April 23, 2009

Chicken Ala Carte: World Hunger Epidemic

In my favorites section... I've included a short film on hunger in America. It is to date, one of the most heart-wrenching videos I've seen on hunger- it won a prestigious award. Break out your tissues, this is a sad one, but what I hope it does, is inspires you to reach out and do something! Wow! I am humbled, saddened, grateful. Overall, I am inspired, that someone took time to make this video to share their forgotten stories. I invite you to do the same and link it to my YouTube Channel. We can all learn from this, and be inspired to figure out what we can do to help the ongoing hunger epidemic! www.goinspirego.com, click on YouTube Channel!

April 20, 2009

"Mother Teresa & Susan WHO?"

Susan Boyle from "Britians Got Talent," is amazing. I just added this story to my "Favorites" section, she's the latest underdog hero, (I've always loved rooting for the underdog) whom I'd like to give a shout out to! Judging a book by it's cover before you've stopped to uncover the story is definitely human nature, now that you know, watch this, and always remember-- have compassion, everybody has a Mom or a Dad, has a dream or dreams, has emotions and is valid. People's stories connect us all, you just have to stop, and ask people, what's your story...chances are, you may find out something that could teach you an important lesson about yourself and your life. One of my favorite quotes: "if you judge people, you have no time to love them." - Mother Teresa

The BIG "A" is for Apple & Awareness

April 19, 2009

Spring is in full swing -- and I've got the allergies to prove it! Aside from the sniffles and sinus pressure, I welcome this season, this change, with open arms.

This spring time, I'm lucky enough to be able to travel to NYC and upstate New York to enjoy the myriad of cherry and apple blossoms that line several streets of this concrete jungle, the food, fashion (I love people watching) and the calmness of Upstate. The colorful blossoms scattered everywhere are constant reminders to slow it down... and enjoy them... because they do connect us to something bigger -- the universe and its energy; sun, water, soil, the people -- and their stories.

The Big Apple is always teeming with energy; good, bad and nervous all bundled in one. I've been to New York twice already, but this time it was different. I wasn't here for conventions or business; I'm here for a "laycation." (For everyone who's been laid off, I do recommend you take a laycation, if you can, and make the best of your new time.)

If you asked me a year ago, I wouldn't have even imagined I'd be laid-off and here in NYC people watching, meeting up with new and old friends. It's truly been a serendipitously busy vacation. This trip was truly rewarding both personally and professionally.

I only planned to come, hang out with some friends in NY, then take a train along the Hudson River to Poughkeepsie to visit my friend Shannon. I should've known the Big A isn't the place for just sitting, relaxing and vacationing. The energy is amazing, but at the same time, it could be draining.

A recruiter for the CBS Network, was inspired and contacted me after seeing the Go Inspire Go website and wanted me to meet a few folks under the CBS tent. I did not expect the amazing events to ensue. First off, my agent contacted me and said, you're in NY, I'll send the other networks your reel and website. That's when I got one call after another -- ABC, NBC and then back to CBS -- for more meetings. Wow. I didn't realize that even the recruiters would be inspired by this website.

And another amazing thing happened... I met a true life angel/hero and another life-long friend, Sara. I came here on the lookout for a family who cooks over 120 meals nightly and selflessly gives them out to the homeless people under the subway tracks in Jackson Heights, Queens. I heard of this story, by a viewer, Terrie in Chicago. I looked high and low on the internet, and asked Terrie to research where she saw it, but to no avail. Oh well, I'll surrender to the powers that be and if it's meant to happen, then I'll do it, if not, I can always come back to New York to do this story.

Then, last Wednesday night, I met a new friend, Sara, who was a laid-off producer of one of the networks. (Thanks Ramy for connecting us over dinner.) She told me about the same story, that she had read about in the newspaper. Oh my gosh, I knew it wasn't a coincidence and that I had to try my best to find this family and do this story. Sara and I researched, Googled and asked around, but no luck. Then, a few hours later, we found it through more research on the Internet. It just so happened that the food delivery location, was down the street from my friend, Ramy's apartment in Queens where I was staying -- A BLOCK AWAY!!! I was so excited. So was Sara.

The man we interviewed is named Jorge Munoz. He is a school bus driver by day, and after his shift, his second jobs begins. He and his family start grocery shopping and cooking away. Together, they prepare over 120 hot meals, pack them, and then drive them over to the subway stop every night at 9:30. They've been delivering hot food to the needy for the past four years, only missing one day, due to a snowstorm. After the interview, I felt chills and overcome with emotion. I told Mr. Munoz that I was so honored to meet and spend time getting to know him and his family. My eyes filled with tears as I left his home. Mr. Munoz only makes $700 a week. The donations through his non profit, www.anangelinqueens.org and donations from folks in the community isn't enough to feed the growing army that meets him under the subway -- so he has to spend $250-$300 of his own money EVERY WEEK to make sure everyone is fed. WOW!

It's so funny how, what's meant to be just is. It just works out -- despite all the obstacles in the way. We had no equipment, no idea of who or where Mr. Munoz was, but still, something bigger than us, connected all the dots. . . Sara told me, "When I met you over dinner and you invited me to do this story, I couldn't sleep. I was in a funk, after being laid off for the past three months, and was so excited to participate in a story that I cared about so much. I'm so excited, I have no words to describe it."

Although this laycation was surprisingly busy and filled with so many pleasant surprises, I also realized it was because I'm at a different place in life and in my career. In the BIG Apple, I was also "Aware," on the subway, while walking throughout the city, and while meeting up with faces new and old. I realized that when you are present and on your path to doing good, with the resources and talents you possess, great things come, 20-fold!

My mantra this year is, "KNOW YOUR POWER -- AND USE IT!" AMAZING!

OK, gotta catch my flight to Chicago now to do another story for the site. I'll file my New York Angel story this week, spread the good word, and stay tuned...

April 8, 2009

Inspiring Viewers...Thank you!

I've been inundated with so many inspirational story ideas and comments :) So many, that I can get to all the events/story locations. While all of the events are important, I can't be in more than one place at one time, so I'm asking you to also send in pictures and a blurb of what you're doing as well (if you don't have the shooting & editing equipment) and I'll try to post it on my blog! Thank you so much to everybody, I am so inspired by your inspiration! I am living with the total attitude of gratitude...

I'm off to New York and Chicago (Will shoot a story and upload in the near future...so stay tuned)

More stories to come...

April 4, 2009

New GO Inspire GO website... & Media Coverage!

I'm excited to announce the new website: www.goinspirego.com - Thanks to my webmaster, the very talented, Lorelle Graffeo!

This site is the hub of all the latest and greatest surrounding this movement.
You'll find the links to the YouTube Channel & Blog, as well as everything you need to know about the MISSION & VISION of GO Inspire GO - inspiring stories, people who create them and how you can take part!

NOTE: We were recently featured on some local news outlets, so when you visit www.goinspirego.com, please make sure to click on the "Welcome" tab, then "News & Media"

Several national news organizations may also feature this site and the movement its created!