Thursday, September 3, 2015

BAB Network Alert: Urgent Assistance Needed

Be A Blessing has just learned of two kids who lost their mother unexpectedly today. Every once in a while a story comes along that moves us deeply, and forces us to act. They need our help now.  Please donate to the GoFundMe Campaign for PhillipFobbs and his little sister. At Be A Blessing we believe there is power in small acts of kindness.  Here is the situation:

The world lost a beautiful mom this morning to cancer. Tawana Goldring leaves behind her 19-year-old son Phillip and 13-year-old daughter Ariana. Tawana moved to Florida from Maryland to start a better life for her and her children. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent very aggressive treatment. Not long after, her son Philip was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Tawana began to decline very rapidly, more rapidly than they expected. She passed away suddenly today. The children have a very elderly grandmother and an aunt who lives in Maryland. Neither is in the position to take the children in or help financially. So, Philip just became guardian to his sister (a high school student). Since they did not expect Tawana's rapid decline, there were no arrangements made and they are at a loss tonight and so many things are undetermined. For religious reasons, Tawana cannot be cremated. At this time, the plan is for Philip to move his sister back to Maryland to be near the only family they have. Since this is so very fresh for them, they are still trying to wrap their heads around what has happened. 

Phillip's dance teacher, Vicky Blevins owns Victoria's School of Dance, and she set up the GoFundMe page on his behalf. His dance family is helping in every way they can. Shortly after his diagnosis, this piece was created to show their love and admiration for him.

The local community in Florida is coming together to provide food for the children and raise money to pay their rent for the next couple of months so Phillip can complete his current round of treatment. They will also help to pack and move them when the time comes to depart for Maryland. The financial need is quite large, including medical expenses, rent, repairs to a car, funeral expenses, the cost to transport the casket from FL to MD, travel expenses for the funeral, moving expenses, etc.

This poor young man has lost his mom, is battling his own cancer, and is now responsible for his young sister. Whether you can contribute or not, please say a prayer for these two children as they try to navigate these new waters and for their heartbreak as they woke up this morning with a mom and are going to bed tonight without her.

We thank you in advance for Being A Blessing today. We are stronger together and we can show Phillip and Ariana that they are not alone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Join our new project! #40for$40

Be A Blessing is at it again! We're calling on our network for help supplying the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter with gasoline cards.

In getting to know our partner, we have learned that most of the Shelter Residents are single mothers with multiple children, and many rely on shared rides to search for permanent housing and employment. In some cases transportation expenses are the only thing keeping them from moving in with family members willing to help. Your donation of one tank of gas will help them move forward to achieve the stability they need.

Can you donate a $40 gas card today toward our #40for$40 campaign?

Here are step-by-step instructions to purchase the card online. OR if you'd prefer, we would be happy to make the purchase for you! Just send $43 via PayPal to and we’ll take care of filling out the form.*

1. Go to

2. For "Card Value:" choose "Other Amount" and enter $40


4. For "To:" type "Nurjan Ahmedova" (she is the Community Coordinator at the Shelter)

5. In "From:" type your name

6. For "Personal Message:" type "May this gift Be A Blessing"


8. Double check the "Message Preview"


10. Click "CHECK OUT"

11. Enter your billing information and email

12. Click to accept the terms and conditions

13. Enter shipping address: Nurjan Ahemdova, 12970 Katherine Hanley Court, Fairfax, VA 22030 (note: $2.95 shipping fee will be added)

14. Click PURCHASE

15. Click OK to confirm address (if prompted)

16. Social Media!!! Help us spread the word:
~Twitter: Tweet #40for$40 and tag us at @BeABlessingorg 
~Facebook: Post #40for$40 on your timeline and tag one of Be A Blessing's Founders

Thank you for Being A Blessing today!

*You will receive confirmation of your donation directly from the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter. Because Shelter House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your financial contribution is tax-exempt. Their tax identification number is 52-1217106. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Gs and one H

Blog Post by Meka Sales
“All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well  ~Julian of Norwich

Life—it’s all right. That’s basically what the Julian of Norwich quote exemplifies and throughout this Lenten season of practicing gratitude, I have really embraced this notion. Life is GOOD. It’s messy, funny, complex, layered, exhausting, exhilarating, AND good. I’ve practiced gratitude before during different seasons of my life and this one felt a little different. Somehow it felt more ordinary. As if the ordinary was just enough for me to tap into contentment and peace even when challenges presented themselves. 

Gratitude is a lovely cycle of…well, gratitude. By sharing what I was grateful for each day I was expecting good things to happen and looking for the good in bad things that happened. Either way, I carried an expectation that there would lots to be grateful for, and at the end of each day I usually had numerous things from which to choose. Mostly they were small things like when I was having a challenging day, a nice word or gesture from the woman at the bank let me know that I am cared for and cared about. Or a long, luxurious phone call with a friend catching up on relationships and life. Sometimes they were big things where loved ones traveled many miles just to BE with us or something I was really anxious about doing somehow ended up not happening. I can honestly say that I woke each day with the expectation that it was going to be a good day and I believe that by focusing on having a grateful spirit, the universe shifted just a little bit in my favor.

GRACE and I got to know each other real well over these past 40+ days. She was like an uninvited but extremely welcomed guest. Actually, one day an old friend stopped by unexpectedly and I was so blessed by her short visit. She reminded me of the importance of having a spirit of hospitality and I was glad that she knew she could come over unannounced. Grace, like my friend, just showed up always at the right time. It was like God saying, yep, I’m here and my power is real. One thing I noticed is that it showed up the most when I was obedient. Often times, I get an assignment from God and I’ve been known to ignore it. There were days during this Lenten season when I said, ok God, I will do whatever you tell me to do today. One assignment was to simply call a friend I hadn’t talked to in many months. When she answered my call, her first words were, “God must have told you to call me.” 
Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all the time. It’s about loving what you have and being grateful for the same. I don’t know who wrote this, but I believe it. As I practiced loving what I have during this season, I felt a deep sense of happiness. I felt grounded, safe, and stable. This connection with myself made connecting with others less frightening. I was able to just let the interaction happen with ease and allow grace and peace to do their thing. A friend of 20+ years, who spent a weekend with me, told me that I hadn’t seemed this happy since our carefree early college days.

Now if practicing gratitude can bring an ease that’s reminiscent of a time when I literally had no worries, that’s the space that I want to live in each day.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lessons on Giving, Energy, and Abundance

Blog Post by Elyse Leeds Acanda

This past Saturday, five years of planning resulted in 23 sweet children receiving all the supplies they need to start the school year.  Be A Blessing truly came to life in the lobby of the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter!  In a flurry of activity and excited chatter, backpacks were loaded full of brand new supplies and hearts were left full of gratitude—on both sides of the exchange!

Three large tables were set up, one each for Elementary, Middle, and High School students. The tables were overflowing with stacks and stacks of supplies in beautiful abundance! It was our Amazon Wish List made manifest. We provided check-off lists so that each child could pick out their own items required for their grade, from backpacks to pencil sharpeners to flash drives. The Be A Blessing founders and a couple of loving volunteers helped organize the ‘shopping’ activity and made sure each child received everything needed, in colors of their choosing. The kids loved it.

We’ve all heard before that “When you give, you get,” and “It is in giving that we receive,” and on this past Saturday, Be A Blessing proved these theories fact.  One mother of two literally gave us all chills and brought us close to tears when she said, “You really are being a blessing today.” 

Our mission is to serve women and children by creating opportunities that make it easy for others to join together to fulfill an identified need. The Be A Blessing network came to life and rose beautifully to the occasion of our first project, purchasing over $3,500 worth of school supplies in just 30 days.  In fact, we had over $1,000 donated in the final week of our campaign!

Be A Blessing is a co-creation of four women with demanding full-time jobs and families. We identified a need and made it easy for people to contribute. We managed all the details with the shelter, coordinated an Amazon Wish List to match the need, conducted a daily marketing campaign to spread the word, organized the incoming product shipments to keep a tight inventory and deal with errors, met on a weekly basis for updates and planning, and personally contributed financially. The month of July was abuzz with Be A Blessing activity for us, right along with our family and professional responsibilities. Each founder took on the roles best suited to her strengths, and we committed to make it happen! 

...And so August 10 was a beautiful day! Working together to see a vision realized is incredibly satisfying. We witnessed the joy in the children’s faces as they were loaded down with heavy backpacks, and the gratitude in the faces of the relieved parentsnow with one less thing to worry about. When all of the children had been served, we cleaned and reorganized the remaining donations into the Shelter’s school supply closet. And through all of this work, I believe WE were the ones most energized by the experience.

We are so grateful for the power of the Be A Blessing community—our friends and family, and everyone two or three (or more!) times removed who heard about our project and made a contribution. THANK YOU! 

I am incredibly thankful to be one of the founders of Be A Blessing. Working on a project with some of my best friends has been challenging AND very rewarding. It has stretched me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to impart my values to my children through tangible action. It has helped me stay positive through a very rough time in my life, while feeling incredibly supported by powerful, capable women. And it has shined a spotlight on my strengths and reminded me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I am very excited about the future of Be A Blessing and can’t wait to see what we do next!

Friday, July 26, 2013

My personal memories on how this giving circle, Be A Blessing, came to be...

Blog Post by Maya Matthews Minter

January 5, 2008~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s a cold winter Monday a.m., I hit my desk. 30 minutes until meeting time.  And here I go: E-mail. E-mail. E-mail. E-mail. And yet another e-mail.  Oohh wait! This is a good one. It’s from Meka, my longtime dear friend who now lives in N.C.

Under pressure, I glance thru quickly.  Probably retain about 80%. I see words about giving, sharing, but the words Time to Reconnect jump off the page at me. The word invitation does, too.

Wow! I could certainly use a good girl’s weekend.  Save-the-date for fun-fun-fun, I tell myself.  And then, back to e-mail!

April 28, 2008~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now it’s a beautiful spring Monday a.m. but one thing hasn’t changed.   I have a boat load of e-mail to read in 30 minutes flat.

There’s Meka again.  Reminding that our girl’s weekend is coming up. OK, got it.  Date is now officially locked. I’m speed reading but what catches my eye is all the additional detail on exactly how we’ll spend our time. AND the fact that she asked me, and the other three women who are coming, to send her a childhood picture.

Hmmm? What’s she up to? Who knows, but she is planning early. So this may very well be the best girl’s weekend of all time. I see visions of spa treatments, drinks, food —just can’t wait.

July 25, 2008~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are finally there! The moment I walked into her and Mike’s home, I could feel something special in the air! There were candles, and wonderful smelling flowers.  And remember those childhood pictures, well they were blown-up and placed around the room. We even had folders that contained different readings and an outlined agenda of our time. Whoa!
I knew in an instant this party had a clear and intentional purpose.  No spa, but lots of soul searching. No pedicure, but lots of plans for our future. How could we, little old us, come together to serve in a major way? We let our imaginations run free.  Nothing was off-limits and we brainstormed… a lot. 

These are just a few of my own personal memories on how this giving circle, Be A Blessing, came to be. Before Meka’s letter, I was not really familiar with the term “giving circle.”   But as we explored it together I was struck by the simplicity, yet potential impactful, of the concept. 

Now the words from the earlier e-mails, about how we would reconnect and why, all made sense. On that weekend we devised a shared vision, and then set out to really make it come true. We would harness our collective power, intellect, talents, time, compassion, and social networks to reach out into the world and provide a needed change. Our singular focus would be on women and children.

July 25, 2013~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today as I write, Be A Blessing is just over the half-way point of a month-long drive to provide 30 homeless children at the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter with supplies for the 2013–14 school year. With only eight days left, we are overjoyed with the outpouring of support thus far, and remain confident that we will reach the goal—to outfit each of the 30 children by the August 2 deadline.

In Be A Blessing I’m just one little piece of something far bigger than myself. But I’m truly humbled to be a founding member, to help others, and to do so with my closest friends on the earth.  As we wrap-up our final push to help the 30 children in the shelter, I can’t help but of think of both my grandmothers. They are veteran teachers who dedicated their careers to their students, as well as their own children. If (I’m sorry: WHEN!) we make this goal—this one is for them. :)