Make Your Home A Sanctuary

Graduation season and Father’s Day are approaching and below are three great gift ideas that are perfect for the home:

COVE HANGER-This patented Cove Hanger (launched April 11th) was designed by Jessica Davidoff when she became a mom and her wardrobe got longer-and her closet shrank! Longer garments take up twice the space (top and bottom). Traditional hangers cause wrinkling, collection of floor dust/pet hair and can snag clothes touching the lower rack! The hanger’s ground-breaking patented top locking feature secures the bottom half of the garment-place over and through the hanger then lock-a hanger for TRAVEL too! This unisex hanger accommodates all longer garments: suites/jackets/coats, trench coats, maxi/midi dresses, kaftans, skirts, jumpsuits and wedding/evening gowns. Made of recycled plastic and has an anti-slip velvet base. There is a scented ribbon with their custom fragrance, Morgan Park-a modern take on sachet fragrance for clothes that is also available. Both products are the first of many to come from Cove! Available: https://www.createyourcove.com

THE MAGIC WEIGHTED BLANKETThis comforting weighted blanket has been fondly referred to as “the blanket that hugs you back” and is the original “OG” of weighted blankets. Invented by a father, driving his young daughter who was playing in the back when she put a “beanie baby” toy on his shoulder and it felt surprisingly very comforting. He had an epiphany-what would a whole “beanie” blanket feel like? He came home told his wife and she made a prototype in 1998! Since then, research shows that weighted blankets bring down anxiety among other benefits. Manufactured solely in the USA, comes in a variety of the softest material coupled with the glass beads sewn into the blanket make this the best blanket on the market. What a perfect gift to give to anyone who suffers from anxiety or stress? It has been shown to also comfort people with autism or who suffer from PTSD. Available: www.magicweightedblanket.com

LumiCharge II Smart(est) Lamp-Rarely does one find a functional desk lamp that is design friendly in a home office, kitchen, bedroom, study or at the office! The LumiCharge II is it! Designed by an engineer whose desk was always cluttered. Between his phone charger, lamp base, clock, he needed actual room to work! So he designed a SLEEK and SOPHISTICATED smart lamp that looks good anywhere! LumiCharge dimmable LED desk lamp features include: charging station, Qi 10W fast wireless charger, a universal phone dock, motion sensor, aesthetically pleasing for both home & office décor, full calendar display with date, time, temperature settings, dimmable display backlight, multiple brightness level (remembers last setting) and “new” UV and ANTI-MICROBIAL paint coating to reduce the growth of germs on the surface! LumiCharge also has a T2W model with a bluetooth speaker.

Hosea Helps Easter Blessings Celebration

Hosea Helps, Inc., in its 52nd year of service, continues its annual community giveaway with the Hosea Helps Easter Blessings Drive-Through event. This event will be the third of its kind for the organization in celebration of the Easter holiday. Giveaway blessings include: free food, free MARTA cards, fresh produce, fresh turkeys, Easter baskets, PPE supplies, and communion. Parents are allowed to drive-through to receive Easter baskets for their children. The Easter Blessings Drive-Through event will take place on Sunday, April 17, 2022, from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Hosea Helps location (2545 Forrest Hills Drive, Atlanta, Ga 30315). We want to empower families for the Easter holiday. Come see us before or after your Easter celebrations to grab your supplies, while supplies last.

We will host an extraordinary group of volunteers to lead the charge in distributing supplies during the drive through event. In addition, volunteers will be working both sides of the giving spectrum by distributing food donations from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and helping to distribute Easter baskets to families. Registration to volunteer is currently open, please visit: Volunteers – Hosea Helps (4hosea.org).

Inflation and gas, food and oil prices hitting 40 year highs, make support of Hoseas’ huge festivals of services more important than ever. One more important thing and perhaps one we all need to focus on is the rise in violent crime and suicides. We have seen people decide not to hurt themselves because they were touched, served, and loved at one of Hoseas’ Holiday Festival of Services. Perhaps more than any other, this is the reason to give, to volunteer and to support in any way possible. Financial donations are needed as well as gift cards for teenagers in need. Please give on our website “4hosea.org” or in our Cash App “$hoseahelps”. We need sponsors and volunteers.”, says Elizabeth Omilami, CEO of Hosea Helps.

This year’s sponsors include: Butler Street CME Church, CVS/Aetna, and Fulton County.

Further information can be found on the Hosea Helps website at www.4hosea.org. For more information on Hosea Helps and its programs, visit the website or follow-on social media @4Hosea. For media inquiries please contact Carcelia@epimediagroup.com or 770-635-8170.

# # # About Hosea Helps, Inc.
Hosea Helps, in its 52nd year of service, is one of the largest most significant Human Service Organizations in the Southeast regions of the United States, providing direct services year-round to more than 51,000 people per year. These services include rental assistance, food distribution, intensive case management, and support programs for individuals and families who are less fortunate. Hosea Helps (formerly Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless) was founded in 1970 (Logo says 1970) by civil rights icons Rev. Hosea and Juanita T. Williams. Established as a 501(c)(3) charity, Hosea Helps collects funds and Gifts-in-Kind year-round. Hosea Helps was named Charity of the Year in 2021 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

BLOOM: FAITH, FASHION, AND BUSINESS EMPOWERMENT SERIES SPOTLIGHT: LaToya Thomas

BLOOM readers, I would like to introduce LaToya Thomas.  Realtor, Motivational Speaker, and Empowerment Coach, LaToya has BLOOMED in the Birmingham, Alabama community.

With her newly trademarked platform, Breakfast With Toy™, she imparts empowerment to those around her; making the bridge between women in entrepreneurship and female power!

BLOOM SPOTLIGHT:  LaToya Thomas

  • When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?

When I think of a successful person, or the first person that comes to mind, it’s my Mother Sharon Kelley. I’ve always had a very good role model to look up to. She’s what I call pretty powerful. Ambitious. Always goal oriented and succeeding. She’s a wife of 35 years, a mother of two girls and Grandmother of two girls. She’s conquered so much in life and forever looking to grow in her purpose.

  • What is the number one way we can make a difference in our community?

I don’t know if there’s a number one way but I know change begins in the mind and at home first. As children our parents teach us about “self esteem”, confidence, gratitude, thankfulness, and most importantly God.

  • What has helped you get to where you are and what advice would you give to others on the same path?

My personal relationship with God. My parents set the foundation, the standard and my heart for God grew from there. As far as business I worked hard at my 9 to 5 and did the best I could, most of the time. Knowing life isn’t perfect and when I don’t get it right or I fail, give it another try. Continuing to grow in my Faith. And really when the time was right, God saw fit for me to get into the real estate business with my husband.

  • Do you have a specific experience where you wish you had done things differently?

I wish I had been brave enough to attend college out of state. Like Atlanta. I’m a homebody and I love it. But there’s so much more out there to witness. I know God knows my heart and knows I’m telling that young girl who had the opportunity to go anywhere, that my family would be right there when I returned home. So that’s one reason for God making me an entrepreneur. He’s giving me another shot at exploring more.  (smile) Being an entrepreneur allows me to grow in so many ways. I lost quite a bit during the pandemic, as far as business goes, but I gained an even amazing woman in myself.

  • Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

I try to remember as much as I can about what the word of God says. Not verbatim but just what I need.

Follow LaToya Thomas and learn more about her platform on social media:  FacebookInstagram, and Keller Williams website.

“EMPOWERED WOMEN, EMPOWER WOMEN!”

New Biographies for Kids About Trailblazing Women of Color – Women’s History Month

Publishing just in time for Women’s History Month (March)  National Geographic Kids Books is debuting three new biographies that feature three game-changing, inspirational women of color who have made an indelible mark on the world.

Speak Up, Speak Out! The Extraordinary Life of Fighting Shirley Chisholm, by Coretta Scott King Honor winner Tonya Bolden with a forward by voting rights activist and current Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, is a middle grade/middle school title that is already receiving rave early reviews.  A daughter of immigrants, Shirley Chisholm’s story is remarkable — she battled racism and sexism, broke barriers and made history.  Shirley boldly spoke up for what was right and changed the political landscape by becoming the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, followed by a historic run for President.  And while the presidential campaign trail in 1972 did not end in victory, Shirley Chisholm shows us how you can make change happen when you speak up and speak out.
 
And….
 
This winter, the critically acclaimed National Geographic Readers series introduces the youngest readers to two modern-day women who, like Shirley Chisholm, are also political pioneers.   National Geographic Readers: Kamala Harris and National Geographic Readers: Stacey Abrams are both fully illustrated Level 2 readers penned by African American writers whose age-appropriate text bring these women — and their accomplishments — to life, helping the youngest of readers better understand who these headline makers are.  

    

 
 

National Geographic Readers: Kamala Harris (L2) by Tonya K. Grant  (National Geographic Kids Books, ages 5-8, Jan 2022, PB $4.99) Explore one of the most powerful and highest-ranking female figures in American history with this biography of Vice President Kamala Harris in this Level 2 reader.  On January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris made history. That day, she became the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to be elected as Vice President of the United States. Young readers will learn about Harris’s childhood, her early career, and her journey that led to winning the vice presidency. This early reader also explores how Harris devoted her life to helping others, from serving as the Attorney General of California, to being elected as a U.S. Senator, to working alongside President Joe Biden on the campaign trail and in the White House.

About the Author: Tonya K. Grant is an elementary school librarian and an active member of the #BlackCreatorsinKidLit community. She is committed to promoting reading and strives to inspire all children to read and see themselves in books. She lives in McDonough, Georgia with her husband and two sons. Follow her on Twitter – @TKGrant1

Influencer-Owned Lifestyle Brand, Rachel Parcell, Launches SS22 Home Collection

Lifestyle brand, Rachel Parcell, launches its RP Spring Home Collection! The whimsical collection includes a floral napkin set and table runner, wicker placemats and napkin rings, as well as precious melamine plates, bowls, and glasses that are perfect for your Easter tablescape or spring soiree.
The brand, founded by influencer Rachel Parcell, is adored by celebrities including Alessandra Ambrosio, Gabrielle Union, Eva Longoria and more, who have been spotted in Rachel Parcell’s feminine and flirty frocks. You can find the entire collection on their website here (affiliated with ShareASale 64685 and Skimlinks 85273) ranging from $58-$128.
Rachel’s journey to owning her own brand began with Rach + Drew, an online journal she made in 2010 to document her newlywed life with her husband. Rachel had intended this personal blog to be read only by friends and family, but her content soon proved appealing to her growing readership. Rachel formally changed Rach + Drew to Pink Peonies, focusing on her her personal style. Rachel was able to leverage her success as an influencer by launching a capsule clothing line in her name —all timeless, elegant, and feminine pieces, attainably priced for women all over the world. Rachel Parcell has grown into a lifestyle brand, offering not only highly crafted womenswear, but also mommy + me designs, home décor, and more.

2022 WORLD GAMES TO CELEBRATE THE PEOPLE, POWER, AND RICH MUSICAL HISTORY OF ALABAMA IN OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONY PERFORMANCES

The initial line-up and details of The World Games 2022 Opening and Closing Ceremonies have been announced, promising two nights of unforgettable performances celebrating the rich musical and cultural history of The Games’ 2022 host city Birmingham, AL. Set for July 7 and 17 respectively at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium, the ceremonies will feature musical and theatrical performances spanning a broad range of genres and generations. With funk legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins serving as Master of Ceremonies, the lineup of performers includes: Yolanda Adams, Alabama, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bo Bice, Sara Evans, Taylor Hicks, Jamey Johnson, Nelly, Pastor Mike Jr., Martha Reeves, Sheila E., Ruben Studdard, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Worth The Wait, and Yung Bleu.
The World Games 2022 will kick off on July 7th at Protective Stadium with Unlocking The Magic: Celebrating The Power of The One. The evening will be a colorful celebration of sport and Birmingham history. Presented by Alabama Power, the presentation will feature live entertainment, special effects, honorable dignitaries and a parade of athletes representing more than 100 countries. Produced by Birmingham-based LRY Media Group, the Opening Ceremony will celebrate Birmingham’s past, present and future. Spoken word artist, musician, educator, and Birmingham native, Sharrif Simmons will be delivering a poem in the Opening Ceremonies.
On July 17th at Protective Stadium, the grand finale of The World Games 2022 – One World-One People: Celebrating Legacy, Achievement & Unity – will commemorate The Games with incredible performances and the opportunity for athletes, fans and volunteers to bid farewell to Birmingham. Presented by Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, the final presentation will include the ceremonial passing of The World Games flag to representatives of the 2025 host city: Chengdu, China.
“The World Games will bring a once-in-a-lifetime level of focus and attention to Birmingham and Alabama,” says Dr. Henry Panion, Artistic Director of The World Games 2022. “It is our goal to showcase and celebrate the very best of Alabama in presentations that are both festive and reflective, commemorating our past yet articulating the hope of our future. I wanted to combine the elements of Olympic ceremonies and Super Bowl half-time shows, with the best of my true loves… the sounds of a symphony orchestra and the pageantry, artistry, and precision of professional drum corps. Gospel Music and the sound of Gospel have influenced virtually every form of music across the globe. So, as an indigenous art form of America and Alabama, it is only appropriate that it be featured so prominently in these World Games.”
Developed in partnership with the cohort of global partners and advisers, Birmingham, AL-based Audiostate 55 Entertainment has been brought on by The World Games to create and direct the ceremonies. This year’s Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be a feast for the eyes and ears. Each evening will showcase elaborate custom costumes, props and performances, set to the backdrop of one of the largest LED displays amassed in America. The choreographed presentation of synchronized lights and immersive sound will feature a cast of over 700 combined performers across the two nights (including dancers, field pageantry artists and more), a 75-piece orchestra, and an array of choral ensembles including gospel, classical, and youth choirs, all embarking on a journey across the history of Birmingham, from its incorporation in 1871 into its future.
The World Games are returning to the United States in 2022 for the first time in more than 40 years. This year over the course of 11 days, The World Games will feature events across 34 sports, showcasing some 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries. A total of 24 competition venues will participate in this year’s World Games, including the newly renovated Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex.
Stay tuned for more information, including news on the forthcoming theme song of the 2022 World Games.
About The World Games:
The World Games is an extraordinary, international sports event held every four years, in the year following each Summer Olympic Games. Staged over 11 days, The Games represents the pinnacle of competition for 3,600 of the world’s best athletes in 30+ unique, multi-disciplinary sports. The World Games generates worldwide exposure for participating sports and provides a highly visible stage on which athletes from more than 100 countries compete for gold. More than 600 medals will be awarded to the competing athletes, including 200 gold medals for the ultimate champions in each discipline.
The World Games is led by the International World Games Association (IWGA), a non-profit organization that is composed of 37 International Sports Federations and recognized by The International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Follow The World Games here:

At-home Valentine’s Day meal with The Fresh Market

The Fresh Market’s heart-shaped ribeye has returned! Many people are planning to spend Valentine’s Day at home this year, and our Premium Choice Sweetheart Ribeye is the perfect way to say “I love you” deliciously.

Hand-cut and butterflied by our expert butchers, this steak maintains its unique shape when cooked. The meat is aged a minimum of 14 days for maximum tenderness.

This limited-time specialty is available in store from February 11-14.

Is your love more of a seafood fan? Woo them with our Heart-Shaped Crab Cakes. Available February 9-14, these perfectly seasoned Maryland crab cakes are ready to cook when you pick them up.

As the holidays draw nearer, keep an eye out at your local The Fresh Market for more specialty items like our chocolate-dipped strawberries, heart-shaped desserts and show-stopping florals.

THE ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PLANS FULL RETURN TO NEW ORLEANS IN JULY 2022

Essence Communications, Inc., the leading media, technology and commerce company dedicated to serving Black women and communities, today announced the full return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture to New Orleans from June 30 – July 3, 2022.

After pivoting to a virtual experience in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the ESSENCE Festival will host a fully live gathering for the first time in two years, celebrating the culture and resilience of the Black community with the theme “It’s the Black Joy for Me!”  In addition, with its strong digital performance – including a 65% increase in Festival content streams from 2020 (45 million) to 2021 (70+ million), the ESSENCE Festival of Culture will build on the global audience gained via its virtual programming to continue to deliver a comprehensive and engaging digital experience to attendees both live and around the world.

“The reimagining of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans – fully physical and fully digital – experience will be epic,” said Caroline Wanga, CEO, Essence Communications, Inc. “Given what we have collectively experienced over the last two years, the opportunity to convene and uplift in the spirit of culture, equity, celebration – and joy – is more of a privilege and honor than it has ever been. We look forward to our homecoming in the City of New Orleans and to strengthening our impact as a cornerstone of Black culture, entrepreneurship and economic inclusion – working always to serve Black women and communities deeply.”

The unparalleled live experience will include almost one million square feet of space for empowerment programming (networking, finance, career, wellness, fashion, beauty and more) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, nightly concerts at Caesars Superdome and other entertaining and inspirational activations in venues across the city.  The Festival’s robust digital programming will include live streaming of select on-the-ground activities in New Orleans, as well as new and exclusive digital content and experiences created for the live and virtual audiences.

“We are elated to announce the return of the ESSENCE Festival to New Orleans in the Summer of 2022,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  “ESSENCE brings so much to our city and our economy, and I can’t wait to see what this year has to offer. The City of New Orleans and the ESSENCE Festival are inextricably linked through our remarkable history and our steadfast focus on and commitment to culture, community, and economic inclusion.  We look forward to continuing this partnership to create an even deeper legacy of impact and inclusion for our city and for all who will join us in July to make this experience the best yet.”

Launched in 1995 as an event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ESSENCE magazine, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture has since evolved into the world’s largest celebration of Black women, culture and communities.  Regularly convening more than 530,000 people annually over July 4th weekend in New Orleans, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is now also the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance.

Additional details regarding the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture – including ticketing, schedules, talent line-up, COVID protocols (based on recommended guidance from Public Health Agencies and the City of New Orleans), and more – will be released in January 2022.  Visit www.essencefestival.com for the latest information.

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.

Essence Communications is the number one—and only 100% Black-owned—media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities.  With a community of more than 31 million Black women, ESSENCE inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in Culture, Equity and Celebration.  The brand’s multi-platform presence in/ publishing, experiential and online encompasses its namesake magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and signature live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.

Be Stay Live 2022 Women’s Empowerment Makeover: WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE

Rochelle Gaston Malone the Author, Entrepreneur, Minister, Multiple Sclerosis Advocate, and Talk Show Host will host THE WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
Rochelle Gaston Malone is a Faith-Life coach, known as the Empowerment Champion, who uses writing and speaking to minister empowerment.
Ms. Malone is the great-granddaughter of the late Dr. A.G. Gaston, Sr.
She is the founder and executive director of MSFace2Face, a 501c3 non-profit organization that is committed to eradicating “MS Poverty.”
The WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE dynamic speaker lineup and details will be shared soon.
Save The Date!

Hosea Helps Historic Pivot For 2021 Holiday Events

Hosea Helps, Inc., in its 50th year of service, kicks off its 2021 Holiday Festival of Services with the Great Turkey Drop-off, followed by the Annual Thanksgiving Event. This year’s holiday events will be another historic first for the organization battling against the covid-19 pandemic. They will hold the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas food distributions one week before the holiday to better provide for families in need. This pivot allows them to distribute all of the fixings for a delicious holiday meal in time for families to prepare and serve on the actual holiday. The Thanksgiving drive-thru food distribution will take place on November 19, 2021, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Blue Lot across from the Georgia World Congress Center’s C building off Northside Drive, entering on Maple Street. By doing the holiday food distribution a week in advance, they’re empowering families by giving them time to prepare and enjoy a scrumptious home-cooked meal on Thanksgiving Day – No more frozen turkeys on the holiday!

This historic holiday event will be a two-fold holiday giving extravaganza. This is the first time in history that Hosea Helps will be receiving in-kind donations and distributing food boxes and supplies simultaneously. This year, Hosea Helps is working with a world-renowned service organization, which they will announce early next week, to kick off the 2021 Holiday Food Drive. This extraordinary group of volunteers will lead the charge in donating poultry, canned goods, pantry items, and household supplies. In addition, volunteers will be working both sides of the giving spectrum by accepting food drive donations from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and helping to distribute food boxes and supplies to families on the other side. Hosea Helps has never had so many volunteers that they could receive and distribute donations at the same time.

The Great Turkey Drop-off will take place on November 11, 2021, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Hosea’s corporate donors, Publix Supermarkets and Kroger, along with donations from the philanthropic community, including Simon Guobadia, will deliver turkeys to the new Hosea Headquarters located at 2545 Forrest Hills Drive, SW Atlanta, GA 30315 for distribution during this seasons Festival of Services that include Thanksgiving, Christmas, MLK Day.

“We are so excited and grateful that these volunteers committed to partnering with us to help meet the rising demand for food and supplies for families in need during the holidays. The after-effects of Covid and the shortages in the supply chain have caused a decrease in the availability of turkeys this year, ultimately driving the costs up too high for us to buy in large quantities. That’s why this year’s Great Turkey Drop-off  by our corporate sponsors and the donation drive by our volunteers is so important. We hope that these donations will help us fill the gap between our supply and the community need.”, says Elizabeth Omilami, CEO of Hosea Helps.

Participating families must register for the 11/19/21 Thanksgiving food distribution on the Hosea Helps website at www.4hosea.org to receive groceries and supplies prior to the event. For more information on Hosea Helps and its programs, visit the website or follow on social media @4Hosea. 

 

Hosea Helps Hosts The 2021 Great Turkey Drop Off on Thursday, Nov 11, 2021

 

WHO: Hosea Helps, Inc., in its 50th year of service, kicks off its 2021 Holiday Festival of Services with the Great Turkey Drop-off, followed by the Annual Thanksgiving Event. The Thanksgiving drive-thru food distribution will take place on November 19, 2021, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Blue Lot across from the Georgia World Congress Center’s C building off Northside Drive, entering on Maple Street. 

WHAT: Hosea’s corporate donors, Publix Supermarkets and Kroger, along with donations from the philanthropic community, including Simon Guobadia, will deliver turkeys to the new Hosea Headquarters located at 2545 Forrest Hills Drive, SW Atlanta, GA 30315 for distribution during this seasons Festival of Services that include Thanksgiving, Christmas, MLK Day.

 

WHEN:The Great Turkey Drop-off will take place on November 11, 2021, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. 

 

WHERE: 2545 Forrest Hills Drive, SW Atlanta, GA 30315 at 10am on the dock of Hosea Helps Headquarters