Beautiful Women: A woman who demonstrates the true beauty of compassionMoorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller set the stage perfectly for our Beautiful Women project with that quote. Forum Communications is highlighting ordinary women in our community doing extra-ordinary things. They exemplify, True, Inner beauty.
By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY
Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller set the stage perfectly for our Beautiful Women project with that quote. Forum Communications is highlighting ordinary women in our community doing extra-ordinary things. They exemplify, True, Inner beauty.
In a small, unassuming office in North Moorhead. Incredible work is being done by our next beautiful woman, Pebbles Thompson. That work helps lift up those children in our community who are at their lowest. It's the dream come true for a woman who demonstrates the true beauty of compassion.
Those who know Pebbles Thompson say she has a passion for the broken. She and her family have created and run the non-pro-fit "Project Nightlight" They put together tote bags of hope, sharing light in the darkness of child abuse.
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "They're told everyday that they're unlovable, that they're not wanted, that they're a mistake."
Project Nightlight provides blankets, pajamas and a bag full of security for hurting children. In North Dakota alone, there are more than 4-thousand children who are seen for sexual or physical abuse or neglect each year
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "About 5 kids die everyday in the US from abuse - 1 is too many."
For Pebbles, it's an idea that came to her in an unlikely place, the shower, sometimes the only place this pastor and mother of 4 and gets uninterrupted, quiet time to pray.
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "By the end of the third day my husband's like, Pebbles, you're going to have to quit showering - this idea is just too big for us to do - but we stepped out in faith and I started shopping because that's something that I know how to do, and over a course of a week we knew who we'd be helping, we knew where we would be going and everything that would be going in our bags."
The first bags went out in April of 2008. In less than three years they have delivered more than 25-hundred bags to children in every child advocacy center in North Dakota and have even expanded into Minnesota.
"We always tuck the delicates inside their pant leg."
No detail is missed. These bags of hope are carefully put together. One by one. The littlest things making a big difference
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "It's not about the stuff - when it comes down to it - it's knowing that somebody took the time to care when those around them couldn't."
It may be her own life experiences that drive Pebbles to help as many children as she can. At 15 she was suicidal, with a low self esteem and self worth.
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "My mom, extremely loving. But I grew up with a step-father who was hurt as a child and hurting people hurt people and it's easier to believe the bad things about yourself."
But she says she met the right boy at the right time - now her husband of 14 years.
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "I love that he has taken his dreams and he's set them aside and taken my dreams and made them his own."
The journey hasn't always been easy. They've seen hard times to keep Project Nightlight afloat. Pebble's husband lost his job - and with no unemployment, this minster relied on her strong faith to keep her going
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "We can be a victim or we can be victorious and I want to be victorious in my life."
Pebbles, her husband and four children load up and are on the road most every weekend, traveling and spreading the word about their mission, relying on donations to continue their work.
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "There's days when my children are in a car 8 hours a day, when they should get to play. They're giving their time for a lot of kids that they may never meet. They're giving a lot of mommy's attention for kids they may never meet. But then they see one kid crying on mommy's shoulder and they go mommy, is that a hurt kid?"
And it's worth it when you see their venture that started on their dining room table has grown into this..
Pebbles Thompson/The Beauty Of Compassion: "She needed 5 bags and all of the children were between 7 weeks and 7 months old and I lost it. I just, it's not right - it's not fair. But we have to stand with we hate that we're needed but we're glad we can be here."
And a lot of those kids don't know what safety is so to know that something as simple as a blanket can make somebody feel, safe - that's an amazing gift.
"I go to bed at night thinking I'm not doing enough."
"My life is different than what I would have hand picked for myself and yet it's so much better. It's better than I would've ever.... If I could've laid out my perfect job, this wouldn't have been it. And yet, I cant imagine not doing this - this is best job in the world."
If you're inspired to help project night light, Money is always accepted. But there are specific rules about what can be donated. You can check their website ND nightlight dot org for information.
You can hear much more about Pebble's story in tomorrow's Forum. She'll also be on the Christopher Gabriel Program tomorrow.
And you can find more information about our project, including how you can nominate a beautiful woman in your life on http://beautifulwomenof.areavoices.com.