DIVAS Calendar Front

DIVAS Calendar Front

Friday, June 18, 2010

Learning and Serving

It's that time of year ... DIVAS is at it again!  It's amazing how a great idea can last- this one has been in effect since 2000, so I am amazed at the length of time it has existed.  A funny thing has happened this year though... former DIVAS from years past are beginning to bring their sisters, nieces, and godbabies to the program.  The first question you ask is "am I getting that old?" Then the second is "wow, this thing really does belong to the community".

Rites of Passage programs are age-old institutions practiced by every culture, every race, in one form or another.  They usually take form based upon the distinctives and expressions which are prevalent in the communities in which they are conducted.  In Tallahassee, FL, our community is one of civic engagment, governmental activity, and community involvment, so we have focused our six-week program around helping young ladies become more aware of how things 'work' governmentally and how it impacts them individually.  We have also committed one day out of the week to engage in a generational discussion about real life and how decisions made- even at a young age- can impact your life forever.  This year's program also hopes to set in place systems of community-based education as it relates to conflict resolution, personal managment, and fiancial literacy so that our young ladies can obtain a wholistic view of how to begin to establish habits NOW to make them highly effective in the future. 

We are also excited about our fundraising opportunities this year!  Every year we do a CarWash; but when we were confronted with a deluge of rain last year on the day of the event, we decided to do something revolutionary- wash cars ANYWAY!  Working through the rain, we had a great time, raised a remarkable amount of money, and taught our participants that even if a little rain does fall, you must continue to do what you have to do.  This year, we have officially named our event the "DIVAS RainWash", and we intend to be out there- RAIN or SHINE- washing cars for our donors!  Our program is almost entirely funded through the fundraising activities of our participants and their parents, so community support is KEY to our success. 

Also, this year's program has synergized with the Smith Williams Service Center Senior Solutions Program to provide opportunities for shared projects and connection with our Senior Citizens . Projects will include a sewing project, a memorial quilt, and we will produce our first ever 12-month Intergenerational Health Calendar.  This publication, which will be unveiled at our July 24th Rites of Passage Banquet, will feature Seniors and Youth in our community engaging in health-related activities and include recipes, health tips, and p;rofessional photos of our seniors and youth throughout! Information on this project will be available on June 18th- we have 24 calendar page sponsorships @ $250 for businesses and local organizations who would like to have their business included in this publication. 

We are praying for a summer of transformation for our participants... the spark needed to take a young lady from one path onto another is unpredictable and happens when it is least expected.  However, we have seen great things happen over the years and are encouraged by our parents and community in this effort.  If you would like to serve as an 'Angel Contributor' for DIVAS, please email me at divasflorida@gmail.com for more information- we are always in need of helpers who can 'stand in the gap' financially in regards to program expenses.  If you can't afford to give financially, please pray for our program facilitators, participants, and their parents as we continue this worthwhile endeavor... thank you for eleven years of loving young women in our community. Blessings! CH

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