Women share stories of personal triumph, receive support

Toast2U blossoms into monthly encouragement gathering

DETROIT – Celebrating the little things in life is a motto that Brandi Keeler lives by, and what better way to celebrate life's personal victories than with a toast?

"I actually just thought of it as a social thing, like I'll gather all of my amazing female friends together and let's find ways to encourage and support one another," Keeler said. "A friend after that first one said, 'This is going to be big,' and I was like, 'What is this?' I didn’t realize there was a 'this.'"

Keeler might have started Toast2U with just a couple of friends, but it has blossomed into a monthly encouragement gathering where women of all ages share their stories of personal triumph and receive support for what they hope to accomplish next.

"What is the need that creates the effectiveness of something like this?" Mitch Albom asked.

"An epidemic, I would say, in people, but specifically in women of this mindset that, 'I am not enough,'" Keeler said. "So there is this need for women to remind themselves and be reminded by others that they're enough, that they are wonderful, that they are complete, even when they are making small milestone accomplishments."

Whether they are toasting a new job or kick-starting a health program, celebrating such small milestones can make all the difference in living a positive life, Keeler said.

"This is a new idea, but this is really an old tradition," Albom said.

"A lot of women say they look forward to this as sort of a self-care thing. Even though it is a community event, it benefits the women to support one another, too, not only just the individual," Keeler said. "They feel supported. They feel accomplished. They feel enough."

With the pop of a cork and a little "You go, girl," Keeler is celebrating the little things in the heart of Detroit.