Monday, May 29, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday!



"My Misplaced But"

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm … Joel 2:25 (KJV)

The last days of 2012, I made the difficult decision to take my life back and begin a personal journey of ‘restoration.’ I won’t pretend that I am so deep (nor you so ignorant) and attempt to tell you that it has been an easy journey! No – mine has not been “a crystal stair!” There have definitely been some splinters in my planks! Those splinters and uneven places made me avoid this task. I didn’t want to appear angry or bitter.

At the beginning of 2013, I had just walked away from an unhealthy 23-year relationship. And I found myself alone with my Self … and scared. I was scared because I wasn't sure what I would encounter in the near (or distant) future. I mean, I knew how to be a mom! I juggled baseball, boy scouts, and concerts! I knew how to be a wife - I could bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never let him forget that he was ‘da man!’

So, when I found myself alone with me, I was … a little intimidated. I mean – 23 (25 really) years is a long time to be focusing on … everyone else. Everything was changing…no - I mean E-V-E-R-Y-thing and I was scared. You see, I hadn’t learned “the secret of ‘the but’.”

I even had to re-learn how to pray. One of my personal prayers is very simple. It goes like this “YOU Promised….” When things have overwhelmed me (as they sometimes have) and I have no more strength or tears, I have whispered to ABBA FATHER that “…YOU promised…I believe it ... because YOU promised…I'm looking forward to it ...because YOU promised...” The first time I said it, HE pulled women and men out of my memory and reminded me that if HE did it for them, HE will do it for me!” One day, I was in conversation with HIM and I said it again “… FATHER, YOU promised …” That day, HE reminded me of Jairus’ petition to JESUS to heal his daughter. And HE blessed them, and baby girl was made whole because of papa’s faith. But, on the way to Mr. Jairus’ house, there was this lady… who had ‘an issue’ …BUT when she touched Jesus' hem, she was made whole, too!

I love that story because I had an issue … a few issues ….okay – a whole rack of issues! BUT - HE promised! And Hallelujah – HIS promises are Yea and Amen.

I have lost …. things … people that were soo important to me … even a job … BUT – the Psalmist did say, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread…” And I believe that! It is so!

One morning, in 2013, after I had left my home, I was escorting my sons to school and I was feeling overwhelmed …and I heard this song. I was told that it came out in 2011 but I had NEVER heard it before February 2013. It was JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise singing, “After This!” They said, "There will be Glory - After This! There will be a Praise - After This!" … I believe that! Because there is a great cloud of witnesses that I can’t ignore - So shout out for Sarah and Haggar and Ruth and Naomi and Elizabeth and Mary and Dorcas and Phoebe….and ‘em!! And whootie-whooo for Abraham and Jacob and Joseph and David and Zechariah and Joseph too … and ‘em!! And I get excited when I mention them because everything that FATHER Promised them, are Our Promises, too!!!

Oh! Right! I didn’t tell you “the Secret of ‘the but’” … I was told that the word ‘but’ negates everything that was said before it in a sentence and if placed properly, BUT can radically change the meaning of the phrase that was spoken or written before it!

So – Yes - there have been splinters in my life…BUT…! Yes –there have been bare places on my staircases … BUT …! Yesss there has definitely been some … stuff … BUT … one day, it was time to erase those penciled-in-periods the enemy tried to put on my life story, insert a comma and the phrase "the enemy may shoot his best shot … BUT GOD! My Destiny and my Dreams are written in indelible with the MASTER’s Pen!! Oh- and by the way – I don’t look nothin’ like what I’ve been through!!! AMEN - it is so!!!!"


Val Crawford

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Noelle



NOELLE LANDIS

I remember when I was younger, my career, social and family obligations were my first priority. This left me tired, overwhelmed and always out of energy but I had no choice, or so I thought.

I made some changes, moved from Philly to Charlotte and began making small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

I started with my nutrition, then my workouts, and finally, and most importantly, my work. Instead of just "having a job," I chose to do what I'm totally passionate about. I chose ME and a career path that ignites me ALL DAY, every day. Health & Fitness.

I took ACTION and I became accountable. With my support, you'll see how easy this can be.

Helping others build a life based on health and fitness, combined with great friends, open communication (with yourself and others) and choosing LOVE over fear in all areas of my life, has given me the chance to make an impact AND a life for myself.


If you've been wanting a healthier lifestyle without all the struggles, let's talk. Email me at the link below, or call me at (856) 340-0304 and I'll give you a free session to see if we're a good fit. Then YOU can enjoy better health and a lot less stress
.






*All social media links are on my site. 
Here is my website to find out more and connect with me: https://noelle.carrd.co




Saturday, May 27, 2017

Leave well enough alone!

Sitting outside on the back "enclosed" porch with Mom this morning, her dog saw something and was standing at full attention. Mom looked and showed me a lizard on the chair below. Her dog began trying to get to the lizard through the screen so I thought I'd help him out and let him go get the ugly creature!

I opened the door, her dog ran to the chair but didn't see the lizard above him. I tried getting him to see the lizard by going outside. I was just about to pick him up, for him to get a better view when the lizard moved and the dog saw him. I bolted toward the door because now the lizard was in panic mode and I didn't want any parts of him. I ran back inside the protection of the "enclosed" porch.

Mom and I watched as her dog chased the lizard who was doing his best to hide and get away from his predator. I thought it was funny and I wanted the dog to be successful in his catch. Go Pewter, get that lizard!!!!

Shortly after turning away from watching him, Mom screams at me and tells me that the damn lizard is on the chair I'm sitting in! My feet left the floor and I was in instant freak out mode! I was screaming but not loud, my hands in the air - I was a lost cause and Mom was scared so she wasn't much help to me! LOL  I was like - where is it? I was afraid to move/put my feet down; I'd seen how fast that damn lizard was and I figured when she told me he was on the leg of the chair - he'd be in the seat next to me in seconds and I was sitting in the middle of the two cushions! I was a goner!

I was freaking out so bad, asking her what I could do, where it was... I wanted off that chair - yesterday!  Mom tells me that I can run so I bolted toward her bedroom door for us to both run inside and the damn door was locked! Sh*t!  I didn't know where that freakin' lizard was until Mom told me we could get in the other door. She's freakin' out, I'm still freakin' out (I think I freaked her out more than she would've been).

We both run inside and I'm asking her how that damn lizard got in there (and it was QUICK) - appearing out of nowhere. She said he scooted under the door. Mom called for me to get her some "Awesome" cleaning spray and the broom. My Mom is my source of strength!!! She's my ROCK! She went outside while I stood back and watched from the safety of the house.  She sprayed him several times and that slowed him down. She then whacked him and tried scooting him out the door - to which she was successful after several attempts! Whew! That was an experience! My heart was beating soooo fast for the longest time!  My laptop was out there because I was going to do some work - well that didn't happen. LOL There was no way I was going back out there to sit and relax!

Here's the moral of my story - God created that freakin' lizard and it was not bothering anyone when it was on the outside of the "enclosed" porch. I should've never let Mom's dog out to get it including helping the dog to "get it"! LOL  That damn lizard wind up "getting me" in the end.  Scared the crap out of me! Leave God's creatures alone if they're not bothering you!

God bless. Cindy*

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Join me in doing God's will...

I knew this journey wouldn't be easy. Remember, I ran from the Father for years. Accepting my role, I knew it would come with long hours and dedication. I also knew I wouldn't walk it alone. I knew that the Father would be there to not only guide me but comfort me. I knew that He'd provide me with direction and protection.

You see, when you're working for the Lord, it comes with challenges. The enemy will always try to attack you - from all directions. The devil will come to you in all forms. He'll use people you think has your back. When working for the Lord - discernment is a crucial part of your armor. One cannot successfully do the job without it. There are tools needed that only the Father can provide.

Will you become overwhelmed at times? Maybe. Will you question your ability to succeed in your mission to spread the gospel? Maybe. You may come up against many, even those closest to you. You may lose family and friends. You may feel like you're traveling alone but let tell you - you are NOT alone. Not only am I traveling with you as a member of God's team but God is "ALWAYS" with you. He will never leave or forsake you.

If you're doing the work for the Lord - I, Cindy Reed, am your friend. I want to travel with you. I want to spread the gospel as Jesus has directed our steps to do - together. Like you, I too want to connect with other like-minded individuals with the same goals.

I did not get where I am today, overnight. This has been a progressive journey, one I'm proud of. I am a work in progress as every step I take in the name of the Father has to represent Him in a way that He will be pleased. I don't have all the answers, I don't even know my next steps. I remain faithfully in prayer and humbly "listen" when HE speaks to me.

Am I ready to reach my destination and fully know what the Father has in store for my life? Heck yeah! But I've learned that I must continue growing and I'm not ready yet. God is still molding me. He doesn't pour everything He "needs" me to have, all at once but He feeds me what He "wants" me to have daily. Yeah, I have patience but I'm also filled with excitement! I wanna know where God is taking me.

I've invited you before and am inviting you again - take this journey with me. Bring your friends along. Join me in my quest to do God's will, His way. Help me to encourage others. Help me to bring lost souls to Christ. Help me spread the gospel. Travel with me and share the good news that Jesus is preparing His return.

I don't know about you, I can only speak for myself and what I know of Cindy. I do know that Jesus is preparing His return. I know that we are living in the end of days. I know that God wants us to come together in brotherly love and I know He wants us to armor up! Will you armor up and join me today? Will you step out on faith and put what others may think about you back on them?

Let the friend's who want to walk - walk. If they walk - they were never your true friends in the first place. Let the naysayers and the gossiper's gossip! Give them something to gossip about! You are a child of the "Most High" and are out there sharing the love of God.

Let them see you "shine"! It's not a bad thing. If I don't stand for Christ, I'll wind up standing for anything and I just can't let that happen. Join me today in doing what you know is right in your heart to do. Armor up today! Put on your shield. God is waiting.... next in line, step up.

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday!




MELISSA

Melissa Holmes is a woman who survived domestic violence as a result of being in abusive relationships twice in her life. After experiencing a close call with death during an encounter with her abuser (while in the second abusive relationship), Melissa, being grateful that her life was spared, chose to use her experiences to not only bring healing to herself but also to others.

Melissa, rather than hide in a state of melancholy, sink into an abyss of negativity by allowing herself and/or others to hold her hostage to her abusive past, chose to grab hold of hope for a better tomorrow. She realized that her life’s mission wasn’t just about her and for her, instead it was for others who would need to hear her life’s experience as a testament of how to overcome the snare and stronghold of domestic violence. Thus, Melissa, who was once a victim of domestic violence is now operating as a Victor as she advocates by creating a platform for other victims of domestic abuse and survivors of domestic violence to be heard.

It's been six years since she survived her last relationship that almost claimed her life. Who would have thought that after being ‘choked within seconds of dying’ that her Facebook group in 2010 called: ‘Love Shouldn't Hurt NY Inc.,’ would evolve into a non-profit organization for domestic violence survivors and victims? The same strength and courage which enabled Melissa to leave her domestic violence situation were the same feelings that birthed her passion for creating a safe forum for others who needed help to leave their abusive situation(s); or, who just needed comfort in knowing that they were not alone. 


Since 2010 she has been strongly campaigning against domestic violence by paying it forward in the community to try to assist with building healthy relationships with those who were victims of domestic abuse, survivors of domestic violence and their families. Melissa continues to seize opportunities to create platforms to share her knowledge of domestic violence and abuse by welcoming interviews through the use of various vehicles of communication such as in-person interviews, on television, magazines, radio, social media as well as through motivational speaking. She continues to encourage and inspire victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse who feel misunderstood or are afraid to speak out. She guides them in a way that makes them understand that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. That it is not their fault. That there is nothing they did or said to cause someone to abuse them.

Melissa’s advocacy efforts have opened doors for many opportunities. She recently launched "From Pain to Purpose, My New Chapter” - a domestic violence seminar/workshop Oct. 24th, 2015 which expanded to a tour which included, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Maryland to name a few.

Melissa’s latest project is called ‘Invisible Scars of Domestic Violence’ - a documentary that deeply explores domestic violence – an evil which plagues many homes. This documentary will highlight each person and their interview in segments and will be filmed in New York. This documentary goes beneath the surface of the lives of six (6) women of diverse backgrounds, who suffered domestic abuse within the walls of SILENCE. This documentary explores the cries for help that ring aloud in so many homes yet are not always heard. It also provides first-hand accounts which will enable us to see through the lenses of the victims and survivors, while also visiting the deeply ingrained beliefs and misconceptions of society regarding domestic violence, while continually raising awareness and allowing others to heal as they learn the importance of Loving Thyself First.

For you are a true testament of how the Lord will turn tragedy into triumph, a test into a testimony, and upgrade us from being a victim to a Victor. Melissa affirms, “I'm NO longer a victim, I'm a VICTORY! Anyone can leave an abusive relationship, it takes courage and strength; help is available.”

If you would like to contact Melissa to book her for an interview or a speaking engagement, you can reach her via email at melissaholmes67.mh@gmail.com or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/loveshouldnthurtdomesticviolence/. Check out Melissa Holmes YouTube video: 'From Pain to Purpose/ My New Chapter- Featuring Melissa Holmes- CEO/ Founder of Love Shouldn't Hurt.'

Remember if you're not part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. If you want to see a change, then be an agent of change.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Charmaine


CHARMAINE INGRAM

Charmaine's Calling

It's very hard for me to make this a short summary when I find myself tracing back through the pages of my life and evolution. 

For the sake of not having website visitors sit and read an all-out novel, I'll do my best to relate my life experiences to my calling as easy and short as possible. 

I was born Charmaine Ingram; daughter of Ernestine Tucker and Horaces Ingram. I have two brothers, one sister, and yes, I’m the baby girl of the family. I was raised in North Philadelphia (Wendell Street 6th and Allegheny Ave.) with my mother, father, and my two brothers until my mother moved us up to Magnolia street and Hanes street in the Germantown area. 

I went to private school at Triumph Baptist Church, from kindergarten to 7th grade. My home church was Second Mennonite located on the 2100 block of Indiana Street, so between Second Mennonite and my private school, I had to learn the meaning of God’s love and accept individuals for who they are because no one is "perfect".

After leaving private school and entering into the public school district, I felt at the time, it was not the best place to be, especially because the environment was so different from private school. I will definitely be honest and say I didn’t do so well! I started cutting school and not getting along with my peers. I was just really unhappy and so ready to go wherever the road took me. God opened a door for my mother to buy a home instead of renting, which led us back into North Philadelphia. At this point, I was turning 13 and I already thought that I knew it all!

I’m back down North Philadelphia again, experiencing how it looked and felt different to me. My peers have different rules than my house and I was still in the mindset of wanting to help others and worrying whether or not I would be accepted due to my different thinking. That put me in the spotlight of my peers with them thinking it’s ok to try me because I really didn’t want any trouble. I became the target of my peers teasing me and calling me out. I became angry at my mom, thinking to myself “why do we seem so different from others?” or “why do my peers think I’m a sell-out?” I was only a teenager, how could I be a sell-out? My mother tried to explain to me that everyone tends to raise their children differently. Of course, I was not trying to hear that; all I knew was my life seemed a mess and no one liked me. I didn’t have any friends so I began to question why I wanted to keep helping others when no one was helping me.

I was still going to church, but became so angry! At that point, I really didn’t care about what happened. Nevertheless, I was taught to speak with love and kindness, although it was not working. After a period of time, I started to shut that side of my emotions off that cared about others and loving each other. I was in this whatever mode. Eventually, this did not turn out good for me. I was getting in trouble in school, ended up getting sent to a disciplinary school, had a child at a young age, all because I wanted to be defiant and not listen anymore. For years I still wanted to walk in my defiance, hating that I could not share with the world that I really enjoyed helping others and just being there for individuals in need. 

Time passed on and now I’m grown - 18. I realized that years had passed and my foolishness caused me not to complete the necessary classes to receive enough credits for my high school diploma. I had to go back to school, work, and take care of my children. Being defiant doesn’t get you anywhere! It delays your dreams and goals for a moment. Don’t quit when things get hard!

I bought my first house at the age of 21 with the help of my mother. I started telling myself “now everything will be just about me and my children.” I finally received my high school diploma, went to a secondary college so I could continue my education, and worked at the Internal Revenue Service. My studies were Business and Accounting. Unfortunately, I was still running from God and his plan. I was trying to understand why God was calling me to help others when I needed help.

I went through many different trials and tribulations from one minute to the next, then I said, “Maybe I need to start helping others, then my trials and tribulations will go away.”

Obeying God I started to help people close to me and even some I really didn’t know. Guess what, I was hurt and disappointed every time! It was like the more I thought I was helping, the more people would make it seem like something was wrong with me or trying to destroy my character. I just could not understand so I went back into my shell of not really helping people, or not really being around people. I realized after awhile that I needed to go back to my roots God’s House, but I couldn’t! The only thing I could do was take one step at a time by starting to pray again, thanking God for everything he has done and thanking God for my children and mother. 

I started praying one day asking God to help me and show me the way back to some type of a peaceful place. I wanted God to let me know what I needed to do so I could change my life and go back to the place where I was supposed to be, putting His word first. 

Trusting in God, continuing to keep my faith, and letting Him take care of all my concerns, no more than a month went by when we had a terrible fire at my house. The night before the fire for some reason, I took my children's birth certificates, Social Security cards, and anything that was in my must have file and I placed it in my car unconsciously. My mom asked me why I was putting these important documents in my car? To be honest, I had no idea and I could not understand it was not my intention to do so. I had them in my hand and I decided to walk to the car with intentions to get something else and left them there. A few hours later, my house was on fire; everyone was out safe and sound. More than 50% of my house was destroyed. I realized then that God had to remove everything that I had placed before Him. The reason why I can say that is because I would make sure my white rugs and my imported furniture was spotless, my children had to be in name brand clothing; more than I would pray and Thank God for another day.

The fire and other situations took me through some more trials and tribulations. My children and I had to move back into my mom's home. I found myself asking God - "Didn’t I just pray and ask you for help? Show me the way back to you?" God answered me. His reply was - “You have another chance to do what I have called you to do!” God’s Grace and Mercy had filled my heart and soul. I instantly felt so thankful. I felt like God had given me a new start by saving my family. I went back to church, became involved with the activities in the church, started volunteering at my children’s school, and volunteering as a youth leader at Crossroads Community Center.

God was still telling me that He wanted me to help other women in hardship (really Heavenly Father?). I prayed to God and said “Why me? I just lost everything!” Time went on, it’s now my second year volunteering at my children's school and I started reaching out to other parents. I just wanted to see if I heard the message correctly from God. Women supporting Women through ministry! God had started to soften my heart; he was allowing me to have more compassion than usual and working on my attitude while placing other women of God in my life to show me and teach me the meaning of being a virtuous woman.

I decided to sit down and ask myself how I can help others when I have made so many mistakes in my life. Can I empower other women, children, and men? How can I touch others in a positive way? How can I share the love that God has shared with me, with others? How can I help low-income families? How can I build with my community? How can I help educate my community on various levels? How can I help the troubled youth?” I had all of these things running through my head. Can a woman from 6th and Marshall really help others? After questioning myself for months and months, I had to decide what I wanted to do and if I was going to do. Would I step out on Faith?

My main concerns and thoughts were fighting for my sisters and brothers that couldn’t fight for themselves, plus building and supporting my community. What can I do to help us as a whole? What can I do to help the youth maintain a positive outlook on life? How can I help my sisters of the community work together and not against one another?

Solution…NON-PROFIT

I started researching, reading, and writing down my ideas. Trying to find lawyers that would help me. God has a plan – be sure of that! There it was a knock at the door one day, it was four different women who all came to sit and chat with me. None of them knew each other and the visit was not planned by me. I introduced everyone and told them what I wanted to do. Let’s just say the gathering turned into a brainstorming congregation (great idea's going so we could help some people).

The Great Mrs. Fortune Foundation was in the makings. I found a wonderful lawyer that God placed in my path. God gave me confidence and that was what I needed to sit down and write the whole layout for the nonprofit. The Great Mrs. Fortune Foundation was Incorporated February 14th, 2011.

I would like to say thank you to those who believed in me from the beginning and continued to encourage me through the continuing process of building God’s kingdom here on Earth. My mother - Ernestine Tucker, who showed me the meaning of accepting people for who they are because no one is perfect. Love you mom forever.

My friend - Jabrina Slaughter, for brainstorming for all those hours with me; showing me how amazing it would be to have a website for the foundation. Thank you and I love y0u, my Sister. 

Sechita Elliot. Thank you for being our recording secretary; for brainstorming and gathering information, also for being the volunteer secretary for the board at the time. Many blessings to you and your family. 

My little sister - Christine Coleman. I love you so much for just wanting to help any way you could. For being involved, bringing your positive energy, your ideas, and not looking for any recognition in return.

Mrs. Ruth Sew-ell. Thank you for seeing the best in me when no one else could see it! You always smiled and showed me that you cared about me. I can’t explain to you how that gave me hope that everything would be okay one day. Thank you for supporting the foundation. Love you plenty.

Debra Ingalls, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for all the long hours we sat up making sure we were handling things correctly. Thank you for being the COO and doing a Great Job! Your love and support got me through and you didn’t even know it. Hugs, kisses, and love always. 

To my beautiful, wonderful, inspirational, adorable, and amazing children - Brianna, Tianna, Kato, and Hyneef - you continue to give me a reason to wake up and prosper. I pray for the best in all you choose to aspire to become. Mommy loves you!

Thank you to my Technical Support Engineer and Web Designer - Mr. Jackie Perez Jr., for working on our website day and night; along with being our proofreader and Community Involvement Officer. Many blessing as my God continues to open the doors to your dreams.

There are many individuals that I want to reach out and give the same appreciation but there are too many to name. I close by saying, thank you and God bless you!

Sincerely, 

Charmaine Ingram, with Faith, Love, Peace, Joy 

The Great Mrs. Fortune Foundation was incorporated in 2/14/2011. Our main focus is Helping Defeat Hunger and Poverty in the low-income community while helping individuals gain knowledge and work ethics through our internship program. TGMFF wants to be the bridge for our community members to understand and know that there are people out here that care about their well-being with no strings attached. We want our community, city, state, nationwide to understand that unity is the only way through hardship. 

OUR MISSION 
To demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ, along with being a positive and uplifting influence on the lives of all people. Saving the world one person at a time.

OUR VISION
To inspire and to become inspired. To transform, motivate and encourage men, women, and children of all ages in our communities. To Impact the communities through education, job training, and teamwork, along with helping defeat hunger and poverty. Empowering and preparing others for a successful life, teaching that self-sufficiency, self-motivation, self-awareness, self-respect, and respect for others, anyone can rise above their hardship.

TGMFF_ORG@ICLOUD.COM
1800-303-3221 
TGMFF.ORG 
Mailing Address 
93 Old York Road STE 1 #536
Jenkintown, Pa 191046



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday!



ALEIGHA

At age 33, the Lord showed me that life was transitioning and beginning again for me. He told me to go to the doctor to get a colonoscopy. I consulted my doctor and she compassionately said, "We don't do that until your age 50." I replied, "My mom didn't live to see age 50, she passed away from cancer at 42." She responded, "Oh, it's a family history. I'll have to send you to the gastroenterologist for this procedure." I thanked her and made the call to set up the appointment.

I went to the appointment. He performed the checkup and scheduled the colonoscopy. How many of you know that's it's one thing to hear God say to go get checked and it's another story when they find something? Well, they did the procedure and found 2 polyps. They awakened me from sedation and communicated this info to me. One was pre-malignant and the other was benign! Pre-malignant means precancerous!

How many of you know when God says go, you better go! I was able to get the diagnosis, they lanced the polyps, and everything was finished right then and there! It was finished because Jesus did that for me. I had no chemo, no radiation, no cancer! I have been walking in my liberty and healing ever since that day (9 years ago).

We serve an amazing God! All you have to do is be obedient, go when He says go, and move when He says move!


Aleigha Butler
Author/Motivator/Internet Radio Host

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Fade to Read





FADE TO READ



Finding purpose through their pain is Samantha Boyd and Shiree Turner Fowler’s reason for beginning their program FadetoRead. In January 2012, Samantha Boyd’s brother was sentenced to forty years in prison and in December 2015, Shiree Fowler’s brother was shot and killed. Boyd and Fowler decided to take their pain and beautifully transform into a program that would give the scholars in their community access to the world of reading. 

These two teachers of kindergarten and fifth-grade boys understand that our scholars who are not reading, proficiently, by the third grade have difficulty achieving their ultimate potential. With this understanding, their ultimate goal is to provide their scholars with a literacy rich educational experience that will allow our scholars to reach their fullest potential and one that will provide them with an education that will, hopefully, prevent them from sharing the fates of their beloved brothers.

Fade to Read is a program that places books in barbershops. The name, Fade to Read, is based on the popular fade haircut. A fade is the perfect blending of hair where there are no definitive lines. This is similar to the mission of Fade to Read. Boyd and Fowler want to instill a love of reading within young people by perfectly blending who they are as readers into who they are as individuals. They believe that there should be no definitive lines between their self-identities and their reading identities. Both of these identities should fade into one another. However, Boyd and Fowler are not only trying to positively impact the literacy realities of the young male scholars in SC. They also have a program called Curl Up With a Book. This program places books inside of SC beauty salons.

Boyd and Fowler believe that when our scholars see themselves in the books they read, they can see who they can become. Because of this firm belief, the books that are placed in the barbershops and beauty shops are not the popular children’s books. The books that the scholars access in the shops are ones that include characters of color and/or written by authors of color.

The beauty of this program is the community that has been established not just locally, but nationally. The majority of the books that have been placed in the shops have been donated by authors and community members. The community also came together and fully funded two GoFundMe campaigns. Because of this establishment of community, Boyd and Fowler have been able to place book boxes in shops in North Carolina and Washington State. They like it known that FadetoRead and Curl Up With a Book are not for profit or non-profit; these programs are for community profit.






                           

Phone number: 864-404-1098
Email: Fade2read@gmail.com

Monday, May 1, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday!


SONDRA

As I look back over my life, I can see growth in my Christian walk. As a newbie, I was open to learning all I could about Jesus but reluctant to fully give up the wonders of the world. 

God kept me, blessed me and allowed me the time to come to the realization that I was not any happier with the world than I would be without it. How much time would I lose waiting to make the decision to fully commit my life to Him? 

My God is patient (one of the Fruits of the Spirit) and still showered me with blessings. 

I am grateful for God's understanding, His blessings, and most of all, His love. I read somewhere to never regret something that gave you pleasure; and I'll say that if I didn't have certain things to make comparisons, I wouldn't know how much more wonderful my Christ filled life is.