What if Your Dreams Could Be Fulfilled After You Died?

Source: Yahoo

Source: Yahoo

 

I came across a story today that really touched my heart because it reminded me just how insane this world can be.  One moment you could be alive and kicking, the next you could be dead and only a memory to those you leave behind.  The story I read was about 21-year old Kristina Chesterman, a nursing student at Chico State University.  She was hit by a drunk driver while riding her bike home and she sadly died a few days later.  Kristina’s organs were donated and she was able to save a very special life.  Her heart went to 64-year old retired nurse, Susan Vieira.

 

After six months of not knowing where her heart came from, she read a news article where Kristina’s mother openly said she wanted to meet the person who received her daughter’s heart.  The interesting part?  Kristina’s mom had found a bucket list that her daughter was keeping.  She gave the bucket list to Susan and oddly enough, many of the things had already been accomplished.  Susan says, “She read my Kristina’s bucket list…It was as if I was getting a CV of my life.  There were so many points that I had already on that bucket list.  It was uncanny.”

 

Susan has decided to mark off the rest of Kristina’s bucket list and says, “I’d like to think all the things I continue to accomplish in my life, I’m taking Kristina with me…Together we will finish her bucket list.”

 

Another touching gift that she is able to give back is to hug Kristina’s mother so that she can again feel her daughter’s heart beat.  If only we could all have someone to fulfill our dreams once we are long gone.  What a touching story!

 

***Quotes were gathered from Yahoo!

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Drake Surprises Strawberry Mansion Students in Philadelphia!

Source: ABC News

Source: ABC News

As some of my readers know, I grew up in Philly and know just how rough it can be, especially for the youth.  National news has reported about the Philadelphia School District and its struggling financial status.  Kevin Hart recently donated $250,000 to buy new computers for students and now Drake has jumped on board.  What has once felt like a forgotten city, is now the recipient of some huge donations; people actually do care.  ABC News did a report (click here) on a well-known Philadelphia school, Strawberry Mansion, and it inspired rap star, Drake.  Diane Sawyer highlighted the grim financial state of the school that can barely afford school uniforms, but is trying to be known for something more than its violence.

Drake saw the report and said, “I was so heavily effected that I started questioning major aspects of my life.”  He surprised Strawberry Mansion students and faculty with the announcement that he is building a recording studio.  Knowing how some of the city’s schools struggle, it means a lot to see such big names in the industry taking notice.  Not many celebrities look students in their eyes and say, “This is about you, this is about your school, this is about your principal!”  Take a look at how Drake surprises students:

Angels Are Never Too Small…

Today begins the difficult task of laying the tiny victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School to rest.  It’s hard to look at the smiling faces of young children and know that they were taken from this world far too soon and far too brutally.  This morning, mourners laid to rest 6 year old Jack Pinto and 6 year old Noah Pozner.  May they forever rest in peace and may their families learn to cope with their sudden loss.

Source: ABC News, Noah Pozner

Source: ABC News, Noah Pozner

 

 

Source: ABC News, Jack Pinto

Source: ABC News, Jack Pinto

 

I’d like to say that I can do a special post for each and every child/teacher/staff member that was lost last week, but I think that would be way too painful for myself and for my readers.  I pray that we can all learn from this horrific event that life is too short and too precious, especially when it’s barely been lived.

What Are You Doing to Make the World a Better Place?!

Around the holidays people tend to forget that there are many who don’t have the option to celebrate.  There are so many people who are less fortunate in this world and I often believe that it is our obligation to look out for them when we can.  So, this holiday season, try to give back to at least one person.  It may be $5 to a homeless person on the street or it may be volunteering at your local shelter, but whatever it is MAKE IT COUNT! I don’t just talk about, I am about it as well.  I will be sponsoring 2 children this year for the Holiday Gift Drive at the James G. Blaine Academic Plus school in Philadelphia.  Each child in my friend’s class gets to pick 3 items that they want for Christmas and, those who are gracious enough to give, will buy the items for the child so that they can have a special Christmas!  I don’t live locally so I will be making my contribution financially for this event.  If you are interested and/or need something to give towards this holiday please let me know and I can pass you the information.  If you think it’s just us normal folks who give back, check out a few of the top celebrity philanthropists; this should get you in the spirit!

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has donated more than $41 million through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation which helps women and children gain access to education programs.

Meryl Streep-AES-063724

Meryl Streep has contributed over $2 million to the Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts, which she and her husband established.

Mel Gibson-AES-047287

Mel Gibson, as crazy as some may think he is, has given over $6.85 million to the A.P. Reilly foundation to support the Holy Family Church!

Give what you can to help those less fortunate!

Daniella Sig

A Prom Dream Come True!

No matter what path anyone takes in life, it’s so important to give back.  Give back to family, to friends, to strangers…to your community!  That feeling of making someone happy can’t be replaced with anything else and sometimes it only takes a small gesture to make someone’s world a little better.  With that said, it’s no surprise that I was more than happy to volunteer for the Uplifting Sisters “Prom Dreams” event!

I’ve always worked with youth of all ages while living in Philadelphia, so this was right up my alley and something I knew would make a big difference in the lives of young ladies!  I’m open to helping any and everyone, but there’s something about helping young girls that has always been close to my heart and for that I commend Sheena Brown, founder of Uplifting Sisters, because there aren’t enough professional women GIVING BACK to our country’s future.  Attendees were able to shop for dresses, jewelry, shoes, shawls and handbags at NO CHARGE!  Everything was free to them and their families and it was all with a goal of doing something great!

No matter how tired any of us were, seeing the look on their faces was something that even I can’t describe!  If you aren’t seeking to help others, you need to start because it will truly be inspiring for not only them, but for you as well.  Teamwork makes the dream work!

 

Let’s Help Support Someone’s Dream…Cultures Clothing

Built on a positive foundation and a goal to merge cultures together through the expression of art and design, Cultures Clothing can very well be a fashion industry change that we need.  Founded by Alloyius McIlwaine, Cultures Clothing began with a dream and enough ambition to start a movement.  He’s taking his talent to the next level and beginning the process of mass production.  However, in order to successfully catapult his company to the next stage, WE need to step up and help!  Want to know more about Cultures Clothing and their current campaign to get kickstarted?  Well, here you go:

What is Cultures Clothing?

Cultures Clothing is a line that uses art and fashion to show that all cultures have something beautiful or interesting about them. The line is representative of high fashion, urban wear, and everything in-between for Men, Women, and Children. Cultures Clothing also features aspects of society’s sub-cultures in its products…because your environment has just as much to do with who you are as your ethnicity. So for example, along with influences from different ethnic cultures, you’ll see influences from everything from fine art & high fashion to hip-hop in the clothing as well. The line also promotes positive and up-lifting messages…encouraging people to think outside the box and to reach for their dreams.

What is the Cultures Clothing Kickstarter Campaign?

The goal of my KICKSTARTER campaign is to raise funds for the Mass Production of Cultures Clothing. According to GSEA Fashion Group (a manufacturing company in NYC that I will be working with), Cultures Clothing will need approximately $5,000 for sample & pattern development, tech pack development, screen printing, pattern grading, tags and labels, shipping, etc. We hope to raise this money so that we can produce large quantities of t-shirts, dresses, polos, etc. to sell on our website & in stores/boutiques.


Whatever you can afford, please help to support this initiative.  No amount is too small, just like no dream is too big.  Click here to donate to the Cultures Clothing Kickstarter Campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200018760/the-mass-production-of-cultures-clothing

Take a sneak peak at some hot new looks from Cultures Clothing!

Another Dreamworld exclusive!  Remember, show your support and help Cultures Clothing reach their goal!

Can You Call it Support When it’s Done from the Shadows?

It’s been such an exciting time in my life, getting the chance to take a sneak peak into the lives of others, some complete strangers.  However, it seems fitting to take a step back and say “hello” to my readers and share a story.  In anyone’s life, there are highs and there are not-so-highs (better than saying lows), but there are lessons in everything that we go through.  I’ve decided to share one of the lessons that I came away with, with all of you…maybe you can let me know your take on it.  Before I begin, my question to you is: What’s your idea of showing support?

When you put your thoughts, your craft, your goal(s) on display for the world to see (and critique) that can be scary, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts.  One thing that can help someone work through the anxiety and pressure is the support of others (friends, family, significant other, etc.).  There is NOTHING that can replace a “good job” or “great post” or “wow! your site is so cool” or “amazing interview”…you get the point!  You want to know that the people you hold close are out there taking time to “support” you in your endeavor.  How would you feel if, someone that you were really close to, supported from the “shadows” in a place where you couldn’t see or recognize it?  Would that support still count?  Would you still call it “support” if you didn’t know that they were even giving it to you?  That’s exactly what happened to me.  I won’t use any names, we’ll call them Dasher, but the person reading this from the shadows, will know that this is about them (keep in mind, I can’t tell who is reading my blog, unless they tell me directly or they leave a comment).  Dasher expressed that leaving a comment on my blog is my way of wanting “their presence to be known to everybody” when I already know they are the “type of person who lives in the shadows.” So, basically it’s wrong for me to expect them to do such a thing when I already know it’s not in their nature.  

Here’s my take on it.  What the f**k does that mean? I secretly laughed out loud in shock.  Something about that is just plain old conceited.  To think, they believe the only reason I want them to leave a comment or show me they are there, is because I want THEIR presence to be known.  HA!  As if!  This is really what it’s about…read and pay attention!  When I care about someone enough to spend time with them, share moments, or even talk to them, or call them my friend, that automatically makes them somewhat special to me because I don’t do that, with or for, just anyone.  As I draw closer to them and build trust, there’s no hiding that they are special…my light naturally shines through.  When you have that inner light shining, there’s no such thing as living in the shadows.  Therefore, whatever they are working on or pursuing, I naturally want to let them know, “I support you!”   It may not be every day, but at some point I will show my support OUTWARDLY and not because I want the world (a.k.a. “everybody”, as Dasher said) to see, but because I would be so proud.

The Lesson I Learned: Not everyone shows support in the same way, that’s fine.  However, it’s crucial to let those you love and care about, know that you recognize their efforts and success. 

The Screen Vault…His Story Behind the Cameras

As I announced in my previous post, I have begun reaching out to a diverse circle of people who will definitely be able to motivate, encourage and enlighten my readers through their unique stories of success.  This first spotlight is a special one and not only because it is the first within my series, but it represents exactly what we are all searching for…a purpose driven life!  I became familiar with his story after I spontaneously began following his Twitter page (@ScreenVaultCEO).  Yes, it’s random, but sometimes in life you are drawn to something or someone and cannot begin to explain the cosmic connection of two parallel universes; you just know that it’s for a purpose greater than yourself. 

Named Vaughn Givens and a Washington, D.C. native, he began his journey in a not-so-traditional way.  Not sure which direction to go in, he hung close to his grandmother’s side, whom he reveals is his inspiration.  Throughout his life she would always encourage him to do what he loved at all times, but as we know, life isn’t that simple when you don’t know what you love.  Not having all of the answers, Vaughn was unsure which direction to steer his efforts.  However, one thing remained definite; he wanted to make his family proud.  When asked about his educational background, his response was simple,  “I have some college background. I hated school. I never really took it serious…”  To some, his answer might be a bit raw and unorthodox, but to others it could be a sign of greatness in the making.

 

In true roller coaster form, his life took a dramatic turn with the passing of his grandmother.  While dealing with the death of his inspiration, a.k.a. “Nana,” he began to dig deeper and take heed to her familiar words of wisdom, “do what you love!”  Vaughn took matters into his own hands, realizing that his life was destined for something great.  He attended the Hollywood Film Institute and began motivating himself.  Outside of the collegiate walls he began reading on his own, as well as, seeing the world with a more visual perspective.  Mr. Givens began developing what would become his passion for film.

Through this passion, he has been able to manifest his dreams into a startling reality with the birth of his very own production company.  Vaughn is the sole founder and creator of The Screen Vault; an independent film production company that prides itself on being the change that the world needs.  In his words, “Most people these days have lost their sense of imagination and we plan to bring that back!”  He has begun the production of Inner City Blues and is actively piecing together what could become D.C.’s very own masterpiece.  His film depicts the many experiences he has lived first-hand or witnessed through those around him.  When asked about the storyline, here’s what he had to say:

Inner City Blues is a very powerful story about three high-school students who grow up in the slums of Washington, D.C. They never really have time for their childhoods because of the situations that they’re put in.  It tells of the day to day struggles that kids in the inner city go through and it promotes change in our community.

His passion for this project can hardly be described and without witnessing his daily grind, you may never understand what the success of his very own movie would mean. He has pride for his city and will stop at nothing to reach his ultimate goal of re-writing film history…becoming a legend.  Most importantly he wants to show the young kids in his city that, “you can make your dreams a reality.”  You can’t help but feel the pride that he has for his hometown when he proudly declares, “I love my city! D.C. is one of the greatest, most beautiful cities in the world to me.  I believe that [our] stories should be heard…we have so much more to offer than just politics.”

While some of us are still searching for a step in the right direction, Vaughn has realized that his God-given purpose in life is to “change the world through film-making.  It’s a very powerful tool and most filmmakers take that for granted.”  He believes in his abilities and has a goal in mind; sometimes that is the hardest part of any journey.  How can DC support?  WE can start by spreading the word about The Screen Vault and as Vaughn perfectly explains, “We need our city’s support more than anything! If I can get my whole city behind me then I can get the world.  That’s how I feel!”

Want to show your monetary support and help take The Screen Vault to the next level?  Vaughn’s project needs funding!  He is heading this project with his own money and donations.  All funds go toward the cast, crew and production.  Please keep in mind that this is the first major role for many of his actors and for the DMV to show support, would be the first big step towards making their dreams come true!  Helping this cause, could grant Inner City Blues the elite opportunity to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival; one of the biggest and most prestigious film festivals known.  To make a monetary donation, please visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/INNER-CITY-BLUES-1

Let’s not forget that some of the biggest talents such as John Singleton and Tyler Perry began their journey just like Vaughn Givens…with nothing but a passion and an opportunity to make a difference.

Let Me Scratch Your Back!

When you get to a point in your life when you want to make a change, do something different or just experience something more fulfilling it’s easy to become all about “self” unknowingly.  You go through the days focusing only on your life and your goals and what you can do for YOU, but a part of living your purpose should include helping others.  My life is happier and more gratifying when I can sit back and look at how I have impacted another person’s life.  It can be something as small as a phone call or as big as a life saving favor.  Whatever the size of the selfless act, it makes me feel good to lend a helping hand when I can.  The most important thing that I remember is, I don’t expect anything in return.  Does it feel nice to be able to count on others like they do me?  Sure, but it’s not necessary.  If I have it to give, then I will “scratch your back” and offer it without being asked first.  Being selfless boosts my faith, my loyalty to others and my soul…that is more valuable than any tangible object.

***

It wasn’t always as easy for me to be so giving; it’s something that I’ve developed over the years, but my consistent love for others and God has helped me get to this point and I wouldn’t change it for anything.  Me leading a more peaceful lifestyle creates an environment that breeds success and unconditional joy.  I am realizing that ONE of my purposes in this life is to look out for those around me, whether it be a friend or an enemy.  I was born to love.

 

THOUGHT: Being kind and giving to others is what inspires change for the better.