V.O.T.E.: Voice Our Truth Everywhere

Let our
Voices must be heard! "We are tired of systematic
Oppression!" It is
Time for us all to
Excel!
The most
Vulnerable must have 
Opportunities to
Thrive.
Everyone! Everywhere!
Let's
Value our differences by
Observing and learning from them. Let's seek the
Truth and
Engage in the change for a better US.

Get Ready to V.O.T.E.!

Are you registered? Are you required to have a valid I.D.? Do you know where your voting site is located? **Make sure it has not moved since last time** Will you be voting by mail? Have you requested a mail-in ballot? Will you have early voting? Now is the time to figure out the logistics of your vote. Voter suppression is real. When we don’t vote, we risk the well-being of us all – but especially the most vulnerable of us all!

Need more information about voting in your area, look for answers here.

V.O.T.E.: Voice Our Truth Everywhere

Our Voice, our vote. Do not let anyone take either away! Your vote matters. Your vote makes a difference. It is your right! Let’s voice our truth at the polls! Let’s vote and make US better than it has ever been.

Making Charity a Daily Habit

I love Classico® Pizza Sauce. Not only does it taste great, it also comes in a very nice mason jar. The jars are so nice that I have been saving them. But for what though, I have wondered. Drinking out of them is an easy answer, but I really wanted to repurpose them. I thought about making them into candles but I do not know how to make candles. Instead, they have been wrapped up in a box in a closet. However, recently – inspiration! They will be used to collect, and eventually distribute, daily charity. They will be used to make charity a daily habit!

Make daily charity an #2020goal!

Not long ago, I started listening to the “Angels in Your Presence” video series by Dr. Omar Suleiman. This series has, literary, been life changing as it inspires me to make positive changes in my life. In one particular video, Episode 20: A Caller from Heaven’s Gates, Dr. Suleiman declares that “Charity should be a daily habit”. He describes how his parents helped build charity in their lives by having family members to contribute everyday to a collection that would be given to someone in need once a month. The amount that was contributed did not matter, it was the act of giving that was most important. It was teaching children at an earlier age that giving to others was a duty and a Blessing. I instantly wanted this for my family!

Enter: Purposeful Mason Jar.

Making Charity a Daily Habit by Collecting change in a repurposed mason jar.
Mason Jar used to collect daily donations for someone in need.

Making Charity a Daily Habit

My older sons, soon-to-be 13 and soon-to-be 10, already have a great interest in giving. My “13” year old hates to see a person in need that we do not help; and my “10” year old has a desire to feed people in need. They are this way because of exposure. So they are both happy about this new initiative.

They have their own money and they choose how much they want to donate. They can literally give a penny {although I encourage them to give at least a nickle}. Fortunately, they usually want to give more. What I am especially excited about is that we plan to donate our first jar on my son’s 13th birthday! A 13 year old giving to someone else on his birthday . . . I love it!

Do You Give Daily?

The beautiful thing about charity is that it is not just about money. Charity can be a smile, a kind word, or a simple acknowledgement. It could be an unexpected call to say “hi”, a card that says “thinking of you”, or an helpful deed that says I care. Charity can especially be a prayer/dua for someone’s wellness or success. Start your day planning to give “charity” of some kind. Believe that we are meant to help each others – even if you give words that are hard to say but need to be heard.

Not Mad. Motivated. – a message to inspire growth

I love the message that I hope “Not Mad. Motivated.” gives. In a society where there is so much to be mad about, I choose to be motivated! Be motivated to be the change you want to see. Be motivated to win the battle you are in. Speak up for what is right. Be the good. Be the difference-maker. Anger can be paralyzing. Anger can disrupt growth. Use your anger and obstacles for growth instead of decline.

If you can relate to the “Not Mad. Motivated.” message, we welcome you to purchase our merchandise and help us spread this message of encouragement!

Exploring New Passions During This Difficult Time

Difficulties come and go for us all. Sometimes difficulties can be paralyzing. They can leave us feeling completely engulfed by a matter in a devastating way. However, these same obstacles can be empowering. They can allow us opportunities to grow stronger and think clearer. Our alternative life continues due to this worldwide emergency. Although many states in the U.S. are testing their “reopening”, many people are being cautious by continuing stay-at-home and social distancing efforts. How long will it take for us to feel safe to return to our “regular” routines? No one knows. As we wait, let’s take a look at ourselves and start exploring new passions during this difficult time.

What is your passion?  Why not start exploring new passions during this difficult time?

If you read our April 2020 newsletter, you know that the inspiration for this topic is a seventh grade English/Language Art assignment. The Passion Project is set up to help students learn about a topic that is most interesting or most important to them. We shouldn’t let our children/students have all the fun!

As adults, we have worries and responsibilities that often take us away from our wants as an individuals. What we thought was important or interesting last year or twenty years ago, may no longer satisfy who we are now. So why not take a closer look at who we are and what makes us happy!

Deciding on a Passion

The first assignment for the passion project is to make a list of your passions. This gets your mind going immediately. What do you like? What is important to you? Do you want to have fun? Do you want to grow as an individual? Are you looking to learn something that you can turn in to income. No matter your reason for wanting to explore the idea, include it in your list. My list would look some think like this:

  • Increasing Faith
  • Building Bridges Across Communities
  • Empowering Youth
  • Autism Awareness and Acceptance
  • Parenting
  • Domestic Violence
  • Mental Health

All of these topics are important to me. I appreciate this first step of the passion project for two reasons. It allows the individual to think about what is important for themselves. Alternatively, it gives others an opportunity to learn about the individual and find areas of commonality! Isn’t that what building bridges and communities all about?

What draws me most to Building Bridges Across Communities is that all my others passions can be connected by those bridges I build!

What’s Next?

After choosing a passion, brainstorm five questions that you want to answer while you research how to develop your passion into action. Until then, please share the new passions that you are exploring or would like to explore. Do our passions overlap any? Did you learn anything new about Not Mad. Motivated. based on the list above? We want to hear from you. Feel free to leave social media handle in case others are interested in the same passions!

Celebrate Often: Indestructible Books

Since the closing of school in March, I have thrown away several books that my young son, Hadith, destroyed. Hadith is big on hand fidgeting and it has become clearer in the last few weeks just how much he enjoys turning, flapping, and overall manipulating paper products with his hands. However, his paper play often ends up with torn pages and strips of paper littering the floor. Then I remembered. . . Indestructible Books!

It was last year, in 2019, when I first saw an indestructible books. We were at the local Special Olympics spring games and Hadith’s class was participating. This was a huge event since schools from the entire county attended. While waiting for schools to and getting ready for the opening parade, my son became a bit unsettled. That is when his teacher handed him an indestructible book that he happily played with for a time.

Unexpectedly, this memory flashed through my mind last week as I thought about his “relationship” with paper. I thought that maybe having indestructible books at home would fulfill his hand fidgeting need and reduce the incidence of other books and papers being destroyed. I immediately ordered several books, two of which were delivered this week.

What are Indestructible Books?

The books I purchased were published by Workman Publishing. They are advertised as chew-proof and rip-proof. The 100% nontoxic, paper-like material is even washable. They do seem to hold up pretty well. The one that my son plays with at school is over a year old and still in tact – which is really good! Most reviews on Amazon were also very positive.

Indestructible Books book set!
This book set should arrive next week!

The books are simple stories. They introduce concepts (such as counting, shapes, or numbers), nursery rhymes (such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat and the Itsy Bitsy Spider), places (such as the city, the farm, and the neighborhood), and more. These are great for story time with a young child. However, they are also great for an older child who may need the sensory input (without the mess).

Celebrate Often: Indestructible Books

Having an Autistic son with developmental and academic delays, who is also very curious, creative, and spontaneous can be quite the challenge and quite the adventure. When challenges occur, being able to find creative solutions are important. Chewed up, torn apart books have been a problem in our house. Will indestructible books be the solution to that problem? Maybe not completely, but I believe they will help drastically. We will let you know how it is going in a few months.

Support Not Mad. Motivated.

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Thank you for share your time with us. We hope you are well and staying safe.

Need Help Finding These Three Items?

Pinterest Pin: We Could Use These 3 Items. . .  Here's Some Help Getting Them!
You are probably looking for at least one of these items!

During this time of change, many desired items have suddenly become unavailable. My recent visits to stores have shown that most food and beverage have returned to the shelf. Plenty of water, eggs, bread, and milk are available again – with new purchasing limits to help keep it that way. However, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer are still of low quantity or nonexistent. Now, with the CDC’s (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) recommendation to wear face masks in public, we add an additional item to our hard to find list. Here is some advice and help for finding/making three of these important items.

1. Face Masks/Coverings

On or around April 3, 2020, the CDC officially recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings since other social distancing measures could be difficult to maintain. Due to the increase demand of face masks and coverings, many people are using a more accessible Do-It-Yourself (DIY) option. Check here for DIY instructions from the CDC.

According to a recent Business Insider article, CEO of Suay Sew Shop, Lindsay Medoff, says a cloth mask is not enough.

Medoff and two friends were appalled by the dozens of mask patterns calling for cotton, a highly breathable, permeable fabric, and became obsessed with finding a fabric better suited for the job.

Business Insider

After testing many materials, Medoff concluded that the ideal material is the stretchy blue shop towels. If you are going to use a cotton mask, insert one or two blue shop towels for filtration. You could also make mask out of the blue shop towels. The video below is shows how to make a No-Sew shop towel mask.

To increase effectiveness, insert an additional towel within this mask.

I altered my mask to use 4 rubber bands and 2 additional paperclips to secure the mask around my head versus around my ears. I will also insert an additional towel within the mask.

My Mask Supplies!
My Supplies: One Blue Shop Towel, Three #1 paper clips, four #32 rubber bands, scissors/shears, scotch tape.
My Final Product!
My final product.

2. Disinfecting Wipes

When is the last time you went to the store and saw disinfecting wipes for sell? It has likely been at least a month. Although I purchased a few containers before the panic began, my supply is running low. I, therefore, started looking for alternative solutions. Here is one useful recipe! It calls for “rags”, but you could also use high quality paper towels. *You may want to adjust the amount of mixture depending on the amount of “cloths” you have available.

Homemade Clorox Wipes

1 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1 tsp. Dawn dish soap (only use Dawn)
2 Tbsp. ammonia (optional)
24 rags – cut into squares. (I cut them to about 4×6 inches but whatever size you have available or whichever size you need will work. I also use old washrags that have seen better days.)

Mix the ingredients and pour over the rags.* Then, when you need to clean your bathroom, use them as you would the disposable Clorox wipes.

Note: This mixture does not include bleach. For anyone using bleach to clean, remember that bleach does not mix well with others, and is dangerous if ingested. Please be extra careful when cleaning with bleach.

3. Hand Sanitizer

I recently received an article about a few Black-owned companies selling hand sanitizer. I was ecstatic to see a hometown favorite of mine, Hairizon. Hairizon is beauty bar based out of Durham, North Carolina. Check out this article to find other companies who may be able to help with your hand sanitizer needs.

I found a homemade recipe for hand sanitizer, but it came with an warning. See the article for further information.

A word of warning

Hand sanitizer recipes, including the one below, are intended for use by professionals with the necessary expertise and resources for safe creation and proper utilization.

Only use homemade hand sanitizers in extreme situations when handwashing isn’t available for the foreseeable future.

Don’t use homemade hand sanitizers on children’s skin as they may be more prone to use them improperly, leading to a greater risk of injury.

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent)
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol)
  • 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead

Directions:

  • Pour all ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container.
  • Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
  • Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use, and label it “hand sanitizer.”

Versus making your own hand sanitizers, try one of the companies above. If you are not an essential worker, stay home as much as possible and use good, “old-fashion” soap and water!

Support Not Mad. Motivated.

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Stay safe, everyone!

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