Thought for the day: Everyone deserves a second chance. Ruth, a graduate of the Boaz & Ruth program in Richmond VA, shared her story with us when the Dreams On Wheels Tour visited this summer. In the video above, you will meet Ruth, hear her story & that of Sunny Days, the store she now manages for Boaz & Ruth. She is living a life she never even dreamed possible. Just a few years ago, Ruth suffered from depression & tried to end her own life three times. She was the first participant who had never been incarcerated. Ruth convinced Martha Rollins, founder of Boaz & Ruth, that her depression made her a prisoner in her own mind & that she needed their help as much as ex-offenders.
Ruth's recovery & the story of Sunny Days is also a metaphor for all of Boaz & Ruth's amazing work. The store could only open on sunny days, since the roof would leak on rainy days. A visitor donated a new roof & an air conditioning system enabling the business to be open any day, rain or shine. The lives of the trainees & graduates of their program could not tolerate the rainy days & storms in their lives before they went through their program. When challenged by life's storms, most of them broke the law & ended up in jail. They lacked the skills to work & be productive members of society, but thanks to Boaz & Ruth they are now contributing to society & supporting themselves, their families, & their communities.
I had heard the stories about this amazing nonptrofit organization before visiting this summer. The reduction of recidivism from 33% to 12% & the reduction of crime in downtown Richmond. The stories impressed me & I included them as one of the Dream nonprofits in my book. Visiting the 5 businesses that their participants & graduates, like Ruth, run was truly inspiring. Her passion, pride in her work are impressive. It was a pleasure to see how she is now giving back to the organization that saved her life by encouraging others, including her daughter who volunteers in the store. I will be sharing the stories of others from Boaz & Ruth & hope they encourage you to reach for your dreams as well!
To purchase The Wake Up and Dream Challenge & donate 1/2 of the profits to Boaz & Ruth click here