Patty Unleashed

Patty Unleashed: 10.9.19

When I realized I have friends who are nicer than me, it caused me to pause and think that maybe I should stop watching so many true crime shows and do something with my life to help others. Let me introduce you to two of my friends—the nice ones.

I met Valerie Silberman a few years ago during my attempt to get in shape. She is a personal trainer who combines the right amount of enthusiasm and encouragement without making me want to clobber her. She is the real deal. Anyway, she told me about an organization she volunteers with called Healing Action ( Val often teaches yoga classes or helps out with other events for the nonprofit. Like me before I met Val, you might not have heard of it because it deals with something that no one really wants to think about: human trafficking. (Although, if you are an avid reader of Town&Style, you saw the Reaching Out article on its executive director and the Snapped! coverage of its gala published last fall.) This organization has helped more than 200 clients who have survived sexual exploitation by providing assistance with basics like food, clothing and housing to more complicated services like trauma counseling, case management and peer support. In addition to serving these clients, the organization tries to promote awareness in the community and acts as an advocate with and on behalf of survivors. It is a small organization led by Katie Rhoades, herself a survivor. The nonprofit has one fundraising event each year. This year it’s called Ladies Night, and it’s at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Earthbound Brewery. You can find more details on the website. Here’s another idea: If you don’t feel like going to the event, you can make a donation online. I did, and just like that, I felt a tad bit better about myself.

I always have hoped there would be an organization called Making Cancer Suck Less. It is an awful disease—I guess most diseases are—but sadly, in my family, cancer is the one that seems to always get us. Well, Pink Ribbon Girls is the closest thing I can find to my idea. St. Louis is fortunate because this nonprofit only operates here and in Ohio, and it just so happens that another friend of mine, of course one who is way nicer than me, is director of the St. Louis chapter. Cory Smallwood has put together all of the pieces locally to make sure women who are suffering from breast or gynecological cancers receive some of the very basic support we take for granted. This includes preparation of healthy meals, house cleaning, transportation to and from treatment, and peer support. Can you imagine trying to hop on a bus after a round of chemo? The chapter’s major event, Ignite the Fight, is Oct. 17. If you are thinking that you don’t want to put on Spanx for a night out, then pull on some biking shorts and head to Pedal in Pink Oct. 19 at Wellbridge. If neither sounds interesting, they take cash! Become friends with Pink Ribbon Girls St. Louis on Facebook. Or email me, and I will get you in touch with Cory. The motto, ‘No one travels this road alone,’ gives me goosebumps, which again is a sign that I need to tone down the snark and start being nicer.

But if I did that, would you read this column? I think not.