Sunday, July 27, 2014


This world of ours with lush offerings abound
where astounding ways to soothe the soul can be found.
What a wonder to behold!
On its beauty I am sold,
caught up in this lure, I let my spirit soar.

As my heart beats for more
thoughts of love and sweet music fill my mind.
With eyes wide open, I jump for joy.
Grateful that we live in a world
where blessings flow.

Paulette Sinclair-Weir
(Part of the Jump for Joy series)


  1. Name ways to soothe the soul
  2. Many of us live with muddled minds, how do we  clear it to receive love and sweet music?
  3. What is so exhilarating about this world that has the Author wanting more?
  4. What is the significance of "eyes wide open"?
  5. What is described here, a make believe or real world?

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Many moons ago when my kids began kindergarten, we were obliged to sell chocolate bars and other gift items during the school year.  I dreaded asking the neighbors and even bought the same items from some of the fearless parents and kids who came knocking on our door.  I did not have the nerve to ask my co-workers although the brave souls made many a sales pitch my way and into my purse I went.  Instead, coward me asked Grandma to sell on her job; after all who could turn down a granny
 who is trying to help her 'adorable' grand children. All that we purchased ended up in our freezer, stayed there for months,some eaten, others used as give aways.

So when I started CHOOSE TO CARE, the novice that I am thought family and a few friends would be my sole supporters and it would be easy to put my hands out and have it filled. Wrong!  It became evident quite early that I needed to find other sources to gain much needed funds.  I began with meet-ups at restaurants, advertising the delicious cuisine as a must try, to lure attendees.  They only needed to purchase a $5 ticket that would entitle them to alluring door prizes.  This was my opportunity to tout the organization, show photos of those who had benefited and tell of the many more who are in need.  This was effective, a group of people out for the evening, having a good time.

When this withered down to a smaller group, it was time to introduce something else.  The handmade fabric tote bags were a success, some were sold and others raffled off.  I am really on a roll now,I told myself, then Macy's advertisement caught my eyes.  They were calling all non-profit organizations to participate in their yearly Shop for a Cause event.  This was the big time but all the experience I had gained began to leave me.  How was I going to get the nerve to ask people to purchase coupons to shop, since Macy's is always giving away coupons and having drastically reduced sales.

Never one to back down from a challenge, I took out my address book, yes, the old fashioned one and began to make a  list of  potentials. So I had ardent supporters, others who were on the fence,doubting Thomas and the newbies who had to be coaxed; they had never ever given a cent to any charity and would like to keep it that way, scoffing at the fundraising idea. I continue to blog about this small charity and how even a small donation really goes a far way and is greatly appreciated.

My marketing strategies have gotten better.  Now my best buddies who truly believe in this mission have began to be a mouthpiece for CHOOSE TO CARE.  Their tell a friend concept has assisted greatly.  Many have given far beyond the $5 cost for the coupon.  Although I still feel queasy about these fundraising events, I must say I have gotten better and more creative.
This year a group of believers have taken a batch to share with friends and family. You are so rich in kindness!
Peace and Love

Saturday, July 19, 2014

MEET THE FOUNDER - Paulette Sinclair-Weir

As the game of soccer brought excitement to Brazil{FIFA2014}, I began to think about my trip to this amazing country, filled with excitement and wonders.  Even with all that beauty, I could not forget the many barefooted children that I saw throughout the streets.

It was not the first time that I had seen kids without shoes, bearing callous heels, others in thread bare flip flops, or shoes held together with pieces of strings.
This time I was ready to do something more and CHOOSE TO CARE was born.

CHOOSE TO CARE is so much more than shoes, it is also about making life more meaningful for the child who is in need.  So we seek out organizations providing for the youth, such as DONORS CHOOSE whose motto is "Teachers ask.You Choose" This organization helps public school teachers fund classroom projects.{}

Whether we are providing athletic shoes for Ms. Townsend's class in Spokane, Washington or ballet shoes for Ms. Morganstern's class at PS310 in the Bronx, who are having the experience of their lives in the performing arts, or Ms. Todra's Tip Top Tappers at PS172 in Brooklyn, who needed tap shoes;
we hope that this simple act for kids at home, kids in Zambia or some other distant land, will help them stay in school and make a difference in their lives, because they now own a proper fitting pair of shoes.

It is our pleasure to provide shoes that fit right and bring joy and hope.  Thanks to all who believe in our mission and continue to bring goodwill and lend support.  We are deeply grateful for your generosity.

"From a little spark may burst a mighty flame"

Saturday, July 12, 2014


With photo in hand,I am on my way to meet three young ladies for the first time on a crowded subway platform.  On this particular morning, I am feeling extra cheerful,shoulders are relaxed and I have a bounce in my walk.  I could contribute this upbeat mood to the warm sun rays that always give me a jolt, but today I feel extra joyful.  As I made my way throughout the crowd,  I spotted the trio, our eyes locked and as someone asked, "are you Paulette?"  I quietly dropped their photo in my bag  and we greeted and hugged like long lost friends.  Thandeka, Thandiswa and their teacher Samantha and I made our way through the crowd on our way to begin the day's adventure.

The conversation was easy, no shyness but chatter and giggles like schoolgirls at the end of the school year.  We each told a little about ourselves,talked about life in South Africa and the many places they had experienced since landing on the American soil.  The had traveled to Washington D.C; back to New York City and were preparing for their ride to Boston.

Sure you are curious about the trio and want to know our connection.  They are from the School of Hope, Cape Town, South Africa. The American based organization, Active Compassion Transforms,
founded by Erika Lee, dedicates a cross-cultural mentoring program for kids in need at the school. The mentors and mentees, using a secure online platform, delve into the daily challenges the students experience. They set goals  and work hard to achieve them.  This trip  allows the mentees to meet their mentors and to shadow someone in a profession they are considering, in his or her workplace.

An introduction and tour of the workplace gave them an insight into our connection with the community.  "We are all about healthy outcomes"  I proudly stated.  Thandiswa wants to start a similar program in her township{community} in CapeTown.  She left with a handful of materials, many hopes and lots of courage.  They shadowed the staff to learn more and we joined the families from the community in an exercise session, led by the very innovative Nutritionist, Monica, who always create excitement from simple moves.  And sweat we did!

We walked the neighborhood so we could 'taste' the flavor and see first hand  this seemingly happy-go-lucky place.  The woman below the subway steps had set up shop.  Her pot of corn mush was boiling with might as pedestrians formed a line to buy her tasty treat.  Street food is part of the fabric that makes this place unique.  The music was blasting from the open windows of the apartments sharing space with businesses and from cars with windows rolled way down.  We moved to the beat because that's the magic of such melodious sounds.  In no hurry we sashayed through the streets and made our way to the Langston Hughes Library.  The library was not yet opened and I used the opportunity to introduce the trio to the prolific writer for whom this library was dedicated.  I briefly told of his life in Harlem and the colorful characters he wrote  about who came from his community.

We had worked up an appetite and on recommendation we stopped in the restaurant to see what's cooking.  There were several like-minded people like us who were seated on the metal chairs under the umbrellas, in the square.  Today I am finally getting the chance to try out this open air spot.  The servers had not paid any attention to portion sizes and when we had eaten enough, we packed the rest for supper that night.

As the day lingered, we changed our venue and traveled to Manhattan for shoe shopping, provided by Choose To Care{}, an organization that aims to donate a brand new pair of shoes for the child or young adult in need.  They chose to their delight, trying to pick the pair that suited their needs.

It was time to bid farewell, group hugs and salutations of well-wishes, safe journey, were in order.  They were on their last leg of the journey that would take them to Boston, where the Founder of ACT was awaiting their arrival and had plans for more festivities.{as witnessed on Facebook}  I was happy for our experience together and their trip of a lifetime.  The joy I felt at the beginning of our tour never left me.  Now I know for sure that it stems from the happiness one gets when immense gratitude is felt.  I am indeed grateful to meet the trio as I have dubbed them and all the other students before them.  I am grateful for Erika Lee, the founder of this superb organization, who does not make a lot of noise but has certainly made a big difference in the lives of these young men and women.

This beautiful quote says it all:
"Give freely  to the world, these gifts
of love and compassion.  Do not concern
yourself with how much you receive in return,
just know in your heart it will be returned."
Steve Maraboli