Last week, I had the privilege of attending the United Way Of Northern New Jersey fundraiser event “Rise And Shine breakfast”.

This non-profit organization is a fierce defender of racial and financial equity for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households, who are unable to meet basic needs for survival.

Through their programs, fundraising, and with the help of volunteers, United Way create opportunities to assist ALICE families.

At some point during the program, one speaker asked for anyone who was in contact with, or relying on ALICE workers to stand up. The entire room of 400 attendees rose up. And it is no surprise, when you learn that 37% of all households in New Jersey do not earn enough to cover basic expenses.

Fran Hauser, author of “The Myth Of The Nice Girl”, and her new workbook “Embrace The Work, Love Your Career” shared the story of her family arriving to America, and the struggle that came with immigrating to a new place, and starting from scratch.

This breakfast was my first in person Rise And Shine event. And one could not help but feel lifted by the amount of energy in the room: hundreds of (mostly) women who gathered to do some good, to give, to support. Year after year, after year.

In a world that seems crazy at the moment, where evil and pain are at the center stage, it felt soothing to witness such amount of empathy and -dare I say- love for fellow human beings.

If you would like to learn more about this amazing organization, click on this link