By Angel Simmons
The last few times that I’ve worn my ambassador sash to an event, I cringed at the amount of make-up and lipstick stains I had accumulated. This week made ONE year since I was given this title. Today while cleaning up, I took time out to finally hand wash my sash.
As the sink filled up, I noticed all the colors swirling in the water: tan from foundation, ruby from lipstick, coral from blush, peach from lip gloss, and remnants of charcoal from all of my black clothing. There was another element though… a shimmer that I originally though may have been from face powder. I was mistaken.
As I looked closer, I began to reflect on all the events from this past year of service. More than I remembered the runway shows and the awards, I remembered the speeches and the testimonies. I thought about the hugs and the moments and the lives that had been impacted by the work we do as ambassadors, humanitarians and spokespersons for this amazing organization.
If you look carefully between all of the make-up and lipstick stains clouding that soapy water, you can also see the sparkle of thousands of tears that have been shared and shed for those struggling or lost forever to the pains of life and loss. For me, those sparkles illuminate my path and keep me #OnAssignment as I strive to break stigmas and spread #TheMessage of compassion, love, and relationship in the lives of every heart I touch.
This December will make 4 years working with the Live Out Loud Charity. I have saved over 100 lives facilitating suicide interventions since then. The LOLC gave me a platform to talk about suicide, trauma, mental illness, and grief in spaces where no one else was willing to even have the conversation.
Collectively, our organization saves thousands of lives each year nationwide. Besides our extravagant fashion shows, we also host school tours, community events, and fundraisers. Our ambassadors commit their time to speaking at events throughout the U.S. and beyond. As the Ultimate Ms. Worldwide USA Ambassador, I made it a point this year to travel with our team to Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana. Next year, I plan to reach Alabama, Ohio, New York and Wisconsin. There is so much more work to be done, and it can only be done if we all stand together.
As my freshly cleaned sash hangs to dry, I set my focus on the next tasks that lie ahead. Our charity’s 9th Annual Chicago Fashion Show Fundraiser, my next certification in Grief and Trauma, and my book release for “Love’s Great Design” are all at the top of my to-do-list before year end. The 2019 calendar? It already looks both full and fulfilling!
After cleaning my sink twice those sparkles remain, leading me to believe there’s MORE than I can see waiting to be accomplished. I am grateful to have another year left with my title to make a difference. My challenge now is to expand my mind to envision bigger dreams for myself, to find greater opportunities for our organization, and hopefully, to see less tears being shed from the state of our humanity and the conditions of our hearts.
What is YOUR next challenge for the coming year? SHARE with us!
November 20, 2018