Empower those affected by poverty and homelessness to BELIEVE in the power of having a dream.
Create a LIGHTFEST STATION to hold activities that will bring awareness to impoverish communities.
Jenniffer Truitt | The Power of the Dream
Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune
Sharon and Jenniffer
In 1996, Sharon Cecil met Girl Scout Troop 1472. They were working on a project –Growing Up Female. The troop became involved with the pilot program for WOW that started at Wayside Christian Mission. The girls wanted to use their clowning ministry to help educate about the concepts of the WOW program. These girls were instrumental in creating many of WE SURVIVE’s events including the original LIGHTFEST born from the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay held at Churchill Downs in 1997.
Jenniffer (Vineyard) Truitt attended this program as an 11-year-old homeless child. She states, “My childhood was somewhat unsettled due to frequent moves; as a result we ended up in Wayside Christian Mission. I was probably about six when first introduced to the Mission. We, my siblings and I, were later taken in by other families, but my Mother continued to frequent Wayside. On one of my return visits when I was about 10 or 11, I remember being entertained by young clowns. This has become one of my most secure and happy memories of the Mission. I believe this group of clowns was the first group of WOW Girlz when WOW was first presented to Wayside. The clowns' mission: make the young girls feel more secure, adapt to Wayside, and provide healthful information – mission accomplished.
We Survive continues to reach out to children and families through Day of Hope activities and LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited.
The Power of the Dream
“Feel the flame forever burn
Teaching lessons we must learn
To bring us closer to the power of the dream”
Twenty years ago, in 1996, Girl Scout Troop 1472 created the WOW program as part of their Girl Scout Silver Award Project. After completion of the Silver Award, Nikki and Brittany stepped into WOW leadership roles. WOW became an Award Winning Program.more
STAR Ambassador Henry Holden will shine brightly for LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited. He was an actor, writer, playwright and advocate against the exclusion and negative typecasting of persons with disabilities.more
STAR Ambassador Moody Cecil will shine brightly for LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited. As a visionary, educator, youth advocate, believer in dreams and co-founder of We Survive he created a "Legacy for Future Generations".more
In previous years, We Survive has held an annual Hunger and Homeless Awareness Event in November at Hotel Louisville. In 2014, instead of one event, We Survive re-ignited LIGHTFEST born from the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay. LIGHTFEST was held at Churchill Downs from 1997 to 2001. The event’s mission continues to be Inspiring Hopes and Dreams.
As We Survive re-ignites LIGHTFEST, they are encouraging everyone to show support for their community’s under resourced population by being a Light of Hope.
There were LIGHTFEST STATIONS created to join together hundreds of communities across the country and the world in celebrating HOPE as part of LIGHTFEST – Re-ignited.
Poverty can leave a host of problems in its wake. LIGHTFEST is a time to bring attention to the issues the impoverish face. Those living with and beyond poverty, family members, friends, healthcare providers and encouragers will unite in this symbolic event to show the world that we all can live meaningful, productive, and even inspiring lives.read more
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of We Survive… this is a very creative way for you to turn over the reins to Jenniffer (and what a great story there)!
Michelle Scribner, Program Director | Arbor Day Foundation
As an observer of the WOW programs growth from inception, to original implementation with the homeless women at Wayside Christian Mission in 1996, I am amazed at the program’s power to positively impact the lives both young and old in our community.
Nina Moseley, COO | Wayside Christian Mission
The Altenheim is proud to partner with We Survive… their students are so genuine and kind to our senior population. Our residents love participating in their educational programs as they generate an enjoyable atmosphere for learning. We look forward to continuing our partnership with We Survive for many years to come.
Mary Ann Bond, Director Social Services | The Altenheim
We Survive has provided invaluable support to the occupational therapy programs at Spalding University and Jefferson Community and Technical College. We Survive leaders have hosted and supervised students from both programs for fieldwork education providing them with real-world experiences that have benefited the students and community alike. Our programs look forward to matching students with We Survive twice a year, and students always rave about the experiences they have with them. Spalding and JCTC are incredibly fortunate to be partners with We Survive.
Angela M. Cecil, MBA, OTR/L, Assistant Professor | Spalding University