Once upon a time in Hampton, VA- 5 years ago, I met a neighbor and fellow church-attendee, a superwoman—Angela Palomo. A mother of 2 blonde-headed kids (at that time)– who had an even WILDER love and life story than I… It was instant and honest friendship from day 1.
This month, she is launching her new business —and is excited to share with other women the ways that doma’s vision and her life experiences have compelled her to action advocating for vulnerable populations. She is a living example of the kind of providers with whom doma desires to have long-term relationships.
To be involved, you don’t have to be without attachments- you don’t have to be in a certain season in life, you don’t have to hop on a plane or drop in exhaustion while trying to volunteer hours, you don’t have to be wealthy, you don’t have to know how to speak several languages, and you definitely don’t have to rearrange your life…
With a little creativity and action—you can still live ‘simply’, yet mindful of others…
Why be involved with doma?
A big reason I want to be involved with doma is because I want my children to be aware of a world outside themselves at an early age. We don’t live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, we live in Suburbia, surrounded by the latest gadgets and movies and toys and unsaved neighbors. There are so many distractions, so many things vying for our attention and affection. Comfort and instant gratification and a me-first attitude are the order of the day. Sometimes I feel like I live several separate lives, not because I want to, but because that’s how compartmentalized life gets sometimes. I want to be so involved in a worthy cause that it is my identity and you can’t separate it from who I am. This isn’t just something I do when I feel like it or when I’m financially able or when I sense that God is calling me to it – he has called us all to it, whether we sense it or not! I want to be involved from the ground up and have my children grow up with this as a regular part of who we are.
Once upon a time, I wanted to go on a missions trip with Julie so that I could see her without makeup. But even moments after giving birth she is as beautiful as ever, so the novelty of that idea has worn off. HA HA HA HA HA!
I think that there are so many wonderful organizations out there to support, but my heart leans toward grassroots efforts, having been part of an independent, home-grown operation. I also love Julie and Dan and believe in what they’re doing. I’ve heard Julie’s story (and have known her for five years now!) and seen this vision take shape and mature, so it was a natural fit in that sense as well.
What does your typical day look like?
My days go by fast. I have four children, ages 2 to 10, who keep me on my toes. I school them at home and hardly get a break so I’m pretty exhausted at the end of a day. I wouldn’t change it for anything, though. Patience and time management aren’t my greatest strengths, and some days are better than others, but God is gracious to keep me humble. I like structure but I also like flexibility and finding the right balance is no easy task. All in all, I figure if we’ve eaten three meals with some snacks thrown in, accomplished our reading and math, and I’ve gotten some phone calls made, it’s been a good day!
Why did you decide to make your first show a fundraising event?
Everything I have and all that I am is the Lord’s, including my business. Rather than being something personal, between God and me, I wanted to make an outward expression of my commitment. I thought a fundraiser, where all my commission goes to the organization, would be an appropriate launch event. I don’t intend for it to stop at this one show. The company name, Thirty-One, is taken from Proverbs 31 in the Bible. That quintessential woman exists all over the world. I need to relay to a woman in a Virginia living room that she has many things in common with a woman in an African village, in a Russian city.
Why are you interested in working with vulnerable populations?
I’ve never taken exception to the Great Commission as part of my walk with God. I know you hear a lot about how the guy in your own backyard is your mission field and I believe it’s true, but I still take the part about “the ends of the earth” literally. It’s hard enough to be pregnant and a mother of young children in a society where conveniences abound, let alone in a country where people live in grass huts with dirt floors. I believe that people everywhere, no matter the culture, experience the same thoughts, emotions, hopes and dreams. Physical discomfort is no more tolerable just because you’ve never had proper medical care. I believe there is one race, the human race, and that we are specifically called to this kind of ministry.
What are your past experiences with this type of work?
When I met my husband 14 years ago, he headed up relief and medical missions in the Caribbean. If there was a volcanic eruption, a hurricane, any kind of disaster, he traveled around to the different islands and brought food and medicine and other necessities. Our base was Puerto Rico, where I lived for three years and helped to organize volunteer teams for these trips. My experience is more administrative and organizational. I hosted groups from churches who came to Puerto Rico to rebuild a ship we were planning to use as the vehicle to deliver supplies. We also were working on staffing a hospital on one of Puerto Rico’s off-islands. Hurricane Georges sank the ship; politics between the Puerto Rican government and the US Navy stopped the hospital from becoming a reality. I also have traveled to the Dominican Republic and filled prescriptions for a medical missions trip.
The only thing I remember is tarantulas!!!
How can the doma family support you?
To take part in this event, log on to www.mythirtyone.com/funtotes and view the 31 Kids and Spring/ Summer catalogs. To place an order from which doma will receive 25%, click on My Events (under my picture) and then click on doma. I have a goal of $2009 in 2009 to be a founding doma family.
It just so happens that this month (May) our customer special offers one of our “Julie” totes for $10 with every $20 purchase. Since I don’t believe in coincidence that was a definite green light!
Thanks, Angela, for your heart for vulnerable children and women in this world! And for the record, I am out at Starbucks right now without a drop of make-up on! 😉