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Paula Forrest

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Paula is our POZZYVIBER of the month this July!  Paula currently spends most of her free time volunteering with the Red Cross. Paula was first inspired to begin volunteering back during Hurricane Katrina. She had tried approaching community churches that were involved with helping those affected by Katrina to assist there, but after being told she needed training to pitch in she decided to apply with the Red Cross (RC). While Paula was waiting on the status of her application she went to the Baptist Church and took training they offered for cooking during disasters and chain sawing. She continued to call the Red Cross and finally was approved as a volunteer and was trained before she knew it. Paula’s first volunteering experiences with the Red Cross started locally on a Disaster Action Team (DAT), which helps families recovering from local disasters such as apartment fires. Paula quickly became a DAT Captain, which gave her the responsibility of being on call and being one of the first points of contact during a local disaster. As a DAT Captain it was her responsibility to call and gather the other volunteers to meet at local home disasters to assist those affected, and to report cases back to her local RC office. Paula’s first National Deployment with the RC was for Hurricane Issac. During Issac Paula was deployed as an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) driver, but ended up doing Sheltering as any good Red Crosser does she went where she was needed.

A typical deployment for a RC volunteer is two or three weeks of time. Paula however is anything other than typical as she has spent months deployed. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in late October of 2011 Paula deployed to help yet again. There she assisted with mass feeding in Staten Island for about 19 days. Paula returned home then deployed again to New York City and assisted with the first part of the bridge program where she assisted NYC Housing Authority in entering families into their portal. After returning home from her second deployment with Sandy, she returned yet again for her third deployment, which started in January. This is where I got the pleasure of meeting Paula first hand. Paula and I were partnered up to help assist in delivering Client Assistance Cards (CAC) to the families that were still displaced and living in hotels to help assist them with food for their families. At this time there were still about 700 families living in hotels. Paula and I at the time were in charge of contacting, meeting, and delivering CACs and Metro Cards for the bus and subway systems to the families living in hotels in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. We became regulars at the hotels with both the staff and clients staying there. After I left NYC in mid February Paula continued to stay and help with few minimal short-lived trips back home, she stayed a few more months till the end of the Disaster Relief Operation (DRO).

Since Sandy Paula has helped in apartment and house fires, the tornado in North East Arkansas, the Tornado in Lincoln County TN, the floods in Western TN, and the tornados in Indiana this past Spring. From the different phases of response & relief to a disaster Paula has found that she really enjoys doing the Recovery phase of Client Case Work, but is always up for a challenge and always wanting to learn, experience, and help others in new was. More recently Paula has completed an 8-week course in Disaster Services Technology (DST) to setup satellites and communication services for future DROs. Although Paula is not hoping for a disaster to affect anywhere and anyone, she is currently hoping to deploy and help at the next disaster to come. When asked what her favorite part of doing what she does is, Paula stated that she receives satisfaction from working with clients and bringing a ray of sunshine to those who feel that a darkness that has fallen upon them. She also stated, “Seeing how many folks have a heart to help folks is ahhhmazing too.” “The brutal truth is when I found that I could not work any more… I began to feel useless… volunteering has helped to give my life purpose again… it has been very good for me.”

 

Paula is a very thoughtful, humble, and kindhearted person who has touched many lives and been touched by many others’ lives as well. Even with my conversation with Paula about herself she brought a compliment to me, which warmed my heart “I learned to hug again… because of you.” Paula you are an amazing individual, on behalf of all of those you have helped and all of those who you will help… THANK YOU!

 

Written by Pozzyviber Tiffany R.

Dianna Neil

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Dianna Neil is our POZZYVIBER of the month for June 2014. Dianna is the Food Director of a child development center at the Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. Let’s began by telling Dianna’s story as to why we have chose her to be our Pozzyviber of the month. In the 90’s Dianna was living in Colorado when she was diagnosed with Cancer in May of 1998. With the struggle of the chemo treatments and working fulltime she was faced with the hard facts that she wanted more out of life. So much of her life was spent raising her three siblings and her two kids although she loved doing so and wouldn’t take any of that back, she really hadn’t focused on herself. With this in mind she decided it was time to live again, and went soul searching finding herself on the beach in South Carolina. There she met her late husband Frank who brought an abundance of happiness to her. After her life with Frank had begun she soon found her place at Providence Baptist Church, where she currently works with children fighting Cancer and other life threatening diseases. Dianna feels deep within her heart that they are all connected; she is a survivor and so are they.

In 2011 Dianna was told the Cancer was back and this time located in her left Kidney. Because of the Cancer’s location treatment was impossible without surgery. After surgically removing her Kidney Dianna was left to begin her healing process again, but not without keeping an uplifted and positive attitude. That Christmas Dianna decided she didn’t want anything for Christmas except to spread happiness and joy to others. Dianna took money she had received from her mother as a Christmas gift and bought out all the teddy bears at her local Wal-Mart filling her car to the brim. Dianna took the car full of teddy bears to the Children’s Hospital so every child could have a Merry Christmas.

Others around Dianna describe her as being bubbly and happy; no matter what is going on she tries to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated. When Dianna lost her husband Frank she donated most of his belongs so others in need could use them in hopes that the happiness he brought to her could be spread to others. When Dianna is not working she donates a portion of her time to catering funerals and weddings. When asked how she feels today the only thing she said was, “Lucky and Blessed.” Dianna is always telling people, “God only gives us what we can handle.” Dianna thanks her mother for pushing her everyday to continue and stay positive.

 

Thank you Dianna for sharing with us and being such a Pozzyviber!

 

For more information about Dianna Neil visit www.diannaneil.com

 

 

 

Written by POZZYVIBE content creator Rene Rosengrant

Barbara Winter

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Barbara is our POZZYVIBER of the month this April!  Barbara author of “Making a Living without a Job,” and owner of joyfullyjobless.com resides in California and travels near and far to teach, speak, and encourage entrepreneurs all around to follow their dreams and make them a reality. Barbara has been joyfully jobless or self-employed as others may call it for many years. Barbara spent her twenties going from job to job trying to figure out why she wasn’t satisfied in the long haul. Once she learned something and was good at it she didn’t want to continue doing it anymore. It wasn’t until her early thirties that she decided to give being self-employed a try and thus began her amazing journey. Since then, Barbara has written a book, traveled the world, started an encouraging newsletter featuring other entrepreneurs and great tips, and inspired many through teaching and speaking. Being an expert on overseas living Barbara also happens to be the executive editor of IL’s new publication, Incomes Abroad, which is designed with one goal in mind to equip you with an income you can take anywhere in the world.

What’s Barbara’s favorite part about doing what she does? A few years ago Barbara was baking cookies and had an epiphany “I am happiest when I am making stuff and it doesn’t matter what it is.” Barbara loves being creative and creating. She loves getting to meet interesting people, and she loves traveling. She loves inspiring, motivating, and educating everyone who has a dream to follow. When Barbara started teaching she would ask her classes “Who came here tonight and didn’t tell anyone where you were going?” Everyone in her classes would raise their hands. Barbara gives individuals permission and examples of other people making a living without a job. She assures entrepreneurs that they are not crazy and that they are really ok for having the thoughts and ideas that they do and that they are not alone, and that they can make it.

After witnessing the amount of people that would attend job fairs and the small quantity of jobs that were offered at them and the ineffectiveness and amount of people that walked away from job fairs discouraged and without a job, Barbara came up with the idea of organizing a Un-Job Fair. The first Un-Job Fair was held at Colorado Free University (CFU) in Denver, CO. A Un-Job Fair is the opposite of a regular job fair. In most job fairs people are searching for a job and trying to sell themselves with their resumes and charm. At a Un-Job Fair people are encouraged not to get a job. They are encouraged to be their own boss, and follow their dreams. Multiple speakers participate and inspire the attendees with their positivity and can do attitudes. Breakout sessions throughout the day allow attendees to focus on more specific topics by other entrepreneurs and allowing attendees to network, get questions answered, and learn new things. I attended one of Barbara’s Un-Job Fairs a couple years ago and was very pleased with all the speakers and teachers. I am sure you have all at one point or another had a very inspiring, motivating, and exciting conversation with another person, just imagine having a whole day of these conversations and being surrounded by others just like you who have dreams they would like to make a reality. Barbara never imagined that this year would be the 5th Un-Job Fair that will be held at CFU on May 31st, 2014, she thought it would be a one-time shot.

Everyone can become negative and get depressed about the little things or the big things in life expected or unexpected that don’t go the way they would have liked them to. Barbara does her best to stay positive at all times, and realizes that when downfalls and let downs do come about in her life that she passes through them rather quickly. “We have dark places but they don’t last if we work hard to stay positive.” Barbara knows that by staying Pozzy we all have a short recovery period when it comes to bouncing back from being negative, sad, or depressed.

For more information about Barbara, her book, her Un-Job Fairs, what she’s doing, or to sign up for Barbara’s Joyfully Jobless newsletter visit joyfullyjobless.com. To sign up for the Un-Job Fair in Denver in May visit freeu.com. For more information about International Living and Incomes Abroad visit internationalliving.com.

 

Written by Pozzyviber Tiffany R.

Amer Shafi

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Amer is our POZZYVIBER of the month for March! He is a passionate and caring man. The main joys of his life are his family and friends. The father of nine beautiful children spanning from ages 6-24 years old, Amer is the youngest of three siblings. Amer’s family values run deep which is instilled on his children, just as his parents instilled the love upon him. Amer’s values have created an amazing life for him and his family. He takes care of his wife Michelle and all of their kids that they share together. He has always provided for them and continues to work hard to be able to do so. Amer’s family emigrated from Karachi, Pakistan to Denver, Colorado when he was in his early teens.

 

As Amer’s parents are getting older he continues to carry the Pakastani traditions of love and care for Ma and Da his mother and father. Even though he is a very busy man he goes out of his way to care for them by taking them out, and cooking and cleaning for them. He also helps his father with church activities at the Church of India/Pakistan. Even on some of his most difficult days Amer wakes up very early, and is always there to provide assistance for his family and friends by giving rides or funds.

 

Amer like any other proud parent encourages his children to follow their dreams and encourages them to never quit learning. Amer believes education is very important. His oldest son Matt is a college graduate from the University of Colorado at Denver, and his third oldest son Elijah just started college. Amer couldn’t be any prouder of his loving children, wonderful wife, amazing siblings, and great friends.watch The Bye Bye Man 2017 movie online now

 

He takes pride in putting in as many hours as he can, working in the grocery industry as the manager at a local Kings Soopers. “When I walk into someone’s business I want to be greeted with a warm smile and a friendly hello.” He is always complimented on his great mannerisms and his excellent service to customers and employees. Amer started spreading the word of POZZYVIBES at work not only because his son is Co-Founder of POZZYVIBES but because he believes everyone deserves to be inspired as he and many others are.

 

Amer is a prime example of a caring soul. He has deep empathy for people without homes. Especially if he sees they are a family without a home that truly hurts him. There have been several occasions where he has given somebody money on the side of the road drove away and then circled back around the block and bought them a full meal. His wife Michelle commented “the other day he was approached at McDonald’s by a man saying he and his family were hungry, so Amer bought food for the man, his wife and his kids.” He is always spreading POZZYVIBES whether it be caring for his family, helping the homeless or less advantaged, or even donating plasma which can benefit a lot of people in the long run.

 

We want to thank him for emanating POZZYVIBES to his family, friends, coworkers, and anyone else that is lucky enough to be in his presence.

I, Matt Aragon would especially like to thank Amer for being an amazing father, role model, and person. Thank you for Sharing POZZYVIBES!

 

Written by Pozzyviber Matt A.

 

Dan Guererro

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Dan is our POZZYVIBER of the month this January! He’s been an inspiration to many friends and even strangers. It all started when he decided to start sending “Good Morning” texts and Facebook messages about 2 years ago. His messages have since grown from a “Good Morning” to an inspirational message which incorporates a thought or topic and God.watch T2 Trainspotting 2017 film now

This is Dan’s way of giving back. His personalized messages have helped many through hard and tough times in life. I am one of the lucky recipients of these amazing messages. I haven’t met Dan personally yet. His messages tend to ground me in the morning, for which, I’m very thankful.

Dan now sends about 20-30 messages every morning! Dan’s messages have reached from all over the U.S. to India. His friends call his messages their “Danspiration”. Dan gets his inspiration from God. When he is having a rough day he doesn’t like to be negative, he calls it wasting “God givin time”. He then hands his problems over to God and God takes care of them.

Thank you Dan for being an amazing inspiration for myself and so many!

 

 

 

Written by POZZYVIBE content creator Shaina M.