I couldn’t resist stopping at Nellie Greer’s Damsel in Defense booth at the Salem Baptist Church vendor event in Apex. The pink and purple gadgets on her table – pepper spray, stun guns, whistles and alarms – seemed out of place with my idea of defense weapons.
Other curious women also were pulled in by the bright colors. They stayed to hear Greer’s description of how quickly a situation can get out of hand.
“One out of every five women has been raped, and you don’t want that to happen to you,” said Greer, 67, of Apex and shown on right in above picture.
In August, Greer became the first independent Damsel Pro in Wake County. Since then, Greer sold enough products through vendor events and home parties to become a mentor to four women who launched their own Damsel in Defense businesses in the last two months.
The Damsel in Defense company appealed to Greer as a second career because it was founded in 2011 on Christian principles by two women who wanted to empower and educate women to protect themselves.
“I fell in love with the purpose and that you can save someone’s life,” Greer said.
Everyone who stopped by Greer’s booth left with something.
Carter Faucette, shown in picture above wearing red, bought a Get a Grip stun gun with LED flashlight as a way to protect herself.
“It gets dark earlier now, and the construction sites are often far from other people,” said Faucette, a Cary Realtor.
One woman’s home was recently robbed, and she was afraid the burglar would return. Greer took the time to listen and to recommend safety strategies.
“Be prepared and pay attention to your God-given instincts,” Greer cautioned.
Another woman was worried about living alone in a remote location and picked up the information on how to host an Empower Hour. The idea of a home party is to invite friends who want to learn safety tips and see how the self-defense products work. If the guests at the party buy products, the hostess receives discounts on the items she purchases.
Almost of the visitors to Greer’s booth picked up a safety tip sheet. Some good reminders for women this holiday season include limiting loads. Instead of trying to carry all the shopping bags to the car at one time, make a few trips so that you have one hand free. It’s important to keep eyes and ears free from the distraction of cell phones or headphones when you are walking alone, especially at night.
Helping people has always been a part of Greer’s life. When Greer retired from Cary Oil in 2008, she immersed herself full time with church ministry work at Hope Community Church.
Greer’s former boss wasn’t surprised that she was still making a difference in the world.
“Nellie is a woman of action, driven by a love for people and animated by a Kingdom mindset,” said Craig Stephenson, vice president of Cary Oil.
Greer’s energy and love for people is inspirational.
“I keep telling myself that retirement is not mentioned in the Bible,” said Greer, who shows no signs of slowing down.
Greer recently took on a volunteer role as a ministry assistant at HillCity Church. She serves as the second vice president for the Western Wake Republican Club. Greer also is the Cary Prayer/Action Chapter Leader for Concerned Women for America.
“I try daily to listen to God instead of the world,” Greer said.
This column was published 12/2014 and since that time, Nellie has been promoted to Director with Damsel in Defense.
Liza is the Faith Filter columnist for the Cary News. Her stories of faith and lives changed by trusting in God are published about four times a year.