November 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm , by Sonia Harmon
Kelly Sargent, a marketing professional based in Des Moines, had a thing for buying pajamas—there was something about having a new, comfy pair that seemed to put her at ease. So on one unseasonably cold night, when she got the desire to buy another pair of pajamas, she wondered if women at the local domestic violence shelter might find comfort in a new pair of their own, since they often come into shelters with just the clothes on their backs.
After joining forces with her local Rotary club, friends and family to make donations, Kelly received 150 pairs of pajamas. Two years later, more than 5,000 pairs have been donated to domestic violence shelters in Iowa, Arkansas, Nevada and New York through her non-profit, Helen’s Pajama Party, named after her mother. We love that Kelly thought outside the box—it might seem like just a pair of pajamas, but it’s a warm gesture for women on the first night of their new beginning.
What makes me a lady: Being married to my wonderful husband, and caring about and loving pretty much everything and everyone around me.
Favorite guilty pleasure: Having way too many shoes and clothes! But that’s justified by the fact that I have my black belt in bargain shopping.
Three things on my life list: Write a best-selling book, do a cartwheel and learn to speak Spanish fluently.
If I could have a superpower, it would be: I would like the ability to vaporize any and all hate within them someone just by touching them on the arm. I’d leave all the other emotions untouched—sad, mad, glad—but I’d neutralize hate.
Ladies I admire: This is a tough one because there are so many I admire. Most of those I’d name are women that might be deemed “ordinary” because they’re not famous. The thing they have in common is that they’re all women who have overcome obstacles and tragedies and still manage to take care of the ones they love day after day and be a force for good in the world. Some well-known women I admire include Jane Goodall, Alice Walker, Steffi Graf and Sonia Sotomayor.
Do you know a woman who deserves some of the spotlight? Tell us about her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she could be featured in a future post.