Mrs. North Dakota International 2015, Erin Bertel shares about her platform, The Joy of Sox: Hope for the Homeless!

noun \ˈhōm\
: the place (such as a house or apartment) where a person lives
: a family living together in one building, house, etc.
: a place where something normally or naturally lives or is located

Webster defines a “home” as the above and Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “There is no place like home.” But if you have gone without the basic need of shelter, then you know is not that simple and that “home” means a little bit more.

On any given night, over 600,000 people in our country will be homeless, and from January through June of 2014, my family and I were 5 of them. It was through my experience with homelessness that I realized the importance of hope- and that hope can come in any form. If you have ever felt helpless and paralyzed perhaps you have felt the importance of hope. Maybe you have seen hope through a medical test result improve, or a phone call from a friend, or reservation suddenly become available. As a cancer survivor, I am not a stranger to paralyzing situations; and it is these challenging and paralyzing experiences that have permanently altered the way I see people. A man, Kyle, who is chronically homeless, inspired my passion to distribute socks to the homeless in effort to provide comfort, warmth and dignity but above all hope to homeless children and adults.  I have learned first-hand that when I see a fellow human in crisis, that it is truly “there, but for the grace of God, go I” and that it could be my crisis in the blink of an eye.

My platform, “The Joy of Sox: Hope for the Homeless,  is designed to educate and create awareness throughout North Dakota on the importance of getting involved and supporting our citizens who are experiencing homelessness.  My mission is simple: to provide socks for the homeless. My main objectives are: 1. Fundraising (to purchase new socks).  2. Collect new socks (helps raise community awareness of homelessness). 3. Distribute the socks to the homeless (restores hope). 

I invite each of you to follow my journey as Mrs. North Dakota International 2015 and my platform The Joy of Sox: Hope for the Homelessat   Join me in a sock drives and distributions or I empower you to focus in on your own gifts, talents, knowledge and skills and examine yourself closely to identify how you can provide hope to the homeless.

Together we are providing hope to the homeless.
Erin Bertel

Mrs. North Dakota International 2015

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