At the age of nine, I asked my mom if I could have a tea party for the girls living in the shelters and she thought it was a wonderful idea. She and I went to the Trinity Rescue Mission to share my idea about the tea party with Ms. Jennifer, the manager.
With the support and contributions of friends, parents, and teachers from my school DePaul, we were able to make the tea party magical for the girls. Some of my friends from school were hostesses. The girls were able to dress up for the occasion because of one of my teachers, Mrs. Martin reached out to her church, New Bethel A.M.E. for help and the congregation donated dresses and gift bags for the girls. After seeing the girls' smiling faces, it was then my mom Regina, a life coach came up with the vision to have the girls “Look Beyond Their Now" to reach for their goals and dreams despite their current situation.
January 10, 2015, the first tea party was held at Community Connection because of the kindness of the director, Mrs. Vera. The girls came from Sulzbacher Center, Trinity Rescue Mission, and Community Connection shelters. The party was filled with laughter, fun, and excitement as the girls modeled their dresses, recited poems, and joined local girls from the community in dancing and singing. The girls also completed a " dream carrier " arts and crafts project used to help them visualize their goals and dreams.
The tea party was so much fun that I asked my mom if we could host another one. On March 10th, 2016 we hosted the second tea party which had 28 girls, ages 4-12, from five surrounding shelters in attendance.
On March 17, 2017, we hosted the third tea party with 30 girls, ages 11-15, from shelters, special needs and under-served communities. Through generous donations, we were able to expand the activities to include a mock-tail hour and a red-carpet hour so that the girls could work on their socialization and networking skills.
We hosted our fourth annual tea party on March 24, 2018, with 60 girls, ages 6-14, emphasizing etiquette, healthy lifestyle choices and vision board planning. We are elated to keep expanding the girl's scope of possibilities for their future.
After three successful tea parties my mom and I were motivated to launch the 501(c) (3) non - profit organization, Transforming Lives Outreach with Love in the fall of 2016. The name was inspired by my mom's and our passion to change the lives of women and girls.
My name is Olivia. I was placed in my mommy Regina's care when I was one year old. One word she would use to describe me is determination. I had to overcome a lot of medical issues (rare chromosome disorder) and challenges as a young child. However, my heart and compassion have allowed me to help others. At age 7 years old, I remembered giving a homeless man something to eat and my heart felt good about it. I was so excited, I tried to help every homeless person I saw. This is why I love having tea parties for the girls.
Regina Littlejohn, M.S.W., C.P.L.C.
Co- Founder, Executive Director
Dr. Chris Schmitt
Member- Co Chairman- Programs
Member, Chairmen Volunteers