By Linda Alepin and Barbara Key
Lynda Haliburton, a Women Leaders for the World graduate from 2012, is clear about the purpose of her life’s journey – she is here to empower others.
She has been in service to others for years at City Team Ministries, San Jose State University’s (SJSU) Communicative Disorders and Sciences Department, and with Optimum Self Care, Anger/ Relationship/ Life Management using UpTalk. For thirty years, she has cared for her mother who has a disability.
Two of Lynda’s basic values are tenacity and commitment. When asked about her “best” as a leader, she tells about the Mexican kitchen she helped to build. Lynda calls her story “No is Nothing”.
Her church was affiliated with a small town in Mexico where many people were fed from a community kitchen. The kitchen had no floor, no roof, and very little equipment. Lynda took on the challenge of getting a complete kitchen built. At the beginning, Lynda had no idea how to accomplish this. She started by enlisting the help of a friend in the U.S. who belonged to Rotary.
Rotary needed a contractor to give an estimate of what the construction would cost. Lynda, with only basic Spanish skills, reached out to a woman in the village. The woman stood outside a contractor’s office day after day being ignored – a silent form of “no”. Finally, the woman’s tenacity and commitment were noticed by the owners of the construction firm and they gave her a quote.
Lynda took this back to Rotary, only to find that a lot more detail was needed and that it was not possible for them to financially back the project.
Lynda did not accept this “no”, either. Her passion for the people who needed daily meals propelled her to find other financial means. Eventually, a proper kitchen was built and today continues to serve hundreds of meals each week.
Through this process, she developed as a leader. Now, she engages others in what she terms her five “pillars” – love, nurture, environment, covering, and purpose. These are the foundation for a group of caregivers who send text messages of support to each other every day.
She recognizes the almost unlimited influence that each of us can have. Many days, she wears a bracelet on each wrist. The one with the small beads is her former self and the ones with the larger beads represent her leadership today. You can view the interview of Lynda at https://vimeo.com/380125245. You can see her lovely bracelet reminders.