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Meet Sande Bailey-Gwinn of Foundations For Living

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sande Bailey-Gwinn.

Sande, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The first step in my journey took place on March 9, 2013, but the stage was set two months earlier on January 9, 2013 at a New Year’s Revival in Rutledge, Ga. The speaker for the evening stated, “Someone is going to fire their job in 90 days.” My comment was,”Praise God for that person, whom ever there are.”  I didn’t think any more about it, until March 9. That day, I was sitting at my desk listening to Pastor Jamal Bryant. The small mortgage office I was working in had been completely empty for four days. No employees other than me had come to work that entire week, so I was able to sit and think about some things regarding my job and my work surroundings. At the time, I was unhappy about my financial situation and my entire future outlook. Then, out of NOWHERE, Pastor Bryant stated these words: “YOUR GRACE HAS RUN OUT FOR THIS PLACE!” I looked at my computer screen and started to weep. Because I knew with a heartfelt certainty God was speaking to ME. I picked up the office phone, called the owner of the company and told her that “I am putting in my notice of resignation, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY!”

It was at that moment in time, and in that space, that Foundations For Living (FFL) was born and is still striving to be the answer to someone’s question regarding human enrichment for a better personal and professional growth.

A 501c3 non-profit, Foundations For Living “brings Strength and Transformation to students, families and communities through Inspiration and Education.” Our organization has touched, re-calibrated, and catapulted many people to become a better version of themselves. At the beginning of my journey, I worked  to shed light on financial literacy. I held workshops for single mothers, showing them how to make the most of their monthly income by using the Sunday sales papers. We would take out the coupons, local grocery sales ads and prepare their menus for the entire week. Also, God used my 18 years of mortgage, banking and credit union experience to show people how to read their credit reports and why it was so important to learn the Law of Money 101.
As I continued to mature in my new FFL ministry and tell God YES, He directed me to add more components to the assignments. Students and youth, some may have called them “at-risk youth, were added to the mix. I was brought to the table by law enforcement, school systems, churches, financial institutions, the Department of Children Services and other non-profits to discuss ways to revise these young people’s unhealthy thought processes, develop critical thinking skills, and educate them in areas of under-education, such as unhealthy dating habits, dangers of drug use,  criminal behavior prevention,HIV/AIDS and sexually- transmitted diseases. Then we moved to a more holistic approach, ministering to low- to moderate-income  dysfunctional families in need of tools to transition into high-functioning families. When the family unit was added to the assignment task, I knew God was showing me the WHOLE Family Unit, recognizing that today’s family was missing one word — “Covenant.” Genesis 1: 27-28, says “27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [a]moves on the earth.”

It seems that the family has forgotten that God has given us everything we need to be successful — a family unit that is in Covenant with Him. Inspiration and Empowerment are missing from today’s narrative of student and family. My tasks and abilities were being stretched, my vision was sharper and more defined and life was becoming more meaningful. God knew if our families continue on the path of striving without family education, empowerment and inspiration, there would be NO way we could produce a healthy community. A community without mental illness, a rural southern community without the AIDS/HIV epidemic, a community with adequate healthcare, a community with a skilled workforce, affordable housing and no other disparities.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
During this seven-year journey of bringing strength and transformation to students, families and communities through Inspiration and Education, I have had some ups and downs, ins and outs. I have gained some and I surely have lost some. With God at the forefront, He has assigned some amazing people to work with me, companies and universities to train me, support me, fund me, speak life into my thirsty soul and lead me to where I am today. As the Old Saints would say, “I would not take nothing for my journey.” It is a part of my destiny steps to greatness.

These difficult moments made me a stronger, wiser, more compassionate person for all human beings. In March 2013, I began the organization with a high school diploma and some college. In 2015, at the age of 45. I completed my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. In 2017, my thirst for building my preaching ministry of 20 years pushed me to enroll at North Carolina Theological Seminary. This fast-track program allowed me to graduate with my Bachelors in Biblical Studies in 18 months on May 5, 2018. Currently, I am in my second year of the Master’s Program for Christian Ministry, with a graduation date of May 2021. I will be 48 years old walking with master’s degree.

Running my household with a husband, three beautiful girls, aged 21,  13 and 11, ministry work and traveling from city to city, while leading a non-profit has not been easy. But God will never put more on you than you can bear. Plus, I am designed for THIS!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Foundations For Living – what should we know?
As the founder and executive director of Foundations for Living, my role is to scour the land and territory for students, families and communities that are in need of Light! Light that shines on their current unsuccessful situations that require meaningful conversations about mental illness in the black rural communities, or bringing awareness to people living with HIV/AIDS. Our clients may be in need of love and support from their families and worship centers, but due to stigma, they are are ashamed to seek assistance or not able to get support or care. We also are shining light on teen suicide and domestic violence, and how our families are in need of resources that will not judge them, but instead, will support them. Foundations For Living is known for talking about the “Hard and Hot Topics,” while providing human enrichment for a person’s professional and personal development.

God sets us apart. We are gifted to bring Christ into all assignments without pushing our faith or spiritual belief on others. It just comes naturally. We believe that your inner light, which is Christ, should be able to illuminate a room with warmth and love as soon as you walk in. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Loving Wisdom is important to my success. This is based on my past experiences that sometimes didn’t go the way I wanted them to go, but I didn’t stop. I continue to “Walk Tall in Love” — love for myself and for others.

Contact Info:

  • Website: Foundations4living.com
  • Phone: 706-424-8298
  • Email: foundationsforliving@ymail.com
  • Instagram: Foundations For Living

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