To Whom This May Concern:
Hurricane Harvey came in like a thief in the night the storm not only stole our city the storm stole our peace of mind. And if you are anything like me that’s the most important thing I currently possess and work daily on to maintain. Some of us waited for the storm just to see the outcome of it all, and some of us have been through so many storms in life Hurricane Harvey would be nothing unusual. Some would say the catastrophic effects of Harvey were related to biblical events, some say jokingly “Harvey was just like a man that Nevers askes for direction and is all over the place and leaving a mess of things everywhere” I’d say both to be true along with this which will sum it all up.
Harvey washed away some things that had they stuck around we might not have discovered what the real meaning of life is. In a blink of an eye or in this case 48hours Life can change and NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. It is within all of this we must find a place to re-evaluate our existence and then take life 1 day at a time to rebuild. Some people had little to nothing before this storm and now they have zero. And as an avid community worker I saw the need before Harvey and I see it more than ever now that the storm has passed.
I shed tears for the first 3 days after the storm pasted wondering how to help the women and families reaching out to me. I had to create a waiting list because of limited funds and resources. I was also extremely concerned about the Mental Health issues that people were having. There were women going into labor early because of the trauma they experienced trying to get to safety. Mothers lost their children, entire families lost their lives, and the scale of physical loss was beyond our comprehension. The emotional toll this took on the mental peace of mind is indescribable. Because of Harvey there is even more work to be done to rebuild a healthy mental state of mind of the people here. It’s been my goal and my responsibility when I created The Shades of Blue Project that is to watch over the women and children I serve, not just by providing resources, but healing them emotionally and physically.
In order to rebuild the Great state of Texas we must have money that is given in an Inclusive way not an Exclusive Way. There are several and I do mean several small organizations that even before the storm were out in the communities working, serving, helping and more and I have yet to see hundreds of thousands of dollars being sent to them or us. I have watched companies and individuals either collect or donate all of this money to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and these questions are constantly on my mind WHO, WHAT WHEN & WHERE is this money being distributed. Before this storm it was frustrating to see the same neighborhoods and communities being ignored. It is an even bigger slap in the face after a disaster the same issues still exist knowing that over 100 million dollars has been collected to help the people we serve. At what point in time will we truly all be as 1. When will the least of these be treated as if their needs matter?
In closing I want to say I’m watching all of you collecting donations for those devastated by Hurricane Harvey I’m watching to see if the communities we’ve served will be served with the same opportunities as the more affluent ones in this city. . I’m watching because I believe in accountability and I want to see every community touched by the generous support poured out for those recovering.
Despite my observations and concerns, we will rebuild 1 day at a time because no matter what we are Houston Strong we are Texas Strong We are 1.
Kay Matthews, Founder
The Shades of Blue Project
Texas Needs Your Help!!! I am here in Houston Texas and the damage is catastrophic. There are so many people who need our help. Our Organization is collecting Diapers, Wipes, Formula and Monetary Donations. There are so many families displaced and need help. Yes The Redcross , Fema and Celebrity's even collecting money but there is a RIGHT NOW NEED!!! If you can help us Please connect via email firstname.lastname@example.org If you are in Houston, Tx or any where surrounding and want to donate Please Contact Us. Monetary Donations Can Be Taken Via Paypal: https://paypal.me/rafflefundraiser We Are a 501c3 Organization All Donations Are Tax Deductible. We will Be looking for Volunteers To Help Distribute Donations Once Collected If You would like to participate that would be great. Please reach out to us.
Mis-COUNTED But I Still-MATTER
If you had told me a few years ago that My passion would be to help women and their families heal after childbirth I would have given you the side-eye for sure. Well the saying goes God created you so he knows what will happen before you ever do but who would have ever thought not me for sure that 4 years ago I would have delivered my 1st child stillborn and that life would never be the same again. When this happened my whole life turned upside down. So as I walked around with the fake smile on my face but I was slowly dying inside. I had no clue of what was going on with me. I felt as if life had no meaning because I genuinely lost the most important chance I prayed to God for and that was to have a child of my own.
So as life passed me by I deep down inside knew that I was stronger than the grief I was experiencing I thought often about my hospital experience how I was just another patient no resources what should I do where should I go Simply because I didn’t go home with a baby I went home empty handed and an empty feeling inside. I started to think I can’t be alone I was sure there was others out there feeling just like me so I started to research and I found that the day to day emotional rollercoaster I was on was postpartum depression. And just because my daughter died it didn’t stop those feelings from occurring.
I had to find an outlet so I begin to write down my good days and my bad days in my journal just so I could look back at each day and figure out what I needed to work on and how I could do better Once I truly got a grasp on my life I knew that I had to help others out there and so in my pursuit to also get back on track mentally I needed to get back on track financially because through this process my Catering business suffered I had lost my drive to cook or bake and so from that came a huge financial lost I knew I wanted to help other women and I also wanted to cook again without the thoughts of what if this happens again.
Writing in my journal was the key to me reclaiming my life so I knew I needed to put that together for other women in my same circumstance. I wanted to let them know that there was a way that they could help themselves. So In 2013 I formed my organization BabyCakes & Brunch which combined my love of cooking and passion for making sure that women are aware of the resources that are available and also to help in the process of bringing healthy babies into the world by being able to be physically prepared and also be able to express their emotions through writing down how they felt and then in return taking those notes to maintain and/or re-construct their lives for the better…Fast Forward to 2017 Part 2 to be continued……..
On my plight to connect the woman in the community with resources that are beneficial to their mental health well being I've actually connected with a company that is making leaps in bounds in the right direction for helping woman on their Road to Recovery when it comes to Postpartum Depression. It was my trip to Washington Dc in May that I was introduced to the company Sage Therapeutics although at the time I had no idea of what they were working on but by far the interest was there to find out. Upon my own defined research I found that they were and are currently doing a study for postpartum depression severe and moderate cases. That alone made me go even further into discovering who they are. In company terms they are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel medicines to transform the lives of patients.
In my eyes they are the silver lining in the dark clouds that women who are experiencing postpartum depression are looking for. The work that they have been doing with this study is simply amazing. I feel that there is always help somewhere out there unfortunately its never just handed to us we have to search to find it. So for me to know what I know about Sage Therapeutics and how they are helping women with their current study I would be remise not to share with you this information.
So today I ask you a few questions. Do you know someone that needs help when it comes to postpartum depression and are from the ages 18-45, and have given birth within the past 6 months? Do you want to know more about what Sage Therapeutics is doing to help those experiencing postpartum depression? If you answered YES to either of these questions Let's Talk....... or Go to the website and submit for a consultation Send A email to email@example.com https://goo.gl/MfwKLJ Our Focus is truly Helping Women Heal #shadesofblue #healpingwomenheal
I am always looking for ways to help moms that are grieving over the lose of a child/children. I personally have used writing as an outlet for the bad and the good days since my daughter died. In my own road to recovery after expereincing postpartum depression I felt as though I lack a bit of closure to that trajic day on May 29, 2013.
I had emotions that I still carried and was holding on to and didn't want to let go of. To be honest I didn't want people to know that I felt that part of her death was my fault, and that I felt I should have done more and been better and so on and so on. From those feelings came the thought of writing a letter to my daughter that totally expressed how I felt about losing her and how much that changed my life and my letter also included how I vowed to help woman like myself on their personal road to recovery. I can honestly tell you that after writing that letter there was a weight lifted from me during every word I typed and all the way until I was done. It was the best decision I had made thus far.
So I want to help you mommies out there by publishing your letters and thus helping you to release at least a little of what may be holding you back. I will start posting letters every Wednesday starting July 5th via our website at www.shadesofblueproject.org If you would like to add your letter to your Angel child/children Please submit them to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to helping you with this chapter of your Road to Recovery.
With Lots of Love
Kay M & The Shades Of Blue Project
Let's Talk........Did You know that Our Black Women are dying and Our Children are dying too at rates that are beyond alarming. How do we need to broadcast that there is a problem and we must find a solution now because later is just that... TO LATE.. What must I and others do to make you see that we need help Now? If we don't find a solution our culture will no longer exists. Awareness is Key and the Call To Action Has Been Made. Help the Shades of Blue Project Fund Our Programs so that we can reach more women in our community We can not continue on like this. www.shadesofblueproject.org Your Support and Donations are Needed Now. #blackmamasmatter #maternalmentahealh #shadesofblueproject
Let's Talk Friday..... I want to hear from women of color who have experienced a miscarriage or stillborn birth........Often times women who have had miscarriages or women who have had a stillborn child or overlooked when it comes to postpartum depression. Such as in my case I was told it was grief and postpartum depression was not was I going through As to say that postpartum depression is associated with actually having a live birth instead what it really is a mood disorder that can happen to any woman that carries a child no matter the length of the time. We live in a world that sometimes see things so one-sided that many people are left to either figure things out on their on are just simply learn to live life in a way that doesn't have to be simply because a "licensed physician told them the wrong information. When It comes to postpartum depression unfortunately this is one of those times when you wish it wasn't exclusive to all but unfortunately it is and no woman is exempt from the chances of experiencing postpartum depression. I want to hear from you I know we exist and its time we stand up and be counted and heard. Take the survey and lets make change happen http://www.shadesofblueproject.org/how-can-you-help.html #ourmamasmatter #stillbirth #miscarriage #someonelikeme #shadesofblue
LETS TALK FRIDAY: There is a gap in the minority community when it comes to mental health. There has to been change in order to break the stigma that comes along with this. No longer the days when silence is golden. Silence is killing us not so softly. We must start talking about mental illness just like we talk about the hottest reality TV shows or our what we will be doing for the weekend. Start making sure your friends, family even your neighbor next door is OK MENTALLY. Check your circle of people more often, I guarantee you somebody right now that you know just simply needs to hear the words : Are You Ok? Start to Live by Our Motto At The Shades of Blue Project....."We Are So Much Stronger Together Than We Are Apart. I am the change I want to see but your support along the way is much needed. #helpsupportourmission #shadesofblue #letstalkfriday #mentalillnessisreal#postpartumdepressionisreal #wehavetosaveeachother
Being as Extraordinary as I am can often times Lead to Extraordinary circumstances. Having my 1st and only daughter be born without life is the most difficult experience that I could ever have happen to me. Through the journey I didnt always have the strength to talk about it but what I realized was that my story was something people needed to hear because It only takes a moment in time for your life to change forever #MommyToAnAngel #shadesofblue #breakingthesilence Click Here To Read More.....
I found this video very intersting and would love to get your opinions on it Let's Talk...... #shadesofblue #ppd #letstalk
Kay Matthews is a best selling author and started the shades of blue project through her own personal loss. Follow the journey as she helps inspire and motivate women globally.