*On Tuesday, January 25th I was lucky enough to be in the house at the inaugural event for Petals-N-Belles, a non-profit organization created in response to the need for support, leadership and positive role models for young women ages 12-22.
Created by Founder and President Demali Elliot and Executive Director E. Isis Adewale, PNB’s stated goal is to build and enhance the overall individual development and well-being of young women.
Hosting the event was none other than WBLS 107.5 FM radio personality and up-and-coming media wunderkind Egypt Sherrod. She’s also a correspondent for “The Maury Show” and host of Fine Living Networks “Bartender Wars.” She so busy EURweb.com was lucky enough to snag a few moments of her time just as she made an attempt to segue towards the exit. We asked the lovely Egypt why she choose to take time from her hectic schedule to support PNB.
“Demali, the founder of Petals N Bells, and Isis Adewale, who is the Executive Director, they reached out to me and said ‘Listen, we’re trying to launch this non-profit organization which is dedicated to uplifting out youth,” she explained. “And I said ‘Well tell me more about it.’ So they came and explained to me their goal. These girls really have it planned out. They are committed to excellence. They are soldiers that are really reaching back planting seeds in our youth. That is so important today because, of course, we know they are our future. So I thought the least I could do is come out and host it.”
“This is a brand new organization,” she continued. “Tonight is the launch event. So, I’m hosting tonight’s launch event, which is also a silent auction and fundraiser so that these girls can raise the money to do the programs and projects they wish to do through out the year.”
The cynic may notice, as have I, that every year there are more and more programs designed to help urban youth. Yet, things seem to just keep getting worse. Why should we care?
“I think that right now we live in a day and age where people have lost patience,” Egypt explained. “We have no tolerence. Because of the ecomony. I understand but it’s all about ‘How am I going to get by?’ or ‘What’s in it for me? How can I earn money off of this and if there’s no dollars in this then I just don’t have time to do it.’ That’s a big mistake. We have to find time to make sure that we reach back and pull someone forward. Otherwise, we have no future. If we all look back at our youth someone, somewhere along the line took time to sow seeds into us so that we could be who we are today. If we don’t do that then who are our leaders of tomorrow going to be?”
True dat, Egypt! True dat! Sometimes “the game” grinds away our innocence and exposes our hearts to this cold, cold world. Admittedly, we must resist the darkness — but it’s hard. Often times the thought is ‘If ain’t nobody showing me love why should I show love?’ But individuals like Demali Elliot, and E. Isis Adewale are trying to make it a little easier for those that want to help. Egypt is doing so as well with a foundation of her own called Egypt Cares Family Foundation.
“In the middle of 2010 I decided to start my own foundation called ‘Egypt Cares Family Foundation’. We are just established and, just like ‘Petals-N-Belles’, we are babies and my mission is to sow seeds into the family unit,” she told EURweb.com. “And, whatever that means to people, in 2011 family means many different things. It’s a single mother or a single father raising their kids, or it’s a combined family sort of element. But ultimately my organization is aimed towards programs that will make life easier educationally, financially, continuing education type programs as well. It also means financial programs which show us where we should be putting our money so that we can continue to grow. We don’t do that enough as people of color. We’re so used to just trying to get the bills paid. We have to invest, we have to know what 401Ks are, we have to know what annuities are, we have to have life insurance … especially when you have children to be responsible for. In my organization we’re going to do the fundamental things to make sure make sure the family continues to grow financially, spiritually and healthily.”
Egypt’s foundation actually did big things this past holiday season. She seemed to be like a beam of light, she was everywhere yet nowhere at all in her drive to help those in need.
“It was actually called ‘Egypt’s Give Back Tour’ and we had a toy and coat drive, took my radio show on the road in Brooklyn, the Bronx, we were in Harlem, we went to Newark, New Jersey, Queens as well. Everyday I broadcast for 5 hours from each boro urging that people give whatever they could; coats, toys–bring it down because there were people that needed it. We have to look out for people, not only in the holiday season but year round. Even with the economy and financial crisis being what it is we raised over 1,000 coats and countless thousands of toys. So that took the load off of many families that would not have otherwise been able to do that this past holiday.”
Many of us only know Egypt as a radio personality, but she has been working it out over the past 5 years from a diversification standpoint.
“I’m a constant contributor on CNN as an entertainment reporter, you can catch me all over CNN as well as HLN. My syndicated show, which has been running for 5 years on the Ion Network–‘Home Delivery’–still continues to run. Boy, I miss doing the live episodes of that show, but it continues to run. Thank God for residuals. I’m also working on a book and, of course, all of this in addition to being on the radio on a daily basis. That’s my first love, radio.”
As was taught to us by Lee Bailey, we always ask our celebrity interview subjects in closing whether or not there was anything additional that they would like to communicate to our readership that we neglected to ask. Most people kind of blow it off, but Egypt took as another chance to be positive.
“I want this to resonate with people, and it’s not like reinventing the wheel,” said Egypt in closing. “We have to remember to pursue our passion but make sure that it also stays aligned with out purpose. Some of us don’t know what our purpose is. We’re still looking. Find your purpose! We’re all hear for a reason. Make sure your passion is in line with your purpose and it will always equal success.”
We and our readership will try to do our very best in 2011. In the meantime, if you can’t get enough of Egypt on WBLS, CNN, HLN and Ion then visit www.EgyptSaidSo.com to see what’s she’s up to as well.
For more information on Petals-N-Belles log onto their website www.Petals-n-Belles.org.