JOAN ROSSMEISL

 

TAMPA, FL

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Joan raised 7 children and, at the age of 40, decided that she wasn’t done caring for people, so she went back to school for nursing. She retired after working for 27 years as a compassionate nurse, but she knew God had more work for her to accomplish in this new season.

She saw a need that she could address for some of the most vulnerable in her community, so she started a ministry that provided care packages to the families of migrant workers with newborn babies. New Baby Steps has now blessed hundreds of families with scarce resources and has created relationships across cultural boundaries.

The last few years of Joan’s life have brought a string of tragedies. One of her daughters who struggled with mental illness took her own life at just 33 years of age. This past July, she lost another child when one of her sons unexpectedly passed after a long battle with illness. Five days after the death of their son, Joan’s husband of 63 years died suddenly. As we honored this beautiful woman at Dare To Be, she whispered “this will be my first Valentine’s Day without the love of my life. He called me the apple of his eye.”

The grace and depth of love that radiates from Joan are almost tangible. She blesses those around her with her kindness and, even as she mourns the loss of her loved ones, she’s willing to be a sister, mother, grandmother or friend to anyone in need.

The Dare To Be Foundation is able to bless each honoree with something chosen to meet their needs and bring them a little much-deserved joy. We were able to provide Joan:

  • A beautiful bag and custom necklace from ABLE

  • Hurricane windows for her entire home

  • A urgently-needed major dental surgery

  • A $2,000 donation to her ministry, New Baby Steps

 

You too can make a difference in women's lives by giving to the Dare To Be Foundation. 


 

SOPHIE BELLEVUE

 

CORAL SPRINGS, FL

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Sophie is a first-generation U.S. citizen whose parents moved here from Haiti. Growing up, she watched her mother work several jobs to keep their family afloat and allow her children the chance to thrive. Despite the challenges she faced growing up with financial struggles, Sophie was determined to dedicate her life to helping others. 

When it was time to start her adult life, Sophie took out student loans to study Psychology at a Christian college in another state. While she was away at school, her father passed away suddenly—a devastating loss that hit the whole family hard. Soon after graduating and getting a job in her field, Sophie was diagnosed with a rare eye disorder that would eventually render her completely blind without cornea replacements. Though she was employed full-time, she couldn’t cover the cost of surgery in both eyes. She has one cornea replacement, but the still-diseased eye causes her intense pain and requires expensive medication daily. 

When Sophie’s sister tragically lost one of her twin newborns after delivery, she knew that her family needed her to be present for them. She moved back in to her childhood home to help her sister navigate being a new mom while trying to grieve for her lost child. She got a similar job to the one she’d left, still helping people, and started helping her mother pay off her mortgage. 

Though life hasn’t been easy, Sophie has lived selflessly and her love for God and for those around her has never faltered. She works full-time at a non-profit organization that provides community resources for those who face hunger, homelessness, unemployment, mental health crisis, and suicide prevention, all while working on a master’s degree in Christian leadership to deepen her ability to serve. She anticipates the needs of others, thinking proactively about what can ease the pain of the suffering or what will make someone feel loved. You would never hear a complaint from Sophie about the pain and loss she’s endured because she’s channeled these experiences into a deepened empathy and a call to continue injecting Christ’s love into a suffering world. 

The Dare To Be Foundation is able to bless each honoree with something chosen to meet their needs and bring them a little much-deserved joy. We were able to provide Sophie:

  • A beautiful bag and custom necklace from Able
  • An all-expenses paid vacation and Broadway experience in New York
  • All of her medications and specialized contact lenses for the rest of the year
 

You too can make a difference in women's lives by giving to the Dare To Be Foundation. 


 
 
 
 

 

KRISTA BUMP

 

TALLAHASSEE, FL

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Soon after starting their family, Krista and her husband lost their home in a tragic fire. It wasn’t just their home that was damaged—almost all of their belongings were completely destroyed. In their darkest hour, a local church stepped in to help them rebuild their lives. It was this act of kindness in the midst of the chaos that led Krista and her family to a relationship with Jesus.

Not long after the fire, they found they could no longer have children of their own. Instead of giving up on the idea of expanding their family, they decided to start fostering. Since that decision, they’ve opened their home to more than 50 children in need of a loving place to call home. Since the ultimate goal for most foster children is reunification with their families, Krista became a mentor to the mothers of children in her home, helping bridge the divide that so often deepens once a child enters the foster care system.

When children they fostered weren’t able to be reunited with their birth families, Krista and her husband stepped in. As of now, this family has adopted five of their foster children and they are in the process of finalizing the sixth adoption—a baby who needs a permanent family. Although their house is bursting at the seams, this family knows they have more love to give.

While Krista and her husband are busy caring for their children at home, they have felt another call. They’re currently transitioning out of their contracting business and into full-time ministry. In order to cut spending, they’ve moved into a modest home that will require lots of renovations to meet the needs of their family. Following God’s call could be scary with so many people depending on them, but this family lives in complete trust and surrender. They know God will provide.

The Dare To Be Foundation is able to bless each honoree with something chosen to meet their needs and bring them a little much-deserved joy. We were able to provide Krista:

  • A beautiful bag and custom necklace from Able

  • Renovations on their new home

  • Their mortgage payments for the rest of 2018

 

You too can make a difference in women's lives by giving to the Dare To Be Foundation. 



 

MICHELE DONNELLY

 

BALTIMORE, MD

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Michele grew up in a loving Christian home where she was taught the Gospel from an early age. When she met the man who would become her husband at Bible College, they both felt called to ministry. Michele and her husband leaned into their purpose and went on to pastor the church her own grandparents started in 1957—full-circle, right?

A few of years ago, they ended up fostering a young woman from Ukraine who desperately needed a family. At the end of the summer, while taking her foster child to the airport to fly back home, Michele met two other Ukrainian foster children and learned about their brother, who would soon age out of their orphanage and be put out on the street with only a few dollars to his name. It was then that Michele made it her mission to adopt the girl they had just fostered, along with these 3 siblings—and she did just that. In the fall of 2017, all four children came to live with their new family.

Though Michele has always been involved in ministry, she has plenty of other responsibilities. She works full-time as a nurse, homeschools her children and her grandson (they now have 10 kids at home), and runs a homeschool co-op for 75 other children! Michele wears an invisible cape every day, sometimes working overnights as a nurse, coming home to a cup of coffee, and immediately working with the kids on reading and math.  

Where most people see roadblocks and dead ends, Michele finds detours to reach her goals. God has given her the gift of faith and the tenacity to keep going when life threatens to overwhelm her. She believes He has called her to this life, and she lives it well—loving Him first, then the others He brings into her life.

The Dare To Be Foundation is able to bless each honoree with something chosen to meet their needs and bring them a little much-deserved joy. We were able to provide Michele:

  • A beautiful bag and custom necklace from Able

  • A beach vacation for this family of 14

  • $10,000 toward a downpayment on a new home to fit their expanded family

 

You too can make a difference in women's lives by giving to the Dare To Be Foundation. 


 

MILLIE RODRIGUEZ

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA

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Millie and her husband had a beautiful young family, they were financially secure, and everything was going perfectly. That is, everything was going perfectly until it wasn’t. Their 4th child, a daughter, wasn’t hitting developmental milestones. Something was off. Their daughter was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease, now has been confirmed to be caused by KIF1a mutation, meaning she'd be blind, nonverbal, epileptic, and completely bound to a wheelchair and would need around-the-clock care for the rest of her life.

As the main caregiver for her disabled daughter and the other 5 children in their home, including the 2 grandkids that she’s raising at this time, Millie gives everything she can to those around her—and then some. And it doesn’t stop at her family, either! Millie makes sure her family is present to help their church community however they can, from organizing events to serving food.  

In 2015, her husband lost his job and has been doing odd jobs since then to provide for their family of 9. With so many financial burdens and so many mouths to feed, they haven’t been able to afford transportation that can accommodate Julianna’s wheelchair. Despite the very real needs of her own family, Millie continues to give generously—physically, spiritually, and emotionally—to anyone who might be in need.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” — Ephesians 3:20

The Dare To Be Foundation is able to bless each honoree with something chosen to meet their needs and bring them a little much-deserved joy. We were able to provide Millie:

  • A beautiful bag and custom necklace from Able

  • A disability-accessible van 

 

 

You too can make a difference in women's lives by giving to the Dare To Be Foundation. 


 

LAURA SIMMONS

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.

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From a young age, Laura has put her own plans aside to follow God’s call. When she fell in love and got married to a young seminary student, she left college to commit herself to serving alongside her husband in full-time ministry. Tragically, their family life got off to a difficult start when they lost their first child only a few moments after delivery.

Knowing that God had a plan for their family, Laura and her husband decided to try again. Their next son was born with mental disabilities due to complications during delivery, but in spite of the difficulties, they were thrilled to be parents. They went on to have two more children, rounding out the family they had always wanted.

In her early 30’s, Laura began experiencing strange symptoms—pain, fatigue, weakness—and spent years trying to find an accurate diagnosis. The doctors were stumped. Through her pain and confusion, Laura made sure to provide a normal, loving environment for her children. She was a prime example of playing through the pain, but the game never stopped.

Even in the midst of her illness, Laura gave of herself. Raising a child with special needs had shaped Laura and she made use of the patience and kindness she cultivated with her son to serve other people with mental handicaps in her community. Even now, she serves as a surrogate mother for the many of people with mental disabilities at the day program where her son attends.

Recently, Laura was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Dystonia and early onset Alzheimer’s. She finally has a diagnosis, but nothing she’s been prescribed has been able to truly treat the pain. The medical bills have become extensive and will continue to rack up as she attempts to manage her progressive illnesses. Being the woman of faith that she is, Laura never complains and chooses to spend her days loving on others and honoring God with her humble and gentle approach to life.

The Dare To Be Foundation is able to bless each honoree with something chosen to meet their needs and bring them a little much-deserved joy. We were able to provide Laura:

  • A beautiful bag and a custom necklace from Able
  • $10,000 towards her medical care
 

You too can make a difference in women's lives by giving to the Dare To Be Foundation. 


 

SHELLY MORALES

 

RALEIGH / DURHAM, NC

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When Shelly encountered Jesus a few years ago, her life gained new purpose. Taking the Great Commision to heart, Shelly focused first on introducing the radical love of Christ to her husband, her 5 children, and her neighbors. When her family joined a local church in Durham, she saw an opportunity for their community to step in and meet the needs of the local homeless population.

Shelly mobilized groups of volunteers to join her in homeless ministry—making kits of practical supplies and sharing the gospel with those in need regularly. It’s no surprise that this outpouring of generosity and genuine care for others has resulted in many people coming to know the Lord.

In addition to serving the homeless, Shelly always steps up to feed hungry people in her neighborhood or help someone get appropriate clothes for a new job. She doesn't hesitate to take people into her home when they need help getting back on their feet. Often, these random acts of kindness are done completely anonymously and they’re never done with the expectation of thanks.

This Thanksgiving, she felt called to give a little extra to make the holidays special for others and she ended up providing Thanksgiving meals to 33 children and their families. Just a few days later, her world tragically shifted when her husband was killed—a random act of violence when they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Suddenly, Shelly was a single mom with 5 young children to care for on her own.

A month after this tragedy, in the days leading up to Christmas, Shelly was back serving the homeless. Instead of letting grief stop her in her tracks, she let it propel her to serve others with an urgent love. The enemy hasn’t won in Shelly's life nor in her children's lives. As she came on stage saying "Jesus, Jesus" there was no question that this amazing woman draws her strength from her Creator.

The Dare To Be Foundation is able to bless each honoree with something chosen to meet their needs and bring them a little much-deserved joy. We were able to provide Shelly:

  • A beautiful bag and a custom necklace that says "Never Alone” from Able.
  • A $300 Walmart gift card
  • Utility bills covered for 3 months.
  • Rent for 6 months.
 

You too can make a difference in women's lives by giving to the Dare To Be Foundation.