Sunday, September 5, 2010


I still remember the long flight home from Brazil. I had visited Bahia, a tropical paradise strewn with poverty. In Rio, the Favella, stretches of slum is the address for the very poor. The sight eats away at your heart. On the plane ride home I curled up in my seat, with a muddled mind, trying to get comfortable. I had put on my "thinking cap" and jostled to position it just right because I had some serious planning to do. I knew I did not have the means to do much but there has to be something I could do. In my travels and here in Brazil, children and adults were walking around in flip flops that had worn thin. Sometimes a piece of bark "fashionably" tied up what's left of the shoes to their feet. Others walked around in their bare feet. That was my AHA moment. "I will place shoes on the feet of the shoeless children and the young adults." We know the pride and joy that age group gets from having a brand new pair of shoes. That's it, I tried to make a convincing argument with myself. "I want to protect their feet from cuts, infections and malformation, squeezing into too tight shoes." And so began the idea of CHOOSE TO CARE, finally I curled up and slept peacefully the rest of the way home.

That same night after unpacking, I wrote down my plans and just to let you know, giving birth was not an easy passage and I will save you all the labor pains; but with some pushing, CHOOSE TO CARE came to life. Now 3 years old, still in the toddler stage but growing by leaps and bounds. We have made connections with a number of organizations that assist children and young adults, who are in need. So whether it is for the young athletes who need good shoes on their feet while they hone their skills, or for the children who no longer have to hold their heads in shame and will not miss a day of school because they are now sporting a brand new pair of shoes; it is our honor to protect their feet. Not too long ago I had the great pleasure of watching two very poor young girls in Zambia with brightly lit faces, choose not only one but two pairs of shoes for themselves. This was their special treat.

So as we approach another year we will buy more pairs of shoes, we hope to put more smiles on the faces of the youth in need and to erase any doubts we may harbor that all things are possible. Thanks to all who have contributed to keep this organization viable from the embryonic to the toddler stages, you have been a wonderful cheerleader."

"My vision is clear.
My mind is set.
I have gotten this far
And there is no turning back."

All is well!