Tuesday, July 31, 2018


         Look at my feet
         They are swelling in the heat.
         But even when it is cold
         these feet of mine, still show big bulges
         I know for sure this is a result of  wearing
         Shoes that don't fit right.

          The only pair I own is so worn out
           My poor feet are left to the mercy
           Of where I tread.
           The sun beats on them.
            The cold makes them change color.

            But the shoes on my feet are truly making a statement,
             He chuckled.
            Only the sole is left standing, with the back attached.
            That's where I place my tired feet.
             I am using the brittle laces, to tie my feet in securely.
             But of course they keep popping out,
             And I quickly pop them right back in.
             I don't want anyone to see me, for it will put me to shame.

             I could have just as well go barefooted
             But the splinters, broken glasses, stones
             And even parasites, spell more damage.

            I need a pair of good shoes, any shoes will do.
            It doesn't have to be the latest style!
            What I need is a pair that will carry me
            So I can move a little faster
            To get to where I need to be.

            Give me that pair of shoes
            And I will leave my footprints, where it matters.
            I will move in the right direction
            When I get that pair of shoes.
            I will keep walking, until I get where I want to be
            Just give me that pair of shoes and you will see.

          And he awoke to a brand new pair of shoes, laying by his side
          And when he finally put his tired feet in that pair of shoes,
          He knew this was the opportunity he was seeking.
          With his new shoes on, he was about to conquer the world
          And on his way he did not forget to leave a pair of shoes,
          For anyone in need, who comes along.


psw/(Spread Joy In The World) series

Sunday, July 15, 2018


We at CHOOSE TO CARE (CTC) along with the Nutritionists and Friends In Action (NAFIA) Team have the inside scoop of where to find the best tasting nutritious dishes and snacks. Here is another of our mouth-watering recipe that was served at one of our shoe distribution event for the youth in Corona; not only did the children leave with a brand new pair of shoes, fulfilling the mission of CTC to provide a brand new pair of shoes for the youth in need but they and their families enjoyed this tasty delight.  We want to thank our NAFIA member Monica for this brilliant idea and Maricela, the resident chef for putting it all together.

 Fresh  Fruit and Yogurt Cones


2 oz. plain yogurt

1 tsp. honey

4 T. mixed fresh fruit

1 ice cream waffle cone


Mix yogurt with honey. Fill a waffle cone with a layer of mixed fruit
Top it with one spoonful of yogurt

FRESH FRUIT SUGGESTIONS: Sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, sliced bananas, pineapple, mandarin oranges,kiwi grapes and any of your favorite fruit in season.

Happy preparation
Happy Eating

Saturday, July 14, 2018


As much as a fresh fruit salad will do for desert, there are times when you just can't resist the puddings, the cakes and sweets, but as is said, everything in balance.   This is a  recipe that was made for a shoe distribution event held January, 2017 and provided by Nutritionists and Friends In Action(NAFIA) member,Leoniza.


2 packages(4cups) grated cassava
1 can coconut milk
1 can condensed milk
1 bottle of macapuno(coconut strips)(use 3/4 only)
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted for baking tray
1/4 cup sugar (optional)

Toppings Mixture for Cassava Cake
1/2 can condensed milk
1 egg
1/4  remaining sweetened (macapuno/coconut strips)

Procedure & Baking Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, except butter
  2. Add sugar as needed(your preferred taste)
  3. Spread the melted butter evenly in a baking pan
  4. Pour in cassava mixture
  5. Bake in 350F degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour
  6. After 45 minutes when the cassava is dried on top, pour the topping mixture
  7. Return to oven and broil for another 10-15 minutes, until the topping becomes brown
  8. Remove from oven and top with grated cheese

Happy Cooking                                                                                              Happy Eating


CHOOSE TO CARE(CTC) strives to provide a new pair of shoes for the child in need.  We have made it our business.  But this is not the only thing we are drawn to.  At each of our local shoe distribution event, we invite the families of the youth we serve to join us in healthy eating.  These are delicious dishes with nutritious ingredients, prepared with the hands of our resident chef, Maricela.  She whips up amazing dishes, using a medley of fruits and vegetables, herbs and any edible thing on hand. Nothing is wasted!  The NAFIA team gives a nod to cooking with scraps, "From stalks to roots" is our motto, as we do our part to save this crumbling earth; passing the baton to bring awareness to the families of our communities, so they can hop on the bandwagon and be guided to become part of this passion.

You don't always need a recipe to take you to mouth-watering dishes, with practice it becomes easier to build your plate, swapping one vegetable for another, sprinkling a new herb to give it a kick, pour in some roasted nuts for that extra crunch, throw in some chickpeas or other beans of your choice, for protein goodness, top with a dollop of yogurt, some chives and scallion could only make it better.  Oh my, you are eating good and healthy.

Those who join us when Maricela is in the kitchen, leave with a nicely secured package containing:

  • nutritious plant-based dishes, lingering in your mouth
  • guideposts on how to prepare healthy meals
  •  ideas for ingredients that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity

Maricela says: "I love to cook because when I am cooking I am in control of the flavor and seasoning of my own meals.  I enjoy cooking because through a colorful and delicious plate I can express how much I care for the ones I love.  Cooking is not only an innate skill but a gift from God, for which I enjoy and am thankful for."

"CHOOSE TO CARE has given me the confidence to share my talents with the families we have brought together, Along with making memories and sharing happiness, I genuinely believe that sharing is caring and cooking for a good cause is worthy."

Thanks Maricela for helping to build the foundation for a lovely world.

"Love and compassion are necessities,not luxuries.Without them humanity
cannot survive."
Dalai Lama

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Meet Denisse the Pied Piper!  We at CHOOSE TO CARE have made a commitment to do our part to save the earth.  Denise has taken up the banner to share with the youth and their families, tips to meet the challenges.  She engages them in ways to think differently about our environment and communities and draws their attention to destruction around the world; ocean strewn with garbage, dead fishes, trees that are cut down, causing erosion.  All of this so that the youth and their families can begin to think more seriously about their communities, how they can make changes that will have a positive impact on their health and surroundings.

There are clever ways to reduce waste, she tells them and shares some of CHOOSE TO CARE's  game plan for going green:

  • Don't keep the pipe running while brushing your teeth, water wasted
  • Lay off using straws for drinks, the plastic goes to the landfill
  • Serve smaller portions to avoid food waste
  • Ditch the plastic bag for a cloth bag at the grocery
  • Use the garbage bins to discard of rubbish

Anyone who has joined our shoe distribution event will come away with a package that:

  • Pleads with people of the earth to be aware of their surroundings
  • Makes you aware that caring for the earth transforms both materials and lives
  • Says it is possible to make treasure from trash
  • Lets us know that we are responsible to spread the word to others about saving the earth
  • Wants you to increase your vocabulary with RECYCLE, REPURPOSE and RENEW

Denisse says, "When I think of the Machu Picchu's fresh air that caresses your face while giving you a peaceful state of mind, I know how important it is to save the earth. There are things that are priceless  that only mother nature can provide us with. We must take care to maintain the beauty of the wonders of the world so our future generation can enjoy what we have now."

I enjoy being part of CHOOSE TO CARE because it is important to give back to our community and no matter how big or small your gift is, you should give it with love.

Yes, Denisse, you have hit it on the head, if each of us do our part, small or big, our stewardship will make a difference in our communities.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


CHOOSE TO CARE wants to showcase the things we have been up to, share our connections with the community, our celebrations and more.  And Daniel has volunteered his service to keep CHOOSE TO CARE up to speed by putting together amazing videos that tell our stories.  Any plea for help has always been answered and this vast contribution carries a lot of weight and is a welcome support toward our mission.

Mr. Electronic Wiz delivers a package packed with:

  • Willingness
  • Confidence
  • Pride in his work
  • Straightforward talk
The above attributes and his creative work have won him an honorable membership with our NAFIA Team.

Daniel says that as an honorary member of NAFIA team, he is honored to be of help to the CHOOSE TO CARE organization because he has been blessed in a million different ways; "I feel it's important to give back when and wherever possible. CHOOSE TO CARE provides loving and caring help to many people locally and globally. It is great to be able to do anything that can help achieve their goals.  With help from donors, the work CHOOSE TO CARE does can continue."

 We are who we say we are, lowly creatures,  striving to do the best that can be done but we could not do it without your help.    We hope for an enduring partnership, Daniel, CHOOSE TO CARE and NAFIA Team.

"In a gentle way you can shake the earth."
Mahatma Gandhi 

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Merlyn has always given willingly to CHOOSE TO CARE (CTC) and so it was only fitting that she should be made an honorary member of the NAFIA team.  Merlyn, I call,"please visit choosetocaresite.org and make a comment," and you can be sure she will oblige.  It won't take long for Merlyn to happily share her thoughts and feelings on the website's blog.  She has poured her heart and soul into something she loves, and we are humble that she thinks CTC is worthy of her time and attention.  Spending a few minutes with Merlyn, you will come away with a package full of:

  • Understanding
  • dependability
  • trustworthiness
  • attentiveness
  • humility
Merlyn says she is deeply honored to be of help to the CHOOSE TO CARE organization because:
I love helping people, especially for a worthy cause which helps to bring smiles to children and provides them with resources and smiles to create better lives.  I like CTC because it is important to give back to communities and people in need.

These are a few of the reasons Merlyn has given as to why it is important to make a difference in the community:
  • When you help the community, not only does it influence the children, it helps the families as well.
  • Knowing that my efforts as well as everyone's else in CTC brings joy to the children and their families, makes what we do worthwhile.

Thanks Merlyn for your willingness to offer a helping hand.  Thanks for your stewardship.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony."
Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, July 7, 2018


Her calming presence and seemingly unruffled demeanor shouts, "I understand and I am willing."
This member of the NAFIA group has not shied away from her pledge to serve our communities. When we shop for shoes for our shoe distribution events, it means staying back to pick out the sizes and styles and toting them back to storage, to wait for that special day.  You never have to ask her twice and often times she volunteers her service, making the task so much easier; as is said "many hands, make the work lighter."

She welcomes and keeps the youth and their families together, so that there will be order in the "house" as we prepare to get the show on the road.  Aisha ensures that those who join us at our shoe distribution events, leave with a package containing possibilities that they too can conquer. In her glorious package the following awaits you:

  • joyful moments
  • harmony
  • patience

Aisha says, helping is important because it can have a positive impact on others, sometimes a little help can result in a big change for someone.  I think we get the opportunity to help others every day, we just have to look around us and we will see the need.  Helping others produce a feeling of satisfaction, not only for me, but also for the person being helped.

I assist CHOOSE TO CARE because it's an opportunity to help others and also help me to grow as a person, reminding me that we should always do something for others.  I want the world to be a different place, a better place for this and future generations.  Helping CHOOSE TO CARE may not change the world, but we decided to take a chance on even one person at a time, who we hope will influence another and soon it will seep through the whole community and keep trending unto the rest of the world.

Thanks Aisha, dreams do come true.

"If only I had a magic wand
To fix the perils we face.
But all I have is the belief
That better will come."

Thursday, July 5, 2018


With Leoniza in the house, things will get done.  She sets the groundwork, making this a group effort. She is the "flyer girl" who generously gives of her time to produce a flyer that showcases the theme we want to capture and comes up each time with fine art on display.  She is also the document producing wizard that makes charts to keep CHOOSE TO CARE (CTC) records together.

These CTC community events may seem to fall into the small category but requires a huge amount of effort, time and energy to accomplish.  Yet she embraces the tasks,read between the lines to understand my over the top requests, gets the troop together(NAFIA Members) and jump on the wagon to get the show(shoe distribution event) on the road.

As if she did not have enough demands put on her, she finds her way in the "Test Kitchen" playing with the recipe the we want to share with our community, until she gets it right.  One such food that comes to mind is the falafel, that delicious garbanzo bean dish that she knew nothing about nor even tasted before.  Fundraising for our events means baking that delicious cassava cake, that she sells out in a New York minute.These acts of kindness visibly states "I am in" and "I am willing to offer a helping hand."

Shopping and packing can be added to her resume for volunteer services.  When you make preparation for CTC's events alongside Leoniza, the package she leaves you with:

  • will make you into a cheerleader for CTC
  • allows you to join in spirited solutions
  • helps you to explore new possibilities
  • gives you an edge and you won't stop until you reach the finish line 

Leoniza says:
 Upon learning about the CHOOSE TO CARE organization and got to know more about the mission and how it started, I said to myself, "I want to be part of it."  From the founder to the members and all volunteers involved, the passion and commitment are evident.  What I like best about connecting with CHOOSE TO CARE is seeing the results of our hard work and the joy that we give to every single child receiving a brand new pair of shoes.  I celebrate with the mothers of the children we serve,as they express their appreciation and gratitude to all NAFIA members for taking the time to share important nutrition messages and tips on how we can all save the earth by doing our part to live healthier in our communities.
"Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference." Kathy Calvin, President of the United Nations Foundation.

I take part in the shoe distribution events because there is a feeling of satisfaction after we complete each event from start to finish.  Success should not be measured by how much you have but by how much you give back. I share whatever talent,knowledge and skills I am blessed with and use these gifts to help the community. What good will it serve if all these good tidings are kept in hiding. There is a need to educate families on how to live a healthier lifestyle.  There is a sense of responsibility to connect with the community and bring awareness to healthy living, one event at a time.

Thanks Leoniza for this wise investment in our communities.

"How can a title less creature be of help, I keep asking myself.
This is the work of the famous.  But I know better and I begin
once again, that unfinished job."

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


Meet Monica, the health and exercise guru. She takes you to a new level of physical health and fitness, spiced with lots of fun.  Her fitness series have the children and the families getting up to speed.  Full of passion her creative sessions scream " WORK OUT, SHAPE UP."  These amazing endeavors have helped CHOOSE TO CARE to present this Healthy Lifestyle Community and Group Project at all our local shoe distribution events.

When the attendees leave they would have received a package filled with benefits of healthy living.
Monica gives them:

  • A feeling of exhilaration
  • Inspiration to get moving
  • Many possibilities for fun ways to healthy living

Monica says:

I use physical activity and nutrition together to move others to a healthier lifestyle.  With physical activity, I express my emotions, and feelings with joy.  I enjoy it myself and also enjoy sharing with a new person.  One of my personal and professional goal is community education, where people of all ages,sizes, shapes and abilities can benefit from understanding the importance of physical activity.
My sessions run the gamut from dancing, playing with kids, or pushing a baby in a stroller and any means that will have everyone moving.

I have given my help to CHOOSE TO CARE because this organization opened the door for me to teach kids the importance of physical activity from an early age, as well as allowing them to enjoy the learning experience.

Thanks Monica for choosing an attitude of joy as you strive to deliver activities that make an impact.

"It is health that is real wealth
And not pieces of gold and silver"
Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, July 2, 2018

MEET MERIANNY - A Member Of The Nutritionists And Friends In Action(NAFIA)

With those nimble fingers, she has got us covered.  For a CHOOSE TO CARE (CTC) fundraising event she created an invitation that helped us to get the ball rolling.  Time after time, her contributions to our local shoe distribution events have helped to enhance our work toward improving the lives of the youth and the families we serve.  Whether it is imparting simple messages of good health, she makes them truly believe that they can do it  or putting that special touch on decorations for our events; the help she gives and the joy she spreads are gifts we hold dearly.

When we have the honor of your presence at a CTC event, you will leave with a package:

  • full of energy that she emits
  • the rosy outlook that she paints
  • a downright display of good nature 
Merianny says:

I use my artistic skills to express and share.  To express my thoughts and feelings and to share my knowledge.  I believe in making learning a fun and interesting experience, as a visual and hands on learner part of my goal is that at least one person leaves with the message and shares it with someone else.  That is my goal, to try and make a difference little by little, one beautiful mind at a time.

As to why I love being part of CHOOSE TO CARE is because to me, one person can start a change but a group can make a bigger difference.  I believe being part of CHOOSE TO CARE is a privilege that allows me to give back to the community.  Also it is a feeling that has no words to be described, other than the joy of seeing a smile on a child's face.

Thanks for your heartwarming words!

"Help me to help them
was the cry. And you
all came running, banding
together for a kinder world."


CHOOSE TO CARE(CTC)strives to provide a brand new pair of shoes for the youth in need.  They have made it their business.  But that's not the only thing that they are drawn to.  At each of our local shoe distribution event, we invite the families of the youth we serve to join us in healthy eating.  Of course if we want the families to eat more nutritious foods , we must also introduce them to dishes that are tasty.  Our recipes call for a medley of fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices and other ingredients on hand, nothing wasted.
We encourage going green and give ideas that will help us to save the earth.  No one leaves our events without participating in an exercise session, plastered with fun.

To make this happen, a group of volunteers jump in to help deliver these activities.  They are known as Nutritionists And Friends In Action (NAFIA).  To become a member, the individual agrees to abide by the following:

  • Willing to work with the youth
  • Bring ideas, share and learn from each other
  • Truly believe in creating a fun-filled learning environment
  • Support CHOOSE TO CARE's Mission
  • Will venture out, offering other skills they may have(graphic designer, photography, recipe testing, accounting,etc)
  • meeting will take place on a time and frequency convenient to members

CTC will post a series of blogs, featuring each member and the gift they bring in those amazing "packages" that every recipient will treasure dearly.

Thanks a million for all your support!