Heidi Markow of The Beginning Over Foundation was honored as the 2012 Annual Local Lady GODIVA Honoree on April 10th at a luncheon celebrating the One Year Anniversary of the Lady GODIVA Program. Through the honor, Heidi will receive a $10,000 grant to further her work. GODIVA had the chance to sit down and chat with her about the recognition and what inspires her work to bring awareness to the cause of domestic violence.
What does this honor mean to you?
This comes at a time in my life where I was beginning to question the work I was doing and if I was really able to make a difference. This honor reinforces that I should continue to push and dedicate myself to helping those affected by domestic violence. I am so humbled to be in a group of such amazing honorees and for GODIVA to recognize me for my work is truly an honor. Domestic violence is not a pretty cause and I hope this will bring more awareness to the need to help families and children affected by it.
Do you have plans for the $10,000 grant from GODIVA?
I am working on building a “healing camp” for children and families affected by homicide domestic violence. Just like all of our fallen heroes – in the military, police department – these families should know there is love out there and be given the proper time and tools to heal after a devastating experience. I would like to put this money towards the camp and work on fundraising to give scholarships to families that can’t afford it.
What inspired you to start The Beginning Over Foundation?
I started the Beginning Over Foundation to honor my sister whose life was lost to domestic violence and to find a way to heal myself after her tragedy. What began as a promise to Robin turned into one of my life’s greatest achievements. Through Robin's tragedy I have been able to reach women in need of empowerment and healing, and developed one-of-a-kind programs and services on true healing and recovery for domestic abuse survivors.
What kind of services do you provide to survivors of domestic violence?
Every day I am inspired by women who seek my help. I teach them how to take back their lives by moving past their pain to their divine destiny. At the foundation, we provide a full service empowerment center offering financial assistance through Robin’s Empowerment Fund, transitional housing, assisting women in regaining their physical strength through self-defense, yoga and other exercise classes, a self-confidence and self-esteem building through a Twelve Week Healing and Recovery Program and access to the Purple Salon – a full service salon offering makeovers for job interviews and more. This is a complete healing process from the inside out.
What is your goal for The Beginning Over Foundation?
My goal is to increase awareness and acceptance of victims of domestic violence and making the domestic violence purple ribbon as recognizable as the pink ribbon for breast cancer. I want women to know what matters most in their healing process is what they believe about their own value and significance in this world.
What do you want to share with the supporters of the Lady GODIVA Program?
First, thank you for this honor. Domestic violence is not a pretty image but helping others to heal is – thank you for helping us heal. Once we make it that pretty image of healing, more women will feel like they’re worth it. We are on a mission, but we can’t make it to the finish line without you. There are ways to support the Beginning Over Foundation and our programs and I encourage you to find out more about them – www.beginningover.org, But overall, thank you for this honor.