Special Post: People helping people – August 19th – World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day is a global celebration of people helping people.

United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day website

Visit the United Nations website to find out more information. It’s an inspiring day which, like many other days of observation, acts as a catalyst for change and the coming together of people, globally, not only on the day being observed, but every day of the year.

How will you get involved?

“I was here…”

(Source: BeyoncéVEVO official YouTube channel)

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Bright Idea: Like Beyoncé, offer someone deserving an opportunity when they least expect it

Before powerhouse Beyoncé was given the gift of Baby Blue Ivy when she delivered this past January 7th, she was the gift-giver. When putting together her music video for her hit song, another women’s anthem, “Run The World (Girls)”, she had a vision that included the authentic influences of African dance. When her team’s choreography didn’t match up to the vision she had – a more raw, unpolished version of the music’s physical interpretation – she turned to an online video she had tucked away in her memory for future reference.

The video was of Mozambican kwaito dance group Tofo Tofo.

(Source: YouTube)

Without further ado, the search for Tofo Tofo was on! Once the unsuspecting group was found, four months later, they were flown to the US and they were ready to work! If you watch the clip, from Beyoncé’s “Year of 4″ documentary, you will see that they really weren’t working though. To them, it was simply the sharing of what came naturally to them, the movement, the message, the joy and optimism in their souls. You could see it in their eyes, their smiles and their hearts.

(Source: BeyonceVEVO on YouTube)

The most telling part of the story, proving just how profound the human connection can be, when status, stardom, and celebrity are stripped down, and music is the only common denominator, was when one of the members of the dance group asked Beyoncé her name, as though they genuinely had never heard of her prior to that moment. Coming from two different worlds and backgrounds, the bond that was built throughout the creative process was strong enough to yield a deeply emotional goodbye between them, when it was time to call “It’s a wrap!”

Offering someone deserving an opportunity to express themselves and what they are passionate about, with a platform they otherwise may never have experienced? Priceless…

The finished product…

(Source: BeyonceVEVO on YouTube)

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Jay-Z: The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation

For anyone who is an entertainment news junkie, if I quizzed you right now, you would probably know that Jay-Z and Beyoncé welcomed their baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter, this past weekend. You probably know the correct order of her name. You may even be able to describe the inside of the hospital suite. But if I asked you to tell me how the proud papa gives back to his community, would you know the answer to that?

Well, The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation was launched in 2002/2003 by Jay-Z and his mother, Gloria Carter. Their initial goal and “mission [was] to help any individual facing socio-economic hardships further his or her education at institutions of higher learning”. Throughout all of the forms the foundation subsequently took on, they were able to enhance the lives of a growing number of students across the United States, by making sure that their educations were a priority and without financial burden.

With the foundation expanding to include Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation College Tours and Shawn Carter Scholars, Jay-Z is using his empire to build a village for and of the innovative, optimistic,  and sharp young minds of tomorrow!

One month after welcoming his baby daughter to the world, Jay-Z is set to give back, yet again. On February 6th and 7th, he will be headlining an intimate performance at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium in an effort to raise millions for the United Way of New York and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. According to a press release about the event, the money raised will “help boost on-time graduation rates in underserved New York City schools and put college within reach for low-income students across the five boroughs.”

Some statistics he aims to eradicate:

  • New York City has the largest income gap in the U.S.
  • 30% of children in New York City live in poverty
  • 39% of New York City students who enter high school will not graduate on time

For more information on benefit packages, which range in price from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, and include some interesting incentives, or to find individual tickets, available starting January 30th and priced from $500 to $2,500, you can visit the foundation’s website.

(Source: Nineteen87 Visuals’ YouTube Page)

Another reason why we love that “business, man“!

-Kendra Kabasele

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Solange Knowles: DKMS Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei gGmbH (German Bone Marrow Donor Center)

While you know her for her passion for music, Solange Knowles is also very passionate about life. As a big supporter of DKMS Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei gGmbH (German Bone Marrow Donor Center), she is a proponent of helping to save the lives that have been stricken with leukemia.

The DKMS mission is simple and can be accomplished. With awareness and action, more lives will be saved. Their mission “is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world.”

Solange’s PSA appears on the DKMS website, along with her Q&A about getting involved:

All that’s really needed from a potential donor is a swab of the inside of their cheek! It’s that simple! If you are actually selected to donate your bone marrow, should you become a match for someone in need, the process becomes more involved and you need to read about it carefully. While it is a short outpatient surgery, the end result is offering another human being the gift of life!

To read more about becoming a bone marrow donor, you can go to the DKMS website:

www.dkmsamericas.org

You can REGISTER HERE to become a potential donor.

In 2008, a family friend, Emru Townsend, passed away. His family has a Facebook page  active in his memory and in an effort to reach more people, who can ultimately help others. The page reads, “Now you can help Emru, his friends, family and allies heal someone. Click the Info tab to see the common misperceptions about bone marrow donation. If there is something new you learned, pass it on.”

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