For Talia, it all started with a question.
“Who are these people?”
She thought they were beautiful and she wanted to hear their stories. She looked at their pictures and wondered.
Talia Sharpe seems like any other nine-year-old girl. She likes to swim, practice karate, and do her hair and nails. But Talia is also an activist. After learning about the cause of domestic violence, she single-handedly raised over 1000 dollars for Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence and she has no plans of stopping any time soon.
“I was in super ‘prep-mode’ for the [Angel Run] and as I was getting ready to do the event, I printed pictures of women who were murdered for domestic violence,” said Kristen Faith, founder of BTS. “[Talia] asked me about [them] and, unfortunately or fortunately, I know all of their names and their stories.”
After explaining the issue of domestic violence in “the easiest way I possibly could to a nine-year-old child,” Kristen told Talia there was something she could do to help.
“I told her, you know, we’re having a really big event on Saturday. We have Angel Families coming and I said, ‘Talia would you like to help sell raffle tickets?’ She had her big purple banana in her hair and her cute little Angel Run shirt…and she said ‘I’d love to help.’”
The Angel Run is an annual fundraiser to honor families who have lost loved ones to domestic violence. It was inspired by dedicated volunteer Mallory Murphy, who ran thirteen miles for thirteen consecutive days and raised 1500 dollars for BTS scholarships and services.
“I was really inspired,” Kristen said. “I thought if one woman can do that then imagine what twenty or more…supportive people could do.”
While running is a part of the event, the Angel Run has gone global with online fundraising.
“Break the Silence has never been just a local organization,” Kristen said. “Angel Run is something everyone all over the world gets to participate in. We can all go the distance.”
It’s people like Talia who bring a spirit of hope to the cause and show that every little bit counts. Involving children and families brings a sense of community and creates a legacy of giving back and caring for the people around us.
“I think the most important part of this is that it’s okay to have these conversations with our children about something that could be [a] sensitive topic,” Talia’s father, Terry Josiah commented. “Especially something like domestic violence, what an unhealthy relationship looks like. Having my daughter not just be a part of these conversations but to talk to families who have actually been affected by domestic violence has shown not just to her and Kristen and myself that children can actually do it, but it has pushed others as well. They see if a young child can do it, anyone can.”
Talia has a vision and a big heart to match. She is living proof that given an opportunity and a learning experience, children are capable of amazing and ambitious things.
Like many children her age, Talia looks forward to hosting a lemonade stand this summer, but instead of pocketing savings for her piggy bank, Talia wants to donate the money to charity. Through the Angel Run, Talia made friends with Lauren King, a nurse in the Colorado Springs area. Lauren has been raising funds for a scholarship in honor of her mother, Sunny King, that will benefit the survivors of domestic violence.
“We called her on FaceTime and Talia told [Lauren] that she had chosen her mom’s team and she was just so floored by Talia’s big heart and we are all just so excited,” Kristen said.
As for Talia, she remains determined and humble in her quest to make a difference. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is impressed by the strong sense of self-juxtaposed with her distinct and age-appropriate voice. Talia is so incredible, yet so normal, which makes her the perfect face for this cause. When I ask why she does what she does, I can almost hear her little shrug over the phone.
“I want to help people,” Talia says. “I want to change the world.”
It’s the perfect answer.