We New Yorkers were blessed with a spectacular Mother's Day this year, filled with blue skies and spring flowers. The day itself means so much to so many women. For two individuals, Karen Hoyos and Dawn Diaz, this day had even more meaning. They marched to celebrate surviving, overcoming, and thriving in a life after domestic violence. I was honored to take part in this year's Milagros Day Worldwide Mother's Day Walk, and get to know these beautiful and inspiring women as they marched with hundreds of others in unity across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Dawn Diaz founded Milagros Day Worldwide in honor of her own mother Milagros, who overcame years of domestic violence. Sadly, just 6 months after finding the strength and courage to leave her violent home to start a new life, Milagros was the victim of an automobile accident. Dawn was inspired by her mother and vowed to help more women overcome domestic violence. She started "Milagros Day Worldwide - Turning Abuse Into Success" five years ago. The organization not only celebrates and honors the memory of Dawn's mother, but all women who find the strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship and build a new life.
Milagros Day Worldwide offers life-altering experiences to victims of domestic violence through workshops, boot camp retreats, seminars and leadership programs. The goal is not only to support victims of domestic violence through their traumatic experiences, but also help them thrive through personal and professional success.
The program challenges attendees to face their own personal fears in order to help them overcome domestic violence and find inner strength. "I was experiencing more fear then I'd ever experienced in my whole life," one graduate of the program explained about a zipline activity. "The zipline became a metaphor for my life."
Another graduate of the program shared her touching story. "At one point I didn't want to live anymore, the 'trashcan activity,' when the women would write painful experiences and throw them away, became an exercise of freedom," she tearfully recalled. "We are winners, we are no longer dying, we are no longer a victim."
Karen Hoyos, a celebrity coach, public speaker, and transformational mentor is honored to be the spokesperson for this amazing organization. She met Dawn Diaz at a time when Diaz was searching for her purpose. Karen found her calling early in life, but was hampered in taking action until she found the strength to leave her own bad situation. Pregnant with twins and scared of her life ahead, she attended a presentation by motivational speaker Tony Robbins. During his speech, Karen said she "heard a little voice saying, 'what he is doing, that is what you are going to do for the rest of your life." Though she was uncertain of her path ahead, she put her faith in God and started her transformation, which would lead her to help Diaz and thousands of others.
It is extremely easy to marvel at the gorgeous exterior of this fiery Columbian, but it is even easier to see the kind, beautiful soul she possesses. Hoyos has dedicated her life to helping others, and the genuine inspiration she offers is a true rarity in life. She speaks with passion and conviction, with the purest of intentions to help her fellow sisters and brothers. It is no wonder she has become the spokesperson for this spotlighted nonprofit: her heart is full of respect and admiration for Diaz and the Milagros Day Worldwide.
Photo Credit: Spotlight On TV
These brave women speak with such admiration, gratitude and love for the Milagros Day Worldwide organization. Many fought back tears when reliving their stories of pain and triumph, and I shared many tearful hugs after each conversation.
As the producer and host of a charity television show, I am often touched by the experiences of those we strive to help. This Mother's Day Walk reminded me even more why I do what I do. This organization has changed the lives of so many women forever, and saved them in more ways than one. The love, inspiration, and immense gratitude these women feel for both Dawn Diaz and the organization itself is palpable. It's a reminder although we are only pebbles on the road, together we create a pathway to change. I'm so honored to be one of those pebbles and I hope you will be too.
Here's a sneak peek into our chat with Karen Hoyos about Tony Robbins' inspiration, her purpose, and Milagros Day Wordwide
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