Monday, March 18, 2013

Helping Displaced Families

Once again I was given the opportunity to spend two hours with single mothers at the Shelter for displaced families.

The focus of this workshop was to identify the negative things that were said to us as kids, our most formative years. Be it from parents, extended family or society in general, these words tend to leave lasting emotional scars.

I started off with my own experience where, at age 6, I was constantly teased for being gay. I remember one aunt in particular, who always made me feel ashamed. I talked about how it took me years before I was able to respect myself as a gay man.

This opened a flood gate of emotions from the group, as they recalled all the negative things that stuck with them as both children and as adults today. At the end we all agreed that saying to a child "I love you" goes a long way, and as adults we deserve to be treated with respect.

Then I introduced my guest, Kimora Link, a personal trainer who loves people, period. Mr. Link operates a fun and effective bootcamp in Harlem that I attend.
He answered questions from the ladies and encouraged them to love themselves as they are. Mr. Link expressed that his job is to help women be a better and healthier version of themselves. "We are not all meant to be thin, but we all benefit from being healthy," summed up his message.

What attracted me to Kimora is his "Project Link Kids 2 Fitness," with its motto, "Lead and they will follow, give our children a jumpstart on a path to life!"

Mr. Link firmly believes that what a parent does, sets the stage for how their kids will behave. He encourages families to workout together with special classes which cater to those needs. At the end of the workshop, Mr. Link and I presented each woman with a t-shirt emblazoned with the statement, "I Believe In Me." We had so much fun!!
Thanks to my friend, Lori Lynch and friends for providing donations and making the gifts and t-shirts possible.

Stay tuned for the next workshop which is my first one for single fathers living in homeless shelters.


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