Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Cultivating A Kinder World

 We have welcomed another month.  And it is time again for Choose To Care (CTC) to assist a public school classroom, fulfilling its goal of making a monthly contribution for resources.  This is done through Donors Choose a teacher-funded nonprofit that supports classroom requests nationwide.

Mr. Frazier, the teacher of grades 6-8 at the Manatee School for the Arts, Palmetto, Florida; described his students as creative, dedicated, passionate and versatile in their talents. His theatre students are from low-income households and they need dance shoes that the families cannot provide.

I am honored to assist this dedicated and kindhearted teacher who is working with his students not only on their musical theatre performances but also to be better and more mindful members of society.

This is in memory of Mary Luz Montoya who loved to dance and would no doubt have done a happy dance over this good news. I wish you knew how much you were loved.  You will always be in my heart. Glad to have known you Mary Luz.

Rest In Peace


Thursday, September 10, 2020

In Your Honor

 When I made the commitment to sponsor a public school teacher's project request, each month, so that the students can obtain resources; I knew it may be difficult at times to attain that ambitious goal but I focused on the positive, with the mantra ringing in my head: "when there is a will there is a way."

Through Donors Choose, the organization that makes it easy for anyone to assist a classroom in need, when Public school teachers, nationwide submit project request; I have continued to meet Choose To Care's(CTC) promise and so very happy to be in this for the long haul.

For the month of September, CTC donated to a teacher's request titled: "shoes that feel good on our feet" This came from Mrs. G of Greenwood Elementary School, Florence, South Carolina.  This honorable teacher wanted comfortable pair of shoes for the kids in her classroom, shoes that fit and without holes.  She wanted shoes that feel good on their feet and makes them feel good inside.  This is certainly the mission of CTC and teachers deserve all the thanks in the world for their hard work and dedication to their students.

I am also honoring my dear friend who passed away suddenly, pulling many of us out of our balance. Lots of gratitude for her unwavering support. I savor the moments of solidarity and I appreciate her friendship.

Dearest Mary Luz,

You left this earth without fanfare and your absence has saddened us. But we have wiped away our tears, so we can see your indelible marks, scattered around us and read clearly, what the BOOK of LIFE has to say about you.  You were such a nourishing soul, from whom kindness and caring flowed, enriching our lives. We will miss your big heart.

You loved life and dancing brought you such joy. You seemed to be forever in motion, with all the right moves. Hips that don't lie, feet that never missed a beat.  And when you stare down on us, we will have the music ablaze with the volume, way up high; so you will hear our call and get another chance to put on your dancing shoes and join your circle of friends, in celebration of the difference you made.

We salute you Mary Luz!  

Your Grateful Friend!























































Saturday, August 22, 2020

Living In One Dwelling Called Earth

 Events happen that sometimes connect people who may otherwise never meet.  I lost my dear friend of many years who originally came from Haiti.  During her illness, the young woman who cared for her during her youth in Haiti, who had since build a life for herself in Haiti, temporarily left her family and traveled to the United States of America, to care for my friend.  This is how I met this devoted woman. We struck up a friendship, during the few times I saw her and years later I heard from her son.

The conversations with her son were always light, a little about his life, a little about mine.  Two strangers who only met through technology, called Whats-App.  He is now a college graduate seeking work, which as you and I know, is almost impossible to find during these troubling times of hardship. We are about to get creative with this job search and I threw in my penny's worth.

I boldly determined that a way the scholar can hone his skill is to use his learning and knowledge to help someone, someplace of his choice. He will also put together the cost of his time on this project if he was not a volunteer. He studied to be a web designer and developer.  The understanding is that he will not get anything for his service but the satisfaction that he has helped someone in need, which may be life changing for him and the persons receiving his assistance. 

If the young man follows through not only would he give a helping hand to someone in need but it would also be an opportunity to begin his portfolio of experience, which will be useful as he continues to seek a job.  This assignment was done with a purpose in mind and I can't wait to see the end results.  This humanitarian action will have such a powerful impact. I am so excited about the power of giving The earth needs as much care as it can get from its fellow dwellers.

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.Being willing is not enough; we must do." Leonardo de Vinci

As an avid volunteer, giving back, paying forward, always leave me feeling inspired and renewed. I do hope this young man will answer the call.

Living With Gratitude

                                

Monday, July 20, 2020

WE ARE BLOOMING

It is the moment we have been waiting for! There is so much to celebrate!
Here's some good news! Choose TO Care (CTC)  has reached its Go Fund My Project goal, and we owe it all to you, our great and generous supporters.  This gives us more strength to work even harder to provide resources for the youth in need; that will empower them to thrive.

Our mission is more urgent now than ever. We are on a good path each month, to fulfill our plan of sponsoring a Public School Teacher's classroom request, through Donors Choose, the organization that provides this assistance, to Public Schools, nationwide.

As the quotation goes: "Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul"  You have stood up for the youth in times of crisis.  We thank you from the bottom of our heart.


The Nutritionist And Friends In Action(NAFIA)team has come together to push harder for the welfare of the children; we will not only send resources, but also health and wellness messages, through their teachers. We are dedicating ourselves to give them the chance to live a life of good health. We are diligently working to coordinate messages to put our plan into action. More to come!

Yours in health!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

HOW TO BE AN ACTIVE ALLY

Greetings,

Since you asked "How can I help?" I am taking the liberty to direct you to CHOOSE TO CARE's work during lockdown. Visit us at (choosetocaresite.org) and read our blog "Housebound And Hard At Work" to learn about projects we have worked on and ways you can be of service to the youth in need.

We are forever grateful for any choice you make, every little bit counts.


  1. Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of the total cost of the goods you purchase to Choose To Care(CTC).  Please register and choose the charity:CHOOSE TO CARE.  There is nothing charged to you! This is the link:Smile.Amazon.com/ch/35-2309289.
  2. Because of the Pandemic, we had to cancel our Annual Fundraising event that was set for April 2020. We have set-up a GoFundMY Charity. This is the link:https//charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/choose-to-cares-fighting-chance-benefit. Any amount is of value!
  3. I have created an online charity store that I have named BLOSSOM, the message to the youth "keep blooming" It is housed in another store, Jamboree Couture.  Right now it displays afrocentric goods that I purchased on my visit to Tanzania, last year.  These goods were made by women of the Masai tribe and the purchases provided a small income for the women and their families.  My plan is to purchase bits and pieces from groups who are struggling but have used their hands and skills to make eye catching goods.  Take a look, you may see something you like, if not for yourself, a gift for that special person. 100% of the purchases will be used for CTC and other youth oriented or environmentally friendly programs/projects.
          BLOSSOM - The Charity Store
          https://www.jamoriecouture.com/online-store/BLOSSOM-C39597727

           Stay Safe! Stay Hopeful!

           With Gratitude!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A HEARTFELT THANK - YOU

Dear Supporters,

We have some exciting news!  As we get ready to hit the REFRESH button life, we at CHOOSE TO CARE(CTC) are preparing to continue our journey with our work for the youth; giving them a fighting chance in hopefully, a more just and sustainable world, where everyone is allowed to thrive.

We have been supporting Public School Teachers for years, but in March, CTC ambitiously set the goal of sponsoring a teacher's classroom project each month, going forward.  This we do through DONORS CHOOSE(donors choose.org); the organization that supports Public School Classroom project requests, nationwide.

Through your kindness and contribution to our GoFundMYCharity project, we are making progress.  This is a heart-felt thank you for supporting CTC, for investing in our mission to give resources that students need to develop and become empowered.  We are always honored to answer the teachers plea for their students well-being.

Our resounding mandate remains: The Children  -  Resources  -  A Fighting Chance

Thank You Everyone!

Yours In Health,

Paulette

Monday, June 8, 2020

HOUSE BOUND AND HARD AT WORK

There is so much happening  around us.  We dare not ignore the loud and commanding shout for justice and equity. I will continue to do what I am always moved to do, be part of the solution.
The youth is my focus, working to make sure that they have the resources they need for their education and development.

The action plan is to do what is possible within my means, effectively and consistently. This consist of working on projects, here at home and abroad; such as the most recent, called "the whole 9 yards" that was introduced to the young girls at a Technical School in the Gambia, West Africa, before the shutdown caused by Covid19.

We have linked with the organization , "The Pillars of Gambia" to:


  • Build 2 flushing toilets
  • Provide fans for the classroom
  • donate sewing materials
  • Give brand new pair of shoes & more
We are giving to requests made through "Donors Choose"the organization that seeks sponsorships for teachers' classroom projects.

We are increasing traffic to Blossom, the charity store, created to gain funds for the work we want to do with the youth.  Our competition held on 6/5 to 6/7 gave the purchaser the opportunity to enter a drawing to receive a $50.00 gift for a frontline worker or a charity of their own.

I will continue educating myself, giving deep thoughts to projects I take on to make life better for the youth in need; and keep hoping for better, knowing that all things are possible.

Thanks to all who are helping to contribute to make this happen, you are greatly appreciated.

Will keep you updated!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Covid19 - Inequity - Hatred: Grabbing Our Attention

To the Choose To Care Community

When the global pandemic hit us, it compounded the issues we were dealing with, while being of service to the youth living in poverty.  The world was on pause but we did not allow this added huge issue to floor us.  We stayed the course!  We reached out to you, our valued donors and thanked you for your support in the past and joined in the anthem heard around the nation and worldwide, "we are in this together."

We knew we were about to enter a new world of our own making, the poverty would have been exacerbated, the need would be greater. So we plotted, planned and strategized to meet this struggle, anew.
                               "We will either find a way, or make one" - Hannibal

We are determined to  carry on Choose To Care's mission to help kids in their educational journey, help them climb out of poverty and open their eyes to a great learning experience; saving the environment.

We are hit with this widespread epidemic of hatred. The country has reached a feverish pitch over the death of Floyd George, the black man from Minnesota and the growing movement that has evolved. I know we must join this fight to create a more equitable society. We are hit from every angle.

I know I have to have a new approach to overcome this ugliness, skimming the surface will no longer do. We must find hope amidst this chaos.  This is my message to myself:

  • Take more courageous steps
  • Have deeper conversations
  • Have high expectations
  • Find sustainable solutions
My mind and heart are wide open for this golden opportunity to do more. Change does not come easy but Choose to Care is committed to this fight and I will work tirelessly for justice for all.

Keep Believing!                            

Thursday, April 30, 2020

WHAT'S IN STORE?

"You don't write because you
want to say something
You write because
you have something to say"
F.Scott Fitzgerald

Dear Kindred Souls,

When I was first introduced to you, I fulfilled the mission of Choose To Care(CTC), the non-profit I founded 12 years ago to provide a brand new pair of shoes for the youth in need.  My thinking is that this will help them to stay in school,bring pride and joy. You are the 76 young girls at St Peter's Technical School, in Lamin, Gambia, West Africa. Each of you received proper footwear, that you said brought a smile to your face and relief to your feet. But I never knew I would continue my connection with you; that is until the news that you were lacking other resources, drew me right in.

In 2018, the remarkable people who attended CTC's yearly fundraising was asked to bring a pair of scissors.  After all, dressmakers in the making need their own pair of scissors.  Each guest came through and soon we had more than enough to go around for you, the 76 budding girls.  Sewing machines are also sparse, but the founder of the Pillars of Gambia, went to town to change that and got you a few more; she is working hard to have enough to go around. She also heard from you how unbearable it is working in the hot classroom, under that fierce African sun, and a fan would make life much easier.  And of course your 'fairy godmother' went to work to make that happen.

This brings us to the next project that I have dubbed: "The Whole 9 yards"  We want to see you make the cut.  We would like to give you, this global community of young women, a fighting chance to blossom in your own way.  This project will take the pathway of empowerment, built to teach you that you matter and it is important for you to take care of yourself, while giving to your communities.  We are introducing 3 platforms; nutrition and health, environment and plans to begin to gain a foothold in the working world.

You will lead the charge to research any problem you are faced with as a community, such as garbage strewn all around the neighborhood and find tactics to confront it.  You will not be left alone, 2 of your teammates will be chosen or will volunteer to help with the process of this project. Everyone will be learning together. Working along side with you providing you with the tools to be successful at school in the aim. So this is it in a nutshell again:

  •  Investing in mother earth, taking care of the environment, finding ways to use the scraps generated in the sewing class, instead of dumping.
  • Staying nutritionally fit, following a healthy lifestyle
  • Managing a business 
Although what is laid out in front of you may seem a hard road to travel, have no fear, you will be well prepared and confident to take on this pathway.  Our commitment to you will not waiver. We will stay with you every step along the way.
Looking forward to continuous global unity.  Cheering you on to become stronger women, with the hope that you will empower others and yourselves to handle the situations  you are faced with.

Until we meet!                                                

Sunday, April 12, 2020

KINDNESS BEGETS KINDNESS

Today I received a thank- you note from a teacher in Noble, Oklahoma, because Choose To Care (CTC) had donated to their classroom project through Donors Choose(www.donorschoose.org).
The teacher had requested shoes for her students, "help me give my students shoes to wear with soles and without holes!" she wrote.  According to Mrs. M, the teacher, several of her students could not afford shoes of their own. She called some of their shoes 'talking shoes'(when the sole flops free of the rest of the shoes); 'peek-a-boo-toes'(when there are holes in the front of the side of the shoes) or 'giant shoes'(when kids who were size 5 come to school in their adults size 11 shoes and just tie them really tight to keep them on) She spoke about a student who wore a pair of shoes held together with a binder clip.
"I've seen duct tape, string, staples and bread ties but the binder clip was a first for me" she stated.

In her thank-you for donation toward her Donors Shoes(the name she gave it)project, she talked about the students happy reaction on receiving a brand new pair of shoes.  The story of one of the students stayed with me,  This selfless child wanted to let someone else whom he decided needed shoes more than him have his. This young man, Mrs. M stated was wearing his mom's black boots that were way too big; he was sock-less, wearing his jacket as a shirt with nothing underneath and had worn the same pair of pants for several days in a row. The teacher not only provided him with his own brand new pair of shoes but he also received socks and a change of clothes and he was thankful.

This child even in dire need, understood the importance of kindness and was willing to sacrifice his own need to help a fellow student.  This is so heart-warming, I had to share.  I also find it fitting to share my poem also.

                                                  Easing On Down To Kindness Road

                                             She cried out to no one in particular
                                             Hoping anyone and everyone
                                             Would hear her plea
                                             "This is not a hard road to travel" she said
                                             "Come let me show you how
                                             Get ready for a journey down Kindness Road"

                                             Fret not if you come across a bump
                                             Here and there
                                             First timers may feel a bit sore
                                             But on your next round
                                             You will make it without a moan

                                            Just point to the way to Kindness Road
                                            She shows him, he shows another
                                           To the left, to the right, around the bend
                                           You can't miss it
                                           Any turn will lead to Kindness Road

                                          "What if I have a change of heart?" you ask
                                           Too late, says the Genie
                                          That's the wish granted to your fellowmen
                                          And it has spread like wildfire
                                          Any Street, Any Lane, The Alley, The Avenue
                                          Will take you down Kindness Road
                                          There you will find them
                                          Joyfully banding together
                                          For a kinder world
                                       
psw(from the Jump For Joy series)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

JUST BREATHE! BREATHE DEEPLY!

I usually receive frequent emails from a multitude of organizations requesting aid; this includes the two organizations through which I sponsor six children in dire need, by monthly set contributions,  This small act has made a life-changing difference for these valuable children.

But since the corona virus outbreak, the correspondence has grown to such an urgent level.
I do get it!
Our busy routines have been interrupted and I sense that they are anxious that donation may slack off and they will not have enough to support these precious children.

Unfortunately, we at CHOOSE TO CARE (CTC) had to cancel this year's fundraising event because of this disruption. Instead, we have set up a GoFundMe Account. https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign-manager/edit/choose-to-care/choose-to-cares-fighting-chance-benefit/campaign

Yes, anxiety has crept into our lives because we are living in uncertain times.  These uncertain times call for special action.
Show Kindness  - reach out in whatever ways possible for you.
Find Humor - Humor is a balm that I swear by.
Mediate - This certainly quiets the mind
Play Music - Listen, Move to the beat

All the above activities have lessen the worries that can invade the mind. And a hot cup of cardamom laced chai is my go to beverage that raises my level of sanity. Let's take a deep breath.

Let's stand in solidarity!
Keep Faithful!
Stay Nourished!

Namaste!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

SAVE THE DATE

Choose To Care's "Fighting Chance" Benefit Event will take place on April 4, 2020, at 3-6PM.

It will be held at Tribeca's Kitchen, 200 Church Street, NY,NY,10013.

                                                 
                                               
Join Us




*     To hear about opportunities created to help children in need
*      Mingle with the Devoted Donor Community
*      Enjoy the cuisine
*      Get a chance at a variety of door prizes.

More To Come!