By guest writer Pat Grissom
I would like to appeal to Post readers to help me support Bay Area Turning Point, a community-based nonprofit social-service agency providing shelter and other services to families in need in our county and surrounding areas.
On average, an abused woman will enter and leave a shelter seven times in her lifetime. Many women stay in abusive relationships because they are financially dependent on their abuser.
I know about making profoundly stupid mistakes. Now a retired college professor, I am living proof that anyone can make terrible choices, especially about relationships, regardless of age or number of college degrees.
In 2009, I married a man despite numerous warning signs and a deep sense of doubt that plagued me throughout our two-year relationship. Two months after the wedding, I left on a trip with a friend. When I returned, my new husband announced he had fallen madly in love with a previous girlfriend who had contacted him the day I left town. He regaled me with one story after another about their magical relationship – like I would be thrilled for him.
At first, I wanted to write a book depicting him as a sex addict and pedophile and myself as a victim but then I realized I was the one who has made the choices that got me into that mess.
Instead, in 2013, I published Too Much Gold to Flush – The Gift Of Infidelity, which chronicles my painful journey and the lessons I learned in the process. Its message is that none of us needs remain victim of our past. At any time, we can take control of our lives and make positive choices.
I now sell the book to raise money for women’s shelters. One half of the purchase price of every copy is donated to the women’s shelter that the purchaser designates.
Whenever I teach a class in a shelter, I also donate books to its library and I have found that women tend to take them when they move on, so they value them. If women in shelters can learn to make different choices and gain access to job training or education, they’re more likely to break the cycle of abuse.
That’s why I have started a crowdfunding campaign called Empowerment Through Education at tilt.com. One third of every dollar donated goes to a women’s shelter college fund and the other two thirds provide copies of my book for the women.
To donate to Bay Area Turning Point through the campaign, go to tilt.com/tilts/bay-area-turning-point. All of the money donated to the shelter will go towards providing books for its residents and college fund.
To donate to the campaign’s general fund, which will be split among all participating shelters, or to donate to a different shelter, go to try.tilt.com/empowerment.
Clubs, church or civic groups, and consultants for direct-sales organizations like Mary Kay or Scentsy who are interested in doing fundraisers to support this project are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The campaign ends on December 15, in time to deliver the books to the shelters as Christmas presents.
Pat Grissom, a Friendswood resident for 26 years, is retired from teaching developmental reading and study skills at San Jacinto College South. Copies of her book can be purchased at patgrissom.com.