#thedarlingparty

Well, it happened. The party I have been planning since August came + went! I can breathe a [huge] sigh of relief + thank the Lord for how well everything went. I’ve never planned a party that had so many different elements. My internship with Coast to Coast Central has seriously taught me so much! I had to write a lot + learn how to ask for donations. I had to think through every aspect of the party + plan each + every detail. I could not have done it, however, without my girls: Lin, Lou, + Alex. They kept me sane throughout these few months of planning the Darling Party, getting engaged, working and having school.

So, how did [THE DARLING PARTY] go? I’m glad you asked!

The day started early in the morning and flew by! Before I knew it, the party was starting! As girls walked up to the building, there was a large, lit-up sign that said “The Darling Party,” courtesy of Alex Koenig, and it directed them to the tall, glass double doors.

After checking out the [info table] + getting a [raffle ticket], there were many different things going on at once! There was…

+ a [necklace-making] station. This is where the girls crafted The Darling Necklace. All the materials were provided on the tables. So while talking + socializing, they were creating something beautiful. Something with a greater purpose. These necklaces will be sold with half of the proceeds going to build a home for girls rescued from the terrible injustice of [human trafficking] in Ecuador. Some girls even bought the necklace that THEY made! How cool?!

+ a [letter-writing] station. At these tables, they sat down amongst each other with a pen in their hand, staring a blank sheet of paper. With the mission of writing a letter to a girl rescued from human trafficking, the girls started to think deeply about what they really wanted to say. It was [simply beautiful] to walk around + watch the girls write down their truest words + then pin up their finished letters. You could [feel] the care in the room.

+ a [photo booth] station. On the table amidst colored glasses, fake mustaches, boas, glitter hats and pretend bow ties there were two chalkboards. The girls got to join the Coast to Coast Central Dream Campaign and write their dreams down in chalk for all to see + take fun photos with them!

+ a [raffle] station. I was so fortunate to have five different people/companies want to donate items. We had (1) a purple bubble necklace from Charming Charlie, (2) a dark gray piko shirt, a perfume stick and a studded bracelet from Yipsy, (3) flip flops, a t-shirt and a $50 gift card from Varsity Sports, (4) a framed typography quote that said “Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle” from Sydney Morrison, (5) and a piece of art on old wooden panels that said “dream” in glitter letters from Lindsey Baxter. The girls at the party [LOVED] checking their tickets in hopes to win a prize!

+ and a [food] station. Many people + places were also so kind as to donate/help with food! We had Kleinpeter Dairy ice-cream, Zoe’s Kitchen sandwiches, desserts from Cathy Gravois, chicken + chicken salad sandwiches from Kate D’Aubin, and refreshments from Michelle Zoghbi.

Many girls ended up back at the Info Table because they wanted to buy a necklace! Thankfully, Kyle Wassom lent us his iPad and many girls were able to purchase The Darling Necklace with ease!

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Another wonderful thing that warmed my heart was getting to share more about Coast to Coast Central and the heart behind the organization throughout the night. It brought me joy to see so many girls interested in what the Coast to Coast girls are doing. I particularly loved the conversations I got to have with girls about the Coast to Coast Central trip to Ecuador THIS SUMMER: the Justice Tour! I am praying over the girls that will go on that incredible trip.

It was an incredible blessing to walk around at the party + see different girls, with different dreams coming together (some meeting for the first time) for a greater purpose. This party was SO worth throwing. I was blessed in every aspect.

This was one beautiful truth I was reminded of: we are not alone. Yes, I planned a lot of the elements of the party. But I could not have done it without the sponsors, donors, supporters, prayer warriors and available friends/family. On the day of the party, I had so many people texting + calling me, asking if there was anything I needed them to do. I felt so loved, valued and cared for on that day when I was pouring so much of myself out into this party. I was reminded that I cannot do this life alone. I am thankful for the women God has placed alongside me to help me get through each day in His strength and point me to Him. These women in Ecuador are not alone either. They have their Creator who will always love them and be there for them and we pray that they will come to know Him if they do not already, but they also have us. Yes, US. We, as fellow women, can [PRAY] for them, [PURCHASE] a necklace to allow a home to be built for them, [SPREAD] awareness about the work Coast to Coast Central is doing in Ecuador, [WRITE] them a letter to tell them how beautiful + worthy they are, + we can [GO] to them and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as we love on them. Like I mentioned before, the Justice Tour is happening this summer, you won’t wanna miss it!

Not only in this season (since it is the season of giving), but let’s always think of others and how we can be a [blessing] to someone else.

“Are your future plans connected to a larger vision that includes others?” – Rick Donlon

Darling, don’t be afraid to dream.

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