Project: Forgive – “A Project of Distinction”

Gary Weinstein forgave the drunk driver who killed his wife and two young sons in a horrific accident.  Continued…

This past Monday morning the Kickstarter campaign that ran for 2 months receiving pledges to fund Project: Forgive succeeded and surpassed its 100,000 goal.  Project: Forgive is a documentary Shawne Duperon is shooting to spark a global forgiveness movement. The film will highlight amazing grace—forgivers and the forgiven weaving a quilt of gut-wrenching loss and uplifting triumph to warm hearts and inspire new possibilities.

At the close of the two month campaign $104,279 was pledged to fund Project: Forgive.  Another $900,000 is needed to create the documentary and Kickstarter, a fundraising site, continues to generate pledges.

Duperon’s inspiration for the documentary is Weinstein’s “internal emotional maturity” to forgive Tom Wellinger after the drunken driving accident

Duperon herself is a role model of compassion.  She is long time friends of both Weinstein and Wellinger.  This tragic twist brought immeasurable conflict—“on one hand you have Tom who caused a horrific accident and horrific pain.  On the other hand you have Tom, our family friend, who’s also an amazing, loving human being.”

She personally examined the barriers that need to be removed in order to embrace forgiveness—not only with Wellinger, but forgiving her stepfather who molested her for five years as a young child.  “Forgiveness is a skill, the ability to hold different ideas about the same situation simultaneously.”  Continue reading……

I came across this campaign   while researching fundraising platforms for my own project needs this year.  Project: Forgive grabbed my attention instantly and I became a backer because I have had my own forgiveness journey over the past few years which led me to create Katie Shea Design Roses of Distinction

I lost 2 parents and 2 siblings in a span of 6 weeks back in 2006 through death, estrangement and other heart breaking circumstances.  Through the losses I faced unresolved painful memories and became aware what was buried so deep. I uncovered unhealed emotional injuries that I was not consciously aware of until these series of events occurred.

I have always been a survivor and always pushed through whatever came my way.  This time was very different because while all this was going on our daughter was battling a disease that almost had fatal results twice. Along with that heart wrenching ongoing situation my husband had major health problems and operations.   I felt on an island by myself.

I was a shell of myself and cried out to God every day while in the deepest emotional pain that was causing daily anxiety panic attacks.  I told God that I needed something positive to come out of all the pain and prayed for him to show me how to do that.  I had nothing emotionally to give so how could I bring beauty from ashes?

I remembered what I had done with my favorite Aunt several years back when she was battling cancer.  Her being a Medical Doctor herself and a pioneer in alternative medicine she decided that the chemo was going to kill her before the cancer and chose to stop the chemo.  While all this was happening to her I appealed to her very creative side and brought her to a craft store.  We did crafts all while she was going through her painful hell.   She often reflected on that time in her life and told me that our craft therapy brought her through some of her darkest hours.

The memory of my beautiful  Aunt hugging me and thanking me for taking the time to bring her to the craft store, sitting with her, and creating beautiful pieces of art provoked me to break out my sketch pads  and draw my blueprints for the images I had in my mind.  My Couture Roses of Distinction were born through pain, anxiety and clinical depression.

While designing and producing my roses helped me on my journey they also gave me something positive and tangible to focus on daily.

The true healing for me came when I acknowledged to myself and God that I had not forgiven those that hurt me and then that was when I began to forgive all that needed to be forgiven.

Forgiveness is a journey that cannot be remedied with lip service.  Forgiveness is a decision by the forgiver.  The transgressions of the forgiven need “Not” to be revisited by the forgiver in memory or words.  If we are honest with ourselves we can never wipe the memory of what needed to be forgiven.

To me Forgive and Forget means to dismiss the memory when it arises and to consciously choose each time to hold forgiveness strong in my heart.

Forgiveness sets the captives free.   Forgiveness sets us free to love again.

My designed Roses and Cupcake Wraps are in celebration of Project: Forgive.

Another $900,000 is needed to create the documentary.

Project Forgive is continuing fundraising efforts through the Project: Forgive website –

More Links:!/project_forgive–your-story-can-make-a-difference

5 thoughts on “Project: Forgive – “A Project of Distinction”

  1. What a powerful testimonial – it always amazes me what Life asks of us. And as we know: it is not what happens to us that matters, it is how we respond to it. Your story about your aunt speaks volumes about your huge, compassionate, understanding heart – it’s no wonder you were overwhelmed. But I’ve always felt about my own depression, although I did not realize it at the time, now I am grateful for what I went through, because I read a piece like this one you wrote, and I feel a different kind of grace: empathy. I’ll certainly explore Project Forgive. Thank you!

    • Thank You Winslow. This Project Forgive has certainly touched my heart and I am glad my post was positive for you. Hugs 🙂

  2. Thanks Kathleen for sharing! I
    think that to forgive is a great strength of character and a prove of one’s maturity! It’s hard to forgive but it’s a great act of human generosity!
    Have a great and happy weekend!

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