A few days ago, I attended the annual Purses with a Purpose fundraiser to benefit Serene Harbour a local shelter for women escaping domestic violence. I donated a concealed carry purse and a gift certificate for their silent auction and learned that the keynote speaker Melissa Dohme-Hill, had placed a bid on my purse. I was flattered! Then, I was offered an opportunity to be introduced to her, and without hesitation I said, YES! Melissa had survived a savage attack from an ex boyfriend that nearly killed her. She has now dedicated her life to sharing her story and ending domestic violence with speaking engagements in both local and international venues.
Melissa didn’t win the purse at the auction, but the story doesn’t stop there – I invited her to my store where she could have her choice from my full selection of Concealed Carry purses.
Melissa and her husband Cameron arrived later in the day – we talked about guns and Melissa shopped the purses, she has a Smith & Wesson .38 special revolver and Cameron expressed an interest in showing Melissa semi-autos. Melissa shared with me that learning to use a firearm was an empowering experience and it actually helped her to heal emotionally. However, she was unable to find a semi-auto that she had the strength to rack. She explained that she had suffered damage to her hand from the attack and was concerned that she would never be able to use a semi-auto. With some counseling on racking technique and trying a few of our “lady friendly” firearms, Melissa found two semi-autos that she was comfortable with their fit! My husband and I chatted with them in the store for nearly 2 hours, Melissa and Cameron are top-shelf people, Richard and I really enjoyed listening to their dreams and plans for the future.
I feel as though I was able to make a difference that day, I was able to help an organization, “Serene Harbour” to continue their incredible work in the community helping women, and I made a new friend, a woman who I respect and admire her strength in turning her experience into fuel to go into the world and educate others. It was an honor to meet you Melissa… I love what I’m doing. 🙂