Penny weaves the power of HOPE
Penny weaves the power of HOPE
By Elaine Elias, Nature’s Nurtures
Every once in awhile you come across a woman whose community spirit, energy and zest for life inspires you so much you just have to let everyone know about her. Penny Jamieson, nominee for the 2010 Spirit of POWE Award is one such woman. So, when Elaine Elias, of Nature’s Nurtures, asked if she could write an article for Powerful Women, Penny’s story was the obvious choice.
Penny Jamieson’s first name means ‘the weaver’ and she threads the concepts of her company, PURE W.A.V.E., together with her charity organization, Power of H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everyday). Since 2006, Penny has sold water and air purification systems to businesses and homes and in the process became someone who daily teaches and lives her beliefs of a natural earth.
Through her own survival Penny learned to help others. “I grew up fast,” she said, referring to her mother’s death when she was thirteen but only fully realizing the impact of that loss after the birth of her first child. “Her death made me a better marriage partner, a stronger and more capable person,” and it exposed a deep desire in her to help strangers, neighbours or disabled people. Ultimately, she intertwined that with creating a clean environment, and a charity, as well as a business, was born.
Penny knows she’s a weaver of people and situations. “I have an ability to get what others need,” she recognizes and this self-knowledge ignited a passion.
When Hurricane Katrina levelled New Orleans, Penny was so disturbed by the total loss she got busy supplying hygiene kits for the residents. By September, 2005, she had collected toothbrushes, towels, deodorants, combs, brushes, soaps, shampoos, razors, and additionally located clothing, footwear, bedding and school supplies, and had everything trucked down to Lafayette, Louisiana in a twenty-seven foot trailer.
Power of H.O.P.E. was established by Penny in May, 2009, and through that organization she amassed, sorted and disseminated items for a variety of local charities, including, Christmas toys for The Children’s Foundation of Guelph, The Guelph Food Bank, Mount Forest Big Sisters, its Pentecostal Church and Food Bank, Arthur and Centre Wellington areas, and more toys, PJ’s, blankets and slippers for the Guelph Women’s Crisis Centre, then added to that scarves and mitts for Kitchener’s St. Monica’s House, Counselling Services and Mosaic Counselling/Family Services.
Penny is a productive member of two business groups: the Kitchener-Waterloo branch of P.O.W.E. (Power of Women Exchange) and G.W.I.N. (Guelph Women in Networking). Power of H.O.P.E. works closely with the P.O.W.E. membership who have posted flyers and talked up her charity and its beneficiary organizations, plus P.O.W.E. has donated towels to Supportive Housing of Waterloo (S.H.O.W.) and milk bags to a Guelph lady who weaves them into sleeping mats for Africans and Haitians. For Penny, P.O.W.E. has been a valuable resource by initiating new Pure W.A.V.E. clients and sound business development in coaching and financial planning. G.W.I.N. and P.O.W.E. have both enjoyed her demonstrations of the company’s product line.
Penny must multitask by combining daily duties. Typically, she will phone charities, answer business e-mails, or search for volunteers, more clients and growth prospects while simultaneously getting her message out: healthy living through helping people live. New customers are introduced to P.O.W.E. and G.W.I.N. and both organizations reciprocate with their skills. P.O.W.E. and G.W.I.N. meetings create additional opportunities to visit clientele, charity members and new contacts which, all combined, keep her organized and enable her to explain her beliefs and work with every new encounter.
Five year plans will bring fruition as early as this year. Penny plans to register Power of H.O.P.E. as an Ontario charitable foundation and establish it in cities across the province’s southwest. This necessitates the creation of a skilful team to promote its mandate and develop a strong public awareness. On the other hand, by 2015, she would like Pure W.A.V.E. to be a household name, accomplishing this through growing sales, professional development and good leadership.
People interested in contacting Penny about Pure Wave or volunteering with Power of H.O.P.E. can reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Regarding the charity, she says, “Even one hour a week is one hour more than I have right now,” and knows that an enthusiastic person who enjoys helping others with a willingness to walk that extra mile will gain personal growth, fulfilment and a sense of community. Christmas hours can be demanding but she reflects, “At the end of the day I know in my heart I have helped some people to live healthier and others just to live: I also know I have achieved more than I ever imagined I could.”