It has been awhile since we named a Mama of the Month. Our current project with Threads of Kindness would not have been possible without this woman. Hailing from Norman, OK, Sally Little lives with a lot of heart and a little grit. She’s also someone who turns ideas into action, which is why we’re happy to say she’s a part of the Somebody’s Mama community now.
Quite frankly, there are many non-profits working in Haiti, and we took our time in looking at different opportunities and project partners before choosing Threads of Kindness. We picked them because they are a small operation making a huge impact with their limited resources. Their leadership has integrity, and to put it simply, they “get it.”
In getting to know Sally, we learned some things about both her personal and professional life that made us realize it might be a good idea to hang out with this lady—she’s full of wisdom and has a great sense of humor.
Sally is married with three grown children and three grandchildren. When we asked who her people are, she gushed like the best kind of grandma would and included a note that in addition to her lovely family members, she runs with a “band of five women.” The group of six has lived some life together and are all teachers and nurses. We have always said that we are better together, and Sally’s strong connections to these lifelong friends prove that every great venture is better when you take someone with you.
We asked Sally what made her want to start Threads of Kindness. This is what she had to say:
"I went to Haiti with my church and felt totally worthless. Haiti didn't need Americans coming over there to see how bad things were just to go home and send money. Haitians want to learn and work and take care of themselves.
I am passionate about education, as evidenced by my being a teacher and counselor for 28 years. I believe we all make choices in life and the more educated we are the better prepared we are to make those choices. Knowledge is power.
I am equally passionate about sustainable income for women. I was a single mom and raised my three kids alone. Had I not had my education I would not have been able to work and provide for them. Every woman needs to be able to care for themselves."
We asked Sally what lessons she learned from her own mother, who is ninety years old and pictured above with Sally’s family at her oldest son’s wedding, and she whittled it down to two things: 1) If you are going to talk it, you better walk it...mean what you say. People are watching. 2) Kindness is key. It's hard for someone to be mean when you are being nice. Be kind and friendly to everyone you see.
Lastly, we asked Sally what motherhood has taught her. She said, “That I am stronger than I ever thought possible, that I am capable of love that I never knew existed, and that my kids are more fun when they have kids of their own.” See? She's got the grandma thing down.
Sally shared with us one of her favorite moments over the years in Haiti, when she was asked to accompany Kerby, one of the managers at the sewing school, at her wedding. Kerby is an orphan, and standing in as an “honorary mom” was a thrilling honor.
She also shared a picture from the time some of the women taught her how to make “picklez,” one of Sally’s favorite Haitian dishes which she describes as “cole slaw with a kick.”
Our partnership with Threads of Kindness is exactly the kind of work we had in mind when we envisioned what Somebody’s Mama would be doing in the world. We have an organization run by women for women that is meeting tangible needs and offering a pathway to true community development. Our donations this quarter will buy more equipment to be used at the sewing school—this means more young women will be training to become seamstresses, and more orphans will be able to attend school because they have uniforms.
We are so thankful that Sally took what could have remained an interesting cultural experience and turned it into a life-changing enterprise. Sally’s story is our story—she is using the gifts and talents she already has to make a difference. Her passion for teaching and creating helped feed her family when she was a single mother, and now she’s passing those skills on to other mothers who need the same opportunity to care for their children.
Sally has a trip planned later this month to check on the project and to share the good news of Somebody's Mama's involvement. We look forward to sharing more pictures with our community.
Thank you, Sally, for saying yes to the women of Croix-des-Bouquets and for allowing Somebody’s Mama to be a part of the great work you are doing!