3 Days & Shame

Have you ever felt embarrassed? You know what I mean… Maybe you tripped on a small object in front of a crowd, told a corny joke that no one laughed at, or did something that made you a public example. Whatever it was, you felt embarrassed, and nothing can really describe that butterfly feeling of embarrassment.

Nonetheless, I felt that this morning… Why? Because it is DAY 3 of #closetstrike, and I literally am approaching 72 hours in the same outfit. Not only do I NOT have any other option in my closet, but I reflected on how embarrassing and humiliating it is not to have a simple change of clothes. I can only imagine how children (students) feel who have to endure shame because of poverty, and a lack of resources.

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Well, after I went through the day, I received a phone call from a friend asking me about why I was doing what I was doing… He made mention that it didn’t seem to connect to anything for him, or he may have missed something. His statement was in no way belittling the campaign, but was uplifting (which is why I am writing this). He, like many others are wondering what is the end goal for this entire project. He wanted to know what resolve will come of me wearing an outfit for 90 DAYS straight… Well, here is the answer:

Last year, I had a chance to go into several schools (K-5), and work with many elementary students who attend Title 1 schools. Upon working with them, I observed that many of the students were impoverished, and had on uniforms and outfits that they wore every single day (literally), or they were underdressed (lacking socks, belts, and other basic items).

I started asking educators about this and found out that many students suffer because their family lack resources, or have little means to replenish worn clothing. This touched my heart…

Therefore, I took it upon myself to research disconnectedness of students when it comes to learning…. I found out that in many ways attire & low self-esteem affects academic performance among students (especially those who have tons of social pressures).

My heart immediately went out for those students, and I wanted to come up with a solution. Therefore, #lovebeyondwalls created a uniform called, “Uniform of Hope.” Below is a pic

LBW-Uniform-Mockup

I dreamed of creating closets for students who often times lacked closets in their own homes to provide of to students who struggled academically. But, instead of contributing to each individual students, I made it our goal to create closets for 5 schools (K-5). Why? Simple. To empower schools with the necessary resources for students. Also, this would give our organization a chance to do work in the school system, and teach students how to identify and solve needs in their own communities.

But, I was left with one delimma… I didn’t fully the challenges know students go through (or have to face) when they have to endure this type of shame.

Therefore, I took it upon myself to give up everything I own to walk in their shoes to raise uniforms for students that we will meet in August. I vowed to take three months to do this…

During the three months, I am planning to work with many individuals to help build these closets of hope for students in need (with uniforms)

Two things will come from this:

1) #lovebeyondwalls will impact students, families, educators, and

2) #lovebeyondwalls will launch a program to teach students how to raise awareness and solve problems that exist in the world.

Therefore, this is how #closetstrike was born. As days go by I will keep you guys updated on the progress, and also share with you the schools that we are partnering with this coming school year. Thanks for your support!

Terence

 

Closet Strike (May 3rd-July 31st)

On May 3rd, I will start a journey that will be one of the longest journey’s of my life! Probably the most humbling too…. In fact, it will take over 2K hours to complete! But I feel like it is what I am supposed to do…

Why? Because I would like to advocate for children without proper clothing or closets! There are so many children facing poverty or are experiencing “family homelessness” that have to wear the same thing ever single day. Or, they don’t have the proper clothing period.

We have done community work in Title 1 Schools and have encountered so many children who literally wore the same thing every singe day because they didn’t have a choice or a washing machine….

In fact, that’s what this campaign is about… I am literally going to donate every single article of clothing, shoes, etc I own (leaving myself only one outfit), and will walk in the shoes of children across this nation and world who have very few articles of clothing in their closet. Yes, you heard that right… Every single thing I own! 

I am going to wear one outfit for 90 DAYS straight to raise awareness, uniforms, and clothing for children facing generational poverty. I’m literally giving up my closet, so children who do not have closets will have one. I will write, post, and update my entire journey via social media to explain the social pressures associated with little (hoping to educate the public about what poverty does to children psychologically). Hopefully, this campaign will enlighten, educate, and move people to respond to the issue of lack.

Why do this? Simple. Over the last several months I have had many experiences that centered around children not having proper attire and experiencing extreme poverty. I have met many homeless mothers that have children who lacked necessities during their hardship/transition, spoken with struggling single fathers who could not afford to purchase basic items for their children to wear, worked in schools and have encountered children (K-5) that have to wear the same thing EVERY SINGLE DAY because their family can’t afford to purchase items for them.

I even heard a child say, “Mom, my feet hurt…” because the shoes this 4 year old was wearing shoes that were not his size (while experiencing homelessness)…

I have discovered something in all the stories I encounter that involve children and poverty… Their pains are directly tied to their caregivers, and is not their own fault. As I prepare myself over the next 4 days, I’m reminded of how Jesus not only served people, but gave up his life to reconcile humanity back to God.

Pray for #lovebeyondwalls and our journey with #closetstrike… The artwork is below!

Instagram 2.0Terence

22 Days Left – 2,160 HOURS

I got a couple of text messages from a good friend this AM. It went something like this, “Bro, so you aren’t going to tell me the next awareness campaign?” I responded, “I thought I already told you…” Long story short, I didn’t…

Nonetheless, the text messaging conversation went back and forth for a while, and ended up inspiring me to go through with it even more… Honestly, the more I think about this particular campaign, I get even more nervous about doing it. I am normally a very adventurous person, but 90 DAYS is a long time. In fact, it will take 2,160 hours to complete!

I am literally 22 DAYS away, and it will not be easy! But, as I think about the possible impact it will have on impoverished families and children, the more God strengthens me. I am praying that God uses this next campaign to raise awareness, reach people, and mobilized people to love others the way that God loves people. I will release soon.

Below is a fun fact about the campaign:

2160

Terence

Third Awareness Campaign (24 DAYS LEFT)!

Today, I’m sitting here thinking about how intense and how long it is going to take me to complete the third 3rd awareness campaign.

In fact, I have shared the idea with many close friends, and some people honestly think it is nuts. Well, I really don’t think it is nuts… I just think it will make a strong statement for all the children who struggle with generational poverty, lack, and broken families. I only have 24 more DAYS left… I will reveal this Sunday what it is…

Pray that this campaign changes others, changes me, and helps us #lovebeyondwalls!

24days

The Prayer Request I'll Never Forget…

I’m up… I’m thinking… I’m filled with compassion… My heart is racing really fast as I think about the next awareness campaign… It’s literally 5AM, and the prayer request I received 48 hours ago now is pushing me to go through with it!

The prayer request came from a mother in another state that is battling domestic violence, verbal abuse, and little support for her children. And guess what? She wrote this email from a hospital… Why? Because she is pregnant and is close to delivering another child (did I mention she’s married?)

In fact, her and her children are without many items and is being overtaken by abuse, poverty, and lack. This breaks my heart knowing this… This breaks my heart knowing that she thought enough of #lovebeyondwalls to reach out for prayer…And, I DID JUST THAT… I prayed that God grants her and her children safety!

Do I know this lady? No. BUT, I do know the pain the children may feel. I know what it feels like to have been around this type of brokenness. Can you relate?

Nonetheless, as I read her prayer request in the form of questions, I was moved to tears. Imagine getting this type of email over the weekend. You don’t believe me it brought me to tears? You read her words below (PLEASE EXCUSE THE EXPLICIT WORDS):

Courage: how many times have you verbally abused your pregnant wife?  Called her b*tches, hoes, dumb mother f*ckers? How about in front of company?  Ever had sex so rough that she ended up in hospital or weeping uncontrollably? What about promised her you’d never work if it meant paying bills instead of buying beer?  Oh what about pulled her hair?  Maybe calling her seven year old son a bastard or bi*ch as$ m.f. to his face was hurtful enough?  Maybe you ran off unannounced for two or three days with the house and car keys? Those girls were just useful for the money they could give you,  right?  You didn’t want them for sex though?  Hickies in your 30’s, but who gave u those?  What about the ‘line or two’ order cocaine habit that keeps you from working and constantly falling urine tests? Did her dad suggest they work it out when she told him all about it? Well, this wife has had all that and more,  but is too broken to leave.  At the end of my rope. Pray for me as many church folk advise me to stick through this.  My pregnancy caused me to not be able to work out pay my own bills.  unemployment has run out,  and with 9.5 weeks left,  my cervix is shortening,   I’m on bed rest,  and baby may come early.  All this while my husband constantly leaves me alone with no car and we have not paid any bills so eviction is eminent. Lord,  I need Your help just as You’ve come through before.  Said,  You’d never leave me nor forsake me. 

You may be asking, why would you share this? Firstly, I shared it in a way not to reveal the person’s identity. Second and last, I shared it because it is reality, it is what people are going through in this broken world, and I am saddened by the advise that was given to her by “church folk.” She stated that she was at the end of her emotional rope from being abused, cheated on, and some people told her to stay…………… Does this make you cringe?

Of course we have been able to connect this lady with one of our partners to recuse her from this situation, but I am still left with the question, “Who else?”

“What other women and children are experiencing this type of mistreatment and lack?”

“How many more children are suffering with this type of poverty and brokenness?”

Better yet,  “What will I do?”

For the last 48 hours, I have read the above prayer more than 100 times… And, it bothers enough to act. Can I save the world? No. But I can zero in on children, and help to give children a voice who experience the residue of brokenness? Yes.

In another email the lady expressed that her children were without clothes, necessities, and other items that kids should have. This broke my heart even more because children never ask to be in situations like this, and still deserve to have their basic needs met.

Therefore, on behalf of this lady, her children, and many other families that I have encountered being plagued by dysfunction, life circumstances, and poverty– I am going to do something.

In 25 days, we are launching our third awareness campaign to raise resources for children who battle brokenness and poverty. Pray for this lady, her children, and the many other children out there battling…

Terence

Plant Love Campaign

We are approaching a historic month for #lovebeyondwalls! Why? Because in the month of April we will occupy our first office/slash storage space. Below is a picture if you have seen it yet:

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Of course it is not a gigantic building, but it will be something we call a headquarters & home.

It will be a “launchpad” for the work we would like to continue doing in our city (ATL), country, and world.

It will be a place where we can get planted and grow as an organization. We ask that you do four specific things to help us get planted into our new office/storage space in the month of April (whole month).

1) Pray – I ask that you pray that God allows us to get planted, and immediately continue to reach people who do not have any hope.

2) Give – I ask that you look at our simple “wish list” and contribute in of the items on it that we need. This is ALL from scratch, so we will need your help. But, if we have to spend the first month on the floor with laptops working, we are cool with that too. LOL. Simply click [HERE] to visit our “wish list” page.

3) Volunteer  – We will post the days that we will start working on the building to clean it, and make minor repairs to it. We ask that you volunteer to help get our building together. We will need help getting organized, painting, etc. Why? As we get planted, we can help more people.

4) Share our story – If you know someone who could help us move forward, share our story. You never know who “you know” that we can help, or could help us.

Thank you for reading this blog. Pray for #lovebeyondwalls as we aim to “PLANT LOVE” in the city of Atlanta! Below is the graphic for the new campaign #plantlove

plantlove-office-instagram Terence

Next Two Serve Days in March

We will have two serving opportunities this month (March) to pass out many of the shoes we’ve collected for our #givemilesaway campaign! Below are the details… Email us if you are interested:

serve

Terence

90 Day Celebration!

Today marks 90 DAYS since we officially launched our site, blog, and went public with #lovebeyondwalls… It has been an amazing ride so far, and we hope to continue to change and impact lives all over the world.

It has been really cool to see our ten year history (severing the community) start to impact so many lives. God deserves all the credit.

Below is a quick update charting our movement over the last 90 DAYS… Of course it includes numbers (which I don’t like sharing), but it at least reveals some sense of measuring. I have chosen to share this because we have had many supporters, donors, and people to sow into to our organization. We want to reveal to our supporters how they are helping us to move and impact lives!

20 FACTS FOR #LOVEBEYONDWALLS  IN 90 DAYS

  1. We have led 3 people to faith.
  2. We have baptized 1 individual.
  3. We have gotten 3 people off the streets.
  4. We have established over 50 relationships with people who are homeless.
  5. We have served over 1K homeless men, women, and children.
  6. We have mobilized over 1K volunteers both local and nationally to get involved with our campaigns.
  7. We have generated over 30 partnerships.
  8. We have raised over 12K socks from local and national supporters to distribute to the homeless community.
  9. We have raised over 1K hygiene products to distribute to the homeless community.
  10. We have partnered with 5 churches to mobilize people.
  11. We have secured 5 drop-off locations.
  12. We have stopped three evictions.
  13. We Have raised over 1K shoes to distribute to the homeless community.
  14. We have had over 15K website visits around our awareness campaigns.
  15. We have grown our social media following by %1000 (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).
  16. We have set up our first educational campaign.
  17. We have worked with two major news stations, and 1 radio station.
  18. We have mobilized over 200 students in K-12 schools to get involved in our efforts.
  19. We have partnered with 5 schools.
  20. We have inspired over 100 people locally and nationally to start their own community work.
  21. We have made history with the first 30 mile walk for homelessness in the city of ATL.

 

There are more facts….but I can’t share them all right now. However, I want it to be known many of the numbers above are not to pat ourselves on the back, but to track what God has miraculously done as we have selflessly given ourselves to the work of God.

WE WANT TO THANK EACH OF YOU FOR SUPPORTING!

We hope to continue to have more of an impact in 2014 as we share more of our creative efforts. I ask that you keep our efforts, campaigns, and ideas in your prayers.

90days

Terence

 

The Countdown Begins (DAY 11 1K SHOES)

Today, I am 11 DAYS AWAY!

Help us #givemilesaway for our March Campaign! I am walking thirty miles to raise 1K shoes for those who are homeless and in need. Drop-off locations are on the artwork below! Spread the word…

givemilesaway-graphic

Terence