Women of Worth

What does it mean to be a Woman of Worth?

kimberlyMy friend Kimberly Iverson is finding out the answer to that question in a pretty incredible way.

Kimberly and I met back in our 20’s.  We had some fun together; traveled and did whatever it is you do when you are free of responsibility.  I was in school at the time studying broadcast journalism at ASU.  Kimberly was trying to navigate her path.  She ended up getting married and having children at a fairly young age.  Being a mom is a  role that certainly makes you a woman of worth. But there was more to come.

She ended up going to nursing school and later would work in hospice care.

I’ve heard many people refer to hospice nurses as angels on earth.  And, in dealing with hospice when my grandfather — who I loved so dearly — was facing end of life, I would certainly have to agree.

Like many friendships, Kimberly and I drifted a bit over the years.  Not because of lack of fondness between us.  But because no longer did we find ourselves free of responsibility – able to get up and go anywhere on a moment’s notice.  Now we had careers and families.  And very busy schedules.

Over the years we’ve managed to keep in touch on Facebook and e-mail.  We’ve seen each other when time allowed (here we are a goofy Halloween party along the way.  I think I was dressed up like Ivana Trump).  photo-13

I’d been following Kimberly’s effort to start up a non-profit called Bucket List Foundation.  It sounded really amazing – the concept of granting wishes to terminally ill seniors in Arizona.  I’d seen pictures Kimberly was posting on Facebook about the special ‘wish trips’ she was taking with seniors.  Those posts are the kind that make you hit ‘like’.

Recently I received an email from my old friend.  News that was pretty incredible.  Kimberly was being nominated as L’oreal’s Woman of Worth.

I reached out to her to find out more.  How exciting!  Not only to start a non-profit that is doing such worthwhile things, but to be recognized by L’Oreal.  Kimberly will receive $10,000 for her cause and, if she gets enough votes, will receive an additional $25,000.  That’s a lot of wishes.

She shared with me that through this effort she’s learned so much about these seniors and all of their unfulfilled dreams.  That’s a pretty sad phrase, isn’t it?  Unfulfilled dreams. This journey for Kimberly seems to be about helping ordinary people do something extraordinary — or perhaps just something fun — before their time on this Earth comes to an end.  She told me that she wants them to know ‘peace and hope’ at the end of their days.11-14-13-pena-bucket-list6-1

Living each day to the fullest because tomorrow isn’t promised.  That’s the mission statement for Bucket List Foundation.

Pretty good words for all of us.

I wondered how this journey has changed Kimberly, not just as a woman, but as a mom.  She says this endeavor has brought her family closer together as they all see the difference they are able to make.  Kimberly told me that the kids have all been involved in granting these wishes.

‘My hope is through giving and offering their time, our children will learn the value and appreciation of life and experience a deeper awareness, compassion and respect for their elders,” Kimberly told me.

And she started doing something really cool with the kids.  I love this idea!  She has each of them create their own ‘Bucket List’ and on big birthday years, like turning 13, 16 and, of course, 18, they celebrate by checking something off the list.  Kimberly tells me it’s been a way to celebrate life and the value of experiences and memories over gifts.

Kimberly and her family

Kimberly and her family

At a time when we all seem obsessed with buying more, running more and engaging less, I think Kimberly and her family are onto something truly special.

I’m sure the seniors who are checking that special moment off their Bucket List would agree.

Well done my friend! Well done.

Cast your vote at:
 WomenofWorth.com by using your email address to log-on and vote for Kimberly

Kimberly on Katie from Bucket List Foundation on Vimeo.

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