A friend recently recommended watching the movie called “Gimme Shelter.” The film, which stars Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, and Jams Earl Jones, was based on a true and inspiring story about a pregnant teen who escapes her abusive, drug-addicted mother and searches for her biological father, ending up in a shelter for pregnant women. There she learns about love and compassion and bonds with like-minded woman from similar situations as the shelter becomes a safe haven she can call home. The film touched me deeply and had a meaningful message about life. There is so much suffering in this world, and it is amazing to see that there are places that transform and help save lives through love, compassion, and community support.
When I researched further to find out more about this movie, I discovered the real places and people behind it. The movie is based is Kathy DiFiore and the story depicts her Several Sources Shelters in Ramsey, NJ. On a recent trip to New York City, I decided to contact and visit one of the shelters. I was not sure what to expect or even if they allowed visitors. After all, why would they accept me as a complete stranger? To my surprise, they were very welcoming and what I witnessed was a special and unique place of selflessness, compassion, inspiration, and hope against all odds. This is such a rare gem to find in a world driven by the importance of things superficial pursuits like “the selfie” and social media, where only the glorified highlights of people’s lives are shared.
There are unforgettable people you meet once in a lifetime. Those who choose to lead their lives differently.
It is something about their energy and presence that just inspires you. Kathy DiFiore is one of those people—a selfless woman who has dedicated the past 30 years of her life to helping countless others. Her story, her work, and her mission are a true inspiration for the world.
Kathy dedicates her life to helping those in need by providing shelters for homeless, rejected, and deprived women—giving them hope and dignity.
She walks the walk and talks the talk and endured many struggles and challenges in her own life. She was in an abusive marriage herself and was homeless at one point.
After meeting Kathy, she handed me a copy of her book, Gimme Love, Gimme Hope, Gimme Shelter. Curious to know more about her, I began to read and was immediately moved by one of her sayings, “God writes straight in crooked lines.” She means that people sometimes are exposed to pain and problems, but there is a reason for all, and in time they discover their life purpose because of those difficulties. Like many, Kathy endured many crooked lines in her life but soon found her purpose. She worked with Mother Teresa, changed state housing laws, opened Several Sources Shelters, was honored by President Ronald Reagan at the White House, and helped to rebuild and save the lives of woman and children.
When I first entered the house, there was a boy about 2 years old who kept saying, “Kathy, Kathy,” looking at Ms. DiFiore with love and devotion. I’ll never forget that image; in just a few words, his expression taught me about Kathy DiFiore, her mission, and her life. So much passion from just one small child, and then I realized that there were hundreds of such babies who have been here over the years and expressed just as much unconditional love and devotion. Their photos were everywhere around the shelter. It was empowering.
I saw a statue of Jesus inside the shelter that Mother Teresa had given to Kathy. The statue had no hands, which sparked my curiosity to ask why? Kathy’s response was, “We have to become the hands to help people.” I thought that was powerful. It got me thinking about my own life and what was I doing with my “hands” to help others. Perhaps we all can do more?
Any story of inspiration begins with giving…And if you do it with an open, genuine heart, you will be amazed with the rewards and fulfillment that your life provide to you.
I love studying successful people, and Kathy taught me new definition of success, one focused on saving and enhancing other lives rather than accomplishing for self.
On a table I noticed a book about angels. I picked it up and looked at it for a minute flipping through all these beautiful images of holy angels. Later, as I was leaving the shelter, I was thinking, Kathy DiFiore is definitely one of those holy angels that make this world a better place.
Anna Trishch is a lover of life, an author, a life coach and a public speaker. Coming from a very modest background in a small Ukrainian town, she faced many challenges and financial hardships as a child and teenager. Although Anna’s parents were loving and caring, they came from a victimhood mentality that did not resonate with her soul. A believer that we are the creators of our own life, Anna went on to study at Ostroh Academy, one of the best Ukrainian universities. Today, she speaks four languages and lives her dream life in Miami. She helps people to discover the universal truth about human greatness and unlimited human potential; it is never about resources, but always about resourcefulness. Visit her online at www.annatrishch.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 786-768-4130.