On your birthday you’re usually greeted with a “Happy Birthday”, a card and sometimes even a gift, but there are some who are less fortunate than us. The Neville Empowerment Network along with the Virginia GLOSS chapter recently conducted and participated in the 2014 Birthday Bag drive. Thanks to their thoughtfulness they helped make birthdays possible for over 50 children living in transition, who are being serviced by Action in Community Through Service of Prince William, Inc. (ACTS) a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving the residents of the Greater Prince William Area.
The VA GLOSS chapter took on the Birthday Bag Drive as their March Significant Service event and collected birthday items at each Butterfly Café. They collected huge boxes filled with birthday supplies. We applaud Mrs. Twayna Winston, the VA GLOSS Chapter director and the ladies of VA GLOSS for demonstrating to others the meaning of GLOSS and their dedication to service.
VA GLOSS made the headline in the Neville Empowerment April Newsletter
Character, courage and commitment! Can you think of someone that possesses these qualities? I can! In fact, I can name 3 people—Monique McEwen, Twayna Winston and Glynis Jones! These ladies are the Chapter Directors of GLOSS.
Often times we honor women for their sense of fashion and style, career accolades and social status but we neglect to celebrate the aspects that actually have true significance to God.
1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight”.
I love that these ladies fulfill their duties in GLOSS with delight, a balanced lifestyle and genuine love for God. These ladies have chosen to be led by the Holy Spirit rather than their own flesh. This decision has given them character that is above reproach in their home, work and church environments and their words and actions glorify God. Taking on the role of Chapter Director was done graciously and absent of fear. Courage comes in abundance to them as they deliver on their many responsibilities in excellence. Above all things, their commitment to GLOSS is only a reflection of their commitment to God. No need to worry! No need to fret! These awesome GLOSS Chapter Directors are leading the Sisters of GLOSS to accept only God’s best for their lives!
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you too can live a life of character, courage and commitment. You are encouraged to volunteer with a GLOSS Chapter.
I am humbled to serve in leadership with these three daughters of the King!
Cherise M. Davis, Executive Director
Have you noticed that even today, in our generation of media frenzy, the covers of most magazines are not the faces of African-Americans? Have you noticed that school curriculum rarely, if ever, note the great achievements of African-Americans? The contributions that African-Americans have made to this country in all subject areas need to be noticed. If you rewind time a hundred years, the achievements of African-Americans were consistently overlooked. Our liberties and opportunities were stagnated. Simple pleasures that we enjoy today were not afforded our grandparents.
The silence of the milestones African-Americans achieved was heard by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), founded by Carter G. Woodson. February 1926, they sponsored a national Negro History Week in February 1926 to inspire the United States to celebrate our rich heritage. The week evolved to Black History Month and now African American History Month, which brings awareness to the countless achievements we have made to areas such as technology, science, arts, medicine, agriculture and so much more.
GLOSS recognizes the contributions of those whose shoulders we now stand on, those footsteps we now follow, and even those who have given us the courage to be trailblazers to new frontiers. God has seen the struggles of African-Americans for centuries and now is raising up a generations of boys and girls to carry the mantle forward to someday become the new faces of achievers in the African American Hall of Fame. I am awed by Facebook and Twitter feeds featuring powerful quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Booker T. Washington and Fredrick Douglas. Instagram photos and video clips of leading ladies like Lena Horne, Ruby Dee and Cicely Tyson inspire me. James Weldon Johnson’s, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung in church or at school stirs up emotions of the travail and triumph of my ancestors.
I challenge our GLOSS young ladies to never allow the sacrifices of those who lived before you to be forgotten or not appreciated. Rather, be determined and committed to celebrate them in your relationships, careers, and all endeavors by always remembering how they made it possible for you. President Obama, our first African-American president, issued the annual proclamation declaring February as National African American History Month. I stand with him and applaud such a noteworthy celebration.
How will you honor African American History Month?!
From the Executive Director:
I like new things!! Don’t you?! New hair-do! New shoes! New handbag! New computer! New car! Newness often brings clarity, ideas, energy and an attitude of gratefulness! Well, it’s a new year—2014! I have all of those emotions for this year! I am thankful to serve another year as Executive Director for GLOSS. I am eager to enhance the positive influence of GLOSS in the communities where her three chapters operate. With the gift of social media and other marketing efforts, I expect exponential growth in interest, membership and volunteers as individuals are introduced to the mission and vision of GLOSS.
Much is in our forecast! Of most importance, enhancing the message of God’s Word in our weekly Butterfly Cafes and monthly Significant Service projects! In Butterfly Café, between January and April, the ladies of GLOSS will have great discussions and activities centered on the following topics: Prayer, Fly Guys of the Bible, Fly Girls of the Bible and Maintaining Your Space. GLOSS forecast also includes “YOU” as a special addition to our family. We ask that you be sensitive to God’s lead as you check out our website. We would love for you to accept our invitation to be part of what’s new for GLOSS in 2014! Mark your calendars for our 8th Anniversary celebration on June 28th.
Watch out for more information. I suspect God will have some surprises in our forecast. According to Isaiah 64:4, eyes haven’t seen, ears haven’t heard what God has planned for GLOSS!
It’s that time of year again – Flu season is here and we have to make sure our children are protected against this disease. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone 6 months and older get their annual flu vaccination. There are many different options now, and even a convenient nasal spray option for the little ones that don’t like needles. In addition to everyone getting their flu vaccination, it’s important to practice good cough etiquette and social distancing. Instruct your children to cough and sneeze in a tissue and throw the tissue away.
If your child is sick, keep them at home, you don’t want to take the risk of getting others sick.
This is also the time to emphasize the importance of hand washing. Remind your children that they should wash their hands regularly and take at least 20 seconds to wash their hands. That’s approximately about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday, try it with them! Also clean the various surfaces in your home, such as the counters, tables, door knobs, phones, TV remotes, and even toys.
Parents, help keep your children healthy. Good nutrition, exercise, and rest are all elements that contribute to a strong immune system. By offering your child a balanced diet, making sure that they get at least 10-12 hours of sleep and encouraging at least one hour of physical activity, will assist with their overall health.
Ask your doctor if they have flu vaccine’s available. You can also try your local pharmacies or visit http://flushot.healthmap.org/ and find location near you.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! When will I wear my first bra? Many young girls can barely wait for their bodies to develop. They begin to notice their breast developing. It can be a very exciting time in their life. They may never ponder the thought of their breast someday being affected by cancer. Their moms, even as women, may not think about this illness affecting them personally. Many of us know a mom, aunt, sister, cousin, teacher or friend who has been affected by breast cancer. You may have heard on CBS News that at least 232,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and more than 39,000 women are expected to die this year from the disease. I wonder if you also know that there are almost 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today!
The number of cancer victims is daunting; however the sheer number of survivors shows the great strides that have been made in early detection and treatment. Today, most breast cancer survivors lead long and fulfilling lives! I celebrate those who are able to survive—the women and yes, men too who continue to function and prosper in spite of the opposition, hardship and setbacks of breast cancer. Survivors play a major role in our world’s fight to cure cancer because their stories of pressing pass the pain and laughing through the tears give hope to those new to the journey.
Hope and education helps us survive!! I am urging you to get the word out about breast exams and mammograms. Get the word out to your female relatives and friends to do their monthly breast exams and begin their annual mammograms when needed. Begin teaching your daughters the importance of self-care too. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the ones you love.
It’s true that words are sometimes hard to find to explain what’s going on when a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and going through surgeries and treatments. To all of my GLOSS girls and other sisters in Christ, I want to encourage you to know that you can inspire others to survive their obstacles—be it health, family, school or career situations! I invite you to lean on God for strength and courage! It is God’s holy word (the Bible) that is our hope!
Here are some scriptures that we can cling to and use when praying for others who are suffering:
1. Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2. Psalm 27:1 – The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
3. Proverbs 31:25 – “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come”
4. John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
5. 2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Yes prayer, don’t leave the house without it! While we ‘re making sure our ladies are equipped and ready for school with their physical school supplies, we can’t forgot the spiritual supplies as well! Many of our butterflies went back to school last week and more will enjoy their first day of school today. It’s an exciting time; starting a new school year is an opportunity to meet new friends, enter a new classroom and adjust to a new teacher(s). We also know that this can be an overwhelming time for our ladies, so we want to make sure we pray over them – take a minute and pray with us where you are:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for another opportunity to come before you. We thank you for this day; we thank you for GLOSS, our director, phase coaches, volunteers, parents and our young ladies. We ask that you cover them as they step out of their homes each morning to ride on buses, walk down sidewalks, climb in cars, however they may travel to school please protect them. Once they are at school, protect them there, allow them to stay focused and let them enjoy their time of learning. We thank you in advance for blessing our young ladies and guiding their footsteps. We love you Lord! Amen!
Be blessed ladies!!
Hey Everyone! Summer is REALLY here, and what are three words that come to mind when you think of summer? Sun, Fun and Food! Okay maybe I just think of food, but we can add another word to that Safety. We know in the summertime there are fireworks, pool parties, field trips, beach excursions and the list goes on. While we want to enjoy our summer we also want to make sure we stay safe!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides several summery safety tips:
- Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.
- Families should attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.
- The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
- Be sure to apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
Open Water Swimming
- Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!
- A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near the water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away.
- Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
- Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.
- Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.
Enjoy your Summer!
GLOSS Rocks!! From the beginning of our 7th Anniversary & Soiree to the last picture taken, the “GLOSS Rocks” theme was showcased! The goal of this celebratory event was to highlight the members of the GLOSS Sisterhood, to honor our dedicated volunteers and to gain organizational support and increase membership. Our goal was accomplished! The event commenced with the high energy entrance of the GLOSS leadership team taking the lined runway with pizzazz in their strut and their dress to Mary Mary’s hit song “God In Me”! I loved the lights, camera flashes, music, the excitement of the girls awaiting their debut, and the butterflies in my stomach of memories in the making.
Then, the moment we had all been waiting for had arrived—the entrance of the GLOSS Butterflies. Confident! Beautiful! Joyful! The Sisters of GLOSS appeared in the doorway with bright eyes, wide smiles, poised in their elegant purple dresses, stylish hair-dos, polished nails, customized white gloves, and eager to show off the newly choreographed GLOSS stroll to Robin Thicke’s instrumental, “Magic”!
Ebony McCovery, Miss Clark Atlanta University, our lovely Mistress of Ceremonies, connected with the GLOSS girls from the dressing room to the dance floor. Her grace on the stage and the inspirational nuggets sprinkled throughout the program embedded memories in all of us for years to come. The program had anointed talent that included the dynamic vocals of Nicole Clark and a powerful liturgical dance performance by Brittany Steele. Everyone viewed the slide presentation highlighting memories of the GLOSS year from all three chapters.
The dinner was delicious and the cake was scrumptious. The handsome brothers of the GLOSS sisters served as gentlemen wearing black suits, white shirts, purple bow ties and dark shades! As they escorted the ladies on and off the stage, they showed attributes of confidence and support towards their sisters.
I consider it a privilege to serve as the Executive Director of GLOSS. GLOSS is not a one-winged butterfly or a one-woman show. My platform is what it is because God has equipped GLOSS with talented leaders and supporters who are committed to the mission and vision of GLOSS. It was such a blessing for me to take part in recognizing and presenting gifts to the individuals who have contributed to the development of GLOSS. We even saluted the GLOSS parents for their commitment to their daughters’ involvement! Honoring the GLOSS girls was the highlight of the evening for me. They were awarded certificates and gift bags for their participation and significant service hours.
The Anniversary & Soiree would not have been complete without the anticipation of who will be the new Miss Butterfly. Following the final walk of Beatrice Maigua, reigning Miss Butterfly, the 80+ guests held their breath as the envelope was opened. Aisha Anderson, was crowned Miss Butterfly 2013-2014! She also received the award for the most service hours performed. Butterfly Aisha embodies the essence of GLOSS through her character and involvements.
Next year, I’m looking forward to our 8th anniversary to be celebrated with membership and leadership representation from all 3 chapters—Georgia, Virginia and Washington, DC! I encourage GLOSS to follow me as I follow Christ. And whatever GLOSS does in word or deed, we do it unto the Lord.
Significant service is vital to the character of GLOSS. We serve God by serving others and value the importance of giving back to our communities. We don’t do it for recognition, or to receive accolades, it’s simply our duty as Christians to set self aside and be a blessing to others. Pastor Rick Warren notes in his book A Purpose Driven life, that:
“Self-promotion and Servanthood don’t mix…”
The young ladies of GLOSS take great pride in their service activities and they also have fun! In May, the Woodbridge Chapter participated in the Relay for Life at Garfield High School. GLOSS teamed up with the “AKA’s – Ivies for Life” team, which included members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Over 4 million people in countries around the world raise funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay for Life movement.
The DC/MD chapter was also busy in their community, as they partnered with the Westat Volunteer Team and Hands On DC for their May Work-a-Thon, to paint doors at Smothers Elementary school in Northeast, DC. Hands on DC, is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that organizes projects to improve the physical condition of Washington, DC public schools.
The Georgia chapter made encouraging cards and belated Mother’s Day cards. The cards were placed in care packages that were delivered to women in shelters by The Next Chapter Widow’s Ministry (an organization that GLOSS volunteers with).
- Envoy (senior nursing home)
- Hands On DC
- Hands On Atlanta
- Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church (back to school drive registration)
- Relay for Life
- Positive Passtime (community resource center)
- Uni Health (senior nursing home)
- Embraced Atlanta (collect, sort and redistributes orthopaedic equipment to individuals in need)
- St. Francis Table Soup Kitchen
- Project Open Hand (meals on wheels program)
- Sugar Creek Community Garden
- MedShare (bridging gap between medical surplus and need)
GLOSS conducts service events every month, and we’re always looking for some place new and different to volunteer. Feel free to share with us any service events that you know of in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area as well as Georgia.