When asked, 'Why are you doing this?' I think to myself, 'Why are we not doing more?'
I am a wife, mother and cosmetologist at Shear Creations Hair Salon in Lake Oswego. I grew up in a dysfunctional family in which I often took the role as the parent. I missed many of the experiences that I believe children should have. Yet, while a healthier situation was possible, I was not helped. My passion for this cause stems from my own experiences that have been muffled by daily life - raising a family, work, completing a degree, housework - a seemingly endless collage of activities. In the routine of our lives, we often forget to look beyond our own fence. Beyond that fence are millions in desperate need of assistance.
We enjoy a functional society protected by the rule of law. While we live in safety, millions are subjected to brutal and unprovoked attacks in their homes and villages. More shocking is that these atrocities are supported by the governments in these regions. This is unacceptable to us as free peoples. We must do more to act.
I started this journey by donating haircut proceeds from my business. Funds are set aside one day per month (my 'Last Fridays' program) and are given to Jewish World Watch. In the first nine months of the program, $758 has been donated.
One day, after hearing about the atrocities, my 12-year-old daughter, Anna, professed, 'Mom, we have to do something.'
I was motivated to act. I have never organized an event like this one before. I have been encouraged to see how the desire to help is contagious! It has been an amazing experience to see how many people are coming together so quickly.
Startled by a recent report about the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which stated that four women and girls are raped every five minutes, I was emotionally upset and compelled to help. I contacted two organizations involved in this cause, Jewish World Watch and Never Again Coalition, to help organize Pamper for a Purpose - a grassroots event that will raise awareness and desperately needed funds.
The event is taking place on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Millennium Park Plaza in Lake Oswego. More than 40 local businesses are participating in the event. Event attendees will enjoy a multitude of activities including, manicures, haircuts, massage, speakers, live music, art activities, silent action, raffle, solar cooker demonstrations and more.
Admission to the event is free with a suggested donation of $20 per service. It is our hope that many people will be moved to attend the event, become educated, enjoy themselves and make a difference at the same time.
What can you do to make a difference? Simple: Start acting. Begin by attending the Pamper for a Purpose event on Sunday, Aug. 28, 3 to 6 p.m. in LO Millennium Plaza Park.
See you there!
Denise Wetherell is a resident of West Linn and a Lake Oswego businessperson.