Today we’d like to introduce you to Daphne Anderson.
Daphne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I moved to Plano, Texas in the latter part of December 1985. Each summer I would return back to Queens (Far Rockaway) New York to spend the summer with my grandma. During those summer visits, I had to cram in visiting friends and family in two and a half months. My last summer visit was 1992 and my grandma passed away September 1993, my senior year of high school. Her death took a toll on me more than I cared to recognize or admit to; I was emotionally drained.
Throughout the next 20 years, I would uncover that I had A LOT of suppressed emotions and baggage. Dealing with unwanted sexual encounters, verbal and emotionally abusive relationships, acknowledging my own low self-esteem, trying to find my own voice, two miscarriages and so much more, I cried many days and nights. But I Love Life & Learn; I Lovemyself enough to know it’s okay to make mistakes. I stopped living Life questioning if my decisions were the right ones. I Learned from the past and how to deal with my decisions.
Over the last 10 years, I have mentored and walked life with over 25 ladies. I have shared my personal story with some and encourage all of them to Love Life & Learn.
In 2013 I created a luncheon for the mother figures in my life to share with my daughter and those ladies how much they’ve touched, poured into, affected and shaped me into the woman and mother that I am today. I wanted to show my daughter that as she embarks on her next chapter of life going into college, it was normal to create new bonds and adapt to new “families”. These figures were my mother, Jeanette Rollison; mother-in-law, Carolyn Anderson; spiritual mother, Dianne Dillon; and spiritual grandmother, Bessie Franklin.
This luncheon was very intimate; I crafted and printed a special menu, gave them love bags displaying gifts from my heart to them and my daughter added her touch of drawing in sign language the first letter of their first names on the bags. I wanted to show them, they feel and know just how much they mean to me. But I got so much more than I bargained for.
My spiritual mother loved the luncheon so much she asked me to take it public and share it with others. Four years later I did … Always Mothers Luncheon (AML) was born and held its first annual event on May 6, 2017, labeled #AML2017. Always Mothers Luncheon would benefit other local non-profits as we ourselves focusing on the emotional well-being of mothers in our community.
After completing our second annual event on May 5, 2018 (#AML2018), it was announced that Always Mothers Luncheon was a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our motto remains the same … to Love Life & Learn.
Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth road … OH NO! But that’s okay. It’s not supposed to be. Hosting an annual fundraising event has its fair share of difficulties each year. Ensuring we have the right speaker(s) for the theme of the year, the vendors, entertainment and making sure that each year is not like the last. We never want to be so predictable that you know what’s coming because that’s not how life is. Life is unpredictable, ever-changing and also producing a new feat for you to triumph!
For the last two years, we have sold out and doubled in size of attendees!
Now we find ourselves “starting over” as we are a non-profit now! But again, that’s how life is. You are ahead and then get knocked back down a few steps … but you keep going and that’s exactly what we plan to do – KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
After all, how can we serve and assist the mothers in our community if we don’t have some setbacks and “walk in their shoes”?
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Always Mothers Luncheon story. Tell us more about the organization.
Always Mothers Luncheon assists mothers with their emotional health and maintaining our everyday lives via classes, support groups and using our own inner strength. We seek to be the resource mothers can use when they question their ability, their worth, and even their sanity.
Our goal is to provide the emotional support and resources to assure women that they are enough, we want to stand up and provide that message ourselves this year. The funds that we raise through ticket sales at this year’s luncheon (#AML2019) will go directly into our new programs and services that we are launching in our first year as a non-profit. We are in negotiations to partner with other non-profits, organizations and private entities to support and empower women. We will have seminars to assist with everyday concerns such as emotional health, employment transition, career coaching, family planning and more.
Through our events and seminars, we welcome mothers of all walks/stages of motherhood; childless, foster, desiring to be, adoptive, the fathers that play the dual role, etc. We welcome you to attend our events as we share our resources, give support and share our stories. All events are a safe space where we don’t judge or condemn, but Love Life & Learn through it.
Our annual fundraising event, Always Mothers Luncheon, are held the Saturday of the weekend prior to Mother’s Day. This annual event is more celebratory about that year’s theme and message and less about being a mom. We intentionally do this because of the emotional aspect for those that may or may not have their moms or their children. For this year, #AML2019, it will be held Sat, May 4th! We provide mothers with support, diversity, resources, and empowerment. Join us at our next event.
- Website: AlwaysMothersLuncheon.org
- Phone: 214-310-0360
- Email: Events@AlwaysMothersLuncheon.
- Instagram: instagram.com/AlwaysMothersLuncheon
- Facebook: facebook.com/AlwaysMothersLuncheon
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/alwaysmothersluncheon2018/
Team Howard Photography, Karena Pennon Photography, ElanBlu Photography