Thursday, April 30, 2020


"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


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(
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)