Three days ago, Lisa Williams contacted me through FB messages to ask if her friend could borrow a ring pillow and flower basket along with rose petals.
You see, after nearly four years of selling everything from my home to my furniture to fund three very unique businesses, Debt Survival Info, Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners- I’ve yet to make a profit mainly because all three of these businesses were created specifically to address the struggling consumer.
In 2007, my husband was trapped in the real estate crash that took my family from a comfortable upper middle class status to nearly losing our $350k home. You can’t understand despair unless you’ve experienced it firsthand and, I have!
For years we struggled to save our home while selling our furniture to buy food. Without my husbands income, we ran through our savings quickly and would struggle for years to crawl out of the hopeless hole of joblessness and later, my health issues that included 5 surgeries for complications of endemetriosus, a breast lump and thyroid cancer.
We have never been lucky- but we have been resilient because we had to be. My husband and I didn’t have friends or family to call upon for help, we didn’t have parents to loan us money, we had me to protect us and I am far stronger than many people realize, I am a warrior who has saved my family over and over again because like me, they had no one else to help them when they needed help.
What folks don’t know about us is far more interesting than what they “think they know!” You don’t become a humanitarian if you cannot realize the plight of others, if you have no compassion or, if you’ve never been poor. My family laughs often for we’ve never had the time to feel sorry for the tragedies and traumas that have built our character, fueled our passion or founded our perseverance. You see, the gift of struggle creates the gift of overcoming obstacles. Poverty teaches you resilience and effectively you take what you learn and use it to help others by being unique in your diversified background.
Spoiling children is a mistake that makes them narcissistic and self absorbed. Love them unconditionally but teach them the courage of those who don’t have the same privledges your children enjoy- educate them to be the person they would like for a friend, give them life skills.
Getting children involved within their community by volunteering and understanding the plights of others installs compassion. Laugh and the world laughs with you or, spend a few minutes with my twin sister, Cindy Daniel and you’ll laugh anyhow because she’s funny as hell!
I am who I am because I was forced into “survival mode” over and over throughout my life- failure was never a luxury that I could afford for far too many people were relying on me to “save the day” or, “solve the problem.”
I told Lisa to have the Bride contact me as I’m not comfortable loaning items that I’ve sacrificed to attain and risk not having them returned (which has happened on several occasions). You see, I don’t have a “flower fairy” who drops off floral designs or cake trays, serving utensils, cake toppers, tablecloths or corsages. I’m glad I found time to give this couple a Dream Event and meet wonderful new friends
After speaking with the couple, it was decided that I would officiate and provide numerous items from my inventory to ensure a beautiful ceremony and photos courtesy of Robert and Stephanie Hafele who work so hard and take several hundreds of photos in order to get the best possible photos for our clients.
Along with my hilarious sidekick, Cindy Daniel and dear family friend, Angela Rodden who also had to help me keep the balloons I had purchased earlier in the afternoon while picking up a few things with Cindy Daniel.
While picking up items, Cindy and I were approached by an elderly woman who had recently lost her husband and was out of gas- we immediately bought her some cold water and gasoline before continuing with other items donated to this event including 6 bags of ice that I was worried about melting prior to our arrival at the venue.
The Texas Twins Events/Pawning Planners Team of Angela Rodden, Cindy Daniel, Robert abd Stephanie Hafele along with myself jumped right in with the set up and tear down last night while dealing with a very hot summer night in Fort Worth, Texas.
I’ve never had the luxury of a beautiful event for my marriage not my sister. Quite the opposite, while we would have enjoyed a Dream Event, the funding was never available. One day both Cindy and I plan to have a double wedding and go “all out” with wedding dresses and the little Pawners as our flower girls but, we are pretty busy right now so it may be a while ya all!
When my son married, I had to learn how to make bouquets, Centerpieces and corsages when my son, Robert Christopher Hafele married Stephanie several years ago. The wedding officiant charged $600.00 yes, you are reading that amount correctly! Many families can’t imagine a way to fund a beautiful event and for these families, we are the solution to a problem faced by many who would love a Dream Event but need our help.
The rehearsal and wedding ceremony of my son was so expensive at $600.00 I wondered how many other families faced similar challenges of hiring an officiant. After working for months to ensure beautiful floral designs, I decided to take Religion courses and overcome the issue of an officiant by becoming one myself.
I’m now licensed in numerous states and officiated the wedding of my niece, Leigh Ann and Alex Blais wedding as well as hundreds of other couples at fees far less than standard flat rates of officiants primarily because I recognized and realized that many families couldn’t afford the minister fee. I specifically “set about” finding a way to afford families a Dream Event primarily because I had struggled to provide one for my son and was well aware of the expense.
When my niece announced her plans for a wedding, I had already created an inventory of floral designs by working late into the night to handcraft them and when not in my “Texas Twins Treasures Work Room,” spent thousands of hours studying consumer laws while writing blogs and challenging laws in Texas that debt collectors were using to cloud mortgages, attain default judgments and destroy the credit of consumers who had no idea they were sued to begin with. The perception that 90-95 percent of consumers “Failed to respond or file an answer” was a falsehood and proven by me with hundreds of copies of lawsuits that were clearly marked “Non Served” and, “Default Judgment” granted. You see, I spent many hours of my own time in courthouses and, I met many people who had no control of their defaults due to job loss, wage cuts, illness or exhausted unemployment benefits. I knew their faces and, I understood their stories, no one chooses the path of poverty unless drugs or alcohol were involved. The folks I met had “fallen through the cracks” by either owning a home or having assets that prevented them from qualifying for government programs or assistance. They were what I call “invisible victims” I use this term because most consumers were unaware of the war in courthouses unless of course, it affected them. Laws and Rules were changed to accommodate millions of lawsuits filed and “Non Served” worldwide.
My commitment and sacrifice to help others has been a journey of triumph over tragedy, it’s been a journey of learning how to do everything myself, driven by my desire to help others I have learned the importance of kindness spreading.
Last night as my team worked together to give these young ladies the gift of a beautiful wedding ceremony- it becomes apparent to me that choosing a business based on giving back to my community was a logical choice, I am the person I’ve never met.
Wendy M Wortham