Tag Archives | making a difference

Clyde Terry, Emerging Leaders Academy

In California where the cost to keep a criminal behind bars is between $47,000 – $94,000 per year and 70% of offenders return to jail within 1 year of being released. One man created a program that is changing lives for the better.

There are positive solutions to our challenges and positive people out there working hard to make them happen Clyde Terry is building a world that works for everyone!

Clyde lives a life of service and leadership. After 10 years in the Marine Corps, he went on to serve as an LA County Sheriff for 25 years. He has worked most of his career in two of LA’s toughest communities Compton and Watts.

While serving as a Sheriff he noticed that he was arresting the same people year after year and knew there had to be a better way. The solution he developed is a program called the Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) that is turning around and saving lives.

The Emerging Leaders Academy provides tools for self empowerment through guidance, mentoring and training.  ELA is a path to opportunities, providing participants with essential career developmental skills for traditional employment, entrepreneurship training and a therapeutic writing workshop, all being alternatives to criminal behavior and violence thereby empowering participants to take a new direction in life.

IT WORKS!  90% of the Emerging Leaders Academy graduates do not re-offend! Let that sink in.  9 out of 10 of the graduates go forward in life and become positive contributors to their families, communities and country.

To learn more about ELA visit them online: http://EmergingLeaders360.org

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Do what you can – where you are.

hungrySo I was on my way to meditate at the beach this morning after my workout…but the fog rolled in and it was totally covered so I decided to stop for breakfast.

While eating the thought came to me to buy some food for the homeless lady I saw at the bus stop on my way by…it was just a thought I left without buying her anything.

And then as I am driving away I see man holding a sign “I’m very hungry” – at first I want to just keep driving but then I just simply asked him what he wanted his request was so simple a breakfast sandwich and a soda from the nearby Burger King.

I hit the drive-thru, fulfilled his order and Doug was very happy and appreciative and I’m feeling pretty good too!

Then I am driving home and I see the same homeless woman sitting at the bus stop that I saw before and I just felt I couldn’t skip her and I made a U-turn, pulled up at the same drive-thru and ordered her a breakfast sandwich and a coffee.

The woman at the drive-thru said “See you in 10 minutes?”  with a smile. I just smiled back and said it was for my friend. Then I went to deliver breakfast to my sister at the bus stop.

When I dropped it off…just seeing her smile as she drank the warm coffee after sleeping out all night warmed my heart….

Now I share this not for you to say “oh look at what a wonderful thing “David did”  – I share this to ask you to look into your heart the next time you see another human who is hungry and if you can offer them a meal, a word, your smile…You’ll find you receive way more than you give!

love

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One family’s journey during this economic downturn.

Below is a true story that really moved me. It’s about one family’s journey during this economic downturn and I just think it’s wonderful how the have responded to their personal crisis with hope, faith and love. Be sure to read what their 10 year old son wrote from his perspective…it’ll touch your heart.

“Hi David ! My wife shares all your emails with me. I’m looking forward to one day meeting you.

This is our story in a nutshell. It’s amazing what a difference a day makes. America is the richest country in the world.And as Americans we totally take a lot of things for granted. With my family ,I have always been able to provide and live very comfortably. My wife was a stay home mom for 13 years.And I work as a skycap for the # 1 airlines,at one of the busiest airports in the country. Working solely on tips,we were never short on cash.

The crisis of the economic down fall finally hit our house,like a big fist.  The company I worked for over 10 years lost the contract. I now had to re- apply with the new company, and pray I have a job.Not only did they cut my hours ,I’m now only working 3 days a week solely on tips,talk about FAITH!

I sent out mass loads of resumes with no response.We had a padding of about 40k in our personal account.But as days and weeks went by,and the the non stop of bills and not to mention mortgage. We watched that deplete rapidly to almost zero.

It was causing a major strain on our marriage,bodies,and most of all  our FAITH. We were faced with some major and drastic decision’s. We lived in a beautiful neighborhood . One we had always dreamed about.We had a brand new 5/3, 3,500 sq ft  home,with pool,whirlpool, and all the bells and whistles.But due to financial constraints.We were forced to move to
a 1100 sq ft 3/2 very old house.It already came with lots of roommates, the kind with 4 to 8 legs and wings.Some of them were so excited we were moving in,that a few were laying on their backs dead from all the excitement of the new tenants.

As a man ,and the head of my household. I was at an all time low.I felt as if I was letting my family down.Battling all kinds of  emotions,depression,anger,sadness you name it I felt it.

The only thing I could cling to was my FAITH.One day my wife was really complaining to GOD. She asked him why did this happen to us? She heard a still soft voice in her soul speak to her.

The LORD said” Look at what you  have instead of what you no longer had” She looked into the refrigerator and saw we have 2 stocked with food.She began to cry from conviction, because there are people in Orlando without food or a roof over their head.

She shared this with me and the kids,and ask how we would feel about serving and feeding the homeless.We thought it was a great idea and a way to really appreciate what we have. As we bagged up all the meals, our son wrote on all the bags ” God loves u” The response we got was overwhelming.The hardest part was turning away hungry faces when we ran out of food.

The ride home was very quiet,we cried and fought back tears all the way home. When we finally got home and had our meal for the night,everything looked and tasted different. And our humble home didn’t look so bad after all.

Our family now looks forward to serving not the homeless ,but our new friends. Thanks for letting us share our story! God Bless!” Ellis and Silvana Moore, Orlando, FL, USA

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A night with the homeless by: Ellis Moore (Age 10)

Every Saturday or Sunday night my family and I go out and feed the homeless people in the city of Orlando. There are thousands of people across The United States with out food or shelter. My family and I have been doing this for several months.

We wanted to see what it was like in the life of a homeless person. One special thing I like to mention is, my family and I do not eat before we begin are journey. So we know how it feels to be hungry.

All of the areas we go to are very dangerous. We go on streets such as, Orange blossom trail, Parramore, Gore street, Colonial dr , and Down town Orlando.

We all get together in the kitchen and prepare the food. Some of the meals are sandwiches and cookies and a bottled of water. Sometimes my mom prepares a steaming hot delicious meal. We then bag them all up to feed 30 or more people.

I like to write a special notes on the bags like, “God loves you”. Before my family And I get into the car we ask God for protection in a family prayer.

A lot of people misunderstand homeless people. Not all homeless people are drug addicts or bad people some are really nice. Some of them just had bad things happened to them.

At first when my family and I went out on the street we had to earn there trust. Because a lot of people are mean to them for no good reason. But now that they see us every week they trust us. We even know some of their names. We all have to remember that these are people that have feelings.

Some of them shake our hands for giving them food, and thank us. Some of them do really funny dances because they are happy.

We have become really close with this man named Tony and his wife. They have all of their personal belongings in shopping carts. After meeting with them several times he has told us a lot about his life. He graduated from collage and has a PHD. He used to teach French and, Spanish. He graduated from Howard University.

After we get done feeding the homeless ,it makes me appreciate what I have at home. Sometimes it makes me sad, and makes mom cry. I love feeding the homeless, and making a difference in someone’s life.

–Ellis Moore (Age 10)

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