“I CAN STILL MATTER”
“As time passes on I turn the next page
To discover a new me
while I continue to age.
I may no longer be
Who I was long ago
But I still can matter —That much I know.
With a new set of tools
I have gathered from time —I keep looking forward
To more mountains to climb.
My best is not over
As the skeptics might say —I just learn how to conquer
In a much wiser way.
So don’t sell me short —I am not nearly done —I CAN STILL MATTER —
I’ve only just begun.” ~ Irish Poem“
I feel this inspiring poem demonstrates a thriving will, not just a surviving will. It is a poem one can read over and over again as all of us need a positive boost now and then. I encourage you to share I Can Still Matter with your family and friends. Nikki Cross, speaker at the recent Human Trafficking Conference at Tampa General Hospital, and once a human trafficking victim and now a world- renowned speaker, used the term, thriving, to describe many of the human trafficking victims who are battling their way through trauma and depression, experiencing multiple flashbacks and some deep emotional and even physical scarring that they suffered from their abusers. They are the lucky survivors who are gathering the resources and skills needed to become thrivers in our complex society. This is not an easy road they travel; however, fortunately there are skilled and dedicated professionals walking with them. I know from personal experience how difficult this climb can be as I walk as a volunteer with some of the survivors. CAHT, because of our dedicated volunteers, is also thriving! One of our jobs atCAHT is to provide the funding and tools to help girls, boys and young women that have taken the first courageous steps toward freedom and a new life. This is such a rewarding endeavor as we collaborate with other human traffic nonprofits, skill development centers, safe homes, and our local schools. Thank you CAHT members for your continued support. As the above poem says, “My best is not over…. I’ve only just begun,” and this summer your board and committees are not taking a break but instead they are busily planning for next season. Even the snowbirds are contributing to next year’s activities. In May we funded the following activities: RCMA Wimauma summer school program with supplies, a special pilot program at Shields Middle School – Freedom for Teens, Southshore Chamber’s parents and students’ social media forum called Screenagers, and Enterprising Latinas. We also contributed victim back packs to U.S. Institute against Human Trafficking. A new Healthcare Committee is off and running. While still in the organizational stages, its main focus will be to increase awareness of human trafficking issues to our healthcare community as well as providing local and state resources they may need. Six new chairs have joined our CAHT team. Please welcome Elaine Palach, Secondary Education Chair; Kathy Lippincott, Event Chair; Anne Walker and Anne Planner, Healthcare Co-chairs; Tom Goselin, Advocacy Chair; and Doug Garr from Century 21 Realtors, who has agreed to chair our fall golf tournament. Wow, an amazing group of talented individuals! Board member, Anne Fenimore and I participated as members of the GFWC Sun City Center Women’s Club at the Living Flag Tribute for the May 28thMemorial Day Ceremony at Kings Point. My, what a profound experience and so rewarding as we shared with others our recognition of deceased veterans at this community-wide event. Many of our community’s organizations were there, bowing our heads in respect and remembrance. CAHT was proud to be a part of this special ceremony. Well, dear friends, thank you again for joining the CAHT team! Our membership is growing and so are our donations. If you have not joined a committee, please do! We need your creativity and involvement so we can continue to thrive, (I am really digging this word). It is also paramount to our continued success that we have a steady stream of donations so please encourage your friends, business associates, churches, and clubs that you belong to consider us in their charitable giving. We have a job to do as CAHT is making a difference! Remember, no general meetings until September 17th. However, we will continue to send out viable information during the summer. Enjoy your summer,
Annie Garrison, CAHT President