Saturday, August 13, 2016

Today & Tomorrow - Working Together For A Healthier Community

In spite of a forecast of a very hot day, we welcomed and celebrated yet another wonderful BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT, where the kids and their parents participated in a few hours of learning and merrymaking. Today's event featured the plain yogurt which is not high up on the list of favorite foods for many adults, so we were well aware that it may be a challenge to get our young critics to give it a try.  The amazing women of the Nutritionists and Friends In Action group {NAFIA}, gave it their best shot, describing ways to combine fresh fruits and vegetables with yogurt for a delicious treat and they sang praises for its benefits, that would make you want to give it a try.

The dish of the day was pasta with broccoli, cauliflower and grapes thrown in to awaken the tastebuds;served with yogurt dressing, spiked with herbs.  Both adults and children enjoyed the mouth-watering dish and each family received a pint-sized mason jar of pasta mixture to take home with them. We asked them to adapt the recipe, to use the fruits and vegetables they preferred and to add their favorite herbs and spices to create their own flavorful plain yogurt dressing.

We know that the parents are the primary shapers of their childrens' behavior and so we beckoned to them to join in the day's nutrition education and physical activities.  But this day was also in keeping with Choose To Care's mission of providing a brand new pair of shoes for the child in need.  As the kids stepped up to receive their brand new pair of shoes, and as they opened the shoe box, a message awaited them in the cover, such as "do 5 squats",touch your toes 10 times", "do 5 arm circles", etc. We all joined them in squatting and moving to whatever the command was. Buried in their shoes were the messages "stay in school","eat foods that keep you well" Today's lesson was about healthy eating, staying fit and  letting the parents know that we and their children are depending on them to put these lessons in practice, making sure that their children have access to healthy foods in the home.

We, the messengers, left with a joyful and thankful soul.  Mission accomplished.  The  NAFIA  group is looking forward to our next shindig at the end of the year.

Peace &Love

Saturday, August 6, 2016


    The other day I had a rude awakening.  The pair of shoes on my feet were sound when I left home or so I thought.  On my journey I felt it loosening but shoes do stretch at times, especially after many wears. This was an old and comfortable pair. Then I felt my toes on the pavement, the sides of one foot had come apart but still manageable; with toes tightly squeezed together, I pushed hard to reach my destination.

I was so conscious of a shoe ripped apart plus it slowed me down because my foot kept coming out of the shoe.  I just knew everyone was staring at my feet; although pedestrians are usually in a hurry and barely noticed each other, this time I was sure they saw me.

Some more travel and the other shoe came loose also.  Now I definitely could not walk any further, the soles were rapidly falling apart.  Going barefoot was not an option, the streets are filled with broken glass, needles and all kinds of sharp objects; besides the hot pavement would have no mercy on the bottom of my feet.  I felt embarassed and quickly took cover in a nearby store, grabbing a new pair of shoes and discarding the one on my feet.

I began to think of the many folks without a pair of shoes, such a basic necessity. "He who feels it knows it"  I chuckled, because I make it my duty to ensure that the underprivileged youth gets a brand new pair of shoes but I found myself shoeless albeit for a short instant, on the streets.As the saying goes "the cobbler's son has no shoes"  Did I need this experience to know what it feels like?  Of course not but it is indeed a lesson in humility.

As we prepare for our "Back To School" event on 8-13-16 and as I purchase each pair of shoes, I will do so with renewed enthusiasm, because this incident reminded me why this mission of providing a brand new pair of shoes for the child in need still holds my interest.I have written and spoken many times about the need to protect the childrens' feet, the pride and joy it will bring them to own their own brand new pair and I will continue to be their mouthpiece.

One Love!