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Overcomer Series: Interview with Angela Rose-O’Brien of Angela’s Angels

What does a nonprofit that provides free prom dresses to girls in need do when proms are canceled due to COVID? Pivot & continue to serve women in need. Tune in for some of Angela’s amazing stories of giving young women the gift of self-confidence & self-respect in the form of both everyday and formal attire. Plan to get goosebumps!

 

Connect with the guest

Angela O Brien

Site: https://angelasangels.org/

 

Think out of the box. Because if you keep yourself right there and you keep doing, and we all know you keep repeating….

-- Angela Rose O'Brien

Podcast Transcript

Jennifer Sakowski:

In this brand new episode of Raney Day Talks podcast, we kick off our overcomers series with a special guest, Angela Rose O’Brien with Angela’s Angels. You don’t want to miss this. Hey there. Grab your coffee and let’s talk business. How to grow it, how to sustain it, and how to harness the wonderful World Wide Web to do it. With me, your host, Jennifer Sakowski, let’s get started.

Welcome to a brand new episode of Raney Day Talks podcast. I’m your host, Jennifer Sakowski. Now, today’s guest is a very special woman who’s very near to my heart. She is a sister here out in Pennsylvania. We have today, miss Angela Rose O’Brien of Angela’s Angels. Angela, thank you so much for joining me today.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Thank you. It is truly, truly my pleasure and honor.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Thank you. I feel like every time we talk, I have so much to talk to you about, because there’s so much that has gone on in the last year.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Yes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

So before we get started in your story of overcoming a global pandemic last year with your nonprofit, let’s start from the beginning. For those who do not know you, who are you, Angela, and what do you do?

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Okay. Angela’s Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit here in Pennsylvania. We are very, very happy to say it is our 15th year anniversary, which is just mind blowing to begin with, because it was just a kind of freaky thing that got started. Many, many years ago, I had been appointed by Governor Rendell, that goes to show you how many years ago, to be on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

And what we do is every year we would have a governor’s conference for women out East, and I would go. And I had met a lady there that was doing a little something like Angela’s Angels, but she wasn’t exactly. It was not exactly what I was looking for, but something close. So when I came home from there, I was like, hm, I’m interested in helping young ladies who cannot afford to go to prom and special occasions, and we’d like to send them free of charge.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Now, I did not have a pot of money, and I did not have any gowns, and I did not have any racks to put them on or anything like this. So one day I am walking down the street, literally, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and I came across a sign in the window that said it was a bridal salon and it was closing. So I went in, and the woman that I spoke with, her name was Michelle [Bolish 00:03:18], and I said, “Michelle, what are you going to do with all these gowns in here?”

Angela Rose O’Brien:

And she said, “What do you have in mind?” She said, “I kind of see the smoke coming out of your ears.” And I said, “Well.” I said, “I would like to do this type of thing where we’d like to give these gowns to girls who cannot afford to go.” So she took a second and said, “They’re yours.” And I’m like, “What do you mean?” She said, “Take everything.” There was 100, maybe 125 gowns, brand new, with the price tag still on them.

There were the racks. They were round racks, real tall. She said, “Take them all. Take the hangers.” And I was like, “For real?” And she said, “Yeah.” And I thought, well, I can’t pass up on this. I don’t know where I’m going to put them. I don’t know what I’m going to do. So I get on the phone, I called my husband, and I said, “I have our SUV here. Bring our other SUV, and let’s load up.”

So the initial thing was that they went in my downstairs family room, which was kind of interesting because I didn’t have a place for them. I didn’t really have everything lined up. I just knew that I was supposed to do this. This was something that I was blessed with, and if I just get everything put together, it’s going to fall into place. So put everything downstairs. That summer, my relatives came from Italy, my cousins. They all came from Italy. And my mother was showing them the house and whatnot, and we go downstairs, and there’s all these gowns that were downstairs.

And my cousins were like, “Does everybody do this over here in the United States? Do they just have racks and racks of formal clothing?” And my mother laughed, and she said, “No.” She said, “Angela’s got this thing going on.” So we got started by just putting them down the basement. Well, I brought back the idea once we had the gowns to our Laurel Highlands, our Women’s Business Network. Now, I had belonged to this group. As we sit here today, it’s my 20-year anniversary of belonging to this group.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Oh my goodness.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

I went back to our group, our Laurel Highlands chapter, and said to these ladies, “I have these gowns. I have this idea. Does anybody want to help? And what do you think we should do?” Immediately, everybody said, “Yeah, we’re going to do it. We’re going to get these gowns out to the girls that need them.” We didn’t know how, we didn’t know whatever, but everybody right there in that room, right then and there said, “Yes.”

So we started by doing pop up before pop up was a thing. So we would go to different locations on the weekend, and we would set up in storefronts. For example, Sylvan Learning Center was one of our locations. There was a dry cleaning station, and we were there at one time. To this point, we have had nine locations that we were nomads to, just to make this happen, because we had no money for rent, and we had nothing to set up.

So we started out that way, and we just put it out there, if anybody needs our help. And we did. We got girls that were blown away that they could have… At that time, we gave dresses, which we still do. We do dresses, shoes, purses, and jewelry. And everything is free. Now, to speed things up and to come up to date, we are now located in downtown Latrobe where this whole thing started. We are on 816 Ligonier Street, which is in the Quatrini and Rafferty building on the second floor. We work by appointment only. And from the time that we started with just prom gowns, now we have special occasion wear for all women that are in need.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That’s so amazing. One, just how you started, I didn’t know that was your original, how it came about. I thought it was with WBN. So that’s amazing. And then how I can only picture you and a bunch of these women hauling all these dresses [crosstalk 00:08:21]-

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Every weekend.

Jennifer Sakowski:

… different locations. Because I’ve seen y’all haul dresses, and you do not mess around.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

We can’t. We can’t. We got to just get to it.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Right. [crosstalk 00:08:32]-

Angela Rose O’Brien:

We were blessed.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Well, congratulations on 15 years-

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Thank you.

Jennifer Sakowski:

… doing Angela’s Angels. Now, since then, talk to me about… Can you tell our audience just some of the… I don’t want to call them success stories, but the impact that you’ve had on young women? Even now, like you said, it’s not just prom-age young girls, it’s older. So can you share a couple of stories of some that [crosstalk 00:09:01]?

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Ooh, I would love to. Actually, that’s what warms my heart the most. Everything we do is just having these women walk in with these stories that blow your mind. I’ll give you a real good for instance that… You know how you should never judge a book by its cover, and everybody’s heard those stories.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Well, we were in our one location in the Greensburg area back, oh, maybe 10 years ago, and there was a woman who had called and made her appointment for her two daughters. And we were, at that time, where we could see you drive up, which we don’t really have that opportunity now. But she came in, and she had a really nice, a newer, beautiful white car. I remember that. And I thought, oh, that’s nice. I didn’t think too much of it.

Her girls came in. They all had designer purses. And they were beautiful. They had their nails done, and I was like, hm. Okay. So they came in, and we started giving them their things. Well, the one girl was going to two proms. God bless her. And her other daughter was going to one. We got them all their things. Well, whenever they were there shopping, one of my volunteers said to me, “Something doesn’t seem right. These people sort of have a lot of stuff. Don’t you worry about us getting taken advantage of?”

I said, “No. You just give it from your heart, and it is what it is. Once you give it away, it’s no longer yours, it’s theirs.” So we proceeded through, and at the very end we were doing some paperwork for the girls, and the mother said, “You know what? Something just dawned on me.” And I said, “What’s that?” And she’s like, “I think we should explain our situation.” And I said, “Not necessary.” And she said, “No, no. I think I should tell you.”

Here, these folks have very, very recently, their home was taken away from them. The husband had lost his job. The wife had lost her job. Then they lost their house, and the only thing they had was that car. And believe it or not, they were actually living in that car. Now, the girls looked very, very nice because they had dollar store little nails on, and they had already had their purses. So they decided that when they gave everything up, they’d keep the car, they’d keep their cell phones, because the parents needed to, because the girls were still going to school, keep in charge with the girls.

And so she explained to me that although it appears that everything was great, this was all they had left, and we were able to help them. And it just really opened my eyes to the fact that you should never judge. Well, since then, we had an entire family that came in. It was a husband and wife. The husband had lost his job. His wife had cancer, so she had no hair, and she was going through a process right now. They had a similar situation where they had to live with relatives, and it was time for their daughter, she was a senior, and she needed a dress for prom.

So never were we so proud to give to her, because she was really in need, and the parents… I mean, we all just sat and cried. We’ve had numerous young mothers that bring their babies in, which as a grandma, it really warms my heart when I get to hold the babies while the girls on the dresses. The one in particular in that scenario, we had a girl that came in with her little boy when she was in high school, and we gave her her dress. Well, once they graduate, we usually don’t hear from them unless they have something special going on.

Well, about six years later, we got a call. And actually, it was me that took the call, and the woman said, “You probably don’t remember me, but I came when I was in high school.” And I said, “Okay.” So she walked in the door. I didn’t remember the name because we don’t give that information out, but I remembered her face. And as soon as she walked in, she told me her story, that at that time, she was in high school with the little boy, and that we had taken care of her.

Now she was coming back to get a special occasion dress for her graduation from nursing school. And she had been married, and she had another baby since we had last met her, and she was so happy that she could come back and get something for her graduation. So those are the kind of stories that we have that are the feel good stories. I’ll just share two more with you.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:14:51]

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Number one, we had… And I think this is one that will never, ever, ever leave my heart. We had refugees from Kenya. A woman called me from Pittsburgh and said that she had these refugee girls that had come over from Kenya, and they had never gone to prom, and they had never had anything like this before. And could we take care of them? And I said, “Absolutely.” So they came, they made their appointment, they came. Lovely girls. Lovely girls.

Some were more quiet and reserved, and some were just very vivacious. They were wonderful to work with, and they all got dresses. Some of them, because of their background, they wore turtlenecks underneath the gown. Other ones were like, “Oh no, not us. We’re good. We’re good with whatever you want to give us.” We had given them gowns for their event, and then we gave them some short dresses that they could wear elsewhere, and shoes, and all of this.

Well, got to the end of the time that they were with us. Now, knowing that they didn’t have money, this was one thing I hadn’t thought about. It was maybe 1:30 in the afternoon, and they hadn’t eaten, and they didn’t have money to eat. So we went in the back room, and we picked up whatever snacks we had. We had bottled water and some chips and candy, and whatever we had, and we gave them everything we had. And we were like, “We’re so sorry. We didn’t even think about that.”

And so then we just gave them some money, and then they went off with their dresses, and they got to stop and have lunch, and they were… I mean, the hugs and the thank yous were just fabulous, fabulous. Another time we did a high school. It was a special needs high school in the Bronx in New York. And we sent them between 100 and 150 gowns for them to wear for their prom at their special needs school. The majority of the girls were in wheelchairs, so we had to give them bigger items so that they could fit in the gowns in the chairs. And they were able to have their first prom that they had ever had.

And skipping to more recent, after that was a woman who had come in. She was getting married. And she had said that she needed a couple dresses. She had a little girl and her dress, and I think she had a maid of honor. And she told me her color, and we were able to, by the grace of God, give them all in the same color. I mean, again, I don’t even know how these things happen, but we were able to give them dresses for the entire bridal party. She sent me pictures afterwards, and it was absolutely fabulous.

Within five months after her wedding, I got a call back from her, and she said, “I have something to ask you. It saddens me to ask you this.” And I said, “What can I do for you?” And she said her mother had passed away. Well, her mother, when she was with us here, didn’t have the money for a lot of extra clothing. And when it came time to lay her out, she needed something to wear. So we went back into our clothing, and we found a beautiful, beautiful… I think it was a mauve top that she could wear, and she looked absolutely lovely. Never in my wildest dreams when we started this did I ever, ever, ever think we would be putting on clothing for women to go meet the Lord.

So that kind of gives you a little bit.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah. Almost full circle. Because I know you’ve shared multiple stories over the years of, like you said, as they’ve gone on, that they’ve come back.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Right.

Jennifer Sakowski:

And I think, and especially for those that are listening, I cannot help but to put light on going back to the school-age young girls, that not just equipping them for prom. That’s not the whole part of it. You’re giving them that self-confidence, that self-esteem. I mean, being a mom of a girl, that undoes me every time that we talk, of just knowing you’re putting so much, not just on the outward appearance, but that you’re pouring into them in the inside. Can we just talk about that just for a few minutes, about-

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Sure.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Because I feel like Angela’s Angels, I mean, you’re so well known in our community and throughout our area, and you alone are such a pillar of a connector and such a do-gooder in our area. But equipping them with those dresses is one thing, but I think that there’s a bigger story here. Not only are you giving them love, you’re giving them self-confidence. Can we just talk about that for a few?

Angela Rose O’Brien:

It’s so important. When they come in, it’s a one-on-one situation. Angela’s Angels does not exist without the Women’s Business Network Laurel Highland chapter. And because we’ve been doing it for so long, each girl comes in and gets a special person assigned to them to help them. So maybe we start out with… Let me back up. They come in the front door. When they come to the door, first of all, they don’t know what to expect, okay?

If you’re getting something for free, they’re thinking it’s probably not all that great, and whatever, but I don’t have another choice. I’m going to go in. They come to the door, and their eyes open real big because they see… At any given time, we have at least 1,800, 2,000-

Jennifer Sakowski:

It’s real.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

… real-

Jennifer Sakowski:

Being there in person-

Angela Rose O’Brien:

… dresses, short dresses, long dresses, all of this for them to select from. Secondly, we work with all the bridal shops in our area. The majority of our items still have the price tags on them. I mean, you see $400, you see $600. We have ball gowns, we have straight, we have all colors. And that’s kind of important, too. When we first start talking to them when they come in and they see, and they’re kind of blown away with our boutique, then we say, “Okay, are you looking for puffy? Are you looking for straight?”

But you have to give them the power. You have to give them, what are they looking for? They don’t come to me, and then I say, “Well, you need this, and you need…” No. No, no, no, no. And so that’s what we do. We talk to them. Oftentimes they’ll tell us their story. There have been times whenever we’d had girls that are in a situations where they’re in a foster home, and they’re… I remember in particular the one girl. We were filling out some paperwork, and the girl didn’t know her address because she had just been taken in by this family and didn’t even know where it was she was staying.

And that kind of brings things home to you as well, when you’re thinking to yourself, oh my gosh, this girl has had quite the time already. And the fact of them with their shoulders kind of slouched like this, and they kind of are looking down when they first walk in, and then they perk up when they see what we have to offer. And by the time they leave us, each one is a princess.

Now, what I usually do is, at the end, I ask them if I may take their picture. Now, I don’t use them for everything, and I do ask if there are some. Because some will say, “Oh, I don’t care. You can use my picture wherever.” But I like to do that because the before and after, like our girls from Kenya, like these girls that come in that are just totally blown away coming out of their shell and putting that big smile on their face, and being proud of what they look… And the important thing is, when you’re younger more so than any time, is to fit in, and that’s what we want.

We want everybody just to feel real comfortable and to fit in. If you are the blingy girl and you want a tiara to your toes, we are happy to do that for you. If you are a little more demure, and maybe you just want a plain dress, that’s fine too. We are here just to serve and to help you feel good about you. And that’s the most important thing we can do, is to… Once we make a fuss out of them when they take their pictures, and then they’ll say, “Will you send me that picture so I have it?”

I remember a girl that we gave her her dress for prom… Now, she wanted a dress for prom, and it needed something. And so we said, “Oh, can you come back next week? We’re going to fix something for you.” And she was like, “Well.” It was close to Easter, and she was like, “Well, when would I get it?” “Well, when do you need it?” Her prom was in May. And she was like, “Well, I was kind of hoping to wear it for Easter, too.” And I was like, “Oh, okay, okay. We’ll have it ready. We’ll have it ready next week.”

And she came back, and she got some pictures taken for Easter, and then of course she wore it to prom. We try not to do them too much in advance of prom, and the reason why… A girl came in and got her dress, looked gorgeous. It was exactly what she wanted. She knew. When she came through the door, she knew exactly what she wanted. And she got what she wanted. She took everything, and it was in advance of prom. And I said to her, “Geez, we don’t usually do them this far in advance.”

But she was like, “Oh, no, I really want it.” I said, “Okay.” So we did. Unfortunately, her father passed away shortly after. It was just an accident, and he passed away. And then she gained a lot of weight, and by the time prom came, we had to totally refit her so that she could actually go, because her life just changed so much. And nobody saw that coming. So we do try to tell the girls, “If you can come closer to prom, that would probably be the best.”

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah. So much of your story and so much of what you do comes from that experience, right?

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jennifer Sakowski:

As they come in, that you give them this experience not only to get fitted, but you love on them. And then the global pandemic happened. And let’s talk about, what were you facing when we were forced to shut down?

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Well, we pay rent every month. And people say to me, “Well, where you are getting this money to pay rent?” And I said, “By the goodness of people just like the folks that are listening today.” Oftentimes, we hear stories of mothers that they couldn’t afford to go to prom, but they really appreciate that their girls can go. And so oftentimes they will give us monetary donations, which we do take on the website.

And we were paying rent every month in 2020, and there were no events, so no one was coming in, and nobody was needing our services. So I was like, oh my gosh. This is crazy that I’m spending this money for this rent, and we’re not giving anybody anything. So I started making some calls. And I felt that other organizations, if we could partner with them, maybe we could help them do some things during 2020, is what we started with.

And so I made some calls, and we were able to connect with Adelphoi, the Blackburn Center, Juvenile Detention Center, and Welcome Home. Now, why did we connect with them? For example, Adelphoi, they have young girls that have maybe gone through the Juvenile Detention Center and then they needed to stay someplace not jail, if you will, but that they needed to stay someplace.

What we work with with them is, oftentimes they are put into a home, and they do not get to go home for months and months and months because they have to stay there. That’s part of their program. Well, when they are put in the facility, they have different things that they must meet. The person that is in charge of them will say, “Okay, you must do this, this, this, and this, and as your reward, you get to go home.”

Well, when they’ve been there for a long time, and they’re just wearing, like everybody else in 2020 and 2021, your sweats all the time, and your jeans and whatnot, they need maybe a nice dress. They’d like to go home to present themselves. They’re proud of what they’ve done. They’ve done their accomplishments. And so we’re their reward. They come in, and we outfit them from head to toe. If they’re staying there a couple days, we give them a couple different things that they can wear, and we’re able to take care of it that way.

Now, as far as the Blackburn Center and Juvenile Detention Center and Welcome Home, it’s a little bit different. With them, we decided another kind of off the cuff thing. I said, “These dresses are not going out dancing, but we need to be helping these girls because girls still need to be helped during this time.” So I went out, and I bought everyday dresses. I got dresses that you could wear to church, dresses you could wear to an attorney’s meeting or a doctor’s appointment or something like that.

We got little sweaters so that they could be worn all year round. And we just got plain things. So now, in our space that was already crowded with all these prom gowns and special occasion wear… We do mother of the bride, we do mother of the groom, we have done the graduations. We’ve done all kinds of special occasions. Now we’re doing this everyday wear. But I only have so much room, so I could not just say, “I need these kinds of clothing,” because we have no more room left.

So we went out, we bought these things, and we started out, for example, with the Juvenile Detention Center. We donated, I would think to start with, I want to say maybe 60 dresses for them so that when they are going to court and they are doing… They don’t even have to come in and see us. The judge has a special area in the Juvenile Detention Center where they can select. And so we made a lot of different sizes, but we need to be able to help them with those things.

So our new thing for 2020 was the everyday wear. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take anymore gowns, and we couldn’t take even every everyday wear because we’re at full capacity. We’re not giving anything away. So we’re just, at this time, taking financial donations to keep us running, to keep our doors open, to keep buying the sizes that we needed. And when I talk about the sizes that we need, when we very, very, very first started out in 2006, we had two sister that came in.

One was a size two, and her sister was a size 20, and they were both going to prom. Now, talk about self-esteem, talk about things like this, like what we’re doing now, and why we need to continue with donations. We were able to fit that size two. Oh my gosh. We had just a bevy of gowns for her. The girl that was in the size 20, we were at a pop up at that time, and we could not find a thing that she wanted and that fit her.

So I go back in her dressing room, and I said, “Honey, let’s see what we can do. If you could have anything that you want, what would this dress look like?” And she said, “Well, I wanted a purple. I wanted purple, and I wanted it to be…” And she described it. Well, she was sitting in the corner with her knees up to her, and she started crying. And she said, “Why do I have to be so fat?” She said, “My sister can wear anything, and I can’t, and what…”

Well, I said to her, “I’ll tell you what. You come back here.” Oh my gosh. I still remember this like it was yesterday. I said, “You come back here next Saturday. I will have a gown for you.” So she was very sad. She left. Her sister left with all her things, but this girl. So I said to all of my angels who help out, “We must have a size 20 purple gown, and we need it this week.” Well, as luck would have it, this week was Easter week again, because we always seem to come around to this.

So one of the women, Pat, who helped us out from the very, very inception of Angela’s Angels, she went to a bridals place. And she was looking around, and… Oh my gosh, they were just bring in some new stuff, and it was in the bag and whatnot. And she looked at it, and she said, “Oh my gosh.” She said, “This is fabulous. This is exactly what we need.” Well, the woman that owned the bridal salon said, “I’m sorry. It’s not for sale. It’s a sample that I had brought in.”

And she said, “Well, why do you need it?” So Pat started telling her the story of Angela’s Angels and started telling her the story of our young lady that needed it. And she called me on the phone, and she said, “Ang, there’s a gown here. It is $434, but it is exactly what we need.” So I called some of my other helpers, my other angels that were helping out, and I said, “If we each dug in our little pool of money, do we think maybe we could just buy this?”

Well, when the woman who had the bridal salon found out that was the case, she said, “Just take it. Just take it.” So we were able to give her a brand new dress that had the tags on in her size. Oh my gosh. She was beaming whenever we outfitted her that day. And so the monies that we use, everything that we get goes right back into Angela’s Angels, and so we were willing to invest our own money to do that, or we were able to get some donations to make things happen. But that’s what happens.

We also have some girls that are maybe size 28. Well, you don’t find size 28 in every store that you go in, so sometimes we have to go out and we have to buy special for these special requests. So that’s why for us, the financial donations are the most help that anybody can give us, especially during our anniversary year.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Absolutely. I want to go back in, because as you know this theme of this year, I want to go in deep on overcoming. Because I believe as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, that we are overcomers, and we sometimes don’t realize it, how resilient we are until we’re faced with an obstacle. And I have to just speak life into the situation, where I’ve never seen you one of being… Even when you weren’t able to have people come in and they weren’t doing proms, it wasn’t as, “Well, I guess we’re just going to have to close our doors.”

That’s not in you. And tell me what was going through your head when you seen, “Well, we have rent to make, we have all these dresses, but there’s an opportunity here that we can still help and keep focus on those women.” What went through your head? What was your thought process on [crosstalk 00:38:25]-

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Well, it just seemed like such a sin to have everything there, and we couldn’t help anybody. So again, by the grace of God, we were able to… I kind of have a pulse of the community, if you will, and so I found these. I know people that help out with all of these agencies, and that’s when I thought to myself, this is crazy. We need to be doing something more. And so I went to Burlington and Gabriel’s and Gabe’s, and found nice dresses, because this is the way that we have always ran Angela’s Angels.

If I won’t put it on my daughters, I won’t put it on yours. And so the dresses that we have on the everyday wear are just that. They are something that my daughters would wear. And so that’s what we need to do for everybody. But once we started doing this with all these other nonprofits, people started paying attention to us. For example, the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, out of the clear blue, I was so shocked and surprised, we became their nonprofit of the year for 2020. And we were just so, so blessed with that.

And our Women’s Business Network, they have selected us as, and it’s this year for 2021, as their nonprofit of the year. And so we’re able to share our stories, and we’re able to give more out that we possibly can, and we’re just so blessed that we can do it.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah. Now, how would you… Because a lot of our audience are business owners, where they’re in various stages. What would be a piece of advice, knowing what you’ve done and how you’ve pivoted the business, and how you’ve been able to help so many more women in places where you never thought you could… What nugget, what piece of advice if they’re facing obstacles right now, whether it’s financial with the pandemic, or whatever it may, because in business we have all kinds.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Absolutely.

Jennifer Sakowski:

What would you tell them?

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Think out of the box. Because if you keep yourself right there and you keep doing, and we all know you keep repeating, and you know what your end result is going to be. When I started talking to the first person on my list of nonprofits, it spurred me on to think of what other organizations we could help. I think that’s the most important thing. And if you do… And you know what? I know you personally, and I know that, and particularly you help me, you give from your heart.

And so if you continue to do that in your business, and it is on your heart, and this is exactly what you need to be doing, you will find ways to help other people. Because this is what you are meant to do. And that’s how we have overcome some of these obstacles, because we knew we needed to do it.

And as soon as I brought it forth to our other ladies and explained what we were doing, people were going out, and they were finding things, and they were calling me and say, “I picked up some more dresses,” or, “I found some flat shoes that would be great.” And as soon as you start that, the ball starts rolling, and people start thinking, how can I help her? And that’s what they do. So that’s what I would advise other people to do. Take it from your heart.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That is so good. That is so good. Now, for our audience, we’ll share this in our notes, but the number one thing that you need right now is donations. And as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, it is a tax write off for businesses.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

It is.

Jennifer Sakowski:

How can someone make a donation?

Angela Rose O’Brien:

If you go to our website, AngelasAngels.org, there is the donation button on there, and we are just so very, very blessed that you take good care of us, and you do an excellent, excellent job. I can’t thank you enough for all you do for Angela’s Angels. And you always have. But if you go to the site, there’s the donation button there. Also, our number is 724-836-6444. We only work by appointment only. Everything is confidential.

And so go to the website. You’ll get all your information. You’ll see what we’re all about. And normally, we would be accepting gently worn dresses and clothing and shoes and jewelry. Because of the pandemic and because we’ve not been able to have our other dresses leave, we just don’t have the room to take anything else. So this year, we’re only asking for monetary donations. Once the ball gets rolling again and we start giving to more of the girls, then we will be able to accept more donations of other items as well.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Okay. Well, I can’t thank you enough. And I want to challenge our audience that, one, share this podcast. Share the link to AngelasAngels.org. Because right now is the time to evaluate our businesses and our financials as we’re going and doing our taxes. So if you’re looking for ways to give back, and it doesn’t matter if you’re here in Pennsylvania or out in California, this organization is not only dear to my heart, but it’s one that empowers women.

And right now with everything going on in our world, and looking for ways to build up women in general, here’s your opportunity. So definitely go to the website. Definitely make a donation. And if not, find them on Facebook, like them and share their posts, and just continue to look for ways you can help give back. Angela, it has been a blessing to have you here.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to talk with me and sharing your story.

Angela Rose O’Brien:

Thank you.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to Raney Day Talks podcast. If you found this helpful, please do us a favor and subscribe to our podcast, follow us on YouTube, like and share this post. You can do that by just taking a screenshot and tagging us at #RaneyDayTalks. Thank you so much. And a huge shout out to Mark Levander Productions on helping put all of this together so that way we can product these awesome podcast. Find him at Mark at MarkLevanderProductions.com.