Just a couple of months ago, I decided to return to Jamaica but this time driven by purpose. I invited women who wanted to follow their passion and investigate their purpose to join me. I also decided to make giving back to the local community a priority and therefore participate in “Pack for a Purpose,” a program supported by the Half Moon Resort to help the Barrett Town Elementary School by encouraging their guests to pack school supplies, games and recreational items like soccer balls for the kids.In an effort to make this work, I reached out to those who support me and my Haute Travels projects and got a few generous donations and words of encouragement. When I decided to do this, I wasn’t sure how it would come together. I just knew that I was divinely led to do it. And I didn’t focus on how it would work out. I just knew that it would; there was no need to worry. As I get closer to the date of departure, more people have reached out with generous donations, like Najah, Owner of Like the River Hair Salon in Atlanta or my friend Kimberly Patterson, a talented makeup artist in Chicago, who highlighted the beauty of Iyanala Vanzant, as seen in her new show Iyanla: Fix My Life.
My family has even stepped in to make contributions… my mom and my cousin have been inspired to support the kids! My friends, Robin, Greta, Vernon, Samantha, Rolanda and others like Christa, Angela Myers, April (an absolute travel addict) and Debbi Howard have been generous with their support of my Haute Travels endeavors. Their sponsorship has allowed me to help more kids on this trip because of their recent contributions to my love of mixing beauty, travel and philanthropy. Although, their angel investments were for a Paris project, I redirected some funds to help the kids. I love Paris but this was more important at this time.
But the love doesn’t stop there… the girls who are coming along with me are also buying school supplies to encourage the kids to discover their passions. And even the Half Moon and the Jamaican Tourist Board sponsored activities or covered costs to help offset our expenses so that we can give more. The spirit of giving is contagious!
Those who stepped up to help did so without reservation, but others who could help just remained silent, even though, in the past, they’ve benefitted from my help in a number of ways, including getting paid to work with a brand that I sent their way, receiving fully funded press trips or helped promote their projects using my own platform. I’m reminded of those things because it shows that when God puts a promise in your heart; nothing can stop it from manifesting. There is always something so much bigger at work. I’ve learned… what you give out, you always get back and this is an example of what giving and karma is all about. Sometimes people want to help but simply can’t financially, but nothing can stop them from using their own platform to spread the word or encourage someone else to do something good if they want to. If you take nothing else away from my story… know that when something is in your heart to do, just believe that it will all fall into place as the universe intended. You already have everything that you need to move forward... just believe and trust that it was put in your heart and spirit for a reason. You can do it.