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WOMEN TO WATCH

TOOLBOX4LIFE’S MISSION TO HELP WOMEN HELP THEMSELVES

women came up to speak. One shared her

Jane then asked her, “What’s life like

path to the program via an event at Lake-

for you now?” and she replied, “I have a

side Behavioral Center. She had walked

beautiful life. I am still getting treatment

herself into the treatment facility because

from Lakeside and going to school Mon-

others. When she started her shortbread

she had found herself at rock bottom and

day through Friday and am halfway

company, it was designed to send profits

felt she had no way out. Her roommate

through a culinary program. I am learn-

back out into the world where it was need-

had taken the Toolbox4Life brochure,

ing to cook and all the other things but my

ed. Later she launched her line of natural

applied and been accepted, so she did too.

desire to be there is actually to learn to

FOR SEVERAL YEARS WE HAVE FOLLOWED JANE HURSH’S PHILANTHROPIC BUSINESS, JANE’S SHORT AND SWEET, and her passion for helping

sugar scrubs and she and her husband,

“What we all loved was when we first

teach kids to cook. I am very busy but I

John, founded the 306 Foundation to

got here and we learned how to meditate

assist victims of human trafficking. But

and get a real sense of the day,” she says.

Jane recalled one day when the woman

their latest solution-based program gets to

“We had discussions on health, self-aware-

was helping with her sugar scrub product

the root of the problem, helping women in

ness, and where we can possibly go. I was

and as they were loading up the car she

transition by giving them useable skills.

taught unlimited vision and to believe in

said, “I love my life.”

volunteer two times a week.”

Toolbox4Life is an eight-week culinary

myself when a lot of us women were vic-

As another former student came up

arts and life skills program designed spe-

tims dealing with a lot of issues that come

Jane mentioned that her class had gone

cifically to help women who have suffered

into play in life. This program is a great

from 18 to three. “It really doesn’t matter

from domestic abuse, human trafficking,

way to be restored.”

the same effort and enthusiasm goes into it. All the resources are expended wheth-

homelessness, various addiction behaviors and/or incarceration. Through the mastery of various food prep skills, personal development and professional skills, stu-

Jane Hursh with one of her students

er we have a bazillion or we have three students,” Jane explains. This student’s story was somewhat the

dents gain the knowledge, confidence and

same. She had come to Florida from

acumen to work in any kitchen, catering

Arkansas to help her family and ended up

business or food retail outlet.

having a nervous breakdown. “I lost all

At a recent Toolbox4Life graduation

hope. I cried out to get help and the police

luncheon held at Pathlight Kitchen, the

came. They arrested me and took my son.

results of the intensive training were on

I ended up homeless, but these wonderful

display as the women had set the tables

ladies here brought me in and helped me

and decorated the room, and prepared and

get on my feet. I felt like if I can do this and

served the meal to supportive diners.

complete this — whether I fail a test or

Some were a little tentative and shy, while

pass a test — if I can do this, I can do any-

others were more talkative and excited.

thing. They gave me the tools to do that.”

They were all united, though, in their sharing of affection for Jane and John.

She is now a security officer and continuing to go on job interviews. She says, “I am

After the meal concluded it was time

putting together goals and getting to where I

for the actual graduation where several

need to be in life. This program gave me the

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orangeappeal.com

Orange Appeal January/February 2016  

Central Florida's premier lifestyle publication.

Orange Appeal January/February 2016  

Central Florida's premier lifestyle publication.