Sometimes we get the chance to meet some of the sweetest and most down-to-earth people, and then sometimes those people come and work for us! Kaycee joined the Speak Your Silence family and helped us during the holiday season with Vanna White, our VW bus. Read more about Kaycee below.
Hello everyone! My name is Kaycee. There’s a chance you haven’t met me yet, but I’ve had the awesome privilege of being on the “Bus Crew” hanging with our dearest Ms.Vanna! I actually was introduced to Speak Your Silence right when Vanna White made her big debut. Bridget (who you all know and love!) actually invited me to come to a launch party of this VW Bus she was going to be cruising around in- so I’m like “hmm……okay!” Came out, had some awesome pizza, and was not only awestruck at seeing the coolest bus I’ve ever laid eyes on, but my heart was 100% captured by the mission of Speak Your Silence. If you’re here and have been for more than .05 seconds, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. You know someone who has been imprisoned by past hurt or have been through it yourself or you are simply a human and know the value of humans and how important it is to be loving and encouraging each other to get their voice back. Hearing about how Matt and the team not only wanted to end this toxic stigma but were actually DOING something about it and meeting people who had been able to experience freedom, I couldn’t help but jump in! So I began to attend every one of Vanna’s events. I think I missed like 2 events (y’all, I’m serious when I say I was in!). I became a mega fan and eventually, they said they were going to need some people to hang out in the mall with her and I became a part of the Speak Your Silence Family!
“So, the mall, Kaycee – how was that?” So glad you asked!
My mom actually worked at the Disney Store we used to have in the Boise mall for 12 YEARS while I was growing up, so it’s almost like an old stomping ground for me, just this time not in Little Mermaid overalls (although I wish they still fit). So it was super cool to be back, pretzel and touch cards in hand. I am a born and raised Boise native. Which seems unimportant, but I ran into quite a few people I was in kindergarten with, did clubs with in High School, or used to serve coffee to and WOW- some of the coolest conversations sprouted from reminiscing times. One day I actually got to connect with one of my old regulars at a coffee shop I worked at for 3 years. I got to see him almost every day during that time and got to know the surface of his life really well. Then one day I saw him walking on past the bus and got to catch up and share what Speak Your Silence is all about. I got to hear his voice for the first time in a way and connect him with resources where he could hopefully keep using that voice.
One thing I learned being in the mall is I actually have a weird gift for talking to older individuals. Usually, they have beards and appear to be quite intimidating from the outside. It starts with talking about the engine of Vanna White and leads into conversations about hope and future generations using their voice to make a positive impact.
I think my favorite day in Boise Towne Square was this day I was able to talk to three awesome guys. Often times people are unaware of the reality that unfortunately men are affected almost as often as women. It can sometimes be harder to crack the shell and let all people, regardless of their gender, know that their voice matters. This day was just an amazing example of why I love to do what I do. It started with a man walking by in the coolest shirt and me complementing it (he was probably around 50 years old). He ended up stopping to chat and checked out the bus. I began to explain to him the rad mission of Speak Your Silence and he began to silently cry before hugging me and thanking me for what we do with a smile on his face. Then, later that day, a young man ran down the stairs and handed me $20. He had actually zero clue about us but said he heard someone say it was to help people get healing after going through sexual abuse and assault. He shared with me that he actually went through counseling for that and wanted to help. He then went on to tell me some of his story with absolute boldness and hope for the future. He wants to help others who have gone through the same things as him; to feel the same freedom as him and see hope for their future. It ended with one of my favorite interactions with a young man who I would usually not expect to stop and talk. He was decked out in some of the coolest black leather, lipstick and eyeliner combo I had ever seen. He pulled away from his friends to hear our mission and grabbed a stack of cards to hand out to help others as well. His heart was absolute gold.
I could truly write stories down all day about this amazing mission and the incredible people I have met, but if you’re already reading this blog, I have a feeling you know! So, thank you. Thank you for following us, for being supportive, for repping the stitch and for being such an encouragement to all of us. I can not wait for all that is to come- the block parties, events, and laughter that will continue to stream out of Ms. Vanna and the stories that will just continue to gather. I hope to meet you guys soon and am so so thankful for this opportunity to be a part of this. Couldn’t do it without you guys!
P.S. Just in case you haven’t had the pleasure to meet Kaycee, there she is! ^^