October 2020

Weeping willow tree on the shoreline of Herastrau Lake, Bucharest, Romania

Someone recently asked me, “What word would you use to describe your experience of 2020?” On the spot, I didn’t hear 2020. I heard “what word would you use to describe your experience of the pandemic or Covid-19.”  Although there were great occasions celebrated and many exciting functions attended before the pandemic, they just disappeared from my memory. Then I remembered a concert I attended in the beginning of March. We talked about how going on the train and into a large venue could surely be the way someone may become infected. Infected with this mysterious illness that seemed so far away. Unfortunately, about a week or so later I began to not feel well. Then my family didn’t, and we stumbled around to try and figure how to get tested and where to get tested while at home because of the massive shut down around us.

As one of the first to be facing this we figured it out in the moment. Our feelings

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heightened and therefore “discussed” in real time. Our kids sent home from college uncertain of what would lie ahead. Our high school senior cut off from the year she had waited for, watching her siblings and countless movies of each and every high school milestone. Being unwell puts things into perspective quickly. Learning and developing strategies and plans to ensure the safety and financial security for employees was paramount. Leaders rose to the occasion. Working from home became a reality, figuring out ways and methods to ensure success for productivity.

As we began to feel better, we swam up to the surface. The devastation of friends and family suffering from illness and the loss of loved ones, unable to be by their side or bury them properly came into focus. Small businesses, essential workers, caregivers, hospital staff and people struggling were not only illuminated on media platforms, but in the PROMISE of HOPE’S mission and hearts!! This gave meaning and purpose in a time of such uncertainty. Contributing to other foundations that provide physical, emotional and mental support became more important than ever. We came together and reached out to all of you. We supported, fed, empowered and even entertained. We will always rise up and do better - TO BUILD A BETTER TODAY…FOR A BETTER TOMORROW…

So, what word do I choose?

I choose APPRECIATION! Appreciation for all the things I had said yes to before Covid. The health and wellness of my family. Appreciation for the sacred moments, for time spent, for focusing on what is truly important, for the many blessings, and for the opportunity to have a platform to help others. Promise of Hope is here to help and to serve our communities needs. None of what we do can be done alone!

We are honored to have your trust.  Since the pandemic, the world in 2020 may not look or feel like anything we’ve known before. We may be apart from loved ones and divided by our belief systems, but tragedy, illness and loss all look the same. We will always work hard to SHINE A LIGHT in the darkest of times. My heart is hopeful that we will all come together and find our way to prevail and along the way lift up those who are too weak!

Thank you - I wish you, your family and friends health and wellness.

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Promise Of Hope Supports The Empowerment Of Young Girls


“This is so amazing! Thank you so much. Honestly its an answer to my prayers right now!”were words expressed by Theresa Roden, an amazing woman and founder of the non-profit foundation, i-tri. Please find their inspiring mission at www.iTriGirls.org.

How did we come to find the opportunity to help? It all started when a family member mentioned this year that she didn't want to receive gifts or go out to celebrate her birthday. Instead, this year she was inviting the tribe of woman she surrounds herself with and has walked through fire with (including me) to her home for a party for all of us - a Goddess party! It was a night to celebrate our power as women and celebrate each other without judgement. History illustrates the difference in the treatment and rights women have had. Those differences would create the perception that we are less than and not contributing as much as our fellow humans but as I hope all of you know and our society well illustrates...we are literally doing it “ALL”.

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There was a part of the evening that we were invited to mention something good about ourselves and this was a difficult task! There we were, a room filled with accomplished and successful adult woman but yet each one of us would pause, needed more time, we stuttered and some accidentally mentioned what was wrong instead. This in itself embodies what i-tri is working to change. Their mission is to change this pattern and foster confident young girls in a powerful and dynamic way!

Not only did this family member invite us for a beautiful evening, she asked her guests that if they wished to bring something to let it be for The Promise of Hope Foundation’s second annual Gala this past March. The women were GENEROUS! Of course, they are Goddesses! This ended up serving as one of the most successful auctions and included a weekend in the Barzilay family's home in a beautiful area on Long Island.

This momentum of giving was all born from the fire of a woman blazing the way to inspire others. So committed to this, the Goddesses decided to match a portion of the auction amount and put it towards the mission of empowering the next generation of women to be able to say “THANK YOU, IT’S TRUE!” when someone compliments them.

During this time I was speaking with many about the cause of empowering women and someone mentioned Theresa’s amazing foundation formed on the same premise.  Reaching so many at risk young girls, i-tri builds them up emotionally, socially, physically and prepares them to move forward in life with tools to succeed and believe in themselves even if others say “you're not good enough!”

As you may have said to yourself once or twice, there are no coincidences. I certainly did so when I heard that Theresa's home base for i-tri is in close proximity to the Barzilays and someone they both know within their community, that was no coincidence. With the Barzilay’s donation and a donation from the Promise of Hope Foundation, we are helping i-tri with costs needed to execute the race the girls will run, swim and bike this Saturday! (See flyer) as the culmination of the program.

Promise of Hope’s mission is to provide assistance, encouragement, and support to individuals, families and other foundations in need. Our desire is to provide hope and improve the needs that exist in our communities. We are committed to creating positive empowerment. I-tri is run solely by donations so with the spirit of the Barzilay family and the Goddesses and their families involvement I know we will help change these girls lives and inspire others to shine their light!

Thank you to all that contributed and a special thank you Theresa Roden and all the volunteers and professionals supporting all that you do. Most importantly our sincerest gratitude for allowing myself, and my partners Scott and Michael the opportunity to be a part of your mission.

I will be there this Saturday to cheer the girls and their families.
I hope to see you there.

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Miss Mollie


What was it that caught her eye that day?  After a long day at work as she was walking through the store grabbing food to make a quick dinner for her own family.  “BEST BROWNIES IN THE UNIVERSE!”  This seemed like an obvious reason to pay attention.  The packaging was a bright and cheerful pink.  It screamed “Look at me!”  She read the letter with the sweetest words from Mollie’s daughter, Melanie.  The words outlined the reason for the creation of the brownie and the reason we should all buy them.  Her Mom had been very sick and as the only parent at home, making it hard for her to stay afloat.  She eloquently wrote “together we can make the world a sweeter place…one brownie at a time!!!”   This is how we came to make the connection.  We asked if she could make her brownies as the favor for our upcoming event just weeks away and for over 500 people.  She met the challenge and was grateful.

“That was not enough” said Mike, “We need to help this family!”

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The wheels started to turn, and we made the decision that we would invite Miss Mollie and her precious family to our annual event.  That was still not enough. Melanie, who wrote the letter that had touched us in the store that day read it in front of all 500 guests at the event.  She is a shy young lady. Her mom stood rubbing her back, brother there strongly beside her and a friend I would come to learn later had cared for Mollie through the unpleasant moments that a mastectomy and illness causes a woman’s body to go through.

We watched Melanie, feeling her energy sharing the truths of the words once written. They poured out of her and into our collective hearts.   That in itself was the kind of moment that you don't realize has you holding your breath thinking of your loved ones, your own struggles, maybe your own fears…then a second later everything comes back into focus and you’re in the room again watching this young girl tell her family’s story and you did not realize, no one realized the magnitude of what was to happen next…

Everyone attending watched the live auction items be presented.  As the fun of bidding and countering each other were over a surprise announcement echoes through the microphone…”There will be one more auction!”...  Miss Mollie and her family were asked to leave the room.  Five minutes was put up on the clocks shown on large screens throughout the venue and everyone is invited to help this family!  Unbeknownst to them the last item was to see how much money can be raised to help this family in five minutes. The clock starts and there is an uproar in the room, everyone chimed in, even a 10-year-old joining her grandmother shared her stash.  Volunteers quickly went to each table with people over-joyed to show their support.  The room was bustling with electricity and the generosity shown was one of the most powerful things I had ever witnessed…UNTIL the five minutes closed on the clock and her family reentered the room.  The song “O Happy Day” played as the volunteers brought up their collection amounts.  They quickly added up the estimated amount and wrote it on an oversized check. Without sharing this private information I would say for certain the amount written was never seen on one check for the majority of people in attendance. We unveiled the check for the family.  This is the moment that I can say with most certainty will be etched on my heart forever!!!  Miss Mollie fell to the ground and her loved ones stood in total shock.  People cheered and cried and hugged one another as they witnessed first-hand how they helped change a life in five minutes.  These moments are rare!  But this is what the PROMISE of HOPE Foundation is committed to providing.  After meeting Miss Mollie and coming to learn more about her I was left with so much to think about.  One of the most important things though is that people aren’t usually aware that when you look at a person, any person, to remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone has gone through something that has changed them.

It is very easy for people to ignore what they don’t want to see.  Very easy to assume things about others by whatever criteria you have set in your own mind.

What if…we took the time to ask someone “Are you ok?”, “Can I help you?” or just open a door for them.  What a difference it could make to simply meet them with a smile or buy a brownie!…What might you see?...Learn?...Feel? or CONNECT with?

Here is an opportunity for you to explore those questions, perhaps make a friend, or be of service to someone…to remind you of your power…and your importance!

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