Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Founder of a Contagious Smile...

In this episode Victoria talks about what we can do to help those who find themselves surviving a domestic violence situation...

In tonight’s Saturday Night Special, I interview Victoria Cuore about surviving domestic abuse.  Victoria also shares how her faith led her to survive and become an advocate for women and children in these situations.  Victoria also shares what we should do and not do when helping others dealing with domestic violence.

Join in on the Chat below.

SNS 173: Saturday Night Special - Interview with Family Advocate Victoria Cuore

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight's Saturday Night special episode 173.

[00:00:05] Victoria Cuore: I'm Victoria Cuore from a contagious Smile. I challenge you to invest in yourself and others and develop your influence and impact the world by using your time and your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to really support those around us that can't help themselves is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen.

[00:00:28] Inspired Stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.

[00:00:39] What you need to be doing, depending on where they are in this cycle of what we go through, is either offered just to sit and listen. We feel like we are without a voice, so just sit and let us talk. Hear us. Don't criticize us. Don't judge us. Support us. Just listen. [00:01:00]

[00:01:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:01:05] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, who will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:33] Tonight, Saturday Night Special. I interview Victoria Curre about surviving domestic abuse. Victoria also shares how her faith led her to both survive and later become an advocate for women and children who find themselves in these situations. Victoria also shares what we should do and not do when we're helping others deal with th finding themselves in this domestic violence situ.

[00:01:59] [00:02:00] One area that a lot of folks need some help with is around the area of productivity. Getting not just more things done, but actually getting the right things done can be really tough. I've got a course called Productivity for Your Passion that's designed to help you do this and then to hold you accountable and walk with you so that you can tailor productivity, not just to be getting more done, but actually getting the right things done.

[00:02:34] What's more, we take the approach of looking at your personality and how you actually look at things in the world and tailor the productivity system to your person. Because the truth is, a lot of the systems that are out there are written really well for somebody with a particular personality type. But if you have a different approach to things, they just don't work.

[00:02:56] But there's tools and techniques and approaches that you can take [00:03:00] that will work for anyone, and we help you do that and productivity for your passion. Check it out slash launch. Victoria is a survivor and a mother of a special needs miracle child. She spent over 16 years educating herself and others within the special needs community.

[00:03:21] Her focus includes bringing help to those who aren't in a position to help themselves as a survivor of past domestic violence. She also speaks to survivors and advocates for their rights and. She's also an author and a recognized speaker on these topics. She considers herself a pit bull who advocates for families and individuals in both the areas of providing for special needs families and for survivors of domestic violence.

[00:03:47] Welcome to the Show of Victoria. Thank you so

[00:03:49] Victoria Cuore: much for having me. I truly appreciate it.

[00:03:52] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. We talked a little bit about your journey and some of the work you do in the introduction, but [00:04:00] I wanted to give you a chance to. Tell, share a little bit with the listener about your journey from Survivor of domestic abuse to what you do today.

[00:04:11] It's kinda a two

[00:04:12] Victoria Cuore: part thing honestly. I advocate for special needs families as well as domestic violence and abuse survivors. I want everyone to be able to see that beautiful inner light that they carry within a lot of times, whether it's abuse or special needs. They just, Feel like they're put to the side that they're not as meaningful as other people.

[00:04:33] That's absolutely not true. For instance, special needs families, those kids are the most resilient, inspirational kids I've ever had. The privilege, excuse me, to work with. They're, they don't take anything for granted. They're just fantastic. Individuals women, and there's some men, but I've mostly worked with women and children who've been through abuse.

[00:04:51] They just put themselves at the wayside. Like they don't mean anything to anyone anymore. They have no self esteem, no self worth. So being [00:05:00] that I went through all this by myself, . I don't want that for anyone else that I can help. So I try to help get them back where they belong, let them see who they are, who they can be, and get 'em back in the workforce and into safety and offer different things that they can do to provide safety for them and their children.

[00:05:18] Scott Maderer: And I think a lot of people go through, And thank you by the way, for mentioning that there are some men, because I think that's often overlooked. And it is often, again, statistically it's more females, but there, there are men. It doesn't, it does happen. And with special needs, I think there's a lot that's a pretty wide spectrum of what that means.

[00:05:42] So how you focus on this because of your own past history, but what. What was it about it that brought why are you doing this work as opposed to just you've survived, which is a huge accomplishment already. What brought you into [00:06:00] actually feeling like you needed to do this to help others?

[00:06:03] Victoria Cuore: I'd never push religion on anyone. I won't push religion on anyone. I was not meant to survive. My daughter was not meant to survive. They've done medical studies on my daughter. We cannot figure out how she's overcome what she has, the obstacles that she's overcome. They told me that she wouldn't live, she wouldn't talk.

[00:06:21] She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't be able to. To function with the executive function disorder and cognitive issues that we have from her coding and se. So I really believe, and this is just me, that we were kept here for a reason. We were kept here for a purpose and I have no idea honestly how I made it through what I went through.

[00:06:41] And I wanna pay it forward. I wanna help back. I love seeing people smile. That's where the contagious smile comes in. I love seeing people realize they're worth and they are worth fighting for. So it just Came naturally. At first I was that woman with the head down and [00:07:00] jumping at every noise and petrified of everything.

[00:07:03] And I went through it by myself. And so I was very scared and then I thought I would want to wish this on anyone. I wouldn't want them to go through this. But at the same time I was going through this, I was fighting to have my daughter survive in the nicu. In the NICU and picu cuz we were going from one to another.

[00:07:17] And I was like, if I could help remove some of that burden from other people. , that's what I wanna do. And the chief doctor for the cranial facial division at the time with my daughter asked me to start advocating. He's because you always talk to other parents that are around when you're there and offer ideas and suggestions, and they're great.

[00:07:37] And as physicians we're only allowed to do so much. So this is fantastic. So I just ran with it. Went from there, .

[00:07:46] Scott Maderer: So you mentioned not pushing religion on folks, but also your own kind of faith background. How did this journey intersect and overlap with your faith journey as you went

[00:07:58] Victoria Cuore: through things?[00:08:00]

[00:08:00] It just made it even stronger if that was possible. Because there were times, honestly, on the floor bleeding from places. People, men and women should not bleed from that. I literally was just like, let me go. I don't, I can't do this anymore. I don't wanna do this anymore. And then I would feel my daughter kick me like, I'm here too.

[00:08:19] You can't just give up through all the surgeries and I as a parent to watch your child code and go gray and there's nothing you can do. And the doctors are working on her and. Begging and praying, and you really think this is it. And the chaplain's beside you holding your hand and you literally are like I can't lose my daughter.

[00:08:42] I can't lose my daughter. At one point, honestly, they said to call it, and I had an amazing resident who we're friends with to today who couldn't give up. He had just, and his wife had just had a baby, and he says I can't quit. He got her. and he's very religious and he just said I couldn't do it because [00:09:00] I thought of it as what if this was my kid?

[00:09:02] And he just kept fighting and the resident was like, there's nothing else we can, I'm sorry. The doctor said there's nothing else we can do. And the resident said I can't give up. And he didn't. And like I said, we're still close with him and his family now. He's an emergency room physician and he, every time I see him, I always remind him.

[00:09:19] He's you don't have to remind me. I, you . It's like I owe you everything cause you saved your life. And it's just, when you go through that and you know you're carried through, then you know that it. Within you and it is your purpose in calling to help others. And so that's what we have been doing.

[00:09:38] My daughter is just as active about helping others and advocating for the children as I do.

[00:09:43] Scott Maderer: And to be clear you were going through some of this abuse, much of this abuse while you were pregnant with your child, correct? From what all of the views

[00:09:54] Victoria Cuore: transpired during the pregnancy.

[00:09:55] All of it. All of it. Okay. .

[00:09:58] Scott Maderer: Yeah. Which just makes it another [00:10:00] layer of difficult too, because you're, yeah. So I told you when we talked about coming on the show and sharing the message that I didn't want to spend all of the time where I think a lot of times we do, which is on what happened to you.

[00:10:16] I really wanted to focus some. What we can do about it, , so to speak. So as families and friends fir first off, how can we recognize that there may be some level of domestic abuse, physical, mental, emotional, whatever it is going on in in the people that we intersect with, friends, family, others that we love?

[00:10:41] What should we be looking. That is

[00:10:44] Victoria Cuore: such a great question. We, you need to think about it. For women, it's one in four in the civilian sector, in the military law enforcement sector, it's one in three, and that is the stats that are reported. So think about the individuals that don't report about rebut, but [00:11:00] there are red flags, there are signs that people can start looking at and looking for.

[00:11:06] I, and like I said, I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but I really believe I've earned my doctorate in hard knocks, . So it's if you see someone that you love, male or female the flags are flags. They're not gender related. There is. Just the flags. So if you see someone who is starting to withdraw who is acting completely different, who used to participate, say in family dinners and family events and called all the time and texted all the time, and that's just whittling away, then that's a red flag because we're getting isolated, we're being removed slowly from our comfort zone in the beginning, in the love bombing stage or the courtship stage.

[00:11:46] This significant other puts us on a pedestal and makes us believe that we are this amazing individual and they parade us round like a trophy, significant other. And then it's, they brag and brag about us all the time [00:12:00] and how amazing we are. But then right after everything changes, everything that was said about us is in what?

[00:12:05] 80 we're nothing and garbage and things of that nature. You, you start seeing a change in the disposition and demeanor of the victim. They become very quiet and isolated and they, sometimes they even start depending on the cycle and where you are, become very protective and defensive of their partner because they're afraid if hypothetically you got mad at them, they're gonna get the retribution of it on themselves.

[00:12:31] So that is a very big sign as well. Just. Bringing themselves into an occlusion to isolation. Just not if you constantly are saying, Hey, let's go to lunch, or let's go have I can, I got something to do, or you make the agreement to go and then you cancel the last minute, there is a reason something's going on.

[00:12:52] Probably because we're hiding some sort of injury or a bruise, or we're trying to. and [00:13:00] that is a high alert to get active and see what's going on in that person's life. So let's talk about that kind of next step, if you're starting to see that isolation, changes in behavior, withdraw, different things like that.

[00:13:14] Scott Maderer: A again, as an outsider what can we do? What's the right thing to do? What's the wrong thing to do? Obviously nobody wants to make things worse. At the same time. What do

[00:13:28] Victoria Cuore: we do? And when I talk to, to, to women and then, and when I do speaking engagements I often ask them to bring family members because believe it or not, a lot of times I'll have family members that will belittle the victim slash survivor.

[00:13:43] In front of them and say they chose to stay and they never left and they deserved it, and yada y And they say it in front of them and I address them and say let me ask you a question. Have you ever been abused? No. Good for you. [00:14:00] I'm so happy that you can say you're one of those few numbers that haven't been through it, but let me just say, I want you to imagine the worst day of your life, and then I want you to take all of your family and support your friends, everybody you rely on and love, and have them just tear you down and shred you on that one particular day.

[00:14:20] And then you will see. Basically what one of our best days are like, because you're not going through the abuse, you don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution. So you know, you can't walk in our shoes and tell us what you would do if you haven't been there. That is such a really big deal. And I had a mom that just wouldn't stop saying she chose it.

[00:14:41] She chose to stay. We don't raise our hand and say, we elect to be beaten. None of us choose that. So I couldn't get this point across to her. You're making it worse by humiliating her when she's already at zero, she's got nothing and you're not making her feel like maybe that's where I should be because my own family [00:15:00] isn't supporting and backing me.

[00:15:01] So I asked her, I said I'm so proud that you never had to go through abuse, and I hope that stays that way for you. Let me ask you a question if, God forbid, you were diagnosed with cancer. And this one lady in particular said I had breast cancer. And I said, I'm so sorry, but you're in remission.

[00:15:15] That's great. Congratulations. And she said, yeah, I'm cancer free. And I said, when you are going through your cancer, , would you have gone to a podiatrist? And she goes why would I do that? And I was like, then why are you telling her what to do? Because you've never been in that situation. Then it resonated with her and she got it.

[00:15:31] So I said, and then she came to me and she says, What can I do? I get it now. I see what you're meaning and I said, you might be going at her thinking that what you're doing is helping, but it's not, it's making it worse what you need to be doing, depending on where they are. And this cycle of what we go through is either offered just to sit and listen.

[00:15:53] We feel like. Are without a voice. So just sit and let us talk. Just hear [00:16:00] us. Don't criticize us, don't judge us. Support us. Just listen. And then if we're not ready to talk, just be in the room with us. Be present. Be there. If we wanna hold your hand, hold our hand. We feel so alone. We feel isolated from the world.

[00:16:15] If we're not ready to talk, that is our sign of saying, Hey. I'm not there yet, but I can get there. How about you just sit with me and I can have a few minutes with a human being that's not gonna punch me in the face or kick me in the ribs. Just sit with me. You can also go to a level of offering them shelter offering to help them get out, offer, give them a safe haven, help them move out, but the reason so many women and men go back is because they don't have a execution plan in place, and because they don't, and it's not complete, they go back because it fails. They don't have somewhere to go. They don't have the resources ready, and they don't have any. So they go back cuz it is the most dangerous time when [00:17:00] you try to leave.

[00:17:00] It is the most

[00:17:01] Scott Maderer: dangerous, seven times more deadly during Yes

[00:17:04] Victoria Cuore: execution. And 50% of the homicides come from this particular event. Try to leave. Yeah. So you really need to have your stuff together and I help do those plans. I help you realize what you can and can't do. And then you can get out and you can, I tried to get out once.

[00:17:21] I paid the toll for it, and to this day it haunts me because he shot and killed our puppy to show me what he would do to me. So that haunts me to this day. And then I had my plan together and I've never gone back. And so now I'm trying to help other people see what I didn't see and what I didn't have available to me with those resources.

[00:17:41] Scott Maderer: Yeah. And I think I think that's important for people to realize too, is. , if you are helping people exit from this sort of situation, it is serious it isn't and I don't say that to frighten people or make people think, oh, I don't want to help somebody now cuz it it puts me in danger.[00:18:00]

[00:18:00] But rather recognize that you real there, you really do have to help, have a true plan of action. with a beginning, a middle, and an end and usually involves support from professional organizations getting to a shelter that specializes, because nowadays people can find anybody anyway I've interviewed and worked with as a coach, some folks that I have to be very careful about what information I share publicly because I don't want their abuser to track back and find them.

[00:18:34] And it would be I'll use an example. I'm part of an organization and we take pictures of people on an event on the weekend and they came to me cuz I do the website work and said, Hey, can we put all the pictures up? And I'm like, great. Do you have a media release from every single person and every single picture?

[00:18:53] That says that it's okay to post their picture publicly, because I don't know that there's not a survivor of domestic abuse or [00:19:00] something else in these pictures that we would then be, it says, smart you and it literally blew the, they hadn't thought of it. And the only reason I know it is because I have dealt with survivors at some level in my my own history and my own past.

[00:19:15] Otherwise, I never would've thought of it either. Is there anything else like that? As those people that are around and maybe trying to help somebody or beginning to see this, what are some of the best ways, whether it's resources or things to think about what's of your top three or top five things that people really need to pay attention to?

[00:19:35] Victoria Cuore: Are you talking about when they're trying to exit, or just in the beginning when they're trying to exit? They need to have a solid escape plan, number one, and when they do leave, they need to feel secure more than ever in their entire life. Because I hate the word paranoid because it makes you sound like that you're not stable mentally.

[00:19:55] Because you are gonna be paranoid, but that doesn't mean you're unstable. That just [00:20:00] means you're cautious. I like to use the term, you're being cautious of your surroundings because of this situation. You're not paranoid. It doesn't mean you're crazy. You just need to know your surroundings. Like I go through and tell you things that people don't even think about.

[00:20:13] To make sure you're safe. I'll show you how to be safe online. I'll show you how to make sure you can't be tracked online, how you're not tracked by your vehicle, how you're not tracked by your phone. If you're not working because he held that over the financial abuse over on you. I will help you do life skill classes and help with the resume and get you back out there when I talk to people, I don't do the video.

[00:20:37] Or if I don't record the video card of it and I let them alter their name and their geographic location and things of that nature just so that they feel safe. They need to know that there is safety out there. They need to know that they have a safe haven that's bully free and judgment free.

[00:20:52] They might need to have some other resources available to 'em, even if it's for their own protection and peace of mind. [00:21:00] Then you can help provide that, and it's just the simple. That you and I take for granted on a day to day basis. Those are things that all need to be implemented in for them not to just to survive, but to thrive.

[00:21:12] Scott Maderer: And what you said about paranoia it's post traumatic stress disorder. It because they've been through a major trauma period and I would include in that, cuz I know we're talking a lot and we're talking about physical. , you also can have very serious trauma and abuse.

[00:21:37] without somebody ever laying a hand on somebody too. Absolutely. It does happen. Absolutely.

[00:21:42] Victoria Cuore: Yeah. That tears the person down just as much. Absolutely. Absolutely. Because when you hear something every single day, when you hear I love you, you're the best thing that's ever happened to me.

[00:21:51] It resonates and you keep it and you hear it, and then you live by that. If your partner says to you every day, you're worthless, you're ugly. No one's ever gonna want you. Everyone feels bad for [00:22:00] me for being with you. You know you're never gonna amount to anything. You know you're disgusting. Look at you with all these scars and this and that.

[00:22:06] Then that's what you believe because that's what you hear every single day. And then you feel like you have no self worth, you have no self-esteem, and you feel like you're not even worth living because why? Is this the best that you're gonna get? Is he makes you or she makes you feel? This is the best you're ever gonna get because this is what you deserve.

[00:22:24] And it's amazing cuz you, I don't wanna give these people one ounce of credit, but they're really brilliant at what they do. They're charismatic, they're charming, they're manipulative, and they know how to play on your heartstrings. They know how to find your weakness and then they manipulate it in their favor.

[00:22:40] Scott Maderer: Yeah. It's narcissism and it's absolutely, yeah. It's narcissists are very good. Convincing everyone else of the reality that they. And I noticed, I didn't say the reality that they say is real, but it's they can convince [00:23:00] people that they bend people to their will of this is real.

[00:23:04] And they're good at it. They're very good at it and it's what sometimes makes them very successful people. There are a lot of studies that show that some of the most successful people that we all know are actually score very highly on, on narcissism. It allows them to do well in our world.

[00:23:21] But that doesn't necessarily mean it's always expressed in a healthy way either. That's right.

[00:23:25] Victoria Cuore: Absolutely.

[00:23:27] Scott Maderer: So let's go the other way. What are some and you mentioned a few when we were just talking, but let's expand on that. What are some of the questions that either you personally or that you see other survivors get that are the wrong question?

[00:23:43] That we shouldn't be?

[00:23:46] Victoria Cuore: Don't ask 'em why did they stay or why are you staying? Nobody is wanting to stay. Nobody's wanting to go home and say you haven't hit me on the left side today. How about we go there? We don't do that. We don't asking for that. A lot of times when people don't think about it, that [00:24:00] we're also protecting our children.

[00:24:02] And we're preventing them from getting hit and we're taking it for them. Don't say this would never happen to me because you know what? I guarantee you, prior to the relationship beginning, we said the same thing. And now we won't say that. Cuz you, nobody signs up for it. Nobody thinks that this is gonna happen to them.

[00:24:20] And then it does. And you, nobody just goes out for a walk and says, oh I'm not gonna get attacked today. And then it, sometimes it happens. It's more about if you think you're gonna say something negative, don't say anything at all, because that's what makes it so much more challenging. Why didn't you stay, or why didn't you leave?

[00:24:37] Why didn't you call for help? You know what, when you do call for help, most times what happens is they vet with the abuser and they interrogate the victim. They make us go through everything. This is one of the most dangerous calls a law enforcement officer will respond to is domestic violence.

[00:24:53] They'll go in and they normally, hopefully will have two on scene, two officers on scene, and they separate [00:25:00] 'em. One takes the man, one takes the woman, they get the stories, and then they switch, and then you have to tell the stories again. And the thing is that they're just like, why'd you make him so mad?

[00:25:09] And the thing is that we hear that a lot from people on the outside too. Why did you make him mad when him fell? He had to do that. You know what I'm gonna tell you that if you do everything by the book of what they require, demand. Whatever you wanna call it, they're still gonna find a reason.

[00:25:25] They could go to work and somebody could yell at them about their work product. Somebody could cut them off on the way home. Their cheating partner might say that they're done. Whatever the case may be, they're gonna come home and take it out on you. Regardless if you've had dinner on time, if the house is clean, if you're wearing what you are allowed to wear, if you're wearing only what makeup you're allowed to wear, you're still gonna get the ramifications of that abuser because somebody else made his day worse.

[00:25:55] So asking why did you make him mad? Why didn't you leave? Why [00:26:00] these are the questions that, and then also when people say I'd never let that happen to me. My family said that to me constantly. I would never let that happen to me. The first time he hit me, I'd have laid him out. Yeah, you can't say that.

[00:26:14] You absolutely cannot say that. And then it makes us feel even worse and it makes us feel like maybe we just need to stay here. And then you get to the point, and I'm not I'm my own and, sorry, I'm talking about my own situation, but the women I talk with, tell me similar, we get to a point where we're hit so far down, literally and physically.

[00:26:34] And psychologically that we feel like if we died, nobody would know. Nobody would even care. And that's because we have no sport, we have nothing. And so it's like, why are we even going through, why are we going through this process day in and day out when I don't matter to anyone? So stop thinking negative and put yourself in a position of strength and offer that person support.

[00:26:58] That's what needs to be [00:27:00] done. That would make such a huge change. And we need to start really educating our children because. They could end the cycle. They don't have to continue it. My, the cycle with me ended with me. It's not going on with my kids. It's not gonna happen. And my daughter can come in here and tell you.

[00:27:16] My mom's never yelled at me. And I tell her the verbal, like you said, it is awful. I still remember things that were said to me verbally. They'll never go away. Can I remember every time I was punched, But I remember those harsh verbal words that were stated to me. And then when their kids are seeing it in that environment, they're seeing it's okay for a parent to be that way to the other parent.

[00:27:38] It's okay for boy to be that way to a girl, or for a girl to be treated that way by a boy or whatever the gender quality is. It doesn't matter. Man, boy, girl, whatever it is they're saying that it's. For one parent to treat the other that way, and that they're just [00:28:00] learning that's what they can do as well.

[00:28:01] Scott Maderer: So we've talked a lot about the abuse and what we can do there, but as you mentioned up front the other component of your work is around families with. Special needs and special needs children. So it, when we think about there, what's some of the most important things that we need to understand?

[00:28:19] Again, if we're the family and the friends that are surrounding those people, but not directly in the family, what are some of the things that we need to understand to be able to help and support them?

[00:28:30] Victoria Cuore: Special needs is a community all on our own. We're a very tight knit community. No, most people who are not in that community will never give it because I hear so many moms that are like, oh, I don't know how I'm gonna make it at soccer practice at five.

[00:28:45] Oh, I gotta go take Kate to ballet class or whatever. We're sitting here going, I have 15 doctors and therapists a week. I gotta go home and make the formula for the feeding tube. I gotta make sure her trach doesn't get occluded. I gotta make sure this is done and this is done. And I get the monthly feeding supplies [00:29:00] brought in time.

[00:29:00] I get the monthly medical supplies brought in on. If my nurse doesn't show up, I don't get to sleep again tonight. What if she has a cold and then it turns into rsv? These are all things that we think about moment to moment. Like we realize that in a moment's notice, we could lose our child in certain situations just because they get a plug in their trach or they have a heart condition and the heart fails.

[00:29:23] These are things most parents never have to worry about. And so instead what we really want is. To have support, come sit with us. Our kids are not contagious, and yet society puts them so far away from everybody else because they're worried that this is gonna be a kid who's gonna give them some kind of contagion issue.

[00:29:43] And it's not true. They're not gonna give you a failed heart because you hug 'em and they are the greatest, sweetest kids. They will change these other kids if you just spend some time with them, because they value every minute of every day of their life.

[00:29:57] Scott Maderer: So before I ask you a few questions [00:30:00] that I like to ask every guest, is there anything else you'd like to share about the work that you.

[00:30:04] Victoria Cuore: We're trying to pay it forward. I've been doing this for 16 plus years and my platform has gotten much larger and I've been doing this out of my own pocket in pro bono, basically from day one. And now we're starting to go through and ask for donations. We are. The average time it takes to get a service dog is five plus years.

[00:30:27] And for a child that's outrageous. My husband is a canine, was a canine handler as well as law enforcement. We are now and have been, we turned our whole backyard. We have a huge backyard and we have custom made kennel system and we've paid for all of this. And now we're gonna start breeding the golden retrievers and be able to help these.

[00:30:46] Obtain their dogs faster. We've been paying for all this and so now we've gotta find a way to get some support coming in to help. If you go to the site, I offer free support groups, free social groups so people can meet other [00:31:00] people like themselves and really build a support team. I offer legal documentation cuz I did go to paralegal school where I offer that.

[00:31:07] And then we have life skill classes and things of that nature and we are literally anything longer. Of a fee, which really is not a lot, is to the dollar of what it costs to provide it. Not any kind of anything else. I've been working for all this for free. My husband is as well we've gotta be able to survive by being able to pay for the stuff for the dogs and pay for the stuff to pay for the website you know the resources and things of that nature.

[00:31:34] I'm new at that phase of it, and I've gotta figure out how to make that part happen. So if you have any suggestions, please help me.

[00:31:40] Scott Maderer: There, there may be somebody out there who works in around nonprofit fundraising and how does that work? That would be able to help with that, that it is a different phase, as you said to how it works. So my brand is inspired stewardship, and I run everything through the field of stewardship, and yet [00:32:00] that's one of those words that I've discovered means different things to different people.

[00:32:03] So I wanted to ask, what does the word stewardship mean to you, and what is the impact of that understanding?

[00:32:10] Victoria Cuore: Just the fact that you are doing what you're doing. You're helping so many people with such a positive outlook on things like you're such a comfortable person to talk to. And especially for a person who's been through what I've been through.

[00:32:24] And you're a guy, don't get me wrong. It is a little challenging for some women, but it's not for me. You're very comfortable to talk with. You have that like brother feeling to you where you just feel like you can just open up and talk. You have a great sense of humor. You really listen and that's different.

[00:32:40] You do talk to other people and it's I know they can't tell me what I just said and that makes you uncomfortable, but you're not that way. And when I think of what you're doing it, it is so inspirational because you have so much to offer and so much resource to give out there to everyone.

[00:32:57] And I really think any and everyone should really take [00:33:00] advantage of that cuz that's real authentic help. That is not easy to find these days anymore.

[00:33:14] Scott Maderer: But when you think about the word stewardship itself, what does that word mean to you?

[00:33:21] Victoria Cuore: It just means that it's part of my calling to go and continue to inspire and pay it forward and help others with my platform because I really believe that's why I'm here.

[00:33:36] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question, though. I've been told by some guests that it's their least favorite question, . So we'll see. We'll see. We'll see whether you like it or not. If I invented this magic machine and I could pluck you from the chair where you are today and transport you into the future, 150 to 200 years, and magically through the power of this machine, you were able to look back on your entire life.

[00:33:58] Yeah. And see all of the impacts, [00:34:00] all of the ripples, all of the relationships, all of the connections that you've left behind. What impact do you hope you've left on the world?

[00:34:08] Victoria Cuore: God, I'd have to say I love the question. That it with one voice, you can make a difference. One voice can make a difference. A brick can start building a foundation.

[00:34:19] I would really hope that I make a dent in helping bring awareness to domestic violence. I hope that I can provide awareness for. Women, men and children of what to look for. How to help prevent it. How to help get out of it and stay safe. And stay alive and thrive, not just survive. And I hope that I can also bring awareness to the special needs community of different waivers and different resources that they can have and they can get, and that we can build a gap between the special needs and the general community and make them friends.

[00:34:55] They're great kids. They're great individuals. They'll place judgment. We don't judge, [00:35:00] you, don't judge us. You never know. One day I wasn't disabled 18 years ago, 17 years ago, and now I am. So you never know if it happens to you or not. I just really hope that I can make a difference, is basically what I guess would be my answer.

[00:35:16] Scott Maderer: So what's on your roadmap? What's coming next as you continue on this? I have been doing between four and six shows a day being either a guest or a host. And I have a second book about to come out as well. And we're about to start doing summer camp, which is gonna be a lot of fun. So I guess that's on the immediate horizon.

[00:35:39] Victoria Cuore: As we continue down our journey, we're gonna be doing the breed of the dogs and getting those kids out to meet the dogs, and we still fundraise for the domestic mileage shelters and for special needs. And then we do a toy drive every year and take it to the chronic facilities. We've done it every year for 13 years [00:36:00] now, and we raised between 250 and 400 toys.

[00:36:05] Scott Maderer: Awesome. So you can follow Victoria on Instagram or YouTube under a contagious smile or find out more about the work she does Of course, I'll have links to those in the show notes. Is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:36:25] Victoria Cuore: I just wanna thank everybody for listening and realize.

[00:36:29] You are worth it. And I'm super proud of the fact that you listen to this whole thing cuz that means you do know you're worth it and so you're worth fighting for.

[00:36:44] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively. But act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. [00:37:00] If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspired

[00:37:11] Rate all one word. iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review, and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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