BENEW Sandbox

A Knocked Down Journey Begins

On the sweltering morning of July 9, 2013, I was hit by a bike messenger on 28th Street right off of Sixth Avenue in New York City's floral district.

I arose bruised to the core but fortunate beyond my wildest imagination. Not a bone was broken nor was my indomitable spirit that still remained intact and fixated on how I was finally going to show up and make a difference in this troubled world of ours - a question that had been dominating my thoughts ever since my sister's death in 2008.

On August 3, 2013, this question became clearer with the launch of my first project - The Good Garden - whose purpose that day was to bring community awareness to The Staley B. Keith Justice Center, Inc. of Hudson, New York, at an event hosted in my Columbia County garden.

Introductions from this project led me to an ice cream manufacturer and my newest venture, Make It Right Ice Cream, positioned in the market place to bring awareness to strategic national and worldwide causes. (Follow our upcoming posts to find out how you can get involved and help us create a social enterprise to put homeless individuals back to work).

In September of 2013, a post-Labor Day vacation found me in Seneca Falls, New York, where I was reminded that this long forgotten sleepy town was once one of the most significant locations in the history of the United States of America. Home of the Seneca Indians known as the "keeper of the western door," and critical to the Western Expansion of the Erie Canal, in 1848 it was also the birthplace of the first Women's Rights Convention. The efforts of these women's rights activists, abolitionists, and other 19th century reformers were the beginning story of the civil rights and human rights movements that still continue today. Once the cultural and economic heartbeat of the USA, this town along with many others along the Erie Canal have since been depleted of their economic opportunities. I departed Seneca Falls transfixed by its glorious significance and past and committed to how to revive this struggling Upstate Region - and the State of Mind Project was conceived.

So, I am finally on my journey to make some change and feature others that want to do the same. Please send me your stories and together we can make a difference, always remembering that - we are all connected.