Author: Julia Weber
These three empowering modes of responding to a call of action describe the support and aims of their ministry. Prefaced by the work of their daughter, Glenda, John and Doris McVay are the passionate stewards of Beauty for Ashes Florida. Beauty for Ashes Nepal, founded by their daughter, is an organization working to empower survivors of human trafficking and women who may be at risk of trafficking by fostering an environment that reflects the power of community, independence and faith. The McVays pursue their own chapter here in Florida selling handmade goods such as: earrings, items from recycled saris, necklaces and more from the women at Beauty for Ashes Nepal.
Inspired by their daughter, who they describe as, “A smiler, a laugher and a lover of the Lord”, the McVays have continued to speak out against human trafficking in their own backyard by educating people of all ages about the signs of trafficking with a special focus on educating the youth. They deeply understand the plaguing issue of human trafficking, the ways in which it manifests, and the ways in which it can be reduced.
They share, “Trafficking is growing larger than the drug industry because there is even more money involved in it.” Doris McVay goes on to explain the quick nature of trafficking and how widespread the harm extends. Their mission is to inform others of these travesties in order to incite change amongst individuals. The specifics are mentioned above because it is exercising the want and the pressing need the McVays advocate for in the journey to end human trafficking. The pressing need is the knowledge of the issue. They yearn to spread awareness and so they go out and educate others about the problem. They are a walking example of proactivity.
John McVay mentions the impact of his father’s work as a labor leader when John was growing up; the work of organizing meetings to address poverty and other tasks at hand have resonated with him. Doris mentions her withstanding passion, “I just like to help people” along with examples of driving around town with an extra breakfast sandwich looking for someone on the streets in need and buying candies for the toll-takers just to brighten their days. These professions of kindness have transferred to their five children and they hope that things will carry on to their grandchildren as they grow up. Family is a way of uplifting others; to connect hands and hearts to one another promotes the stability of hope and the promise of empowerment which leads then to the continued alleviation of suffering.
In Nepal, Glenda uses the model of family to construct many of the activities that occur at Beauty for Ashes which include (but are not limited to): daily morning prayer practices, lunches with all the staff members and education sponsors for many of the children of women working at Ashes for Beauty. The McVays explain the aspect of family at the markets they have been participating in for almost three years by describing the interest other vendors take in their story.
Talking is what they want; talking promotes the spread of knowledge and the spread of care for a cause.
Cal Morris, an exceptional music maker at The Beach Markets: Cal Morris is a living inspiration of someone who unapologetically has followed their passion; that passion being music. A self-taught musician from an early age, Morris pursues the art of the piano and the art of the violin. Raised on a family farm in Oklahoma, then beginning his teenage years playing in several orchestras, Morris explored the many opportunities in the field of his passion. Not always was his career in music though, he originally tended to a family business venture but after a decade he was drawn back to his musical roots and he decided to pursue music full time. As his life has progressed he has composed soundtracks for a feature film, for promotional videos, for some short films, for the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C and many other events. (He has and does perform at our very own Beach Markets as well as the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.) His music comes from an array of symphony orchestra pieces to modern millennial current pieces (as explained on his website http://calmorrismusic.com/). Behind the scenes, he is a husband, he is a father of two little ones and he is a twin. His (also self-taught) twin pursues music on the other coast. Coast to coast to the north woods to the southern islands, Morris is a dedicated traveler as well; he is proof that a full life does not exist in only one passion. His music continues to bless the passing ears whether those ears are strolling through farmer’s markets or sitting in the Italian Embassy.