GRoE Inc. and Open Bite Night are making some changes, revisiting our roots and "reclaiming our time". Blocks and building are on the path that is in front of us for 2019 and we couldn't be more excited about it! This is only the beginning. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming details about the directions in which we are determined to travel this year!
On purpose? Definitely.
Claim the Throne is aimed at recognizing and celebrating the lives and achievements of men who have and are playing pivotal roles in the building and uplifting of the people and communities that we live in.
Claim the Throne is meant to encourage and motivate the actions of our men who, quite frankly, live lives where they are stripped of their roles, stigmatized, persecuted and, in some cases, demonized.
We even have little expectations of ourselves.
For as far back as I can remember, women have been at the forefront of every movement and they have gotten stronger by uplifting and celebrating one another.
However, they have a strong desire for men to lead.
I have found that it is much easier to get people to respond when positivity exists. With this knowledge, we will celebrate the hard work and dedication that our men have shown towards family, community, arts, education and more.
It's so exciting! The first book from Rohini "Ro" Townsend is NOW available for purchase! For a paperback copy, click here. If you're an eBook kind of person, click here.
Put Some Shoes On, is an emotional and gripping story of one little girl’s journey through heartache, rejection, abuse, and turmoil. Chronicling her path from scared child to broken, rebellious teen to powerful, anointed woman of God, the author shares the most intimate moments of her life with refreshing transparency and soul stirring honesty. It is not only a story of past hurts, it is a story of learning, growing and seeking a deeper relationship with God -- the steps and sacrifices that are required for that level of depth and connection to the Father.
Raw, poignant, and insightful, Put Some Shoes On was written to heal. It was written with your salvation in mind. This is a story of overcoming and, while on that walk, discovering who you are, and more importantly, WHOSE you are. Every step you take was conceived in the mind of the Father to guide you towards recognizing the spiritual gifts He has placed in you. Be not weary in well doing. Do not allow your circumstances to define you. Do not be consumed by trials and heartache. Take your experiences and let God use them to mold you into a powerful Kingdom citizen. Put some shoes on and walk boldly in your Godly identity.
We are pleased to announce that Flanner House of Indianapolis, Inc. is now our fiscal sponsor! This partnership allows GRoE, Inc. to procure grants and donations that require a 501c3 status. With this collaboration, we will be able to expand and return to providing snack bags to schools as well as plan and host community events more frequently. Many thanks to Brandon Cosby and Mat Davis for taking the time to get to know us as individuals as well as a business entity. We look forward to working with Flanner House and helping them to serve the MLK community.
In the coming weeks, you will be able to read a tale of how one girl, Rohini Townsend, rose from a place of brokenness to walking in God's purpose. Ro Townsend of GRoE, Inc. has completed her first book which is her autobiography. It will be available spring 2017
Coming soon, Put Some Shoes On
For transparency and perspectives' sake, it costs around $200/week to make 136 snack bags for the school. We then spend an additional $100 or so feeding the neighborhood children. This is why you've seen more ads for our catering services and more reminders that we do this. We happily turn over our profits from catering as well as dip into our own pockets in order to get the job done. We couldn't stop now if we wanted to. These families rely on us and we're happy that God has placed us here to fill the need... and a special thank you to the angels that God sent us RIGHT ON TIME EVERY TIME with donations <3
Side note: To those who have been asking, we're in need of Uncrustables® sandwiches, baked chips, fruit cups and 100% fruit juice boxes for the deliveries to the school which will resume next week after fall break.
This is also why we'd like for other businesses and organizations to get on board, not necessarily with us, but in their neighborhoods. We're only covering one neighborhood in Indianapolis. There's a much bigger need out there. But this is what it looks like to feed children properly so that they can effectively perform in school which starts an entire domino effect that leads into adulthood. This is how individuals can help affect change at the ground level. Donating a pack of juice boxes is directly contributing to the well-being of a child. We've been on the receiving end of this need, so not only are we thankful to be on the other side now, but we know how impactful it is.
If you'd like to volunteer to help assemble bags or make a snack donation, please reach out to us via inbox, call, text or email. If you know of a business that would like to contribute in any fashion, we have an official donation letter that we can provide you with. If you'd like to make a monetary donation, you can do so via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or here: http://www.allthingsroe.com/groe--latter-house.html
Thank you in advance!
We are currently spearheading a community effort to feed children of Indianapolis who may be going home to little or no food after school. Why would we hand out snacks after school? Why is this so important to us? For many reasons. Let's think this through together.
We'll walk though a moment in the life of fictional character 12 year old "Phillip." On Sundays, Phillip goes to church with his family. After church, there was a pitch-in where Phillip and his siblings got to eat a big dinner with their mom who was extra grateful because she didn't know where dinner was going to come from since two days prior she spent the last of her small paycheck on the electric bill and they are still a week away from receiving this month's SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Monday morning rolls around and Phillip receives free breakfast through the public school system. He also gets lunch. Phillip gets out of school around 3:30pm and then rides the bus for 45 minutes home. He's pretty hungry since he burned off his lunch calories at recess, and lunchtime was over four hours earlier anyhow. Phillip looks in his cabinets and finds condiments, coffee and a few cans of vegetables. He opens the refrigerator only to find more condiments, a few eggs and some expired sour cream. His mom has already headed to her second job, so he has to make the most of what he can find. He scrambled the last three eggs in the fridge and shared them with his 5 year old sister. Phillip helps his little sister with her homework and then sits down to do his own. He can't really concentrate because he's still hungry. He gets up from his homework, gets his little sister's shoes on and they head down the block to his friend's house. He asks his friend to get him some food and the friend grabs him a pack of pop-tarts. That pack of pop-tarts became dinner for Phillip and his little sister.
Phillip takes his sister back home, eating pop-tarts on the way, and puts her in bed. He's still hungry because one and a half eggs and one pop-tart does not constitute a meal, especially not for an active 12 year old boy. He also hasn't finished his homework because his tummy is making too much noise and that's all he can think about. He decides to go to bed himself, but it's really difficult to fall asleep when you're so hungry. He lays in bed, flips through a comic book, plays with toys, and then goes to watch TV until his mom gets home at midnight. He didn't realize it had gotten that late. His mom, of course, makes him go to bed since it's midnight. She didn't really talk much with Phillip because it was late, he needed to go to bed, she was exhausted and she was worried about how she was going to pay the rent next month since they cut her hours at her part time job that night. He finally falls asleep around 1:00am just to wake up at 7:00am to get ready for school. A measly six hours of sleep. He gets to school, scarfs down his breakfast, finishes two of his friends' breakfasts since they weren't going to eat it, and then he heads to class.
Phillip suddenly feels super sleepy. It must have been a combination of lack of sleep the night before from being hungry and eating almost three breakfasts first thing in the morning. He starts to fiddle around, talk to his friends and wiggle in his chair to keep himself awake. Needless to say, he can't focus on a word that's coming out of the mouth of his teacher. In fact, he's now being disciplined in class for not sitting still, being quiet and paying attention. When the teacher asks him what's going on, he shrugs his shoulders and looks at the floor in defeat. As a 12 year old, he doesn't realize that his behavior is being directly affected by his eating habits. Many adults don't realize that about themselves!
This cycle repeats for Phillip -- more often than not. His grades end up low, his behavior is unpredictable and his standardized test scores are barely average. Now everyone is affected - his mom by having to constantly come into school to discuss Phillip's behavior and grades, the teachers by having students that need extra help in several areas in and out of school, the school by being held accountable for the success of the students, the school district by being under fire for low test scores and society in general by potentially having youth that may drop out of school, engage with questionable crowds/activities or both all because school became burdensome and a source of discouragement.
So we're handing out snacks. We're not so naive as to believe that after-school snacks are the solution to life and society's problems, but it's a start. We understand that there are also many other factors at play such as broken families, physical and emotional abuse, alcohol and substance abuse, lack of faith, mental illness and an abundance of other things, but we can't realistically tackle all of those at once. But we can help "Phillip" and others like him at least get some food in their tummies so they can do their homework and get some rest. A sandwich, baked chips, fresh fruit, natural fruit snacks and a drink are a fulfilling blessing in the face of empty cabinets. We'll make a bigger wave when we're finally able to open up our community center. We'll be able to graduate from helping not only "Phillip" but his mom and their entire family unit. In the interim, we'll be feeding children so that they can get closer to their version of greatness. We've started with a handful of zip codes three days a week. We want this to grow legs and become a citywide effort five days a week. Are you on board?
Let us know if you are interested in opportunities to volunteer. Food donations can be dropped off at 34th & Clifton Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 6:00pm-7:00pm. Monetary donations can be made here.
Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to be quiet. Shush! Why, you ask? Mostly because our minds can be our own worst enemy in a myriad of ways. And if we ever become defeated by the power of the mind... Lord, help! That's when we lose sleep at night, question our faith, question our friendships and relationships -- it just gets all bad.
Do any of these sound like you? If so, insert your 'shush' as you see fit: "I have the worst luck. What's gonna go wrong today?" Shush. If you start off with the mindset of something going wrong, then inevitably, something will go wrong. You may even subconsciously create mishaps or seek out negativity.
"What did they mean by that text message? Are they mad at me? What did I say? Let me read it again. I'm'a just wait for them to text me, then I'll know how they feel." Listen. Now you need to shush and speak up at the same time. Get out of your head and ask that person what they meant. We let the smallest, most insignificant things get us trapped in our minds for way too long.
"I've always wanted to learn to play the guitar, but I'm too old and I don't even think I can." Shush. Don't let that voice discourage you from pursuing activities that will help you fulfill your dreams and bring you joy. If a 91 year old woman can go to prom because she never had the chance to before, then you can CERTAINLY play the guitar... or dance ballet... or go horseback riding... or scuba diving. Go DO!
"I'm too [fat, skinny, bald, hairy, tall, short, dark, light, pale, weird...]." OMG, SHUSH! Rather than looking at any of those things in a negative light, either embrace the person that you are and all of your attributes (unless your health is in jeopardy, in which case, take the necessary steps to fix it), or admit to yourself once and for all that you're suffering from low self-esteem/depression/insecurity and find a church, therapist, trusted friend or counselor that can help you take the steps out of that dark place. And you can start right now by reminding yourself of something that makes *YOU* beautiful.
"I never do anything right." Shush. Never? You never, ever do anything right? I find that exceptionally hard to believe. Did you hit the water when you used the bathroom? Did food make it in your mouth when you tried to eat? Did you put on matching shoes this morning? Let's step it up a bit. Are your pets still alive? Did your kids graduate to the next grade? Do you still have your job? Has anyone told you they loved you recently? Then you ARE doing something right. Lots of things. Let's spotlight those instead, k? K. Which brings me to that negative inner narrative that we don't need to 'shush', we need to forcefully silence. That voice in our head that constantly tells us all of the things that we're lacking, we can't do, are afraid of -- the voice that points out our inadequacies and the moment we start to find confidence, compliment or praise ourselves, that voice jumps in to tell us we're not worthy. That one can't be shushed. It has to be evicted, never to return again. The every-so-often voices we can shush. But that voice that's always there belittling everything we do has to go! It prevents us from doing the things we dream about (or maybe kills our dreams altogether) and it causes us to question even the things that we have confidence in.
Shush those things that are preventing you from living the life that you know you're capable of living. Let God do some work in that mind of yours, too. If you can't do it yourself -- which most of us can't, then He's there for the assist. And so are we; just reach out and we'll help you with your shushing.
Life can be a challenge, especially when you're pulled in different directions with responsibilities at every turn. We know. We're living, breathing demonstrations of balance-seekers. As a couple, we have our small business to manage, community outreach, college, ministry leadership positions, artistic endeavors, a child to homeschool, full time jobs, our marriage, five kids (one with special needs), two cats, a dog and no vehicle. For us, balance has proven to be quite elusive. So what do we do besides pray the heavens down and beg God for some grand epiphany? We simply do what we can when we can do it. We kick 'pressure' to the curb and send 'unrealistic expectations' outside to live in the alley. We're human and we have to allow ourselves to be human.
There is no magic formula, elixir or pill, there's just a realization that we're not superheroes and there's no need to martyr ourselves at the hands of 'demands'. Pride had to be eliminated from the equation and a desire for peace replaced it. I, Ro, had to stop doing some things in the name of preserving sanity. I'm currently in school seeking a degree in Social Work. I also just started a full time job a couple of weeks ago. The addition of the job caused about three new gray hairs to appear. I didn't know what to do because I found myself neglecting things that I love like spending time with the kids and playing instruments -- things that are a pivotal part of my life -- in order to find time to study the Bible, do homework, rest or clean my room. I couldn't figure out how to get everything done. And then the solution hit me: I can't. I can't get everything done and that's ok because I'm human. So I withdrew from a really challenging class that had intense reading demands in order to find my footing in my life. I had to move every crumb of pride off of the plate and let myself be sane. I knew that reading for 4-6 hours a day after having worked for 8 and ridden the bus for 4 simply wasn't realistic right now, so it got sent outside to live in the alley. And once my house gets clean, the kids are out of school for the summer and we acquire a vehicle, I'll pick that class back up with a renewed spirit and better balance.
Sometimes we have to digest the fact that everything we want to do in life doesn't need to be done right now. Regardless of motivation, ambition and drive, sanity has to prevail or nothing else will work effectively. Take time to evaluate the things that are most important in your life and then start with those. Determine if a task will be doable in a few weeks or months and then re-route your life accordingly. Then, remove unnecessary things altogether. If you're truly honest with yourself, you'll be able to find time and balance and you'll stop hearing yourself constantly saying, "I'm burnt out/too busy/too tired/worn out." Choose life; choose peace.