When I spar with Shari, a friend and trainer at the boxing gym, I can hardly land a clean punch. There's no hitting this woman: she'll block your jab and smack away your right hand, no matter how fast the attack. And then she'll wrap you in a hug and tell you what a great job you did.
That's Shari in a nutshell. Life has thrown her a variety of punches, including cancer and a son's disability, but nothing knocks her down, and nothing gets in the way of her concern for others, especially young people.
Even before Shari told me some of her many ideas on how she'd like to help people, I could see the natural way she dealt out love, especially the tough kind, to the kids in our gym. She is exactly what they need. Which means she can do a lot of good elsewhere, too, as she's proven time and again.
A local initiative called 5x5 night awards up to $5000 for great ideas. I helped Shari write up the idea she's most passionate about: Mothers raising mothers. Experienced moms mentoring teen moms through parenthood and life. Our boxing gym has offered space, so the money can be directed toward making the dream happen.
If enough people vote for her idea, she'll be able to present it at their event later this month and possibly win the money. All it takes is going to http://5x5night.com/ and clicking on the green button labeled "Register Now to Vote."
Once you're registered, view the ideas and vote for Shari and THE VILLAGE.
This morning, when we were on the phone working out details of getting together to get this online, Shari started talking to me about bullying, something about a new kind of neighborhood watch, how she's designed a window sticker. I realized that even as we were preparing to launch one great idea, she was ready with the next.
Your vote will mean a lot to a lot of people. Please note that voting ends in just ten days; vote before December 13.