Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

🌍 This International Women’s Day, we pause to reflect on the history and evolution of this momentous day. What began as a political event in the early 20th century has grown into a global day of acknowledgment and celebration of women’s progress toward equality and their invaluable contributions to society. Yet, it remains a day to advocate for further changes. Amidst this global recognition, it’s essential to shine a light on those who make a difference in the shadows, not for acclaim but out of sheer compassion and dedication. Let’s honor a selection of incredible women who have devoted their lives and efforts to helping others.

✨Alison Wawrzyniak – In the heart of the Milton/Halton community, Alison stands as a testament to unwavering friendship and support. Her journey with Julie Rock, a friend battling cancer and seeking a home, illustrates her relentless spirit and dedication. Alison’s contributions extend beyond her immediate circle, touching lives and inspiring kindness throughout her community.

✨Tracey Burton – Tracey, alongside her twin sister Tammy, transformed compassion into action by founding the Canadian Care Collective. Their mission transcended borders, raising over six million dollars in medical supplies and essential medications for Ukraine. Tracey’s endeavors, organizing shipping containers and flights to deliver aid, highlight her extraordinary commitment to humanity without ties to personal heritage.

✨Karen Sue-a-Quan – Karen embodies tranquillity and support, both in her role as a resident pharmacist at Sick Kids and as the founder of The Soul School Sisterhood. Her initiative aims to share soul-enriching practices with women, offering a sanctuary of peace and giving back in quiet, yet impactful ways. Her dual dedication showcases a balance between professional expertise and spiritual nurturing.

✨Maria Celia Da Rosa Borges de Mello – Maria’s life is a beacon of selflessness and compassion. Her volunteer work spans continents and causes, from feeding the unhoused with Home of Dulce, to packing medicine for Global Medic, and supporting newcomers to Canada from Brazil, Syria, and Ukraine. Maria exemplifies what it means to serve “anyone in need,” bringing warmth and hope to countless lives.

✨Pamela Bolado – Pamela’s audacious spirit and unwavering determination have led her to break several world records. Through her initiative, Mission Wonder Woman, she leverages her platform to advocate for transformative change, aiding survivors of human trafficking, challenging the stigma surrounding cleft lip, and elevating stories of women worldwide. Pamela’s actions embody the essence of courage and advocacy.

✨Marlene Shillingford – Breaking barriers and setting new heights, CWO Marlene Shillingford exemplifies what it means to lead with courage and resilience. From her beginnings as an Airframe Technician in 1986 to her historic role as the first female technician of the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (Canadian Forces Snowbirds), Marlene has consistently paved the way for women in the Canadian Armed Forces. Her journey through international deployments, leadership in NATO missions, and dedication to community service, including Habitat for Humanity, showcases her unwavering commitment to excellence and service above self.

✨Dr. Stephanie Finn – In a world where women’s health often goes unheard, Dr. Finn stands out as a beacon of hope and change. By founding one of Canada’s first clinics focusing on women aged 15 and up, she addresses the critical need for specialized care in hormonal and sexual health. Her clinic not only offers treatments but also follows up on women’s health journeys, emphasizing the right to be heard and properly cared for.

✨Jody Harbour – Jody’s work through Grandmother Voices offers healing and education rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing. As an Urban Indigenous Woman-Entrepreneur and fashion brand founder, her dedication extends beyond business to volunteering with various organizations in Halton. Jody weaves ancient teachings with modern therapy, fostering healing and understanding across communities.

✨Calissa Frans – For two decades, Calissa has been a pillar in the fight for mental health awareness and education, particularly focusing on youth in care homes and advancing the Black community. Her programs and advocacy work have provided support, education, and empowerment, highlighting the importance of mental health and community progress.

✨Aseel Al-Baba – Aseel’s journey from a financial planner to a psychotherapist and co-founder of Conscious Economics is a testament to her belief in healing over profit. Recognizing that financial habits are often a manifestation of past traumas, she now dedicates her work to helping individuals unlearn harmful practices and redefine their relationship with money through a therapeutic lens.

These women, each in their unique way, have contributed immensely to their communities and beyond, asking for nothing in return. Their stories of dedication, compassion, and action remind us of the power of individual contributions to collective progress. Let’s celebrate not just today, but every day, the incredible impact women have on the world. Happy International Women’s Day! 🌸 #IWD2024 #ChooseToChallenge #WomenInAction

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