Okay, I’ll admit it– I definitely have some catching up to do! The first thing I’ll do is give you a brief update on a reply I received a few short days ago. I got a letter from Ben & Jerry’s, and since I really suck at paraphrasing, I will just include an excerpt from their reply:
“We’re sorry to hear that you are suffering from Spina Bifida and congratulate you on your effort to raise awareness about this condition. While Ben & Jerry’s does support socially responsible efforts, unfortunately, we’re unable to support your cause as you have presented it in your letter. We suggest that the best way to contact us regarding using our packaging for promoting awareness of Spina Bifida, is for you to fill out the “Suggest-a-flavor” section of our website. [….] We can’t guarantee that our Marketing group will do anything, but that’s the best way for you to get the word to us. We wish you the best of luck in raising awareness of this condition to the public!”
Oh wow. I hardly know what to say to such a response. To be sure, I was hardly aware that I was “suffering” from spina bifida, and I certainly appreciate that Ben & Jerry’s was kind enough to extrapolate as much. All of you can rest assured that I will follow their advice as to filling out the “Suggest-a-flavor” section. Now, I ask you, what exactly does spina bifida taste like?
To be fair, they graciously included a coupon for a pint of ice cream. That ought to assuage some of my suffering. Yep…a few heaping spoonfuls of “Chocolate Therapy” (one of their flavors– I kid you not!), and I’ll forget all about having spina-whatsa-whatever.
I’m thinking perhaps it’s time to update my letters a little, and change the message so as to firmly state that it’s not pity I am seeking. I’ve already received several replies along the lines of Hallmark sympathy cards, so clearly, I’m doing something wrong. The whole concept of “Holdin’ Out for a Hero” is about empowerment, not pity. I’ve learned that, even in the toughest times, pity doesn’t help anyone, but it alienates everyone.
Suffice it to say that I think I got that out of my system– for now. I’ll let you know how my second attempt goes. Right now, let’s talk about Alicia Keys. She’s the ambassador for Keep a Child Alive, for which she has traveled to the African nations of Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.
Alicia spoke at the 16th International AIDS Conference in 2006, held in Toronto. A passionate advocate to the core, she told attendees, “We must never give up until AIDS treatment and realistic prevention messages go hand in hand across the world [….] and until we can stand together and say, ‘We did not sit idly by and watch an entire continent perish.'”
Besides those causes, Keys is a supporter of UNICEF, Live Earth (for which she performed at a concert), (RED), the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. (My parents took me to Shriners in Tampa when I was a toddler.)
Keys is also a spokesperson for Frum Tha Ground Up, a charity dedicated to inspiring youth in “achieving success on all levels.” And, given her reputed musical abilities, it may come as no surprise that she has partnered with notorious philanthropist and musician Bono to record a song for World AIDS Day in 2005.
Through it all, she remains a humble girl whose true passion is tickling the keys– ivory keys, that is.
Please send me your ideas for this blog, which I hope to give a slight makeover to someday soon! Any suggestions? E-mail me at: email@example.com.
Telemundo “Triunfadores” video on YouTube:
I love you all!