Virtual: Women with Vision Council 6.4.20
Name: Virtual: Women with Vision Council 6.4.20Date: June 4, 2020Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM EDTRegistration: Sorry, registration for this event has been closedEvent Description:
Keynote Speaker: Malea Guiriba
A true Florida native,Malea Guiriba grew up on the Trout River during the 60’s and 70’s As early as third grade her mother would recall, she was always taking up for the underdog, defending a classmate against a bully. She has always been an example of what one person can do to change the world: one house, one person, and one day at a time.
She’s had careers in real estate and journalism, but it is her activism that has touched hearts and changed lives. Malea has been a passionate worker in the civil rights and domestic violence movements, always embracing the disenfranchised and poor.
While working with the domestic violence shelter in St. Augustine, she took a post as Rural Services Coordinator in the small farming town of Hastings. She built her program from scratch by embedding herself in a community, which was long ago divided by race, class, and economics.
Malea was inspired by two middle aged African-American men who had essentially been enslaved as farm workers for most of their life. Their experiences awakened her to a need she never imagined existed: helping the historically underprivileged Hastings farm workers. She and others were shocked that Florida’s richest county could be the site of such inhumane treatment.
It became her mission to provide basic needs to families including healthcare, as well as safe and affordable housing and food. The program became a focal point of the community, but suddenly was without the grant funding that kept it going. Malea was suddenly unemployed, yet determined to continue the work she had begun.
Her answer was to open Pie in the Sky, a pie shop symbolizing what someone called her “pie in the sky” ideas about how to help people. Two months after she cleaned out her office, she served her first pie – a real achievement, considering she’d never baked a pie in her life. She’s since sold thousands of pies all the while delivering furniture to a family that lost its home to fire, buying dentures for a man to build his confidence while he focused on finding a new job, riding in the potato fields to take a man to his doctor’s appointment, building wheelchair ramps, running a food bank and taking food to home-bound low-income senior citizens and much more.
Today, her Senior Produce Program, which began four years ago with four volunteers delivering to 12 seniors, has grown to more than 100 volunteers and now delivers fresh, healthy produce, 47 tons of it just last year, to the homes of 465 low-income senior citizens throughout all of St. Johns County.
The work Malea has accomplished, continues to inspire others and to grand the gift of giving to the volunteer workforce. Her mantra is, "No one can do everything, but everyone can do something." Even after suffering from a crippling disease that left her paralyzed from the shoulders down, just two years ago, Malea rebounded, learning to walk again and was soon back to the business at hand. Although she is quick to point out, that a wonderful board and volunteers never skipped a beat while she spend six weeks in the hospital and another year in rehab therapy. Whether she is selling pies, delivering food, or wielding a power saw to help build a wheelchair ramp, Malea sets the example for those around her and spreads her goodwill, her can do attitude, and passion for helping where ever she goes.
The mission of the Women with Vision Council is to mentor, inspire and empower women in professional environment through education and collaboration to embrace their own vision, purpose and value. We want to inspire women to live the lives they love, igniting their passion for business and to make a positive contribution in their community.