Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

Model turned business woman, Kathy Ireland, is known for her spirit of generosity and faith.  She is also known as a dedicated mom who takes great interest in causes related to children.

 


Kathy Low Res.jpgMost recently she’s been involved with The LATISSE ®Wishes Challenge Campaign, a program that benefits the incredible work of Make-A-Wish Foundation®

 

She’s been helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant the wishes of kids, she says, enjoying a friendly competition with Chelsie Hightower and Bobbie Thomas. So far, she says, “we’ve raised nearly $400,000 dollars…and that’s going to grant a lot of wonderful wishes.”

 

You can learn more about it at LatisseWishesChallenge.com.

 

We asked her a few questions:

 

Why is it so important to give back?

I have heard and I believe, “All that you get is all that you give…so give it all you’ve got.” Life is about giving and being of service.

 

What causes are important to you, and why?

Wherever our family sees needs, we have the selfish joy of serving. Causes such as women’s and children’s health, education, hunger, clean water, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment disaster relief are important to my family and me. The list and the needs are endless.

 

What core values do you teach your children?

The foundation of the core values that my husband Greg and I are blessed to teach our children is to seek their own, personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With that foundation, the other values of love, respect, kindness and compassion flourish. 

 

How did you transform yourself from a supermodel to CEO of a major corporation?

My old job description was to, “Shut up and pose!” That wasn’t interesting or fulfilling. I always knew I belonged on the other side of the camera. I was O.K. as a model, never super. I entered the fashion industry as a business person. At kathy Ireland Worldwide, we have an extraordinary team of people all over the globe. Together, we design and market over 45,000 products in over 50 countries. Our designs include: jewelry, fashion, all things bridal, furniture, flooring, destination resorts for weddings and events, publishing, giftware, replacement windows and we recently sold our one hundred millionth pair of socks. It all started at my kitchen table with our little band of peaceful warriors. We turned down the noise of rejection to embrace our dreams. And if it happened for us, it can happen for anybody. I promise. Our offices and design studios stretch from California to Hawaii, Israel and soon New York. I never had a family business, but, today I have a business family. We transformed my career and this company together.

 

What inspires you? What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Love inspires me. Scripture reminds us that Love is patient. Love is kind. Love bears all things. My greatest inspiration is who, rather than what. Since the age of 18, I’ve been held, protected and loved by the Truth of my best friend, Jesus Christ. I respect all people and their faiths and beliefs… but, I must admit that living in God’s truth brings incredible peace. Without my faith, I have nothing. My priorities are faith, family and being of service. Without my personal relationship with Jesus, I would be a big, lost mess that you would never want to know. Some people think that I am very religious… not so much. There is reference to religion in scripture, however much of what I experience in religion is man-made.  What I try to live each day is a closer walk with Him. I must always remember to get out of the way, and honor God, which is not always easy for a control freak like me.

 

How do you think we can all do our part to help with the greatest challenges the world faces today?

Get involved! Refuse to look away. Every one of us can change someone’s life. Say a prayer. Contribute what you can. Smile. Audrey Hepburn once said, “For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness.” If those words are sincere, that is a great beginning. I know a woman who is physically-challenged. She cannot leave her bed. She works hours, every day as a prayer warrior. She changes lives with the power of Christian prayer. Sometimes it’s easy for us to get caught up in the delusion of what seems important. Cars, clothes, restaurants, homes, and comfort. These are all luxuries. What does a child who has no water or food know of comfort?  You can change the world today, if you want to…

 

What is an easy way for people to contribute to our world?

By genuinely caring enough to step out of some of our selfishness and make a contribution. There are so many ways to help if we just open our eyes and our hearts.

 

How do balance your busy life– family, your business and yourself?

I don’t. I’m a work in progress. I do remind women to put on their own oxygen mask first – just as the flight attendant instructs you to do on an airplane. There’s so much pressure to have it all and do it all. We can have it all, just not always at the same time. You must set your own priorities and honor them. Many people have an agenda. Make sure that you have one of your own and that your needs are on it.

 

It’s amazing to me to see young people all over the world changing the world. When I was a teenager, it was all about me. I see kids today who are shaping the future, like students from the Alliance for Christian Education, here in Santa Barbara to kids in Haiti, Israel, Africa and Asia. Children are one of God’s greatest miracles and my heart believes in them and what they will do with our future.

 

About the Make-A-Wish Foundation®

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world with 65 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and almost 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 193,000 wishes in the United States since its inception. For much more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, please visit www.wish.org.

 

You can learn more about the LATISSE® Wishes Challenge at LatisseWishesChallenge.com.

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