Friday, September 18, 2015

Hi World,

I did it! I cycled over 7 miles as a participant in 'Cycle Around the Globe' Thursday, September 10th. It was a challenge created by the International Association for Suicide Prevention to collectively cycle the circumference of the globe, 40,075 km or 24,900 miles, and to have participants cycling on every continent. I represented for the United States by way of Brooklyn!-Check the 11th name down in pic below or click here.

We will break the silence, speak up and encourage our neighbors, family and friends to acquire mental health visits and let them know why we want to see them tomorrow! The hashtag #seeyoutomorrow was the campaign from To Write Love On Her Arms this year. I fell in love with this awesome, creative 'non-profit movement' a couple years ago. -They were advertising an event in NY which was listed on
(P.S. City Limits has a Citizens Toolkit and UrbaNerd section you gotta check out!)

TWLOHA is 'dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.' - TWLOHA

The Scudder Intervention Services Foundation has a series of events beyond the five boroughs of NYC regarding suicide awareness and prevention all this month! Click on their name for more information.

I pray that you were inspired by today's post. Share it with someone that may be blessed by the resources within. Research opportunities in your area or partner with an organization to create them and be blessed!-Peace.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Serve Well and Never Forget!

Today we salute the first responders, volunteers, loved ones and survivors of 9/11 attacks.

Sometimes tradegies help us to see our humanity or lack thereof. We see how we made a difference and how we can improve in the future. We appreciate those who risk their lives for us each day, those that go above and beyond their call of duty. Volunteers from all walks of life that lend a helping hand, organizations that raise funds for progress and political decisions which aid in crisis.

Whether your work is in Emergency Management, International Aid, Government, Faith-Based, Local or Community Development, you are positioned to make a difference during times of crisis. You are in a position to specifically make an impact to the population and entities you serve. Never Forget that! -Do it well. Do it for God and your country. Do it for your community, family and yourself.

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

See you In September!

Hello World, Brooklyn! There is someone here from everywhere. Most people anywhere know somebody in Brooklyn. Last Saturday while setting up for S.M.I.L.E. (P.S. -Thanks so much to everyone that came out to the event. It was amazing!) I met new friends pictured below, from the Czech Republic, in Saratoga Park. I can't wait to revisit Prague, eat some cheese and sausage, see castles, etc. :) -

Now with it being September, I'll list some things I'm doing in my neighborhood this month that you can be inspired to do in your part of the world. Be sure to click on all highlighted text in this post!

Mini me modeling for little ones.- Ready for the road!

Sneak Peak! The West Indian Day Carnival Association's 48th Annual Carnival Festivities begin this week. My little one was asked to be a model and is scheduled to participate in the Kiddie Carnival this Saturday, September 5th. The parade begins at 9am on Kingston Ave and Saint Johns Place and ends 3pm at the Brooklyn Museum. Fun fact: In a 2013 interview with Trinidad Urban radio station Slam 100.5 FM before his concert on Thursday, 7 February 2013, Garlin said the song "Differentology" /Ready for the Road was a blessing from God that was a collaborative effort with the songs producer Keron "Sheriff" Thompson. Bouncing creative ideas off one another.-Wikipedia

There is a new organization working in Crown Heights. The first co-hort of Repair the World Fellows are headquarted at 808 Nostrand Avenue. A meet and greet is scheduled for September 9th at 8pm. Learn more about the organization and Click here for ways you can volunteer during high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (September 13- 23, 2015.)

I was blessed to learn of the organization when I was invited for a Shabbat dinner celebrating national Service this past year. It was such an unexpected opportunity. I really appreciated the experience. So maybe I'll see ya then! Click here to register. -Tell them Melanie invited you :)

Yours truly will be coordinating Cycling for Life in BK! Join me in distributing information and spreading hope.- From Utica Ave Train Station, cycling over to Nostrand Avenue station, then Franklin Avenue, ending with a cycle around prospect park for a total of about 6 miles in all. Bike with me to impact a life! Click Here! I'm also raising funds for the International Association of Suicide Prevention and the great work they do in the world. I appreciate your generosity. Click here to support with $6 or more for the 6 miles!

The challenge is to collectively cycle the circumference of the globe, 40,075 km or 24,900 miles, and to have participants cycling on every continent. This activity is all about the global community spreading awareness of the importance of suicide prevention. This year's theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives, and brings to awareness that by reaching out help can be found. -The International Association of Suicide Prevention.

September 10th is also a Voting Day in NYC!- Click here to get more information about who's running and where to vote . NYC Votes is a great resource for that information. You can find the correct number of your Election/Assembly District, Judicial District, Congressional District, Senatorial District, Council District, Municipal Court District and Assembly District numbers by clicking here.

Enjoying the beautiful colors and beats of the Caribbean, meeting new neighbors, cycling to encourage hope and voting for your choice of public servants are all in your hands. -You just have to make it happen. Be Blessed. See ya soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

So Much Inspiration, Love and Empowerment!

It's Wednesday! SMILE :)

I want to invite you to join me on Saturday, August 29th 1:00-7:00pm as I host the 3rd Annual S.M.I.L.E. event at Saratoga Park in Brooklyn. (S.M.I.L.E.) is an acronym for So Much Inspiration, Love and Empowerment.

It’s about connectivity; People partnering with the past, present, and future of our evolving communities,’ says S.M.I.L.E. Visionary, CEO/Sr. Pastor Michael T. Lewis of Rapha Evangelistic Worship Center, Inc.

The last Saturday of August is set for various musicians, artists, educators, city agencies and public elected officials to be in attendance. Some guests include recent American Idol Contestant Quaasim Middleton, Hampton University graduate and artist, Aliya Pierre, Curtis Flow of Curtis Flow Music, NYC Emergency Mangement, Poet Joshua Bennett, Pastor Jamel Lewis of Can't be Stopped Movement and so much more!

Bring the family early with your lawn chairs and picnic blankets. Facepainting, food and fun starts at 1:00pm with performances by youth during the Kids Are People Too segment.

The S.M.I.L.E. Team and I hope to see you for an afternoon filled with So Much Inspiration, Love and Empowerment. P.S. If your organization would like to represent as well email and call 347-787-1111. Together the beloved community achieves more! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Volunteering Is like riding a bike!

Happy Thursday!

Do you remember when you first learned to ride a bike? For me it was the concerete sidewalk outside my apartment building. Training wheels definitely helped with the confidence though I recall the excitement of taking them off! Block parties were always cool cause you had the whole street to enjoy riding your bike. -The earlier the better before all the cool festivities!-FYI: Block parties on Putnum between Lewis and Stuyvesant were awesome in Brooklyn back in the day. :)

If you never learned how to ride then it's time to learn and if you know how to ride, then maybe you can teach someone! Today New York has CitiBike. Who would've thought we'd be able to keep bikes anywhere overnight? In addition to the convenience of riding and returning to different locations around the city. I hadn't rode a bike in years but my daughters convinced me to rent one this year. It was a comfortable ride that bought a smile to my face. I look forward to this experience again.

Adult beginners at the starting line up

So as an adult were can one go to learn without feeling uncomfortable? What organization should you turn to when there's so much on the world wide web? Well, I recommend Bike New York as a great place to start!

With a fellow volunteer that just moved to NYC from California. (Great idea to volunteer when you move to a new place!)

One of the ways I was able to complete over 1700 hours of service in AmeriCorps was to sign up for off-site service with one of our NYC Civic Corps partners via NYC Service. I chose New York Cares. I had the opportunity of attending the inaugural Volunteer Impact Program (VIP) in May 2014 so I had a little history with the organization. I had to attend a mandatory orientation which was led by an awesome volunteer. He'd been with NY Cares since early days, so he aligned the history of the org with his experience. -After completing orientation I was able to sign up for a voluntary opportunity on the date and borough of my choice. #GoodforNYC

I signed up to volunteer with Bike NY and had the opportunity to teach adults how to ride a bike. This particular location was in Brooklyn around the corner from George Gershwin Jr. H.S. in Linden Park. I got down and dirty not just showing how to balance and get started but taking pedals off, adjusting seats and fitting helmets. I always just rode the bikes I got on, so this was a good hands-on volunteer experience for me. -Not to mention the first young lady I worked with during the day asked me to place her foot petals on and she was off! She almost brought tears to my eyes. Beginners blessings! I will definently volunteer with Bike New York again.

Yours truly with a Bronx High School scholar enjoying learning how to ride! -She had it by this point. See that smile.

She rode for the first time!

Be sure to click the links within todays post for a new opportunity today. Tell them Melanie sent ya! :) Feel free to share your biking experiences below. Ride On!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Night Out With Law Enforcement

Hello World!

Yours truly and members of Transit Police District 32, Crown Heights Brooklyn

On Tuesday, August 4th I was able to catch National Night Out in my Community Board 9.
'National Night Out is a cohesive effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.'-NATW.ORG . -This year Police Precinct 71 and Transit District 32 teamed up on President Street between New York and Nostrand Avenues. They blocked the street, had rides for the kids, 71st Pct. barbequed burgers and Dist. 32 registered bikes and phones in case they become lost or stolen.

Pct. Community Council President Karl Cohen likely reminded attendees of monthly meetings on 3rd Thursday nights at 7:30pm before recruiting more neighbors like yours truly to serve on the council. Local elected officials like Assembly Member Diane Richardson were present with a table of resources for community members with popcorn too! :) New York Life Insurance was also there printing id's for our children right on the spot. -I thought I'd only be able to catch the very last 15 minutes of this great evening, yet it turned out to be over an hour with all the great camaraderie.

Brooklyn Community Board 9 Community Emergency Response Team, CERT

I was elated to meet my BK 9 CERT Team as well.- I just completed my term of service as a NYC Civic Corps Fellow at NYC Emergency Management. I served as Volunteer Support Specialist on the CERT Team assisting in management of 2000 volunteers that serve when deployed in all five boroughs of NYC during emergencies. I also underwent the 10 week training with instructors from FDNY, NYPD and Emergency Managment to become a member of my local team as well. It's great to learn from the pros on what you can do to assist your family and community during an emergency. Click here for more Info.

Community relations and partnerships with local law enforcement around the country is very important in our United States right now. National Night Out is like a day of thanks and unity in the community. Click here for more opportunities to be positively involved with local law enforcement. Google the precinct in your area for more info today.

Feel free to share your your ideas on ways to engage with local law enforcement for crime prevention or community development in the comments below. -Together Everyone Achieves More!-Peace.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Blessed Autumn World!-As we begin to transition from warm to cooler weather we'll learn of opportunities to rededicate ourselves in community initiatives. I've listed some common and perhaps unknown ways to participate in this post.
Did you know that your local Police Precinct has meetings with the community each month? In all five boroughs of New York City there is a Community Council. Check your part of the world for meetings and engagement with local police departments. Learn what the department has achieved, ask your questions, learn how you might even be able to participate in some initiative. You'd be surprised what you may learn!
The local police department usually has representation at your Monthly local Community Board Meeting. New businesses, road work, zoning issues and more are discussed at these important meetings. Local elected officials and/or their reps attend these meetings as well. You'd get info about their initiatives in your community. Remember you voted them in office and you also can voice what you'd like to see done. (They also have constituent hours for as well.) You're able to ask questions, attend committee meetings and by way of recommendation from an elected official -join as an official community board member. As a community board member you'd be able to vote whether you'd approve certain changes in your community. As a regular attendee you can even ask ahead to bring forth an important issue as a speaker. Your community is your neighbor. You are an excellent voice in your community.
Parent Teacher Association! As a parent leader and education instructor it's absolutely essential that I express my deep concern for us as guardians and teachers, etc. to be proactive in our children's educational upbringing. Representation from each partnering education entity has a great contribution to share. Meetings are once a month! FYI-Parent leaders are volunteers, as are community board members who give their time to serve and represent the general community on specific projects. They certainly get great things done with the communities participation. So..... if your company will sponsor the food at the fall festival or give tickets to the upcoming Christmas show or you are great at baking a cake, by all means Do It! :)) Dues are not usually mandatory but help to support the operating budget of of membership initiatives. If you have the ability to serve on the School Leadership Team assisting in the Comprehensive Development Plan of the school, serve as a Learning Leader or just help at lunch time WOW!!! what an appreciated help you'd be! I did recreational activities during recess when my girls were in their earlier years and those kids where ecstatic. :) I had fun too! P.S. Many parent memberships are now on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram-for you to stay abreast with what's going on. -Parents that support their child, teachers, and school are powerful. Implement positive change as much as you see the need. Our children and schools benefit greatly.
Church Meeting- Now you know your tithes or 10% given to church plus offering are going towards the bills of the church right? P.S. Many pastors got jobs too! Don't get mad when they get a cool car. They deal with some stuff. They're like psychiatrists, etc. Buy yourself a cool car too! I'm just saying that the church that you attend every Sunday or on Easter and Christmas, Funerals and Weddings is there year round giving inspiration for our life's journey. They got bills like we pay rent and/ mortgage.- Let's not forget that when the offering tray passes. Got questions??? They've also got meetings. Trustees meet to discuss financial matters. Church business meetings are at times held annually. Support the church that your great grandmother helped build and it may still be there when your grands are christened.
Family Meetings-Last but not least I'll end with the family meeting because we can make a great difference in our community and world but we must take care of home. Supporting one another and asking how things are going. Speaking of what to do in event of death, emergency or dealing with difficult situations are necessary. -We've gotta talk about those uncomfortable things. That's what family is for. Family will be there when no one else will. So yeah there's a lot that we can put forth this season. If ya can't make certain meetings, definitely get the minutes and participate in other ways. Just ask how you can take part. Together the beloved community gains more! Be blessed as you meet and greet for a change.