The Aunties: the first meeting of the Board of Trustees

Last night, something happened that I hadn't imagined happening ever,  in the last 3 years. I didn't start this with any set plan in place, let alone any plans at all. And as we went on, I started to realise that this is what I wanted to do. I originally involved other people, started calling them the Aunties a long time ago now, in the scheme of things, and things have expanded at a faster rate than I had expected.

I started thinking about formalising what we do, making us a charity. You need board members right? So six months ago, I asked particular people if they would do that. It started with a discussion with M -  will you be the chairperson? I asked.. She accepted because, let's face it, I promised her she could bang a gavel. I asked my friend P who has so much heart for this work. I asked my friend J who has the experience and nous needed for these things, I asked E because she's level headed, is good at numbers and equally good at keeping people focused, I asked my friends J and M who have supported me in this venture in ways you don't need to know about and that they'd rather I didn't tell you about. I asked Uncle P  who's an avuncular chap, experienced in governance, and of course, there's my V, who's been with me pretty much from day one, advising and counselling me, with wisdom and compassion.

I knew we needed a lawyer, and a friend I love dearly is experienced in these matters, so I talked to her and she's onboard with steering us in the right direction.

Exciting. But still, theory, and a wee way off, yes? I have a lot going on so I thought it may take a while.

But. I don't like to wait and so we organised, all of us, that we would have our first Aunties meeting. Getting closer. I could feel it. Were we ready?

So. Last night something happened, something I hadn't imagined happening, ever. There was a meeting of the people who will be the trustees of The Aunties. A coming together. I knew everyone, of course, but some didn't know each other. We got started pretty much straight away and P and J started taking notes and filling in the application to become a charity. We talked about our kaupapa, we talked about the structure, we answered the questions as they arose and pondered some that hadn't. I learned some things - we can't be called Aunties Inc and if we fold the funds have to go to another charity (fairly obvious which one). We ate pizza, we talked more. I asked them to talk about why they were attracted to this work, and the answers were so valuable. And I cried. Because something I had never even imagined would happen, was happening. Right in front of me. Beautiful people, with enormous hearts, just wanting to do something, and thank the stars my something sang to them. J spoke of the concept that the Ancient Greeks had, and I forget the name of it but as she was speaking it spoke to me - the idea that when you help others to find their light, you find yours.

So there we have it - another meeting will be held in a couple of weeks so that we can talk more about the rules, and attach necessary documents to the application. And, as I said last night, this goes from being sustained support of the women in the refuge to something bigger. A vehicle to support people, a vehicle that relies on relationships, love and trust. A vehicle for showing humans the hearts of other humans. Humans holding hands and loving and cherishing other humans.

The dream is real, made manifest. And it's happening. Right now. 

Aunties Speak

What the Aunties Did: August 2016