Ifyoublinked’s Woman Crush | A DJ Saves Lives, Literally

Quiana Parks doing her thing at DJ For A Cure movement.

Quiana Parks doing her thing at DJ For A Cure movement.

Quianna Parks wanted to do more than make you dance. The go-to DJ for ritzy brands like Puma, Dom Perignon and Tiffany & Co. used her spinning skills to save lives.

She created DJ For A Cure. An informational movement designed to educate those effected by cancer. In addition to passing along some dire statistics (i.e Approximately every 4 minutes one person in the US is diagnosed with blood cancer.) she’s inspiring those battling cancer with art.

This month, the spin master jumped on the ones and twos to host the 2nd annual DJ For A Cure live art and music show. The benefit raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Parks, a proud cancer survivor herself, said she aims to “raise awareness to the seriousness of cancer by highlighting the world of popular DJ culture infused with the element of art.”

Halle Berry, Pink and Zendaya Saluted for Good Works

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A long-haired Halle Berry stepped out in Bev Hills last night rocking a little black dress. Ms. Berry may be flirting with 50, but she still can slay like a 20-year-old ingenue.

Halle received the creative conscious award from Variety magazine’s Unite4Humanity benefit that recognizes charitable endeavors. Halle was spotlighted for her work with the Jenesse Center that caters to victims of domestic violence.

Queen Latifah presented Halle with the honor.

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In her acceptance speech, she shared her own experiences with domestic violence. And it hit close to home.

Disney star Zendaya was also awarded with the young Luminary statue. Pop star Demi Levato presented her with the same award she received last year for her anti-bullying campaign.

On Instagram Zendaya wrote, “There’s no age limit to being able to help people…thank you
unite4good I plan on doing so much more.”

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Pop singer Pink was also there to bring the crowd to tears with her rendition of “Time After Time.” Check it out below, but first grab a hankie.

Kudos well deserved for their kind acts.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: From Dishwasher to Businessowner, Haitian Man Fulfills American Dream With Stranger’s Help

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Fresh off the boat (or plane) from Haiti in 2000, a Haitian man reunited with his taxi-driver dad in Philly.

Desperate to find his 20-year-old son work in a foreign land, he asked a stranger in his cab for any leads.

The stranger told him to have his son, Ricardeau Scutt, meet him in front of Saladworks Restaurant the next day. The good Samaritan got Scutt a job as a dishwasher at the restaurant.

In between working at Saladworks and taking ESL (English as Second Language) courses, Ricardeau’s overcame the language barrier.

Three years later he became general manager of Saladworks and received US citizenship.

Last Fall, Saladworks execs secretly went to the Food Network to tape Ricardeau’s managerial skills for a reality competition show he didn’t even know he was on. And he won!

Now he’s the proud franchise owner of a Salad Works restaurant.

All because a stranger took time to give him a chance.

You never know who could be a blessing to you, even a stranger in disguise.

To read more about Ricardeau’s story visit the Philadelphia Daily News.

IFYOUBLINKED’s Women Crush I Estella’s Brilliant Bus

 

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Ms. Frizzle’s got nothing on Ms. Estella.

For one, she’s three-dimensional and has a pulse.

And while Ms. Frizzle can navigate her “Magic School Bus” through body cavities and into space, Ms. Estella’s Brilliant Bus–while on ground–is decked out with the latest technology to teach kids how to join the Digital Age.

It may be a foreign concept to some low-income schools, but Ms. Estella aims to close that gap.

The retired school teacher, 78, used her pension (after 5 decades as an educator) to fashion a bus into a computer lab with several workstations, and offered digital media equipment. The “school on wheels” travels throughout South Florida to give kids free online services. Brilliant Bus charity tackles everything from anti-bullying to college preparedness training.

The empowering feat kills two birds with one stone: Estella Pyfrom continues doing what she loves and preparing young kids, whose schools don’t have technological tools, for a new world.

To take her project to the next level, she’s teaming up with NBA All Star Dale Davis to raise $100K to launch a Tech-innovation summer camp for 50 lucky kids. The camp will take a multi-city tour and end at the ESSENCE fest in New Orleans’ for the #YesWeCode event.

To make a donation for the summer Tech Innovation, click here.

Struttin’ For Charity: Naomi Campbell Hosts Fashion Show For Ebola Relief

In between sashaying down several runways for New York Fashion Week and promoting Fox’s “Empire,” (she plays a cougar,if you’re wondering) Naomi Campbell threw her own fashion show on Saturday.

The iconic supermodel gathered her famous friends–Tyson Beckford, Mary J. Blige, Rosario Dawson, Cassie, Paris Hilton, Kelly Osbourne and Michelle Rodriguez–to slay the “Fashion For Relief” runway in New York.

The charity show is to raise awareness and dollars for Ebola relief. Yes, Ebola is still relevant despite it not being reported on the news. Yes, the fight against Ebola still matters, and so does the Bring Back Our Girls campaign. Remember that?

I digress. Naomi Campbell will hold a second “Fashion for Relief” show tomorrow during London Fashion Week.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Target Employees Help NC Teen Land Job

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All it took was one click on a camera phone to capture the human spirit. For those still convinced this world is nothing but dog-eat-dog, should glance at the image above.

A 15-year-old North Carolina teen stopped in a nearby Target, just hoping to get a tie for an upcoming job interview.

Yasir Moore got a lot more than he bargained for.

He asked a Target employee if the store had clip-on neckties because he didn’t know how to tie a regular tie.

They couldn’t find any clip-ons, so the Target employee grabbed a co-worker who could teach him. After Yasir bought the tie, they practiced. But not just the windsor knot, he was prepped for his interview.

Target customers could overhear tips like “make sure you look him in the eye” and “give a firm handshake.”

Shopper Audrey Mark took the picture that went viral.

“It was a very quiet, simple moment, but it was very profound-honesty, kindness from strangers-in a Super Target,” Mark told WTVD.”He leaves and all these Target employees are screaming ‘Bye! Good luck! Tell us how it went.”

Thankfully, very well. Yasir got the Chick-Fil-A job this week, reports WTVD.

And he went back to Target to thank his supporters that have now become family.

“They’re like family to me now, because they helped so much,” Yasir tells WTVD.

“They didn’t just change my life, they’re going to help me change other people’s lives.” He adds.

What goes around, comes around. Speaking of karma, did you hear a single-mom from North Carolina (what is in the water there?!) won big playing the Powerball? Very well deserved.

Happy Valentine’s Day, loves XOXO

Yankees CC Sabathia and Shark Tank’s Daymond John Honored at Annual RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine’s Luncheon

 (l.to r.) C.C. and Amber Sabathia, Russell Simmons, Angela Simmons and guests attend the RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine's Luncheon today.

(l.to r.) C.C. and Amber Sabathia, Russell Simmons, Angela Simmons and guests attend the RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine’s Luncheon today.

Celebs BRRaved the Alaskan-like temps in New York City to attend Russell Simmons’ 12th annual RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine’s Luncheon, held at the Plaza Hotel, to raise money for his philanthropic arts foundation fostering children’s creativity.

Of course Russell’s niece Angela Simmons, the supreme socialite, appeared on the red carpet.

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Not far behind was Angela’s bestie track and field star Sanya Richards-Ross.

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Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon reclaimed her hosting duties for the event.

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DJ Cassidy, Miss Universe and Law & Order SVU‘s Tamara Tunie also made an appearance.

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And Marsha Ambrosius, draped in feathers, performed at the benefit honoring ABC Shark Tank’s Daymond John, founder of FUBU fashion line, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley for their career efforts and philanthropic efforts.

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Grammy nominated soul singer Marsha Ambrosius singing at the benefit.

To give a brief snapshot, Daymond is not only known as the shark in suspenders, he also mentors up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

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Daymond was honored at the RUSH HeARTS Valentine’s luncheon. He’s holding up a painting kids did of him.

CC and Amber Sabathia are celebrated for their Pitcch In Foundation that empower inner-city kids with sports programs.

And Cynthia Rowley participates in several charities benefitting breast cancer awareness and community outreach.

 

Sam Smith, Mary J. Blige Donate GRAMMY Memorabilia to Benefit MusiCares Foundation

US-MUSIC-GRAMMY AWARDS-SHOWOther than the video loop of Kanye West bum rushing the stage, but ultimately DID let Beck bask in his Album of the year moment, playing in heavy rotation on Youtube, there are a few other–tangible–takeaways for Grammy’s 57th award ceremony.

Hey, all you super music fans. If you want a lasting reminder of music’s biggest night browse Grammys charity auction that benefits the MusiCares Foundation.

Items include an autographed Sam Smith microphone used to sing his steller “Stay With Me” duet with Mary J. Blige, who also puts her mic up on the auction block.

An autographed copy of Common’s “Nobody’s Smiling.”

An Ariana Grande memorabalia set that includes an autographed copy of her new CD, microphone and its case.

And a Katy Perry autographed and bedazzled guitar.

To peruse all the auctioned items, click here.

IF YOU BLINKED Women Crush| A.J. Johnson Visits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

ajzoneLeading up to women’s month IF You Blinked is highlighting one woman each Wednesday. But not just any woman that’ll make your WCW slot. These ladies are using their wit, charm, intelligence and empathy to make the world a more understanding place.

It’s that sentiment Kayla Mueller left her hometown of Arizona to join the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Syria. Sadly, Kayla, killed while held hostage by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) was stripped of her mission for peace.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t finish what she started.

A.J. Johnson is. The Hollywood life coach, best known for consulting Lindsay Lohan on her short-lived reality show Lindsay. And if you really want to dig through the archives, A.J was also Tisha Campbell’s sidekick in the oldie, but goodie House Party.

A.J. is our inaugural Women Crush because she literally lent a hand to the neediest and most vulnerable among us: sick kids.

She visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for a “play day with her friends” today.

On Instagram she writes this about her Memphis visit:

“2-Day’s word-SELFLESS! It’s easy to want to do for yourself-like that guarantees your fulfillment? But it’s amazing to realize the REAL fulfillment YOU receive is when your focus is giving…”

And today the empowerment queen concentrated on cheering up toddlers Trip and McKenley.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Detroit man with 21-mile walk to work gets free car

photo courtesy: gofundme.com

James Robertson hitting the pavement to work. photo courtesy: gofundme.com

This story has been making the rounds on morning news shows, and I think its the perfect tale to kickoff a new section called Feel Good Friday. Every Friday, a story about strangers uplifting one person or persons will be shared on ifyoublinked.

This week I’ll start with James Robertson, 56. The Motor City native tugged at our heartstrings this week when his 42- mile journey between work and home became public. James makes the marathon-like trek, in brick weather nonetheless, starting at 8am, seven days a week, since 1988.

A bus carries him close to his destination, but it doesn’t replace his Honda that broke down years ago. His measley salary won’t allow him to fix it. And now he won’t have too.

Thanks to a college student–Evan Leedy, junior at Wayne State, starting a gofundme page to raise money to get James some new wheels. Forget a Honda, James can afford a Benz or Jag, if he so chooses, because lots and lots of generous souls surpassed his $25,000 goal. So far, his gofundme page has raised over $300,000.

He needed a lift and he certainly got one. If you want to give him an extra boost and donate to his campaign, click here.

***************UPDATE*************UPDATE**********UPDATE*********UPDATE************UPDATE*******

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Instead of dipping into his gofundme fund, James Robertson was given a free car by a Ford dealership in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The factory worker will be driving (instead of making his usual 21-mile trek) in a brand-new Suburban Ford, with a moon roof to boot.

And as for the money raised, he gets to pocket it.

Who says prayers aren’t answered?

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