Hello, I hope all is well. A woman’s strength runs deep and when the woman is a Senior, it runs even deeper. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to have Bertha Reels in my life! I am happy to share her and her story with you.
Angela: Who is Bertha Reels?
Bertha: Most importantly, I am a child of God and Associate Pastor at Mt. Olive Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor John H. McReynolds. I am a Chaplain for the Jersey City Police Dept., Author (How I Died, But Lived to Tell It), Domestic Violence Advocate/Counselor and Mentor. I am a compassionate, caring individual who from a very young age had a heart to serve others. I am a woman who has a passion for serving those who are less fortunate. Often times, I find myself putting other people’s needs before my own. I am a woman of strong FAITH in God and believes that PRAYER changes everything. I have received awards for the work the I do as a Domestic Violence Advocate; but my greatest reward comes from those who have overcome Domestic Violence and have gone onto live a productive lifestyle. As, a Domestic Violence Survivor, I know firsthand the trauma that one experiences; especially when there are children involved. Therefore, I am all in when it comes to bringing awareness to those who do not understand the warning signs of an abuser. I am all in when it comes to assisting women and their children in finding a safe haven away from an abusive relationship. If you ask me, how did I become a Domestic Violence Advocate? I would have to tell you that I am walking in my purpose, because I did not choose this path. I believe that we are all chosen to do great works, but we must be willing to do the work. I believe that I was chosen for this work, because I understand the power and control that a batter seeks. I understand the manipulation that occurs, so the power and control is not lost. I understand the fear, intimidation, and physical assault done in order to kill one’s self-worth. I understand that the abuser is a coward who has low self-worth. Therefore, as a SURVIVOR I am more than qualified to advocate for my sisters and bring awareness to the tactics of a batterer. I would not trade in what I do for anything in this world, because it is rewarding to see lives transformed and see others blossom into their purpose. Believe me this road has not always been easy, but I believe that my FAITH in God is what allows me to eagerly give a helping hand to others. Often times, there are stumbling blocks in the road, but I believe if you believe that God has a better plan for your life and you persevere, you can overcome life’s challenges. I am also a firm believer in second chances (who am I to judge) because I have been given a second chance, I am now able to open the door for my sisters who have been kicking on the door and no one seemed to hear them. My sisters, I am here for you and I am only a phone call away. (732-318-4116); if I can overcome adversity, so can you. I am here to tell you it is never too late to step into your purpose.
Angela: How old are you?
Bertha: I am 68 years young.
Angela: How are you living your best life?
Bertha: I am living my best life, because today I know who I am and what I was purposed in the earth for. Living your best life is not about how much money, you make, what kind of car you drive, what kind of home you live in, how many friends you have or how many letters you have behind your name. I believe living your best life is understanding the role of a servant. I serve in the capacity of a Pastor, Chaplain, and Domestic Violence Advocate and I feel Blessed to do so. I am a strong believer in helping those who have difficulty helping themselves. Therefore, I receive please knowing that I was there to help pull you up when you have fallen down.
Angela: You play a major role in an organization called Sarah’s Daughters. What role and what would you like to share about this organization?
Bertha: I am the President and Founder of Sarah’s Daughters, Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, which was established in 2010 as a vehicle to assist women/men who find themselves in abusive relationships. Sarah’s Daughters mission is to assist in the healing process of those families who find themselves in a crisis. Sarah’s Daughters supports those who come out of abusive relationships heal through family therapy, individual and group counseling. Sarah’s Daughters assists those who are traumatized by violence by creating healthy families and communities free of violence. During the last 8 years, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Sarah’s Daughters has hosted workshops where law enforcement and other professional agencies provide information, on available resources, safety tips and warning signs of intimate partner abuse. Some families who are able to leave abusive relationships were assisted in finding suitable/affordable housing. Sarah’s Daughters has provided furniture as well as clothing to survivors and their children. Sarah’s Daughters has also provided financial assistance when deemed necessary. Sarah’s Daughters have assisted Domestic Violence victims and their families with advocacy, counseling, and referrals to other social services, needed to help rebuild their lives, while making a positive transition into self-sufficiency. In order to continue to serve these families, Sarah’s Daughters depends on donations and yearly fundraisers. During the month of April, Sarah’s Daughters hosts the Purple Ribbon Chronicles where a platform is provided for women to share their stories of survival, which encourages other women to come forward and talk about their own experiences of abuse. Some women have mustered the courage to even, leave abusive relationships. We also host our annual “Dare to Make a Difference” Fundraiser/Gala, where we honor those, who serve our community. Sarah’s Daughters’ members include a license professional counselor, Domestic Violence Advocates, Real Estate Developer, retired DYFS social worker, CPA, Executive Administrative Assistant, Former Educators, and Domestic Violence Survivors. In order to continue in the healing process, Sarah’s Daughters goal is to educate the community on the importance of respect and healthy relationships. Sarah’s Daughters can be contacted at SarahsdaughtersDVAfoundation@gmail.com
Angela: What is your style?
Bertha: My leadership style is Participative Leadership. As the President of Sarah’s Daughters, I value everyone’s opinion, and encourage participation, by seeking input from all group members. I believe my style of dress is sophisticated with a little class.
Angela: What are 3 Senior Jewels that you would like to share?
- I believe that God has given each of us at least one gift, so use it wisely.
- Try not to burn bridges, because you may have to take that same road back home.
- Without love you have nothing; so, whatever we do, in this life, let us do it out of love and not self-gratification.
Angela: What are your thoughts about when Passion Meets Purpose?
Bertha: I believe when you have that strong passion to do that thing that God has placed inside your spirit, there is nothing that can stop you from meeting up with your purpose that God has purposed you for. When passion meets purpose, you will walk into your destiny will ease. When passion meets purpose, there is a joy, which is unspeakable, meaning that you cannot describe the joy that comes from passion meeting purpose. When you are walking in your element you will always take the high road and not allow anyone or anything to deter you. When passion meets purpose, you will run and never get tired, you will, even ignite those around you to join in and do something meaningful. I believe that positive results come when passion meets purpose.
Angela: What legacy are you leaving your family?
Bertha: It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. (Mother Theresa); therefore, because I helped somebody along the way, my living was not in vain.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know Pastor Bertha Reels.