Hi, I'm Jo Rivera (the second from the top left in the green shirt kissin' on that cute boy) and I live in Sanford, FL. My life had always been defined by my job...until I met that cute boy and his seven incredible bebes. When I learned that their mother chose drugs over motherhood, I did two things: 1) I started this non-profit to help women see their value (spiritually, socially and economically), in an effort to be there if/when another woman was ever trying to make that same choice...and 2) I dropped the big career and worked with his 11yr old daughter (middle row, left) to learn all I could about being a full-time mom.
For ten years, I raised them as my own, served on the PTA, nursed every wound, mended every broken heart and soothed every bad dream. The pride of my existence was being their mother...and then 3 years ago, our family took a devastating blow and their dad and I split up. I physically left everything behind (so as not to add any additional trauma to these precious babies) and moved into a camper in my parents backyard. Since then, I have done two things: 1) ensured that my daughters saw that NO MATTER WHAT happens to you, we are not a product of our circumstances and 2) searched to find my freakin' value (spiritually, socially and economically). Having little sense of direction, I hit the road to write a book about all of the amazing women I have encountered. In the last year, I have regained my footing, my voice and all the break up weight I lost (bummed, but working on it) AND picked up a parcel of land in the place that healed my heart...the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of West Virginia...where we are currently building a series of cabins to offer a retreat to those of us in need of a transitional reprieve. A place we can offer our love of the land and each other to the community we live in. A place we can thrive and showcase the joy in creating your own reality. A place we can gather to cry to and celebrate...a place my children can be proud of...The Haven at Snowy Creek. Our current trajectory, takes my passion for aromatherapy and channels it into a sustainable financial opportunity for every person in that picture AND will prove to my children that not only is Mommy more than ok, she also has the freedom to continue to be there for them wherever their journeys may lead. It is my greatest honor to chase this dream with both that beautiful 11 yr old (Tashani - now 22 and about to welcome her own small teacher into the world) and my mother, Donna - the woman who taught me, my story was mine to write...but even greater still to share it with you. I hope you will continue to walk with with us as we grow and discover the very best part of ourselves...together!