The United Way Hosts Women UNITED Luncheon

Ashley Rhodes–Courter has experienced first–hand what it's like to create a successful future from a hard past

FARGO, ND — Turning a hardship into a positive message is not easy but one woman has traveled from Florida to Fargo to do just that.

A New York Times and International Bestselling Author is educating women in the community on how to help children in need.

“Women are powerful when they unite,” said Kristina Hein, the United Way Marketing and Brand Management Director in Fargo.

At least 800 of them have joined together for a common purpose: to give kids in need a better future.

“If we can bring women around the issue of making sure that kids have the tools they need to succeed, our entire community will be better and that’s United Way’s goal,” said Kristina.

Ashley Rhodes–Courter, who was the event’s key-note speaker, has experienced first–hand what it’s like to create a successful future from a hard past.

“If survivors like me don’t come forward to share our stories, I think that people can maybe tend to look like other way.”

Ashley devotes her time to traveling the world to tell her story.

She is inspiring women at the 17th annual United Way Women UNITED Luncheon.

“These issues are happening in our own backyards and in every community in America,” Ashley said.

She says it’s important for people to hear the reality of difficult upbringings.

“It’s truly about education,” Kristina added. “It’s about awareness and that’s what today is about, and of course, inspiration.”

Ashley’s story is just one in a million but she says hearing first-hand accounts like hers is the first step to making change for children in need.

Throughout her tough childhood, she was able to get by with the help of organizations like the United Way.

“Without these and early interventions and community participation, there would be so many more kids that would have really bleak outcomes,” said Ashley.

It’s a message of volunteering, donating and organizing that can change a child’s future.

“Having a compassion for these issues is really the first step in creating tremendous change,” said Ashley.

Women at the event were also encouraged to take part in the silent auction.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to United Way’s programs to help children.

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