October 28, 2014

Skeptics of The Poor

Two homeless women contacted The SOFEI Group for housing assistance after eviction from an area shelter. Housing homeless women and their families is not part of our mission; however, we sought assistance (temporary housing, food, and pampers) from area organizations, churches, and people on their behalf. Following are responses to our request:
  • Why were they evicted?
  • Are they tithing members of a church?
  • They must be irresponsible women to be evicted from a shelter.
  • Why can't they move to another shelter?
  • I don't believe in giving my money to people that don't want to help themselves.
  • Why can't they go and stay with relatives?
All responses were valid and The SOFEI Group decided to provide temporary housing and food for these women because they were wandering the street with their children in tote. And, it was discovered their eviction wasn't a result of their carelessness, but their refusal to attend substance abuse (alcohol or drugs) counseling sessions mandated by the shelter.

Some shelters receive different types of funding - funding for emergency or transitional housing. And, when shelters are strapped for cash, it's unfortunate that some women are subjected to unnecessary or unrelated services.

We're all responsible to be good stewards of our resources, and we clearly understand the skepticism associated with giving money to people you don't know. However, here's a food for thought, every time we spend our money, we're possibly supporting an organization or a cause we do not believe in. You know why? Because we don't ask questions about how our money is being used after a purchase is complete. As long as our immediate wants or needs are met, we seldom question the destination of our hard-earned money once it leaves our hands.

So, why the skepticism when money is needed to help the poor?

October 23, 2014

We Plunged

Right into doing something we’ve never done before – host a Zumbathon® Charity Event! Since we’ve been out of the lime-light, we thought hosting a Zumbathon® would be a fun way to reconnect with friends and supporters, and make new ones.

We’ve supported Zumbathon® events to benefit heart disease and ovarian cancer. And one-year later we’re hosting our own to benefit women experiencing poverty in the Washington region.

The Zumba® Corporate Office approved our Zumbathon® Charity Event within two-hours of submission - a process that normally takes two-business days, and within four-weeks, only 10% of our desired participants have registered.

Lesson learned, we’re doing something we’ve never done before and its success can’t be measured solely on who showed up; but, on our commitment to work and move the weight of poverty off the shoulders of women who live with it daily right in our backyard.

Not achieving the desired results from this plunge will not stop us from doing it again. Poverty is growing, and we do not have time to be stagnated by fear, skepticism, or resistance.

If you want to experience growth and enthusiasm click here - this can result from trying something new.

September 30, 2014

A World without Women

What would the world look like without women? Take a few minutes to ponder this thought. What did you come up with?

Women who are abused, neglected, or subjected to sexism, are invisible. And, women weren’t created to be second-class citizens to men, but equally to build a fruitful and noble world for all humanity to enjoy. Subjection of women can stem from pride and ignorance. It’s ignorance when people don’t know the reason for women’s existence; pride when people are self-serving and would do anything to fulfill their wants and needs.

If women want to strengthen their presence and voice in society, they should:
  • Discover their purpose and not allow people or external circumstances deter them from their destined path.
  • Live according to their uniqueness and convictions; not societal norms.
  • Know their rights as a citizen and in the workplace and hold people accountable who inflict harm to them.
  • Increase and stabilize their self- and net-worth to create personal and financial stability.
  • Stop defining their value based on their sexuality or possessions.
  • Connect with people who exalt others and not themselves.
  • Be decisive and fearless about their beliefs and choices.
Eve was created to serve as Adam’s helpmate; not his doormat. If women want to make their presence known and voices heard, they should stop walking in the shadow of mankind, and consider walking in the shadow of their Creator - God.

September 26, 2014

I’m Not One of Them

My parents raised me different.

My parents told me, "Make sure you can take care of yourself," and I do.

These women need to stop lying on their backs, making babies they can’t take care of.

I’m not giving my money to support lazy women that don’t want to work.

These statements are from single mothers who were approached by The SOFEI Group to help us achieve our mission of empowering women to economic independence. The single mothers were divorced, widowed, and a sole parent with a strong support system.

What’s interesting is how proud they were to share their distinction without knowledge of our current and prospective clients. It will be impossible for women to thrive as a cohesive unit when we’re moved so swiftly to divide. Why talk about the wage gap between men and women or any other gaps that supposedly prevent women from progressing, when women allow social, political, financial, or ethnical differences create wedges?

Many women who have experienced or are experiencing poverty, did not choose it! They do not enjoy relying on the government or others to feed their children or meet their basic living needs. And, it's unfortunate these women experience a different type of judgment when they need assistance to regain their momentum after a divorce, death of a spouse, spousal abandonment, decline in health, or job loss.

Today's society is heading towards a downward spiral because women who carry the weight of poverty aren't participating at their best capacity. Madeleine Albright, (former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and US Secretary of State) states, "There's a special place in hell for women that don't help each other."

Women have the power to transform our society to be more inclusive and not divisive. It's a matter of choice. Which will you choose?

August 12, 2014

SOFEI's Top Ten

Following is a list of The SOFEI Group's top ten YouTube videos for motivation, inspiration, and hope:

March 31, 2014

It's Time to Clean House

An elderly woman lost her life in a house fire because she hoarded stuff that didn't add value. Her neighbors recognized how hazardous her house had become and offered assistance to help her clean, to no prevail.

Just as the elderly woman collected worthless items, there are many people who gather and hold onto people and things that deplete or bring detriment to their spiritual or emotional well-being. Worthless items like negative thinking, self-denial, stressful living, defeat, deceit, jealousy, fear, anger, covetousness, envy, anxiety, lack of self-control, hatred, low self-worth and self-esteem.

When we pray and ask God for deliverance from our trials and tribulations, healing from a broken or wounded heart, or for a financial blessing, He can't deliver when our internal being is cluttered. For example, when a pilot attempts to land a plane, the pilot verifies if the pathway is clear. If it isn't, the pilot goes into a holding pattern. God is like the pilot! He wants to deliver your blessing or deliverance, but your pathway isn’t clear.

Your blessing or deliverance is on hold and God is willing, able, and ready to release it; but, you have to clean house! Get rid of everyone and everything that's cluttering your life. It will take commitment, determination, and patience. Don't look for quick cleaning methods or solutions, but roll up your sleeves, and clear areas often missed or overlooked. A clean house (i.e., internal) will make room to receive everything you need to live a focused, fulfilled, and joyous life.

March 26, 2014

Jewel in Hands of an Inexperienced Jeweler

Genesis 34 talks about a young virgin woman, named Dinah who “went out to see the daughters of the land” (Genesis 34:1). She was spotted by Shechem - a victim of lust at first sight, who took Dinah and violated her virginity (Genesis 34:2). A Jewel, such as Dinah, was defiled and violated because of Shechem’s strong sexual desire to have her (Genesis 34:3). In Hebrew, the definition of violated or defiled, means to be taken by force (i.e., raped). Shechem’s actions resulted in harm instead of satisfaction because Dinah’s brothers, Levi and Simeon lied, stole, and murdered for revenge.

Dinah was a Jewel taken by force, but there are many women (Jewels) who voluntarily place themselves in the hands of Inexperienced Jewelers due to:

Soft Spoken Words

According to Genesis 34:3, Shechem spake kindly unto the damsel. Women can become prey to soft spoken words if they were raised in negative environments, were victims of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse and never heard or experienced unconditional love.

Low Self-Esteem

Some women with low-self esteem try to validate their self-worth by clinging to the arms of wrong men.

The Biological Clock

Some women rush into marriage based on their biological clock instead of God's. Their friends have gotten married, and started families, and they feel like timing is running out for Mr. Right.

Inexperienced Jeweler Doesn't Know Her Value

This can happen for women with a history of broken and abusive relationships, as well as other issues they haven't allowed God to cleanse and heal.

Fornication

Many women are in the hands of Inexperienced Jewelers for the sake of Eros (lustful) love and have convinced themselves that if the sex is good, everything else in the relationship will fall into place. However, sex was designed to be good under the Union of Holy Matrimony.

Hungry for Love and Affection

If an employee partakes of an unhealthy snack to satisfy their hunger, this can prevent them from enjoying a healthy, nutritious meal because they have become full from the snack. When we're hungry for love and affection we too indulge in unhealthy snacking (i.e., relationships) which blocks us from receiving the main entrée - a man designed especially for us.

So, are You a Jewel In The Hands of An Inexperienced Jeweler?