Go Do Something Nice For Somebody.

You can help make it a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Does A City Youth Director Pray About?

     Life in the city is vastly different from life in the country. There are more police, larger jails and overflowing cemeteries. Porn shops spring up like weeds. Drug dealers are mobile and set up shop on any street corner. Homeless folks hang out like pigeons under city bridges. Other folks stand on street corners with cardboard signs that say: "Please help, homeless, need money for food." Gangs recruit immature kids looking to feel wanted. Girls give their bodies away in return for shelter and food. Kids are kidnapped or run away into the arms of child traffickers. Gunshots take the lives of both the innocent and the wannabe innocents. Some kids sleep on a different couch every night, Sometimes they have to give themselves away to earn a spot on a couch.
     With an enormity of things to pray for, where would you begin? I'm just going to start and pour out my heart. I'm going to do it today.

Dear God,
I know you're listening. I know you feel. I know you care. I know you see all that's happening here in the city. Thank you for the lives of children. They're full of potential. Thank you for the potential that you have given all of us. Lord help us to protect that potential. Make me into a guy that children can believe in and trust. Cause me to always keep my word. Help me to teach them how much you love them. Help me to teach them how to be as compassionate as you are.

Today Father, 
give a boy the courage to say no to joining a gang.
Today Father,
 help a young girl to know a Father's love so she doesn't end up looking for love in a cheap sexual act.
Today Father,
 save the life of a child whose mother is headed for an abortion.
Today Father,
 give a mother and father the courage to work out their problems and save their family from the destruction of divorce.
Today Father, 
lock the bedroom door of a young girl who's pleading to let the night pass without someone forcing her to feel dirty.
Today Father,
 open the eyes of a teenager who thinks they have to steal to survive.
Today Father,
 bring the homeless into a shelter where love is taught as a way of life that provides sustenance.
Today Father,
 cause a drug dealer to flush their cache of drugs down the toilet.
Today Father,
 jam the gun before it fires and save the young man's life.
Today Father, 
open a cell door to a new beginning for a prisoner who has been chained to his past.
Today Father,
 bring fresh new people into the city who have your compassion to teach your style of leadership to children.
Today Father,
let the rejuvenating flow of your spirit bring new adrenalin to city youth leaders.
Today Father,
give city school teachers the strength to continue and love children who only know hate.
Today Father, 
infuse city leaders with your wisdom to make decisions based on love and compassion.
Today Father, 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I loved Christian as one of my sons. He didn't deserve what was handed to him. Mentoring is an antidote to the disease of teenage murder. Christian was just beginning to grow through mentoring relationships when he died. I will keep him alive through our efforts to mentor life into as many young people as possible. Please join us if you have a desire to be a part of Mentor Force.

           The recent teenage murders in Buffalo have served to sprinkle some salt on old wounds. Kids have been being killed on the streets of Buffalo for many years. I believe Buffalo is on the verge of turning the corner on violence among our young people.
Our mentoring program began 10 years ago on 7th St on the Lower West Side. The Buffalo News used to call 7th St "World War III" because of all the shootings in our area. We lost our share of young guys. A heavy Police presence along with mentoring programs have changed this part of the City. Improvements are still needed and they continue.
We believe in building a Mentor Force to collaborate with the Police Force. Removing illegal guns is a good answer. A greater Police presence is a better answer. Building a Mentor Force is the best answer.

Whatever anybody can do to rally around the families of these young men - please go the extra mile and show them that they are valued.
          We need a Mentor Force in the streets and schools with folks who want to form relationships with young folks. Many well meaning people want to hit the streets and pray and that's good. Prayer comes in many ways. It's supposed to be unceasing and the only way to do that is to live it by showing love. Go play basketball, sing a rap song, take some kids camping, feed them a healthy meal, teach them how to start a business, go to their school events, let them see the ears on your heart. Going door to door means going heart to heart. 

Thanks for your time.
Go do something nice for somebody.

Christian's name was on my Father's Day card. We used to do anti-bullying assemblies with his sister Roxy and cousin Alex. They were making a big difference in kids lives. I believe they saved some lives in the process. He was killed while riding a bike. there are many guys in cemeteries who deserved better. Me need more mentors and less grave diggers.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ballers Breakfast

He wants to vote but doesn't have a FAcebook.
     Once upon a minute in a near away land there lived many children. They went to city schools where they found many good teachers. Sadly the teachers were forced to feed the children a fairly steady diet of tests. The children's poor hearts were burdened with the weights of life in their neighborhoods. 

     The sidewalks had cracks that many children fell through. They named the cracks poverty, segregation and violence. Then one day some mentors appeared, they became teammates with teachers and parents. They helped the children learn how to climb the mountains of life. 

     They told the children: "When life is hard; make diamonds. When life is a struggle; become a butterfly. When life is irritating; become a pearl! Whatsoever mountain you climb, climb it with all your might."

The children, their schools and a city 
were changed in the blink of an eye. 

Five organizations need your help. They have qualified to receive $25,000 that will help them mentor some young men who live in Buffalo.We need you to vote Ballers Breakfast into the top 40 on Facebook. Ballers Breakfast is a unique concept designed to feed the body while exercising the mind and body. We build healthy relationships that grow self sustainability and accountability. Will you please go and vote right now and then share Ballers Breakfast with your friends.

Thanks for your time.
We appreciate you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hood Heredity

The wounds of children are a black eye on society.


          Most folks would say that "blood is thicker than water."  What they mean is that people who are blood relatives are closer than folks who are not related. They share something called heredity which is the passing of genes, physically and mentally to their birthed offspring.

          In a gang mentality, people become related through the "Hood Heredity." They make up their own definition of blood relations; they teach you how to share blood, shed blood, give blood, receive blood and spill blood. The Hood Heredity is passed on through the saggin' genes of Social Heredity.

          In an urban structure, Social Heredity is passed on through the traits and habits of fear as evidenced by blight, poverty, urban decay and violence. One might argue that these would be more related to Environmental Heredity and I would not dispute that. My point is that habits become ingrained generationally. That causes an environment that has become socially acceptable - in all walks of life.

          That brings up another disputable point: Why would I say that urban decay and violence are socially acceptable? Because nothing is done to change the fact that young people have been infected with a jail gene that causes "Cell Heredity." Over 3,000 children nationwide have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. http://www.eji.org/childrenprison Many other children have been given free passes through the revolving door of recidivism. Rehabilitation is not a priority in houses of detention.

          When we examine the amount of money spent on intervention compared with money spent on prevention, our true priorities are revealed. Our priority is not creating a Heredity of Opportunity. Where we spend our money is a good indicator of what we truly value. The following information was taken from the "Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign:"
[Nationally, 1 in 3 Black and 1 in 6 Latino boys born in 2001 are at risk of imprisonment during their lifetime. While boys are five times as likely to be incarcerated as girls, there also is a significant number of girls in the juvenile justice system. This rate of incarceration is endangering children at younger and younger ages.
This is America's pipeline to prison — a trajectory that leads to marginalized lives, imprisonment and often premature death. Although the majority of fourth graders cannot read at grade level, states spend about three times as much money per prisoner as per public school pupil.]
- See more at: http://www.childrensdefense.org/programs-campaigns/cradle-to-prison-pipeline/#sthash.hVL2zeH7.dpuf 

          All heredity starts as a seed somewhere. Heart Heredity will pass on genes of value that will help create healthy communities.
Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Mentor Force TIP of the DAY


A Mentor is the "Hopemeister."
Upon entering a jail or prison to visit an inmate, prepare yourself. Abraham Lincoln is a good example of preparation: "“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” You need to spend some time filling yourself with hope so you can dispense hope. For a 2 hour prison visit, spend 4 hours filling up your hope tank. Read stories about hope and perseverance, soak up hope in any way you can.

Most prisoners will have a lot to say. They will lament about loneliness and spending another birthday or Christmas behind bars away from their family. They may express regret over the past. Let them talk and listen with your eyes and your heart. Let them know you air listening empathetically.

A farmer breaks the ground before he can plant a seed. He let's go of the seed. He builds a silo to hold a crop that is not yet grown. The farmer does not control the sun or rain that will help his crop grow. A prisoner needs something to believe in. Everyday is a new planting opportunity. Everyday has brokenness. Your words of hope become seeds in the broken heart of the inmate. Let them know that they are valued and loved unconditionally. Help them plan a future that contains a purpose - WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE!

Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

MENTOR FORCE TIP of the DAY 11-14-13

When can you talk about GOD in schools?

          Sadly, there are some folks who do not want God spoken about at all. That's sad because God is a part of humanity whether we believe in him or not. The world is full of many different religions and non- religions. Lack of belief in other belief's should not prevent us from examining those belief's. Telling children that we cannot speak about God is tantamount to hypocrisy.

          We should never bury something that is a part of everyday life. Yesterday I picked up an old encyclopedia in our Youth Center and I read about the different religions in India. The date of the book was 1965. I was fascinated reading about all kinds of religions. I read about Native Americans. The book described their belief in a Great Spirit but their system of life was different from most religions. They practiced their belief system as a way of life - not just a once a week get together.

          As long as somebody is not coercing someone into converting to a particular belief, an informative discussion regarding religion should be acceptable. Unfortunately, fear seems to have driven common sense from many learning institutions. We find that many students want to talk about religion, and that's a healthy desire that should not be ignored.

          We do not go into a school with the intent of discussing religion - we do not bring it up. We will answer students questions in a non-judgmental, inclusively compassionate manner. Recently a student brought up a classroom experience regarding a person who identified himself as a Christian and another who identified herself as a Satanist. The Christian berated and verbally abused the Satanist and caused a ruckus. THAT IS WRONG! No one has the right to verbally abuse or forcefully convert another person. We had a great in class discussion because we were permitted to speak about God. The end result was an agreement that we should respect all human beings equally. Living the Golden Rule is better than just reading it on a poster.

          As A Mentor, you should be willing to explore any subject that appears on the horizon. Your job as a Mentor or Teacher is to present information that helps your child make their own informed decisions.

Thanks for your time.

Go do something nice for somebody.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Without Vision the Children Perish


There were some folks who called themselves "Vision Seekers."
They followed the "Vision Speakers."
The children wanted to be a part of the vision too.
"Daddy can you lift me up so I can see?" Asked a small boy.
His father replied: "Not now, go play, I'm busy."
"Mommy, can you help me see what you see?" Asked a little girl.
"No, you wouldn't understand, you're too young." Said the mom.

The children went to school and asked their Teachers:
"Can you show us a vision for our future?"
The Teachers told them to sit down and be quiet.
"Never mind seeking a vision for your life, it's time to take another test. 

You better get a good grade so my vision of being a good Teacher will come to pass."

The children went to church and asked their Pastor's:
"Can you show us a vision for the future?"
They were told to sit in the pews and be quiet except to sing.
"Don't fidget during the sermon! Sit still and be quiet, NO QUESTIONS!" Replied the Pastors.

The children went to an after school program, and then one day the doors were locked. The Vision Seekers who were the Directors said they had no more money to run the place.

The children went to the playground. The children weren't seeking vision, they were seeking value. They just wanted somebody to make them fell valued. Everywhere they turned, children were being devalued. The children learned the lesson of devaluation well. The only test in the school of life on the street was survival.

To the children, it seemed like the more you devalued people,
the less pain you could feel in your heart.