% of the money we raise into the girls we serve. The money we raise will be used for things such as a scholarship fund, MetroCards for girls to get to and from SB sessions and other events (mentoring, job shadowing, etc), and anything we need for the girls that we couldn't acquire via donation.

InfluenceHers- " In hopes of growing the InfluenceHers community and connecting more women with opportunities to give back, from the money raised we'll take a very small portion to help support some InfluenceHers events. Such as our monthly brunches which bring's together women who are interested in learning from us ways they can give back and get involved with organizations like Star Boutique, as well as meeting other philanthropic women, and other volunteer events."

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Did guys know there are so many minority women doing amazing things to give back to their communities who don't get the support and recognition they deserve? Please help me help them continue making a difference!

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$450 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 18 months
Created May 4, 2017
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