Wednesday, November 30, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011: What Role Will You Play?


One million people are living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and one out of five of those living with the virus are unaware of their status. We are now in our 30th year since the first cases of HIV/AIDS were reported - which has claimed nearly 30 million lives to date. Thankfully, with time, researchers and doctors have been able to study the virus and develop medications to combat HIV at various stages of its life cycle, which has led to more desirable outcomes in individuals infected with HIV which include: prolonged life, HIV virus suppression and an increase in CD4 cells (cells that help fight off infection).
While medications have helped in the fight against HIV, there are still many obstacles that we must overcome. The epidemic has changed drastically since its discovery; what once was seen as a “gay, white man’s disease” has come to be a global disease that has infected everyone from our most precious babies to our most delicate, senior citizens. Even more-so, there have been particular ethnic groups that have been hard hit by this epidemic.
African Americans make up a mere 12% of the U.S. population but account for almost half (44%) of all new HIV infections. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lives, and as a black woman I can tell you, that, is one too many! For this reason I decided to join the fight six years ago because I refused to sit back and watch my peers become infected.

We’ve done an excellent job of talking about the medications and stressing the fact that people are living longer than ever with HIV, but we’ve forgotten to mention that people are still dying from this disease and it’s happening daily.
The CDC along with many other local community based organizations have made great strides in fighting HIV, and for the first time ever, a president, OUR president, has created a National HIV/AIDS Strategy to proactively address the epidemic. Many of us that work in the field have been tasked with finding innovative ways to implement the strategy in an effort to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care for those living with HIV and reduce the number of HIV related health disparities.
All of the paid work that we do around HIV has been great but some of the most amazing work has happened at the grassroots level from concerned individuals who have simply cared enough to act. That being said, I am making a plea to everyone who reads this…
I urge you to get involved on any level! We can all be advocates and fight for those who are not quite ready to fight for themselves. Your voice matters, it always has, and always will! Use it to educate yourself, friends, family and associates, use it to reduce stigma, and use it to help prevent another infection from happening. Take to your respective platforms, be it your social networks, community groups, churches and other faith-based institutions or school body associations, and join me in being a voice for the voiceless!
Take responsibility, take control of your health, be proactive! Ask your partner what their status is and get tested together and if you are engaging in sexual activity, use a condom! From this day forward, I ask you, what role will you play?

For more information about HIV and AIDS, visit www.aids.gov and for free and confidential testing sites throughout the U.S. visit www.hivtest.org

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Humanity for Haiti

  
I am excited to say that I will be taking my company, Soul Revision Consulting, on the road... Destination: Saint Raphael, Haiti!

If you've been following this blog for a while then you know that I linked up with a phenomenal organization run by an amazing man! The organization is Help Us Save Us (HUSU), the man, Fred Joseph. While many have forgotten about Haiti, HUSU has made it their mission to focus their work in Saint Raphael, Haiti, assisting hundreds of orphans that have been displaced by the 2010 earthquake.

This July we will be working with approximately 300 orphans between the ages of 6-18 while running a summer camp and implementing various educational programs that include: music, acting, athletics, and ultimately host a talent show in which the kids can display everything that they've learned.


Founder of Help Us Save Us, Fred Joseph, with the kids

The earthquake that rocked Port au Prince, Haiti on January 12, 2010 left more than 1million Haitians homeless & without access to clean water & food. HUSU is diligently working to change all of this for Haiti's youth by building a children’s center that will provide impoverished children in Haiti with the opportunity to attend a week-long camp with activities such as: recreation, singing, dancing, chapel, sports, arts and crafts and more. We will have the chance to feed 500 children with three meals a day for one week each month; this is more than most Haitian children receive in a YEAR!


A typical wash day in Haiti. We have so much to be grateful for!

It has been a dream for me to lend my help to countries after natural disasters, so much so, that after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti I specifically asked God to put me in a position where I can pack up and go when developing and third world countries need assistance. God was gracious enough to answer that prayer this year by strategically placing HUSU in my path. I have traveled internationally many times, but it feels good to say that this is my first time traveling internationally for humanitarian work... and this is only the beginning.

If I could issue you all a challenge it would be this; find a cause greater than yourself and get involved. There are people all over the world who are waiting for individuals like us to help them. There are people who are depending on your gifts and talent, they need YOUR help! The best part is, all it takes is for you to care enough to want to make a difference.

I'm not saying you have to get involved with Haiti; there are plenty of countries that need help, even in the US!


Some of the kids in school

 
MLK has a quote that I keep at the bottom of my email signature that says, "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity". Simply put, at some point we have to realize it's not about us, we have to lay aside our own agendas and realize there's a world out there that needs our help.

Take the time to ask yourself, what causes move me? What goes on in the world that I care about? Whatever it is, tap into that! Research ways to get involved. I've said this before but I'll say it again... You dont have to be a doctor or a firefighter to save lives. Get involved, donate your time, money and/or talents! Remember, none of us is here for ourselves; we are here for one another.

Let's change the world together!

I'll leave you with some lyrics to Michael Jackson’s song, Man In The Mirror...

"As I, turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat, this wind is blowin' my mind, I see the kids In the street, with not enough to eat... who am I, to be blind pretending not to see their needs"



For more information about Help Us Save Us or to donate, visit their website. You can also find them on twitter @HelpUsSaveUs & @FredJo26

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The "WHY" Factor

In all that you do, never forget what I call the "WHY" factor..."WHY" do you do what you do?


For those that really know me, you know that my career is in the Social Services/Public Health field (specifically, HIV services). What you may not know is that there is a very high burnout rate for this field of work. This work runs high in emotions and stress, and it has depleted me, on numerous occasions, of any and all energy that I have had. There have been times where I couldn't remember how I made it to and from work, how I managed to even get up and if I had fallen asleep or not. As soon as someone asks me about the work I do and I share with them that I work with individuals who are HIV+, their immediate response is, "that's gotta be hard, how do you do it?" Yes, it is hard work; I've stood bedside by clients as they have taken their last breath leaving behind kids that may not understand why their mom/dad died or wont be with them any longer, I have watched the poor treatment they've received because of the virus, I've gotten the phone call of the newly diagnosed women asking if she will live and how she will get through this. I want to cry for all of them, but there's no tears left because I'm all cried out ... So yes, this is hard work and quite frankly, sometimes this feels like a hopeless fight.

BUT, this is where the "WHY" factor comes into play. I sit back and ask myself  "why do you do what you do?"

I'm sure your jobs are just as hard, if not harder. The struggle to finish that degree might be the fight of your life... raising your children might be the most difficult obstacle you face, getting your own business started may seem like pulling teeth... but, through your various struggles, ask yourself, "why do I do what I do?"
The fact of the matter is, when you fully understand WHY you do what you do, nothing and no one can deter you from your purpose! No matter how hard times get, no matter how tired you are or how bad people treat you... if you know your "WHY" factor, you'll press forward at all costs. Your "WHY" factor is your end result, it is what pushes you to make it through that 12hr shift (or that graveyard shift), it gives you the strength you need to change another diaper, to deal with the difficult client, to close that last deal, to study for that exam, to keep on living after you've lost a loved one and to do what they say cant be done!

The next time you feel as though you've gone as far as you can go, consider WHY you've come this far already and then continue on!

Do you know what your "WHY" factor is? Why do YOU do what you do everyday? What is your driving force?

Be Encouraged!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

NIHILISM- A Silent Killer In Our Community

Note: In honor of Black History Month I wanted to spend time looking at some of the issues in our community that have been affecting us and bring them to light in an effort to acknowledge the problem and generate some discussion that can lead to change. I reached out to a man that I hold in high regard, Trimaine Davis, to help me with this.

There has been a silent killer in our community for the past 30 years now. This disease has claimed more lives of our young Black men & women  then any other pandemic of plagues among Black men & women. Like other diseases, this illnesses main attack method is caused by an infection that is carried from one person to the next, multiplying at a rapid rate that can be compared to the speed of light.

Although this disease is shares the same acronym as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) / Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) this HIV/AIDS virus has nothing to do with the immune system of the body. This HIV/AIDS virus attacks a part of the body that is much more critical to the human body. This disease surpasses the immune system and the heart and heads straight to main source of human existence, The MIND. Some know this disease as the Hood Influence Virus / or the Addition to Incarceration & Death Syndrome, but the name of this disease is more commonly known as is Nihilism.

 Nihilism is defined as the general rejection of established social conventions and beliefs, especially of morality and religion. The rejection of social norms and beliefs results in a mental and moral state of complete anarchy then turns life morals pointless and human values worthless! To understand to power of Nihilism, you have to understand the environment in which Nihilism is manifested in, the hood. The real hood! Not Hollywood hood, the everyday harsh and cure living conditions of the slums of the inner city where every aspect of the environment is defined by violence. This is the hood where neither liberals nor conservatives dare to tread in the murky waters of despair that now flood the streets of the under belly of Black America.

These are the neighborhoods that gave birth to Brenda and her baby, where there is broken glass everywhere and people pissing on the sidewalk cause they just don’t care. This is the place Biggie Smalls talked about when he said “either you slangin’ crack  rock or you got a wicked jump shot”  This is the hood that made the late great Marvin Gaye want to holler. This is the harsh reality where worry meets stress, and then turns into trouble. 
'No Snitching' has become a code, especially in the black community as it deals w/criminal activity
What makes Nihilism such a grand sickness in the Black community is the assault Nihilism unleashes on the value of self worth. Our brothers and sister who are infected with Nihilism are coping through life with self hatred, self doubt, self violation and self destruction. The long term effects of white supremacy that still holds a strong grip inside of African Americans, lead us to demean ourselves and devalue ourselves. In this society, everything that is associated with the term Black has a negative notion. The sub-consciousness of the Black community in the inner city takes a ‘less than’ approach when identifying self. We have been made to believe we are less beautiful, less moral, less intelligent, LESS PERIOD!

It pains my heart to see the national dropout rate for our young Black men at 56.2 percent. Black men are nearly 7 times more likely to be incarcerated, with average jail sentences about 10 months longer than those of white men. Black males ages 15-19 die from homicide at 46 times the rate of white males their age. Black male achievement begins to decline as early as the fourth grade and by high school. In 2009, only 43.8 percent graduated from high school, compared to 70.8 percent for their white counterparts. What kills me about all these stats is that no-one cares! The days of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ seems to be long gone. The left over effects of oppression has now turned into a life experience of coping with horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and lovelessness.

A crip gang in Los Angeles

Lets go back, (WAAAAY BACK) to the 1940’s and visit an experiment that was done by a Dr. by the name of Dr. Kenneth Clark. In Dr. Clark's test, Black children were given a black doll and a white doll, and then asked which one they thought was better. Overwhelmingly, the Black children chose the white doll. Dr. Clark concluded that "prejudice, discrimination and segregation" caused Black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self-hatred. The experiment also influenced the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, which outlawed school segregation.  
In 2005 (65 years later)  young woman by the name of Kiri Davis (No relation) Made a film titled “ A Girl Like Me”  In her film,  Ms. Kiri Davis recreates a famous 1940s experiment conducted by Dr. Kenneth Clark that studied the psychological effects of segregation on black children. Davis asked 4- and 5-year-old Black kids at a Harlem school the same question. She found the Black children's answers were not that different. In Davis' test, 15 of the 21 Black children said that the white doll was good and pretty, and that the black doll bad and ugly one.
Ms. Davis, who was 16 years old when she made the film, said the results of her experiment surprised and frustrated her.  "So many things have changed, yet so many things haven't," she said on "Good Morning America."  "Our Black children as young as 5 and 4 still being able to tell what America values and what it doesn't, I can’t believe this still happens." Said Ms. Davis. In this film, Davis asks a little Black girl, "Can you show me the doll that looks bad?"  The Black girl immediately chooses the black doll. "Why does that doll look bad?" Davis asks.  "Because it's black!" the Black girl responds.
You do not need a Ph.D to understand how Nihilism is such a powerful illness. Nihilism is so powerful because it attacks the core sense of belonging and kills the true essence of identity. Nihilism destroys the function that education is designed to provide. The first function of education is to provide a sense of identity and a true sense of belonging.  Since Africans have been in this country, we have been in a civil right war for the basic human rights to pursue education. REAL EDUCATION! The core fact being we have been denied far too long.  Without true education of self, no one born into the world can become fully human. The history of the economic condition of African American families has African Americans at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. This is due to exploitation, discrimination, and racism. The socioeconomic issue is a key factor in the outcome of lack of education for the Black Community.

Lil Boosie, a rapper, showing off his gun

The other part is our role we play! We must take responsibility in the role we play in spreading Nihilism through our community. Think about the type of person that is idolized in the Black Community. Who are the leaders we inspire our young people to be like? What are the images of the Black life we hold dear to us and try to imitate in our everyday life. How many young brothers know who Charles Woodson is but don’t who Dr. Carter G Woodson is? I believe full heartedly each generation has the responsibility of maintaining the level of consciousness attained be previous generations and of advancing the community to even higher level of the development of their own consciousness. What I mean by this statement is we have the responsibility to uplift and up-hold the next generation. Somewhere along the way a generation has slipped and stumbled on their responsibility, and my generation has completely fallen down! I believe our young people today have been lead a stray. I believe the condition in which our young people are living in can only produce more of the massacre of underlining self worth. As easy as it is to point to the main stream media, institutionalize racism that runs fluent in our country, I prefer to call out the real perpetrator, US!  Like Tupac once said, “Proud to be Black then why we act like we don’t love ourselves / don’t look around homie check yourself!”
Don’t get wrong, I know we as a community have many examples of overcoming all short comings that have been place in our path. We have come from Kunta Kinte to our 44th President Barack Obama. However, like Dr. Carter Woodson said in his Book titled “The Mis-Education of The Negro” “History has shown us it does not matter who is in power, those who have not learned how to do think for them-selves and have to depend solely on others, will never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning.”
My generation of 80’s Babies  must inspire our young people to think against the grain. We have to educate our youth how to think for themselves and not go in the same negative direction as their peer group. We must encourage our young people to have a habitual vision of greatness. This is our task, as educators and as elders! We must make sure our young people do not settle for just plain old mediocrity, instead we have to install in our young people how to reach for the stars. We have to change the motto from “Get Rich or Die Trying” to “Be More & Live Life Striving”   We must educate our youth on the difference between material value vs. understanding self worth.
We must create a new renaissance among the Black community. This renaissance must focus on these three things; Self- Love, Self-Respect, & Self-Education! If we continue to let  THEM teach US about ourselves, will we continue to perish! We have stand up by standing together and engulf ourselves in the spirit of the second principle of Kwanzaa Kujichaguila to cure this plague of Nihilism in our community.  The one thing that is for sure, if we don’t come together for this renaissance, we will continue to sing the sad, sad song of how our young people lived so fast and die so young.













Contact Trimaine Davis:
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011 State of the Union Address re-cap


Never have I felt more empowered! All I could think of after the State of the Union Address was .. 'I HAVE TO DO BETTER!'

One thing that I like about President Obama is that he talks to the hearts of the people. He personalized so many of our lives by highlighting stories of people who share the same burdens as us. I can also appreciate his acknowledgement of the troops with his statement ‎'The Americans who've bore the greatest struggles are the Americans who serve our Country'.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear Obama stress the need and importance of our teachers and education when he said ...

'If we want to win the future—if we want innovation to produce jobs in America—then we also have to win the race to educate our kids'

'If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child—become a teacher.'
Although I was excited to hear education being pushed, Obama made a profound statement that left me a little unsettled. To hear Obama say that non-Americans value and take advantage of OUR education more than we do, hit a nerve! I applaude the students that come here from China, India, Africa, Spain and countless other countries to pursue higher education but it saddens me that those of us who were born in this very country could care less about the education being offered. This is extremely true for African Americans as we have high drop-out rates and under perform in almost all categories. The fact that WE aren't taking advantage of an education that came with a price for us sickens me.

The price you ask? The price that was paid for through our ancestors' blood. I could care less if people are tired of hearing this statement, if it sounds clichĂ©.. it needs to be said! REMEMBER, we (blacks) were not supposed to read! We were not supposed to be educated! They were not going to teach us! Our ancestor's had to learn in silence, in the still of night while their slave masters were asleep, fellow slaves had to teach each other how to read. They marched, fought and were killed for the education that is offered in our own country today and some of us wont even give it a second glance. Let's WAKE UP! Show those who came before us that we appreciate their struggle; show them that their work was NOT in vain! I am nearly embarrassed myself, being 25yrs old and not having my degree. I was blessed to be able to start my career 6yrs ago and I have not had to worry about a degree, while some of my friends have their degrees and cant even start their career because they have yet to be employed. After hearing what I heard during the State of the Union Address I am convinced that I must attain the HIGHEST level of education possible! For me, that means having my doctorate and I don't care how long it takes, even if I'm 60+ years old I WILL pursue that! I encourage you all to do the same. After all, what could it hurt?!? If someone comes and robs you of ALL that you own, the one thing they can't take is your knowledge, and that is PRICELESS!

Know this, Obama did not fall into the Presidential position by happenstance, he took deliberate steps of action in his education, personal and professional life to get to where he's at now.

The underlying message
This is where the saying 'two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different' comes in. While many of us watched the State of the Union Address, we all took away different things. I found a re-curring theme and underlying message that may not ring true for you, but rings true for me!

ENTREPRENEURSHIP!


‎'We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer' - Barack Obama


Yes folks, it's time to build our own! Obama mentioned a lot of things about 'innovation'. Innovation can be defined as 'a new idea, a new method or device, something someone creates.' I am constantly telling people there is NEVER a shortage of opportunities when you create your own. Obama said it himself Tueday night, jobs are extremely competitive now because there's a LACK of them! If you want to be employed, employ yourself! If we learn to create for ourselves we can most definitely sustain ourselves. We lose when we become overly dependent. I started my own business because people kept calling on me to do things that I love, but that I also could be getting paid for. But now I see that not only is my business a means of extra income but also something to fall back on in the event that I am ever out of a regular 9-5. I took the little knowledge I had about starting a business, researched it and BAM! I'll be launching at the beginning of Feburary! It's not rocket science, your hobbies, things you're good at, things you love doing, can be turned into a profitable, lucrative business! (and if you need assistance putting that together, contact me. it's a part of the consulting I do)

To sum all of that up; If you want to see jobs, create them! We can do any and everything we want if we expand our vision.
Thank you Obama for renewing America's hope, now it's up to us to put things in motion. I saw a lot of excitement on Facebook and Twitter during the Presidents SOTU, don't let that fire die down! Obama was right when he said 'we do big things', lets continue make that statement live!

If, for whatever reason, you missed Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address, watch it here (includes text)
Barack Obama 2011 State of the Union Address

What did YOU get out of the State of the Union Address? Feel free to share your thoughts :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK, I am a manifestation of your dream!

If you never take anything else away from this blog or who I am, take this...

I believe in many things but there are two that are of utmost importance to me: Serving God and serving my people/my community! I am under the impression that it's never really been about us, it's about something/someone greater than us. Our mindset is always, 'what can people do for me, how is that going to benefit me, what can I get out of it?' It's not about what they can do for me but what I can do for them.

I'm sure plenty of bloggers will cover MLK's "I Have a Dream" and highlight all of his work and that's fine. I think that we all know enough about MLK so I want to spend more time highlighting his method of action and his service to people

One of the things I love so much about MLK is that he tapped into Social change, Economic development, Educational reform, Voting rights, Equality, Women's rights & more. He gave us an example that we don't have to limit ourselves to one ideal, our lives can serve more than one purpose if we expand our minds. MLK was also innovative in the execution of his dream, he was powerful and effective because he fought with his MIND and not his fists/weapons. We too, can be great if we fight with our most powerful, invincible weapon; the mental (our minds)!

MLK shared his dream years ago and some of us are merely draggin on the coattails of it! It is my belief that we should either be carrying MLK's dream, or living out our own. Remember that it's great to dream but if you don't wake up and pursue the dream, it's pointless! LIVE your dream! 'Live' is a verb because it's a word of ACTION which means you have to do something. MLK moved his dream beyond sleep and into action, there's no reason that we can't do the same!
  
Our platform for social change has been enlarged. With the advancement in technology there's no reason why our voices cant be heard. Look at what MLK did with the little tools he had, now imagine if he had social media back then, he would've moved mountains! He may not have had the opportunity to utilize the tools we have but we can continue to live & carry on MLK's dream using our voices + our various platforms. Dont forsake social media!

I attended the MLK All People's Breakfast this morning and the Keynote speaker, Jehmu Greene said something that rang true for everyone, 'these social media tools allow you to become the media you want to see'.

This is my MLK challenge to you: Don't let today be the only day you tweet or post MLK quotes, take the dream further than your social networks! Move beyond your comfort zone, step out from behind your computer screen & cell phone. Take MLK's dream to the streets, let people SEE you LIVING the dream, because merely quoting MLK one time a year is not enough!. 

Injustice, poverty, and racism are just as alive today as it was in the 1950's/60's, MLK did his part! The question now is, what role will you play?

This year and day, January 17, 2011, marks the 25th Anniversary of MLK Day! In 1994 Coretta Scott King wanted more of a spotlight on MLK's service to others, she called for a different approach to MLK Day and she asked to take the focus off of his life and into his work to encourage everyone to follow in her late husbands footsteps and serve others! The outcome; MLK Day was declared as a National Day of Service. Join me as I plegde to participate in the MLK 25 Challenge! In honor of the 25th Anniversary of MLK day, committ yourself to doing 25 acts (for others) throughout 2011!

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "I just want to do God's will"

*For more information about the MLK National Day of service, MLK 25 Challenge and highlights of various service events happening today visit their website Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of service or follow them on twitter @MLKday

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Remembering Haiti, One year later

January 12, 2010 ....

Like most, I will never forget hearing the number 7.0, that was the magnitude of the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. 230,000 were killed, 1.5 million left homeless. I remember going to ALL of the major news sites: MSNBC, NBC CNN, BBC etc sitting at my desk CRYING! My heart ached for the people of Haiti and those that had lost their lives. From the comfort of my office and home I sat and watched as thousands of people were dying and had lost their only comfort. It was then that I prayed that one day God would position me so that when disaters like this strike I can pick up and go! Well that day has come thanks to an organization called Help Us Save Us and its' founder Fred Joseph Jr.

I will be leaving on July 14, 2011 to go to Haiti with Fred and some people from his organization to help rebuild the Country.

I've been blessed to have connnected with Fred, he is quite an amazing man! A week after the earthquake Fred flew down to Haiti to volunteer to help people, he agreed to share his experience with me.



Fred speaking to the people of Haiti

 "I still remember staying up all night, not being able to sleep and my mom telling not to go. God said 'I'll send you Fred, and I'll pay for your expenses, I am not worried about HUSU' that was on January 18, 2010. On January 19th, 2010, I flew to Port-Au-Price, Haiti to give aide to the people. I stood alongside doctors, nurses, and government officials and assisted with amputation, surgeries, and search efforts. You haven't heard a woman cry until you hear a Haitian woman cry! On Jan 20, 2010 the grounds started to move, and everything around me started to fall it was the most scariest thing I've ever been through, it was good vs Evil, forces of life vs. forces of death, and, at this particular moment, Haiti vs. those that sought to exploit her in her vulnerability. In the stillness of the nite, I still ask myself how many people have died since I left the compound–where I served as a translator and volunteer. HUSU is not just Haiti; We will expand to Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Sierra Leone, Angola, and more."


I could pull hundreds of pictures off the internet of Haiti's aftermath, but Fred was gracious enough to share his personal photos from his trip a week after the earthquake.

Family in disbelief
                                                                  

The Trauma Center





Bed time in Haiti
 


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The hospital was full so they moved patients outside
 


Fred with a patient that had an amputation w/o anesthesia

Fred, you are a beacon of light in the midst of darkness! Thank you for your willingness to want to help people in need, your story brought tears to my eyes and has moved me to step out beyond my comfort zone and do more for others! May God bless you and your organization as you all continue to bless others, see you in July!


This post serves as a reminder of what happened in Haiti on January 12, 2010, I know that I will NEVER forget and I hope that you don't either. When you complain about how cold you are while you're driving in your car or sitting in your house, when the hardest questions in life are deciding what to eat for lunch, when you have trouble picking out your outfit for the night or complain about how much you hate life, remember the people in Haiti. There are some that are STILL sleeping outside today! If you are alive, have a roof over your head, food to eat, believe me when I say you are living in luxury! Let's start living a life of gratitude, be thankful for everything!


Help Us Save Us is a non-profit organization that maintains with the help of caring individuals like you! If you'd like to get involved with Help Us Save Us you can contact Fred Joseph Jr at Fred.Joseph@helpussaveus.org and you can follow him on twitter Fred's Twitter as well as the organization Help Us Save Us on twitter

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2011 Reading Challenge

Let's start this new year off with a challenge, an exeptional one might I add!

I follow an organization on twitter called 'Black Positive Image' and they thought it would be a great idea to start 2011 off with a reading challenge, when I heard about the challenge I just had to jump on board! We are using the site Shelfari to keep track of the books we read. This site is awesome, like an online bookshelf but for everyone to see. You can post books you've read in the past and books you plan to read as well as make recommendations and provide book reviews. This site is also a good tool if you plan on starting a book club as you can create 'groups'.



The goal is to read 100 books in a year. Now granted thats a pretty hefty goal considering that we only have 52 weeks in a year but even if you read 50, I think thats commendable! I have at least 20 books lined up and that's just from going through my house and pulling books that I always said I'd read but never got around to it, off the shelves. If you don't have any books go to your local library and check out some books or order some used ones online so that you don't have to spend much money.

If you plan to join be sure to create a page on shelfari which is free! Make sure you add me on there --> Kim's Shelfari page

In the event that you don't know where to start with the reading challenge, I figured I'd take this time to highlight and recommend a book that changed my life in 2010

I could talk for days about this book but I'd rather recommend it and let you all tell me how you liked it!

Now for the good stuff...

I'm finally getting around to doing something I've wanted to do for a couple of years which is... reading the Bible in its entirety! I know it's only the 4th day since I've been doing this but I have found it so much easier to read it with this guideline --> Read the Bible in a Year. The beauty of this is that you can choose which translation you want to read (whichever will better help you understand it) and you can read it anywhere that you have access to the internet, even at work! It's not to late to start now and catch up!

HAPPY READING!


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