I first went to a Hang Time meeting after the founder, Charlie Grady, spoke on a panel at an event I attended called “Spotlight on Men and Gender Equality” produced by the Connecticut Women’s Consortium. I was so impressed by the mission and values Charlie discussed, that I hung around after the event to learn more about the work that he does. Charlie immediately invited me to check out a meeting, so I decided to attend the following week; I didn’t really know what to expect. I called in advance to confirm that I had the right information and spoke to the Administrative Director Cassie, who facilitates the meetings. I was blown away by how kind, welcoming, and enthusiastic she was during our initial contact. The moment I walked through the doors, she embraced me with a big hug and said how excited she was to have my friend and me there. This warm welcome perfectly embodied the environment and energy of Hang Time. As time went on, more and more people filtered into the room. It became so packed that additional chairs had to be brought in to accommodate all of the people that attended. I have since attended weekly meetings, and there has been an increase in attendance each time I’ve gone. This speaks to the power of the program. It is an environment that breeds support, respect, and love. After attending one time, I genuinely felt like a part of the Hang Time family. People aren’t mandated to be there; they show up weekly on their own accord, and it is abundantly clear why. Hang Time is a community of support, empowerment, and education. Important conversations are had, presentations are rich and educational, and you always leave a meeting better than when you arrived. Every single person is valued for their unique perspective and experiences. As a Social Worker, I am so grateful for the Hang Time community, and the opportunity it provides to improve the lives of everyone who attends.
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