I'm slightly in love with the Netflix show Grace and Frankie. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are the best on screen duo! Lily Tomlin is hilarious but her character on the show reminds me of my mother. So when I was invited to got to a charity even benefiting GCAPP where the two would be attending I jumped at the opportunity. If you don't know what GCAPP is, it stands for Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential. Founded by Jane Fonda in 1995 to address the alarmingly high number of young girls getting pregnant throughout the state of Georgia. (I grew up in one of the towns with the highest teen pregnancy rate) At the time more than 29,000 teens were becoming pregnant annually and something had to be done. The organization focuses on creating resources for teens and parents, educating the community, and enabling youths to make smart decisions. GCAPP hosts an annual fundraiser called the Empower Party, which is what I got to attend!
From the moment I walked in I was so excited to be in the room with these two powerful ladies. I jumped in line to get my picture taken with them (coming soon). They are just sweet as can be. Also attending the event was Ceelo Green and Liza Donnelly the famed cartoonist! She was live drawing and sharing the event in sketches. I got to see a few blogger friends as well. We were representing the wonderful Everywhere Society. I think what surprised me the most was all the great work and changed they have made happen for teens in Georgia. As I mentioned before, I grew up in a small town that had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state. I watched as a few of my friends had to leave school and finish their diplomas another way because they were at home with their babies. As a mother to two little girls, it's something that is always at the back of mind. My oldest is almost 9 and I've been mentally preparing myself for talks that are soon to come. GCAPP has tons of resources to help make the dreaded sex talk not so scary for parents.
Did you know that 44 teen births happen each day Georgia? That number is far too high. I want my girls to be educated about being safe. While I was in school they taught abstinence, and as Jane Fonda put it, “they are going to have sex, we just need to make sure it's protected.” We need to be teaching our children the importance of conversation with parents so that we can all protect them. The universe must have known that it was time to start talking to my daughter because I'm currently taking a Psychology and Love & Sex class, then I went to this event. I'm hearing the same information everywhere, that being open with your children and making communication easier is the way to go.
We got to hear from a 17-year-old girl named Melody at the party. She is a peer educator for GCAPP, and this girl has big dreams. She helps educates her peers in her spare time. That's what I want for my daughters. To be a voice! With the help of GCAPP, the teen birth rate has dropped 10% this year. Since 1995, it has dropped 64%! They have brought sex ed to over 160 schools in Georgia and they are now starting to tackle food deserts in Georgia by creating community gardens.
During the event, there was a live auction that included Grace's sweater from the show (which I really wanted)! They managed to raise over one million dollars at the Empower Party this year. After the auction concluded we were treated to a special “Grace and Frankie” interview and gag reel. If you have an extra 30 minutes you should watch because these two are a riot together.
Make sure to check out more about the great work that GCAPP does!