I still can’t believe January is over! Just when I was getting ready to evaluate my new year resolutions in an order of priority. Well, if you are a struggling procrastinator like me, I need not expatiate the fact that change is often received with mixed feelings. Nonetheless, top on my new year resolution list is to do something new every month. This month, the goal is to launch a weekly article titled Friday Food-4-Thought – an article profiling inspiring individuals who are impacting the world and changing lives through their skills, talents and businesses.
The objective of Friday Food-4-Thought is to encourage one another to make the world a better place for all, against all odds. This week’s episode beams the spotlight on Veronika Scott.
I was horrified last night as the harsh effects of the brutal weather in Winnipeg and some parts of Canada were reported on the evening news. In an instant, my heart went out to people without power and hundreds of homeless people out on the streets on such a day when temperatures were as low as -52 degrees! I was still mulling the situation when an interview on Veronika Scott, Founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, came up. I couldn’t help but say a silent prayer of gratitude to God for the life of such a bold, beautiful and creative individual who is empowering and changing lives 'one stitch at a time.'
Empowerment Plan is a Detroit based non-profit organization focused on educating, employing, and empowering homeless individuals to create a better life for themselves and their families while producing a humanitarian product for those in need. The organisation employs and trains homeless single parents to manufacture the EMPWR coat - a garment that serves as both a coat and a sleeping bag. These coats are then distributed back to those in need across the nation.
During the interview on CTV news, Veronika confirmed that over 30,000 pieces of EMPWR coats have been distributed across 50 states in the US, 10 Canadian provinces, and several countries across the world. The EMPWR coat is a water-resistant jacket, which can transform into a sleeping bag, or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. The timing of these coats in Winnipeg this winter could not have been more perfect.
Veronika showcasing the EMPWR coat
Veronika Scott is a creative Product Designer and Social Entrepreneur whose innovative idea is impacting the world positively. Her disruptive innovation of producing a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag for homeless people took a different turn when an angry homeless woman expressed her real needs to her. Since the inception of The Empowerment Plan she’s been featured as one of CNN’s Heroes and has bagged several international awards.
Please watch this short video and learn how adversity and Veronika’s quest to solve a social problem led to the establishment of a social enterprise that is empowering the seemingly powerless members of society. Her words of wisdom and passion are truly incredible. I am greatly inspired by her story and hope you are too.
As you kick off your weekend, think about ways in which you can impact lives. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Sharing an idea with somebody who knows ‘someone that knows someone…’ could just be the beginning of the next big invention. Feel free to share success stories with us.
Do have a fabulous Friday and splendid weekend!