the photo above and all below was courtesy of Shanae M. Artis Inc.
In life, most of us have suffered through many traumatic instances, such as the absence of a mother or father being absent during childhood and as you grew older, that anxiety has now turned into fear of others leaving you too. The sad thing about it, many of us rarely seek the attention or necessary outlets to help us deal with our past, less known the fear and anxiety offset by it.
Okayyyyy….so I got just a little wee bit excited when my friend Deborah sent me a link to a post entitled “Science Says That Men Who Marry Curvy, Plus Size Women Are Happier!”I wanted to put the WHOLE title out there so you can see for yourself that I’m not “making this up”. While I wonder about science sometimes and their other questionable predictions. I was quite taken back by this statement, so you know I couldn’t wait to read it as my curiosity heightened and I instantly went into Gary Coleman mode asking —- “What you talking bout Science!”
This is the motto of Luke Mickelson, whom founded the non-profit organization “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” and since its start in 2012, that motto has lived up to its standard.
Before founding ‘Sleep in Heavenly Peace’ a.k.a SHP, Luke Mickelson had a great life; a beautiful family and booming career. He coached his children’s sports team, was an avid church goer and for downtime, he’d go fishing in the river by his home – Life was sweet as you can say for Mickelson until he received some disturbing news; news that would bring his “normal” life, into perspective.
Mickelson, had learned that a family in his community were struggling and one of the major struggles was that of a little girl, not having a bed to sleep on. The girl slept on her clothes every night, clothes that resembled that of a birds nest per Mickelson.
“This little girl had a nest of clothes; it looked like a bird’s nest – a nest she’d built as her bed. “It was such an eye-opener for me, I sat there in silence thinking. “Is this really what’s going on?” Luke Mickelson.
The situation pulled at Mickelson’s heart strings, so much so – he immediately jumped into action; to devise a plan to help other families/children whom may be in the same situation. Mickelson used the safety guideline and his daughter’s bunk bed as a prototype to start constructing bunk beds of his own; using funds out of his own pocket and with the help of recruited family and friends, Mickelson began buying the wood and supplies needed to begin his project.
Since its inception, the non-profit has built more than 1,500 free beds for children across America. So passionate about his new found career, Mickelson gave up his corporate job to focus on ‘Sleep in Heavenly Peace’ – a decision he doesn’t regret!
“I found that the need I have isn’t financial, The need I have is seeing the joy on kids’ faces, knowing that I can made a difference.
And rightfully so, as the first bed he made and delivered to the little girl with the bird’s nest bed; hugged her bed and wouldn’t let it go. A first memory that Mickelson would not soon forget, a memory that keeps him focused on his mission as he continues to make sure every child ‘Sleeps in Heavenly Peace.’
Check out SHP and the Great People/Volunteers that keep this mission driving forward:
To read Mickelson’s interview with CNN – click here
You can follow the non-profit – Sleep in Heavenly Peace on FB
To learn more about the organization and how you can help, donate or apply for a bed in your state – go here.
photo above courtesy of bing/reuters/nairobikenya/boys
Within the last year, or months I can say – the #METOO movement has given women as well as men a voice to speak up and say NO to sexual abuse/harassment. Over the past year, we’ve seen many high profile men come under fire as well as lose their power for lewd acts of sexual misconduct they’ve secretly done to women and men for months/years. Women and men alike have taken a stand and decided that enough is enough; their silence was not going to be hushed no longer.
While the #METOO movement has brought much needed attention to this ongoing issue; companies, T.V. networks and workplaces have stepped up their game as well to make sure that sexual harassment/abuse and rape be addressed and dealt with appropriately.
The movement has raised awareness and has given organizations like No Means No Worldwide a platform to continue to empower both young girls and boys to create a culture of mutual respect for women. The program teaches girls self-defense tactics to avoid a sexual assault should they get into one, but it doesn’t stop there – the program also teaches young boys mannerisms when it comes to girls such as “No, is not a Yes” and how to respect young ladies when they say No!
As you’ll see in the video below – the mentality of most young men prior to taking the program was like our culture today, meaning “If a young lady is wearing provocative clothing” she’s asking to be raped and most felt like it was okay to do so (I know, sad right?) Well, after taking the program – the young men gain a new respect for women and instead of taking advantage of them, they’re taught to defend them, should they see them getting attacked.
The No Means No Worldwide program is a 12-hour curriculum that emphasizes interactive verbal skills, role playing and physical training, in which teaches the youth to speak up and/or prevent or intervene in an attack. No Means No, overall goal is to reduce rape & teen pregnancy. Below, the program was completed in Nairobi, Kenya and has garnered great results since its start.
Check out the video below and see how the No Means No Worldwide initiative is helping young girls as well as boys in Nairobi, Kenya.
If you or maybe someone you know is currently or has been the victim of a sexual assault/harassment (no matter how long ago it was) dont’ be afraid to TAKE A STAND!
Please tell someone you trust and take it further by going to your local authorities because, ONE voice is all it takes to change the culture and world around us!
Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager
Kevin Livingston may look like a regular middle class guy with a nice truck, but if people really knew who he was and what he’s hauling around in that truck – they’d be very surprised! Livingston, a community organizer in New York City is the CEO of ‘100 Suits for 100 Men’ suits in which he carries around in the back of his truck; not to take to the nearest goodwill but to set up a rack at a store front in high-crime neighborhoods to give them out FREE to young as well as not so young men.
It could be retail, It could be restaurant – You put on a suit? And you automatically stand out.
Kevin Livingston, CEO 100 Suits for 100 Men
Due to Kevin’s passion for helping young men “succeed” his donation-based business caught the attention of judges, retired district attorney’s and celebrities such as Colin Kaepernick, Snoop Dogg,Charlamagne tha God and more. So, you might be asking “Well, what if the suits don’t fit?” Livingston, even has that taken care of; he has a tailor there on the spot, to take measurements! How Awesome is That!!
There’s no cost for any of the services provided and once the men sign up, Livingston goes to work by not only getting them fitted for the suit but he also teaches them how to tie a tie as well. And that’s not all! Livingston has the men to sign up, so he can follow up and check in with the guys to see how their doing. No young man will get left behind with just a suit, because to Livingston, this is a life changing program for young to not only be great but to understand the greatness they walk in.
When the young men leave, they not only leave with a tailor made suit but they leave with a new lease on life, knowing that someone wants to engage with them and help them succeed – Hats off to Kevin Livingston for following his passion and giving our young men, no matter the background or race a chance to be seen and respected by the world.
Check out the video below and see what sparked Kevin to start his business 100 Suits for 100 Men!
Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager