Put on “Grace”

June 10, 2014

Women who commit their lives to improving the lives of others are my favorite people in the world.

I met RETHREADED  founder Kristin Keen in early April 2014 at Generation W, a women’s leadership conference run by Donna Orender in Jacksonville, Florida.

Kristin and I were invited to be speakers at this powerful conference, which provides a platform for women to:

·      be educated, inspired and connected;

·      learn how to impact change for themselves, their communities and the world;

·      and inspire women’s leadership.

I am a ten-year breast cancer survivor currently living with metastatic disease, and the founder of The Get In Touch Foundation, a global breast health educational non-profit organization that teaches girls in grades 5-12 the importance of and how to do a breast self exam – for life.

Our FREE program, which consists of a Daisy Wheel, an interactive tool with eight tips that teach a girl how to do a BSE, is currently being implemented in schools in all 50 states and in 26 countries.

We are committed to educating a generation of girls who will grow up one day to become women who are informed and strong.

Knowledge is power and we all know that when you educate a girl, you educate the world.

I introduced myself to Kristin the evening before the conference at a get-together for speakers after being drawn to her electric energy, her perpetual smile, and her wild curls! Every bit of this woman is alive with joy and compassion and purpose and even before she shared the important mission of RETHREADED with me, I could sense that she spends her life making the world a better place.

When she did share that mission with me, I was floored.

We hear more and more about sex trafficking in the news, of its local yet seemingly invisible presence in our communities, but no one seems to offer any solution, no one seems to know what to do.

No one until Kristin, that is.

RETHREADED offers women coming out of a life of sex trafficking, prostitution, addiction and violence the opportunity to “sew a new story.”

RETHREADED provides these women with a four-month holistic training program and teaches them to become artisan seamstresses, turning “upcycled” donated t-shirts into new creations for sale.

Their “Grace” scarf has become one of my most cherished accessories, not only is it beautiful, it “feels” beautiful…meaning that you can actually feel the beauty and the hope and the promise of the woman who made it each and every time you wear it.

Here is how RETHREADED describes their “Grace” scarf on their website:

The “Grace” scarf is the first product each woman entering the RETHREADED family ever creates. It is made up of individually cut strips of t-shirt stretched into strands.

Once stretched each strand curls eliminating all errors made in the cutting process, resulting in a perfect strand to add to the bundle. Once bundled all the unique strands are then tied together into a beautiful scarf.

To us, this scarf is a symbol of grace because entering the RETHREADED family is stretching. Only when we are able to give and to receive grace are we able to come together as one team to make something beautiful.

If you’ve ever heard the words “sex trafficking” and wondered how you could help, how you could improve the lives of others, here’s how:

Put on “Grace.”

When you put on “Grace” you will also be giving grace to a woman whose life depends on it.

The world will be a better place because of the grace you give as well as the “Grace” you receive.


Mary Ann Wasil

Survivor, Founder, President & CEO, The Get In Touch Foundation,

Author of “A Diary of Healing: My Intense and Meaningful Life with Cancer




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