My Gratitude Journal

Cristy’s Pride

 

My family and I attended the First Annual Cristy’s Pride Fundraiser on October 15, 2016. Cristy’s Pride is an organization which provides tutoring and nutrition to impoverished countries and communities. Below is the speech that was written for this event. It was written and given by Sabrina Shahawi, Cristy’s sister. 

Hi Everyone,

First I would like to start off by saying thank you so much for coming to our first ever annual fundraiser for Cristy’s Pride. As many of you may know, today is Cristy’s birthday and she would have been 28 years old. What a great way to celebrate her life by holding this fundraiser which was started in her honor.

I would like to start off by talking about Cristina. She was a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a friend and a very special person who made a positive impact on every person she touched while she was present on this earth. For those of you who weren’t able to meet her, know that she had a heart of gold. She sincerely cared about everyone. It was her mission to make someone’s day, week, minute and life better.  Just this past weekend, her college sorority held their annual walk in her memory. They held this walk to raise money for the scholarship that they created in her honor. It is truly amazing to see how her memory continues to live on even when she is no longer with us in the physical world.

We first founded Cristy’s Pride in 2013, the year that she passed away. Prior to her passing, she was working towards a career as a teacher. Specifically, she wanted to work as a teacher to low income areas and to offer free tutoring to her students who wished to advance their knowledge, but whose families did not have the means to do so.

We founded this organization in her honor to continue the work that she was doing here on earth. I am so happy to say that we are now serving over 400 students, across 6 different schools in our tutoring centers located in Barranquilla, Colombia. Our organization aims to prevent children from dropping out of school by using innovative teaching strategies to tutor them in mathematics, reading and writing. We work towards empowering them to reach their highest potential and to raise their self esteem in order for them to achieve their goals and dreams.

The children whom we are serving live in very poor conditions. Many of them do not have shoes and have to share their shoes with their siblings. In Colombia, schools are separated by morning and afternoon sessions. So some children go to the morning session for school and then run back home to give their shoes to their sibling so that they can attend the afternoon session of school. Since they need to go home to give their shoes to their sibling, they cannot attend our morning tutoring sessions. Today, your donations will go towards new shoes so that these children can go to school and go to tutoring. They will also go towards backpacks, school supplies and tutor funding.

We are hoping to expand our organization in either Tijuana or San Diego this upcoming year. It fills me with such happiness to see all the support present here tonight. From the bottom of my heart, I truly appreciate everyone for coming out and supporting an organization that means so much to me and my family.

To learn more about Cristy’s Pride, please visit the Cristy’s Pride website at http://www.cristyspride.com/. You can also visit the Cristy’s Pride Facebook page at Facebook/Cristy’s Pride or the Cristy’s Pride at Twitter.com/CristysPride

Today I am grateful for helpful people and the ability to help others.

Today and everyday… I am grateful for FAMILY

My Gratitude Journal

October Life Lessons and Love

I love October. It’s my favorite month. This was a great October. However, I must admit that there was a rough week in there. A really rough week. It was the week before my birthday. I let a couple of incidents bring me down. I certainly learned a lot of hard lessons this month. It was a real eye opener. Lessons that open your eyes are always good. Lessons that open your heart are even better. After my anger subsided, I learned a lot about compassion, respect and understanding. And another good part is…after you are down, the only way back is up! That’s the best part. 

So on this Sweet Monday, I am grateful for life lessons and love. I will continue to learn and grow. I know that there will be ups and there will be downs. Today, I will focus on the ups.

*I am grateful for birthdays.

I arrived to work the Thursday before my birthday to a decorated cubicle courtesy of my co-worker. It was so thoughtful. I loved it. It lifted my spirits. It was a great way to start a birthday.

My aunt took me to a tea house for my birthday. She invited my daughter (who came all the way from San Diego just to be there) and my other aunt. We had such a good time. We went to the tea house on my actual birthday. It was nice to have a birthday this year on a Saturday.  It was a fun and relaxing way to start the day and weekend. Afterwards, we went to a boutique and my aunt surprised me with a candle that I was planning to purchase myself. I was waiting in line to buy the candle which was waiting for me at the counter. The storeowner wrapped up my gift quickly so that I wouldn’t see and my aunt presented it to me at the store.

After the tea house, I arrived home and I was surprised by birthday cards, birthday flowers, a birthday sign, light up balloons and even a birthday pinata. My first birthday pinata ever. 

The next day, my sister and niece prepared a delicious birthday breakfast for me. My sister asked me what kind of cake I wanted and I told her that I wanted a chocolate chip cake. It’s not my favorite flavor but she made it for me for my birthday a few years ago and it was such a special memory. I wanted it again. 

Today I am grateful for family, October, birthdays, decorated cubicles, tea houses, candles, surprises, pinatas and birthday cake.

DIY

A party for my girl: DIY party favor bags

Party bags are great. What guest doesn’t want a party bag? I made a party bag for Sabrina’s birthday party to match the boho chevron theme.

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I cut the chevron fabric into tiny chevrons and used vellum quotes. I used fabric glue to glue the chevrons to the bag. I taped the quotes on with clear tape.

I used these bags for the candy bar I had set up. Guests could fill their bags with candy, candy, candy!

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