The past year has gone by in the blink of an eye, while also feeling like an eternity. 2020 was hard for everyone, and especially for me. When Covid hit, I had also started the first steps toward a very heartbreaking divorce. I moved myself and my three kids back to my parent’s house to start fresh. I was working 12-hour midnight shifts and taking care of my young kids during the day, and being a mom taxi to my oldest for school and dance. It wasn’t uncommon for me to go 72 hours without sleeping. But I was determined to live a happy, full life with my kids… and with great responsibility comes great power- as I would come to learn.
It was during this struggle that I found out a former employer was suing me for slander. I hadn’t been working for him for two years, but I had friends that still worked for his company so I had heard first hand what was happening to his employees in the new Covid world. In a nutshell, I had made a Facebook post regarding his poor treatment of employees, and neglect for Covid restrictions during shutdown… and IT WENT VIRAL. For that, he sued me and three others (who commented and supported my post) for $25,000. He knew I could not afford a lawyer, and I was defeated. Someone caught wind of this, someone who doesn’t like bully’s and has a very protective heart. That person was Michelle Klassen Merrigan. Co-owner and selfless leader of Mana Boxes. And here is where my new life began.
Michelle started the #dropthelawsuit campaign, and she didn’t come to play games. She came for J U S T I C E. She created a safe place for us, while being our voice in the community. She organized protests, contacted newspapers, and put a LOT of time into sending a very clear message to him. Michelle’s hard work and commitment concluded with him quietly dropping all lawsuits.
And that’s when I knew. I HAVE to know this woman. I want to be a part of whatever she does. I NEEDED to be. When I learned about the launch of the Mana Boxes, I wanted in, and I decided to take my shot and asked her if I could jump on board, and to my absolute surprise, she said “why the F*** NOT!”
In the blink of an eye, I went from being a single mom living at my parent’s house with my three kids, going through a divorce, fighting depression, fighting PTSD, and being sued for money I didn’t have, to working for a fantastic company that helps other moms around the world. I quit my midnight job to work for MK Advisors full time, with my main focus being on Mana Boxes…and it’s been life-changing for me. I learned to be confident in the woman I’ve become, to fight for what I believe in, and that I AM WORTHY. I’ve learned to never make decisions based on fear, but to make them based on hope and possibility. Something that I had never felt before.
After a very difficult year, I am lucky to get to work from home, have flexibility with my children’s schedules, and the MK Advisors operational team quickly became a second family to me. I bought my own home, my kids and I are happy and thriving, and I’m blessed to work with amazing people around the world. Mana Boxes has helped so many women and families in South Africa. It has changed lives, inspired and encouraged, and it’s been my honor to be a part of that. What some people may not realize is that Mana Boxes has also changed lives here in the states, like mine!
The woman I was yesterday introduced me to the woman I am today; which makes me very excited about meeting the woman I will become tomorrow. Now more than ever I’m empowered by Mana Boxes to live the life I’m destined for. I’m determined to protect and encourage Mana Boxes growth, it’s purpose, and it’s destiny.
Operations Executive for MK Advisors/Mana Boxes
June 9, 2021