Saturday, November 28, 2009


"Success is to be measured
not so much by the position
that one has reached in life
as by the obstacles which he
has overcome while trying to
Booker T. Washington

Dear Friends,

I am always surprised at the selfless attitude of so many caring people. The generosity is contagious. So many of you have come forward to help us help those in need who have been placed in our path. We are extremely grateful for your commitment to the Choose To Care Organization and it's mission. We have reached the ripe old age of 2 years old and it was pocket change from a large glass jar that held some long forgotten food that was used as a start-up. We always believed that when we are beckoned, help would come in time, so we forged on.

Through established organizations, in the Bronx, NYC, South Africa, Miami,Haiti, etc; we were able to gladden the hearts of many children and young adults who would have gone barefooted, or continued to wear ill-fitted shoes or shoes that have seen better days. Because of your rapid response and a little something extra, there is a cause for celebration. Thank you for your support. We appreciate all you do for the Organization and just as we knew, even pocket change can make a big difference in a child's life.

So as we bid 2009 Adieu,we hope to do better and better and we are sure we have found
the perfect partnership with you. With so many potential recipients with equally important causes, vying for your largess, we want to express heartfelt and sincere gratitude for putting a smile on the faces of children and young adults in need and a brand new pair of shoes on their feet.

Warmest Wishes!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


"You can become the star of the hour
If you make the minutes count."

CHOOSE TO CARE celebrated the BIG 2,it's second birthday in September, and although it is a little late we wanted to wish them well. BIRTHING was not easy. It took some time to establish our existence, our purpose and to convince our donors that we are a worthwhile organization.

Now we have made it to the toddler stage that many say is the difficult period. We did not have a birthday bash, although we are extremely happy about our accomplishments and future prospects. We will continue to make connections with people and hold them dear to our heart because CHOOSE TO CARE was never only about fundraising. We love getting together with the members of the Women's Club, telling stories of the traveling shoes and the distant they went to land on the young child's feet. As we try to make a difference in their world we hope you will continue to be engaged with our projects.

We have began to plan our next celebration, a date has not been set but this fete will take on a different tone. CHOOSE TO CARE will celebrate you, it will be a day for stepping out in style, a day to honor our connection.
Living With Gratitude!
Peace And Love!


"Giving is to serve a portion for oneself"
Zulu:South Africa

CHOOSE TO CARE has made connection with the Active Compassion Transforms(ACT)Organization, which inspires and empowers a group of South African students to live successful and productive lives. It was by chance that we came upon this amazing organization. This happened when we were trying to fundraise on the street, enticing the passersby to buy from JAMBA JUICE who committed to give us 20% of the sales made on the specific date dedicated to the CHOOSE TO CARE Organization. We met one of the members of ACT. Since then I have been in communication with Erika Lee the Executive Director and I am excited to work with her.

The ACT organization has been mentoring children who attend the HOPE school and live in the Cape Flats of South Africa. It is remarkable the accomplishment this organization has met since its farly young existence.(A little over a year) ACT has entered into an ambitious plan to bring 14 of the children to New York City this winter. Of course CHOOSE TO CARE will provide winter shoes for each child. But so much more is needed, visit the web site and read all about this wonderful endeavor and give a helping hand if you can. Stay tune also for the anticipated adventure the children will have. This trip will certainly have an impact on their young lives.

Stay Well!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


"Deeds of giving are the very foundations of the world"
The Torah

The calls were coming in, just checking they said, to see if it is still on!!?? What is a little rain I thought, maybe a Tsunami would stop me in my tracks. So yes, it was still on. We were about to log a few miles walking but we knew that once we reached our destination, we had enough time to take a load off our feet.

So where are we headed? To the South Street Seaport. This is the place where streetside stands and familiar mall stores line the pathway. Tonight the streets were less dense with people, maybe many had taken shelter from the rain, that had left a dampness in the air. Where are you sun? On the way we passed an intense basketball game, heard loud music that seemed to pierce the skies and we couldn't help swaying to the familiar sounds. As we continued on our way we saw couples walking to their own beat as if unaware of the rain and the noise around them, only absorbed in each other. The eating spots sent out fiery scents but we were on our way to Pier 17 to the Cabana Restaurant and our minds were on the great tasting food that awaits us. From perfumes to ice cream and sparkling costume jewelry there is certainly something in this place for everyone.

The early birds decided to look down from the balcony, waving with excitement each time we noticed one of our die-hard supporter in the crowd. Our hand waves and smiling faces said "come on up, we are waiting for you, glad you could come." After all the members of the women club we were expecting arrived, we took our seats. The joint was jumping, we moved to the rhythm in our chairs, meet and greet each other again, shoot the breeze and then attacked the menu with a voracious appetite.

Most of us knew what we wanted, others studied the offerings a little longer, wanting to make the right choice. Over my corner where I broke bread, there was constant praise for the great tasting food and all around our tables, the expressions seemed to say "simply delicious" Oh, the joy of eating well. When the chomping gave way to laughter and talking and the last of the dishes were cleared we took the time to talk about what the CHOOSE TO CARE Organization had been up to. A portfolio of photos of the children and thank you notes were living proof of the programs we have supported and a reminder of the difference we are making. We will always be grateful for your contribution to the well-being of their young lives. Congratulations to the winner of the treasured silver shoe, this is a reminder of your commitment to our pledge to provide underprivileged children and young adults with a brand new pair of shoes.

The women's club members did it again, August 28,2009 will be a night to be remembered. We experienced relaxation, enjoyed belly laughs, made connections, bared our souls and when we bade farewell, there was an upbeat mood.

The outing had not yet ended and many were asking about the next event. Someone in the crowd jokingly said that these events seem to bring out the rain. So true my friends but these are showers of blessings. Stay tune for the next magical event. Hope to see you there, RAIN OR SHINE!

Much Love!

Friday, August 28, 2009


A shout out to JAMBA JUICE: Where a concoction of fruits, soy milk and other powerful ingredients produce great tasting beverages, good to the last drop. August 27, 2009 was the day given to us by the JAMBA JUICE outfit, that do their part to support others who are involved in improving communities, providing for children in need and much more. On this day, I gathered a few willing assistants to help me distribute fliers to passersby, you know, the man in the street, enticing them to go into the store and buy JAMBA goodies, which allowed us to receive 20% of their purchase for the CHOOSE TO CARE organization.

Thanks to: Margo who packaged and distributed the fliers and worked her shifts.
Ms. Judy, who gave the fliers to her people as she calls them.
Jared, who traveled into Manhattan to give a few hours of his precious time.
Jeff, who sells his wares on the corner, across from the bold emblem that says, JAMBA JUICE but he never tasted it's offerings until this day and liked it so much that he helped to spread the word to his customers and also had a second helping.

This was some experience. The reaction of mortals varied so much but soon I got the drift of who would stop, who would brush you off and those who would linger. We met a young woman who had just recently done the same drill at this store located at West Broadway for her organization. So we chit-chatted for a while, exchanged calling cards and I am sure our paths will cross again.

So, let me invite you to stop in and while you are there look around for some other eye-catching menu items. My recommendation, the California Flatbread which bares names such as, Four Cheesy, Smokehouse Chicken, etc. It really does the stomach good. To Mr. Robert Carter, General Manager and his crew, we certainly appreciate your kind gesture and wish you heavy traffic in your store. Thanks to those who have joined the cause, you have been awesome It was a wonderful and fruitful day(pun intended) Go see for yourself!

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Opportunities to Show Kindness

"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do."

Choose to Care has been busy, real busy. We have made connection with the Fiver Children's Foundation, a comprehensive year-round youth development organization from underserved communities We outfitted a number of the kids with hiking shoes which they needed for their camping trip during the summer.

We met a visiting Priest from Honduras, South America and plan to do some work with his community in Honduras.

We are also getting ready to check out beautiful St. Lucia, an Island in the Caribbean where we will try to form a lasting bond with a number school children.

We have also reached out to a woman who gave birth to six children. They are approaching their first birthday and will need shoes for that special day.

Time is drawing near for our next shindig that I wrote about in May. We are heading down to the Cabana Seaport to feast on delicious cuban cuisine, to experience the sunshine, listen to the sounds of loud music and loud chatter. The members of the women's club are looking forward to connect and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We hope you will bring your appetite with you on August 28.

Peace and Love.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


"Hope is the poor man's bread"
George Herbert(1593-1633)

The women's club members are not bemoaning the fact that officially summer is here and except for a few days when the sun peeked through the clouds, all we have seen so far are showers after showers and dampness. We are busy preparing for our next shindig. We are planning to enjoy the sunshine when it comes, connect with old friends and have a relaxing time.

This time we are heading to the South Sea Seaport to bare our soles and feast on delicious cuban cuisine. Meet us at Cabana Seaport on 8/28/09 at 6PM.

Hope to see you there!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Night For Galoshes

Rain, Rain, Go Away
Come Again Another Day.
This request fell on deaf ears,drowned out by clashing thunders. The rain god seemed intent on washing away the City. But that downpour did not stop the adventurous women club members, neither was their spirit dampened. As they trickled in one by one, their face seemed to say "I am glad to be here."

Today we are eating cuisine from South of the Border. The group seemed the same, give or take a few souls who could not make it and we gained a few new guests. This small gathering brought together old colleagues, separated for one reason or the other, who reveled in their reunion, determined to stay in touch from hereon.Everyone seemed vibrant and upbeat, ready to tackle a menu that went far beyond tacos.

With our orders in place I took the opportunity to update the group on all that had transpired since our last gathering in February, 2009. A portfolio with thank-you notes and photo from the recipients of our gifts of joy was passed from table to table, so that they who helped to make CHOOSE TO CARE projects possible were able to have some sort of connection with the fruit of their labor.

Tonight May 1, 2009 was the night that I introduced the orphanage in Nassau, Bahamas, our next commitment. Two years ago when I began to 'dream' about these journeys, I had no idea where this would take us or even how we would get there. Sure there are roadmaps, but most of these roads are not paved, they are hilly and rough on the soul(sole) and around each bend are endless challenges,which sometimes make you want to throw in the towel. But you have given us so much hope that each step brings us closer in realizing our mission;which is to place a brand new pair of shoes on the feet of children and young adults and a smile on their faces. We are not quite there yet but we keep trekking on this long but hopeful road ahead.

Congratulations to the winner of the golden shoe charm. Each time you wear this charm it symbolizes your commitment to support our mission. We ate, we talked, we giggled like schoolgirls and another night had ended on an upbeat note. As I stepped out into the night, I looked up at the sky, there was barely a drizzle now. I walked away sans umbrella, and as I inhaled the fresh air, my mind was cleared of any lingering roadblocks. I am already planning the next shindig and poised to "draw blood from a stone" if I must, to accomplish our goals. Thank you for your steadfast support and all you have done in your own special way.

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy
I woke and saw that life was service
I acted and behold, service was joy."
Rabindranath Tagore

Yes my friends,together we can help. Stay Tune!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


"Do your little bit of good where you are, it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The kids in Songenhi Village, South Africa have received their soccer boots. We hope they are scoring 'goals.' We are on to a new project, this time we are heading to Ghana and the Bahamas. More to come!

At home we are planning our second benefit dinner. The Woman's Club members are all revved up and ready for some South of the Border cuisine. May 1st; is the date. The sweet smell of spring in the air will certainly set the mood for a funfilled evening. Looking forward to our time together.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


The soccer boots are finally on their way to the Songheni Village, South Africa where 45 young children eagerly await their gifts. But to get the boots on their way took some doing. We share these things with you the donor because your generosity has made this happen and we are sure you would be interested to know that the goods were safely delivered and distributed.

Family members rallied around to pack the boxes the right way to keep them from falling apart. Afterall before the boxes reach their destination, they would have been handled by many hands. Now we know the kind of tape we have to keep in stock to add security to the packaging. The two boxes were hauled off to the Post Office, one was rejected as too large, although we had researched the required size and thought they both measured up.

So back home we went, purchased the right size box and repacked the boots. There were custom forms to fill out and the packages were insured just in case they went astray or the goods were damaged. This time the box was the right fit and now we await word of their arrival from South Africa. We continue to learn and hope. More to come.

Partnerships Formed

So far we have joined forces with the following groups to securely distribute shoes to the children in need:

Solidarite Chambellanaise, Brooklyn,NY/Chambellan,Haiti
Anchovy Primary School, Montego Bay, Jamaica/W.I.
Vineyard Ministries, Bronx, NY
Songeni Football Club, South Africa

Thanks to all who made this happen, we will continue to update you on all progress made.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Heart And Sole Event

"Give without remembering that you gave and take without forgetting that you have taken." I keep this quote close by and often times I ponder these words that remind me of my social resposibilities. So on a whim I planned the HEART AND SOLE event. The invitation touted a pre-valentine's dinner and asked the guests to participate in the spirit of giving by helping the CHOOSETOCARE organization put a smile on the faces of needy children and young adults and a brand new pair of shoes on their soles. The attendees were also asked to wear something red with valentine's day celebration in mind and also to bring awareness of heart disease that continues to take the lives of so many.

So the event was a tall order for the group gathered in red at the Tandoor Restaurant, ready to enjoy the mouthwatering and spicy cuisine of Northern India. The waiters asked "why didn'tyou tell us to wear red?" And without missing a beat, I quipped"you didn't get the memo?" That little bantering set the stage for what can be described as a delightful evening. We ordered meals that some could hardly pronounced only to find out it is chicken or eggplant or lentils, all foods we are used to but tonight dressed up in a different style.

We were not in a secluded area by ourselves but all of us seemed oblivious to the diners scattered around us. We were a raucous crowd, from one end of the table came belly laughs, at the other end and in between the folks were catching up on old times or making new acquaintances. Listening to these high pitched conversations, watching someone hold court as she engaged her fellow companions at her table in 'serious' talk that elicited roaring laughs, assured me that we owned this night.

Before we chowed down, I managed to give a little history of the CHOOSETOCARE organization. I spoke about each project that we have sponsored and invited everyone to visit the web site to learn more. While we savored the dishes and between bites I had numerous requests for another night like this, very soon. One of the guests, high on excitement called for a woman's group. She said if Oprah can have a book club, then we can have a woman's club. All things are possible my friend.

Then as I typically do I began to contemplate, my mind wandered to the significance of this gathering. This I realized was more than about food, it was also a hunger for a good time. In this merriment everyone became 'still', it was an unhurried moment. Tonight's gathering was ripe for the picking, we managed to carve out a pathway to better understanding, we met outside our usual setting-work and discovered sisterhood. The grand prize, a sterling silver shoe pendant is symbolic of hope, that we will use our abilities and experiences to make a difference. I heard your requests and I am already planning our springtime rendezvous.

And as I go about my business of doing one of the things that matters most to me, my other wish is that this will mushroom into something larger so that we can help as many kids as possible. Congratulations to the winner of the sterling silver shoe pendant, it is a reminder of your help to give a pair of shoes to a child in need. Thanks to you all for standing with me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Putting The Best Foot Forward

The launch of the website: got off to a fabulous start, since then it has been revamped to add a blog. We are sure this will not be the last update but for now we are content to maintain it's simplicity as we try to bring you our latest adventures.

Right now we are wrapping up our present project, just waiting to iron out a few more details and then we hope that our package will safely reach the Songeni Village in South Africa where 45 young children are awaiting their new soccer shoes and maybe jerseys. The Choose to Care family rolled up their sleeves and assisted in their own way. They helped to navigate the internet to order the shoes and get the best prices. They pointed us to manufacturers who could possibly help us with some donated goods. We did the paperwork for the requests and we are patiently waiting for some good news. We have received lessons in International mailing from a family member who has this down pat. They all became a part of the action of Choose to Care's mission, which is to put a brand new pair of shoes on the feet of needy children and young adults and a smile on their faces.

We have also made plans for 20 boys and girls from an elementary school in Jamaica to receive a brand new pair of shoes. My colleague who runs a breakfast program from New York City for about 50 boys and girls is on her way to the Caribbean to visit the young children and will personally take them to the shoe store to purchase their shoes. Way to Go!

Lastly, we are planning a small benefit dinner to introduce the Choose to Care Organization. This heart and sole pre-valentine's celebration set for 2/13/09 will expand knowledge of the Choose to Care Organization and hopefully will draw in a few more souls who wish to participate in the spirit of giving. I hope the evening will have everyone all revved up and cause a stir. Be on the lookout for more scoop.