We might all snigger every year, when two American baseball teams contest the World Series. America is still the foremost nation on earth, but claims of being World Champions in a contest confined to their own shores is delusional and emotes the affectionate phrase – Only in America.
The Washington Nationals are the current World Champions btw – beating the Houston Astros.
Not me. I looked it up using Google, the American search engine and Wikipedia, the American website. I don’t know much about baseball. Hardly anything, in fact.
And unlike Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Dan Merino and Tom Brady – all luminaries of US sports and whose stardom transcends borders and interest, but the only baseball player I am aware of, I am afraid is Babe Ruth.
But what is indisputable about baseball however, is the worldwide dominance of its hat. The baseball cap is iconic and ubiquitous, it adorns heads right across the globe.
The Holland household is full of them. Crammed in to every cupboard, nook and cranny, and as far as I am aware, without any of us buying a single one. Do they breed, I wonder?
And no bad thing since the baseball cap has long been co-opted by the golf world; they come in very handy since all members of our household (yes, Nikki also) are keen golfers, albeit some more keen than others.
I found this natty little number for my most recent golfing disappointment. Never worn before and always clutching at straws, I hoped that this cap might be what my game has been missing over all these years. It caught my attention with its unusual logo which I didn’t recognise – difficult to discern being black on black. But the writing on the back, also in black, makes perfect sense and I am happy to explain why.
The Empowerment Plan.
A charity founded and working in Detroit, Michigan – which The Brothers Trust have supported over the last few years.
Having never heard of The Empowerment Plan, it is a good fit for our Trust, with our tagline and intention…
…to shine a light on charities that struggle to be heard.
And of course, in its work, helping people in desperate plight and in a most inspiring way.
“The Empowerment Plan”
Simple words, that surely, no one can take issue with.
Who doesn’t want and need to feel empowered? And we all do better in life with a plan, right?
The Empowerment Plan was founded by a college student, Veronika Scott and her buddies. Sufficiently moved by the increasing unemployment in Michigan and the accompanying poverty and homelessness, they wanted to do something to arrest this downward spiral.
They conceived and designed a coat specifically for homeless people in the Michigan area. A laudable intention but one that was found wanting. The story goes, that when Veronika offered a prototype to a homeless women, she did not get the reaction she might have expected.
“I don’t want a coat. What I want, is a job”.
And with this – in 2012, The Empowerment Plan began to take shape and emerge in to something that transforms people’s lives.
To this day, coats for the homeless remains its primary output. But it is not that these coats are special, being adaptable in to sleeping bags for night use – it is how these coats are manufactured by a special work force that makes The Empowerment Plan so unique and so effective.
Along the lines of the old adage –
Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. But teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.
The workforce of the Empowerment Plan are people who have themselves been homeless. The coats are manufactured in Detroit and distributed the world over. Providing obvious benefits to the recipients but even more so to its workforce. Predominantly, women who have been identified by the charity and given this vital lifeline. Not only acquiring tangible skills and a gainful income but also the essential boost to their self-esteem and the emotional nourishment that comes with having a role and a purpose in life.
That Detroit is ‘Motown’ and the indelible impact this has on our culture – and that Detroit was once the manufacturing hub and mainstay of the US economy, anything being manufactured in Detroit these days is a further glimmer of light and hope.
The Empowerment Plan’s ambitions are grand. They are all about providing fish and the ability to fish.
An employee stays within The Empowerment Plan (the program) for an average of two years and none of them have since, fallen back in to homelessness.
This is a remarkable achievement and testimony to their work.
I write this now to pique your interest. I encourage you to check out their inspiring website – The Empowerment Plan - or maybe wait a little while yet, because Tom is doing an interview with Veronika shortly and no doubt, this will provide much information on how powerful this charity is and how Tom’s platform can help them expand their network to raise more funds and to help more people.
And finally, the keen eyed sports fans amongst you will be wanting to know the answer to the question I posed earlier in this post.
Did The Empowerment Plan baseball cap help my golf? Because if it did, then imagine the bountiful income streams available to them?
But alas, no.
Their cap, whilst comfortable, imparted nothing positive on my game.
In fact, losing 10 balls which is pathetic and frankly, uneconomic. I love golf but equally, I hate the bloody game, which will make perfect sense to anyone who has dared to play it.
So, why then am I encouraging my lovely wife to play?
A good question.
Because isn’t there an adage about pain? Something about a pain, shared…