Every year one of the Partners at our firm buys a table at the "Piedmont Club" for their annual charity fashion show benefiting the Spartanburg Children's Shelter. For those of you non-Spartanburgers, the Piedmont Club is this posh "who's who" club that you pay (a lot) to be a member of. I've been there a few times, always affiliated with the firm and their goings-on's. Basically, they find some Jr. Leaguers, friends of the club, and board members to model the latest fashions from stores around town (Two Doors Down, Pink on Main, The Ants Pants; Yes they are as expensive as they sound.....) This year, every model had their adorable toddlers with them- Henry, Wyatt, Katherine to name a few.... and boy were they cute, boys in their little sear-sucker suits and girls in their smocked dresses and hair bows. "Ansley is wearing a precious pima cotton onesie with a darling crab applique in daiquiri pink and oatmeal pinstripe. Perfect for a trip to the beach or with her parents to a southern low country boil during those sizzling summer nights"
Then after the fashion show, the people from the children's shelter showed a presentation about their facility and the children in the area that they serve. The shelter exists to provide emergency and sometimes long-term care to children that have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. (This is where we do SuperChurch every month through Bethel) Anyway, during the presentation, some young adults that were once children at the shelter gave their testimonies about what a positive impact the shelter has made in their lives. There was no "Lilly Pulitzer" fashions or monogrammed jumpers from "Zucchini". Just young adults that have beat the system, broken the cycle of abuse, and have set their paths apart from the world in which they were raised. One young man was about to be a college graduate, one young lady said she had her first Christmas at the shelter "with gifts and everything" another said "I would have been in jail or in a substance abuse program without the shelter". Wow.
What a stark contrast. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves and what we are wearing/driving/living in (the daiquiri pink part of our lives) we forget that a whole other "black and white" world exists on our own front porch. Children are right in front of us that have been used, abused, and neglected by the people in their lives that are suppose to love them the most. I'm not saying that those people at the club don't love their children because they are wearing little pink bow-ties and tiny penny loafers, but I just pray we all know that's not what life is all about. That in those contrasts we should be truly grateful for all that we have been given and that we actively seek ways to give a little back. That when we are feeling that life has shorted us, we can step back and evaluate our pink daiquiri wants from our black and white needs. That we realize that we have been given exceedingly and abundantly beyond our wildest dreams and the people that we love and love us are more valuable than any runway fashion.