The RKM Foundation

The RKM Foundation
Thank you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013



"No one who  achieves  success does  so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with  GRATITUDE" Alfred North Whitehead

"GRATITUDE is the sign of a noble soul" Aesop

We have launched  the  One One Cocoa  fundraising campaign  for a few weeks now  and we very happy with the progress because  you have been giving your "ONE,ONE COCOA" to help us ship and distribute  the toys and books YOU donated  to the children of rural Jamaica and we are grateful to you and we want to say THANK YOU, as you continue to donate to this cause and help us reach  our goal of $5000.


                            "THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SELFLESS GIVING "

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jamaican Christmas Carols

Family,welcome to Jamaica Christmas vibes!!!! These songs bring back happy childhood...ENJOY!!!!

Jacob Miller& Ray I  -We wish you a  Merry Christmas (Dub style)

Byron Lee& The Dragonaires Christmas Soca Party

 Fab-Welcome Home For Christmas

Christmas In The Sun

Christmas In The Sun:
(Verse One)
Have you ever ever one day stop to realize
That for home is a tropical island paradise
ooooh there are problems, but we can solve them
But we have no problems with snow and ice

I have never had to ride in a one horse open sleigh
or watch Santa Claus and his reindeer fly away
No roasting chestnuts on an open fire
Roast corn or breadfruit or turkey for christmas dinner

Down in Jamaica, there's hot sunny weather
and people are warm and friendly all the time
Now it's the christmas season and the fun can't done
so have a joyful irie christmas in the sun

(Verse Two)
Fur coats and mink don't mean a thing to me
Mistletoe, holly, ivy or a pair of ski's
I know 'bout Sowell and the red boy Setter
and John Cunook and Chattin' together, Oh Yes!

(Verse Three)
So shine Jamaican sun this christmas day
to show them Christ the king is here to stay
In this our country, our land of beauty
and that will keep us all the way

There is sweet reggae music and carols everywhere
and sessions galore, make sure you get your share
Let's enjoy christmas, spread love and good cheer
But don't over-do it, leave some for next year, ohh ho!

(Chorus)(Repeat to end)

Jamaican Christmas Carol#1 - Santa Clause Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto

 This  song was released in 1982 by Jamaican singer Carlene Davis. The words are still relevant in Jamaica today. We thought we would share a classic Jamaican Christmas carol. There are a few more to come stay tuned:-)

Santa Claus (Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto) - Lyrics
Orginally song by - Carlene Davis

Santa Claus, do you ever come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, do you ever wonder why we suffer so
Santa Claus, will you come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, we would like to see where your reindeers go.
All year long we've been beating down crime
How we hold on through those hard times
We aint gonna fight, we aint gonna fuss
But where are the presents that you brought for us.
Santa Claus, do you ever come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, do you ever wonder why we suffer so
Santa Claus, will you come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, we would like to see where your reindeers go.
We see you in the papers,
you're on TV giving the toys to some pickney
Wondering what's happening to poor people like we.
Is it because we no have no chimney?
Santa Claus, do you ever come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, do you ever wonder why we suffer so
Santa Claus, will you come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, we would like to see where your reindeers go.
We see you in the papers,
you're on TV giving the toys to some pickney
Wondering what's happening to poor people like we.
Is it because we no have no chimney?
Is because we nuh have big money
Santa Claus, do you ever come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, do you ever wonder why we suffer so
Santa Claus, will you come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, we would like to see where your reindeers go.
All year long we've been beating down crime
How we hold on through those hard times
We aint gonna fight, we aint gonna fuss
But where are the presents that you brought for us.
Santa Claus, do you ever come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, do you ever wonder why we suffer so
Santa Claus, will you come to the ghetto
Santa Claus, we would like to see where your reindeers go.

 Walk Good & Much Love

Saturday, December 14, 2013

LALA NGOXOLO MADIBA - Rest In Peace Mandela

"I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death"
 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
I discover this man, this icon, this legend at the tender age of 8 years. He had  just  been release from prison and the television was on and the entire celebration was being recorded by my mother.She was transfixed in the moment and  everything  that was taking place; Paul Simon sang diamonds on the sole of her shoes, Miriam Makebah (Mama Africa ),sang  her famous Click Song, LadySmith Black Mambazo sang Homeless ,the Soweto choir sang among others and my mother danced. She was so ecstatic and I couldn't understand  what was happening that caused her such joy. As we danced, I asked and  she told me "...Mandela is free,he was imprisoned for almost 30 years and he is free, he is finally free and things are going to change in South Africa."
 I honestly never understood it, but in that moment I accepted her words as truth and I became connected to the words she spoke. I now realized I became connected to that moment through my mother. Although I didn't quite understand the magnitude of the situation I realized that people in other parts of the world where going through difficulties.

In my 8 year old mind I thought this man had to be someone remarkable to command this much attention so far away. I listened to any and everything that my parents would say about Mandela and I heard the words Apartheid, fighting, racism, blacks against whites, inequality, differences, challenges,history and to child eavesdropping on conversations those are a lot of fancy words:-)  As the years went by and I learned more about MANDELA,through his autobiographies,articles,numerous books and interviews, I realized that he was far from perfect but he represented the ultimate change.He is evidence that love does have the power to change and that forgiveness can be the greatest weapon given time and the ability to see beyond all the things that divide us and  instead focus on what may unite us.

I am humbled to have lived in his lifetime and it is evident that my sentiment is shared by countless others around the world.This man who revolutionized  the world had such a self-effacing demeanor about him that he recognized and accepted that he couldn't have done it alone.This man who had every reason to be vengeful chose forgiveness,he never forget where and what he came from and he never took anyone for granted along the way.  

 In  2000 he was interviewed by Oprah, he spoke sincerely about his elevated reputation.
"I wanted to be known as 'Mandela,'" he told Oprah. "I knew it was not the contribution of one individual which would bring about liberation and the peaceful transformation of the country. And my first task when I came out [of prison] was to destroy the myth that I was something other than an ordinary human being."
Though Mandela may have been seen as the face of the movement to bring about that peaceful transformation, he acknowledged his role with great humility. "Whatever position I occupied, it was the result of colleagues -- of my comrades in the movement -- who had decided in their wisdom to use me for the purpose of focusing the attention of the country and the international community on me," he said. "Not because I had any better virtues than themselves, but because this was their decision."

Thank you MADIBA for teaching not only through words but by being a living example!!!! 


P.S. (Those songs and the recording from the celebration would be replayed thousands of times in our  home until they oozed from my pour I still sing "Bring back  Nelson Mandela, bring him back come to Soweto, I want to see him walking hand in hand with Winnie Mandela..oh oh oh ..Bring back Nelson Mandela, bring him back come to Soweto, I want to see him walking down the streets of South Africa, tomorrow...." & "People think  I'm crazy cause I have diamonds on the soles of my shoes, well that's one way to ease those walking blues, diamonds on the soles of your shoes..)I attached YouTube links to a few of these songs. Please listen and share.

Much Love &Walk Good



Friday, December 13, 2013

UPDATE#2 Our Partnership with JAMPACT!!!

JAMPACT Steps Up Its School Supply Efforts to Jamaica with New Partnership and Stronger Volunteer Relationships
We are well into the school year and students and teachers of Jamaica Impact, Inc. (JAMPACT's) adopted beneficiary schools couldn't be more excited and thankful. Thanks to the efforts and generous donations of JAMPACT's sponsors, partners, members and community support, they are well equipped with supplies for the 2013-2014 school year. On Saturday August 14th a team of JAMPACT members and volunteers gathered at Trans-Continental Express Shippers in Queens, New York for the packing of hundreds of donated school supplies and toys collected during JAMPACT's Annual School Supply and Toy Drive which runs from May to August. This year, JAMPACT partnered with the RKM Foundation based in New Jersey and their collective effort grossed ten (10) barrels and four (4) boxes of donated supplies. The dedicated volunteers included a team from Credit Suisse, a financial institution in New York, who meticulously sorted and packed the supplies while sipping "Grace Coconut Water" and other refreshments donated by Grace Foods. 

Type captiCredit Suisse volunteer Darren Malcolm sorting supplies while JAMPACT's Fundraising Chair, Akelia Lawrence-Maitland inventories supplies.on text here.
Education Committee Chair Tassie Scarlett sorting supplies for packing.

After months of collecting donations from a multitude of donors in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and New Jersey, JAMPACT is pleased to have been able to provide school supplies to over two hundred children in its adopted basic schools in Kingst
Volunteers from Credit Suisse with JAMPACT members Angella Golding and Georgia McCarthy packing supplies.
on, Jamaica; Coles, Crescent Road, St. Steven's, and Maxfield Park Children's Home Basic School. "Parents and children really appreciate the help throughout the years; the quality of productsis excellent" says Principal Vassell-Grant of Crescent Road Basic School. In addition to these schools, JAMPACT also provided assistance to five other schools; Islington Basic School in St. Elizabeth, Bottom Leinster Basic School in St. Mary, Nightingale Grove Primary School in St. Elizabeth, Lucea Primary and Esher Primary Schools benefitting an additional two hundred and fifty plus students. The supplies were distributed during JAMPACT's annual membership service trip September 11to16, 2013 where thirteen students also received scholarship through JAMPACT's Sponsor-A-Child's Tuition Program.

Ms. Scarlett handing out supplies at St. Steven's Basic School, with Principal Ms. Fyffe assisting in the foreground.

Scholarship recipients at Coles Basic School

Education Committee Chair Tassie Scarlett distributing school supplies at Crescent Road Basic School during September 2013 Service Trip.
Pallet of Computers and Printers to be distributed.

According to Education Committee Chair Tassie Scarlett, "JAMPACT continues to extend assistance to schools that are not in our Adopt-A-School Program. In addition to the school supplies they already received, we will also be donating computers and printers to our adopted schools as well as to three (3) schools in the Parish of St. Thomas, and Glad Tidings Early Childhood Development Center in Spanish Town. Last year JAMPACT was able to donate five (5) computers to Ebenezer Primary School for their computer lab where previously they had only one and it was in need of repair. The impact there has been amazing." The school reported that 'The children are excited, and want to go to the lab to learn new and exciting things. The attitude of the students has changed, especially the disruptive boys who get quiet and settled when they are in the computer lab.'

Ms. Scarlett went on to say "The success of our annual School Supplies and Toy Drive initiative would not have been possible without the commitment and continued support of our members and supporters. This year, apart from our partnership with RKM Foundation, we were fortunate and appreciative to have had the support of Joe and Jenny Campbell who collected four barrels of school supplies at their annual family and friends BBQ in New Jersey and donated the supplies to JAMPACT for our drive! We are grateful to our sponsors; shipping partner Trans-Continental Express Shippers who along with a generous shipping discount, also provided storage and safe delivery." Other sponsors of the drive included Sam's Caribbean Marketplace in West Hempstead, New York who hosted the launch of the 2013 drive, as well as contributed other in-kind donations. We salute the work of JAMPACT and all its volunteers and donors, and the education committee members for their diligence and commitment in organizing the drive. The combined efforts have made this year's annual School Supply and Toy Drive another huge success. The generosity and willingness of all our supporters have helped JAMPACT fulfill our mission of ensuring that the children of our beloved homeland, Jamaica, are equipped with the necessary tools they need to learn and succeed during their early childhood years. To learn more about this initiative and other work with JAMPACT adopted basic schools please contact Tassie Scarlett at

Flat screen computers donated to Ebenezer Primary School in Manchester. Rosemarie Dawkins, Mathematics teacher at Ebenezer supervises her students in the computer lab.
- Photo by Dave Lindo, The Gleaner
Members of JAMPACT at 2013 School Supply Launch at Sam's Caribbean Marketplace. Long Island. Back row center Andrew Morris of Sam's, right, Dale Todd, JAMPACT's president.

Donor at School Supply Launch at Sam's Caribbean Marketplace, West Hempstead, Long Island. 
Gloria Messam, JAMPACT's VP, & Andrew Morris (Rt.) of Sam's Caribbean Marketplace chooses raffle winner at launch. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Who or what Inspires you?

“Peace begins with a smile..”
Mother Teresa

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”
Bob Marley

“A person's a person, no matter how small.”
Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who! 

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go! 

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”
Elie Wiesel

 “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Albert Einstein

 “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reading inspirational quotes have long been a favorite past time of mine especially when I need to be uplifted. A few goods quotes and  I am  recharged and ready  to go. How did these individuals understand so much, who inspired them as they were going through  life an it's struggles? I have often wondered that  and so I thought I would settle my curiosity by asking our extended twitter family.   

We asked this question on our twitter page for  the TBT segment for 2 consecutive  weeks. The  first week we didn't get an overwhelming response, so we figured we would give it another try. Those responses were humbling and left  us reflecting  on what is important  and how the simpliest things can make the biggest impact. The simple question  "Who or what inspires you?" can take you on a journey with an individual  if you  take the time the listen and that is exactly what we did. We listened and absorbed what was being said by each  individual through the words they used  to respond to the question being asked, even if it was done in 144 short characters. Some of our responses came via text:-)

I have spent most of my adult life around children  and I enjoy every minute of it, they are so  bold and pure in their thought process, they see things as they  are, not as they  should  be and in some strange way I see that in children literature.( Good Night Moon, Horton hears a Who,Horton hatches the egg, The Lorax,The Cat in the hat,Gerald and Piggie, Don't let the pigeon  drive the bus,Where the wild things are,Harold and the purple crayon,Harry the dirty dog, Dinosaur Versus,Pinkalicious,Thomas &Friends,Guess how much I love you,MOO,BAA,LALALA etc.) They are  able to see things for what they  are and not what they should be..... where am I going with this? When  you  ask  someone who or what  inspires them it is always something that  is simple and pure, it is never hidden under layers, it just is!!!!
That simple purity is what impacted  their thought  and it is the reason that thing or person inspires them. Think about it, you  know I'm right.

 I want to share with you some of the responses we received to the question; who or what inspires you? Enjoy!!!!

  • GOD
  • MOM
  • MY DAD

 Much Love & Walk Good


Sunday, November 10, 2013


"No one who  achieves  success does  so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with  GRATITUDE" Alfred North Whitehead

"GRATITUDE is the sign of a noble soul" Aesop

"No one  is useless in this world who lightens the burden  of others" Charles Dickens

As individuals it  gives us a sense  of pride and purpose when someone acknowledges something you said or did, it symbolizes connection between two individuals or a group. Those two little words evokes pleasant thoughts of appreciation.

We have launched  the  One One Cocoa  fundraising campaign  for a few weeks now  and we very happy with the progress because  you have been giving your "ONE,ONE COCOA" to help us ship and distribute  the toys and books YOU donated  to the children of rural Jamaica and we are grateful to you and we want to say THANK YOU, as you continue to donate to this cause and help us reach  our goal of $5000.


                            "THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SELFLESS GIVING "

Pictures - Back to School Supply Drive

We  are so sorry  it took so long to show you  these pictures, however  I  know that  you  have forgiven  us  and we will all be laughing about this at the thanksgiving table. We already know what we are  most thankful for this year...YOU!!!!.
 The school supply drive was a tremendous success and we couldn't have done it without you all. Your generosity  allowed us  along with our partnership with  Jamaica Impact Inc. to impact numerous schools in Jamaica. There efforts helped over 10 schools and hundreds of children  to be equipped with the basic school supplies. We will be sure to add a link to Jamaica Impact Inc. website so you keep informed about their amazing efforts and the wonderful work they are doing in Jamaica.

In the  rural towns of  New Market &Santa Cruz St.Elizabeth ,over 120 students received school supplies. These images brought tears to  our eyes and we know they will have the same effect on you. Our community outreach coordinator- Patreena Bailey-Green &Gleaner correspondent Launtia Cuff were on location to do the distribution  at the schools along with the principal and teachers. Through your generous donations we were also able give each teacher a scientific calculator.

OK.OK.OK here they  are.... ENJOY & THANK YOU!!!!

Stay tuned for more pictures from the school supply drive  to be added to the  gallery on our website.

Much Love&Walk good

Guest Bloggers!!!

  Family, we hope you have been enjoying  our guest bloggers. Please stay  tuned  for  more. We  are  going to keep it going because we are excited about the positive feedback.

Much Love&Walk Good

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For My Daughter, My One and Only – Only One!

I am so honoured and thrilled to be a guest blogger, as well as a proud member of the RKM foundation.  
I remember being class monitor for a few grades in high school and ultimately becoming the president of student council. My approach at the time was never to be bossy or condescending {well that was not me}, and I felt that the best way to communicate and get classmates to listen to me was through respect – I respect you and it works the other way around too. It was so important to me, I had a reputation to maintain and I wanted to keep it positive, no problems, and no complaints.  So, I did my best to set an example and be a role model and I think it worked pretty well.

Here I am today, a mother and a wife. I feel that I have to be the best and STRONGEST positive influence for my eight year old daughter.  My husband and I work very well together as a team - we teach, we encourage, we advise, we criticize, we correct, we don’t spoil, we don’t submit, we punish, and we love her.  Most of the times I’m so busy and determined to inculcate, and I see that it works - she displays good manners and behaviour, and teachers and friends even compliment her constantly. This does not faze me, this is how it is supposed to be, she does not have a choice, I was raised this way and the tradition will go on regardless of where we live. I told her that good manners and respect can take her anywhere around the world. What I have realized is that the most humbling, beautiful part of this process is that I also learn from her. These are the moments that I savor; these are the moments that resonate with me.

I am not a perfect parent.  I often lose my cool and patience, and even forget that I have to be the role model, not just for some things but for everything.  I apologize, I admit that I am wrong; we move on, it happens again, I feel guilty, because she is extremely forgiving, grasps concepts quickly, and adapts all while still giving me unconditional love.  Little humans are just plain amazing! It’s been eight years of continuous learning as I struggle and falter as a parent who wants nothing more than to make sure this growing mini me is safe, resilient and understands the importance of good behaviour, discipline, good values and morals.
Apart from the do as I say, you must respect your parents, no questions, no talking back, I respect her too, but what is the real approach - the unsuspecting, undetected, root approach? It is simple. It is her heart.  Teaching her to have a heart and extracting those feelings and emotions that drive everything else – the love, the forgiveness, the conscience, and the actions.  l strategically try  to open her eyes, build awareness and teach her what it means to have a heart. 

Even though she has seen my faults and know that I am not perfect, she still tries to emulate some of my positive traits and is always so impressed with my art work and various little projects “Oh mommy this is so beautiful!” Instantly inspired, she immediately gets busy re-creating her version of my creation. It surprises me every time and I am just so happy that she is so proud that I am, according to her and what she tells her friends, “a great artist”!

We always have our daily discussion about what happens at school – the girls’ politics and the observed behaviour.  She is not allowed to report on others and exclude herself.  This is usually a good time to check on her use of discretion, that she’s being considerate of feelings and respecting her peers. These are great discussions because she’s allowing me to get to know her better as she grows into herself and how she deals with certain situations when I am not around.  She relieves my worries by confirming that she’s trying to be and do her best according to what she learns from home and even at school. I know that her heart is healthy and is the very thing that controls her and makes her, HER. It is my key to her, it is the ears that listen, the eyes that see and brain that comprehends all the positive nourishment necessary for her growth.

She is enthusiastic about the purpose of the RKM Foundation, that toys and books are collected and given to the children who need it in Jamaica. She is proud to know that her unused toys, clothes and shoes are either sent home to my family who are poor in Jamaica, or donated the Veteran’s Organization.  She loves to recount the time she and her father went to McDonald’s and bought a meal for a homeless person.  She insists that when she grows up she wants to help the poor and also be an artist. I tell her that she still has plenty of time to think about what she will pursue when she’s older. I think her father and I may have a strong influence here – we are always creating or building something at home so the creativity is contagious. We are always telling her not to take things for granted and to consider herself fortunate and privileged to enjoy some of the things a lot of children in the world cannot, even foods that she does not like – wasting is not an option.

She’s my breath of fresh air, a different perspective, yes I was a kid too but our experiences are different, but she does not know that I am learning from her as much as I want her to learn from me, and she does not know how much she impresses me. For instance, we were driving to swim practice and there is usually a homeless guy limping by the cars as they exit the highway. I remember giving him an extra juice box we had taken with us a few months prior, but just this week as we sat stationary waiting for the light and we saw him she told me that she had packed an extra juice box just for him! WOW – did you really? “Yes Mommy I did!” 

How rewarding is that! She is my best creation and work in progress that I am most passionate about, stepping back from time to time to admire - observing and absorbing the things I can’t see while I compose- and invest  the love and time to keep working on it.

Kerry-Ann Chin

Guest Bloggers

 Family, we  are changing things up  a bit because sometimes the same old, same old  gets(wait for it) really old:-) I really  couldn't think of another word  but  old. It has been a very long  day  of  labor and  love  for our foundation and  we are  going to  put in a  few  more  hours just  to ensure that  we are  doing the right  thing!!!

WE SO EXCITED TO WELCOME  OUR  GUEST BLOGGERS SEGMENT---- What  is that  you  say? Let  me explain. For the next  couple of weeks  we will be asking members of the RKMFoundation team and other wonderful individuals  to make a post  about  something they  are  passionate about. This way  you will all get to know and love them as  much as  I do, they are all fabulous and I am not just saying that. Two weeks ago we did a post on allergies and then I asked an" expert" on the matter, C.Allen  to submit a post  on that  topic because she has an allergy home with  over 30 allergies  among her family  members and counting. The Allens  have been dealing with food and environmental allergies for over 14 years.( I am sure  if you wanted to borrow a few environmental and food allergies to ease her burden for a few days she wouldn't mind:-)) C.Allen  is also  the co-founder and secretary  of the RKMFoundation.Inc.

 If  you didn't  get a chance to  read  her  post  Iwill do a  repost  so you can all  take  a look. It was very interesting. Tonight  we  will  be  seeing a  post  from K.Chin who is our  design and development coordinator. I am excited about  this  process and I  hope you all will  be  too.


Sunday, October 20, 2013


 Everyone's  birthday  in our household was a big deal, we were that  family, honestly  we are  still  that  family. Mommy and Daddy still do the early morning phone call, yes the phone call  comes at  5-5:30AM, 6AM if they slept late.It will be the first call you receive,  theirs will be the  first voices you hear even if you are  married with children of your own. If we happen to all be together then we know that whomever is celebrating their birthday  will be getting the age equivalent  in punches with the finally punch leaving the most impact... OUCH!!
 Growing up October  20th  was always an important  day because  it was  Rohan's birthday  and we would hear the story of the firstborn's birth; he was a crier at birth, he needed to be fed ASAP and the small hospital sized  Similac/S-26 formula  wouldn't  do it,the new mother had to stay with her mother to get the hang and learn the vital skills of motherhood, daddy was so excited about his son...He was serious about  his food, he wouldn't drink any other formula except  for Similac or S-26, he crawled on his tummy every where but somehow avoided getting a single scratch, he was inquisitive and got into a lot of trouble... picking all the baby oranges from the tree.

He was the first born, the first grandson  for both sides of the family and he was loved by every aunt, uncle cousin,friend, church member and the list goes on and on. He was the best big brother to Christine who he loved  dearly as his baby sister, his love for her was only  overshadowed by his need  to play with his friends  or  to regain mommy's attention even for just  a minute...He was her defender and protector in every and anything as they  grew  to adore each other, even in the unanimous  decision that it was indeed a good idea to bathe the cat.( That is never a good idea..:-))
He hated wearing a shirt when he was indoors and he always made everyone feel comfortable  whenever they came to our house. His favorite fruit was ripe bananas and  loved to eat bread  with butter. His favorite pass time; sliding on old cardboard boxes down the steep hill  not too far  from our house and playing football(soccer). He was daddy's helper, mommy's confidant, Chris's savior and a friend  to everyone he met irrespective of their  age.

I know, I know  this sounds  like a mystical ,magical being. No one could really  be all of these  things to all these  people  and only  lived for 10  years. If you  are  having any of these delusional ,doubtful thoughts, you  would be very  wrong ,because  this amazing  person was  my/our  brother  ROHAN KEIL MILLER. I was  far too  young to remember  him and our younger brother has grown up with  stories, pictures and tales of this person who was such a major  part of our family. These  stories  and memories  weren't just  from our parents or sister who had the pleasure of growing up with him, it came  from everyone who  knew  him and that  always  made  me  feel  that  he was a part  of me, I was also  Rohan's little sister. Though  I can't  remember  him, believe me I  have tried to jog my memory, I was called Rohan's and Christine's little sister  for most of my  life  or "Bandun" by  his school friends  because he told them  that  I had that special  name for dumplings. I am  sure  if  I see  Andrew( one of  my brothers') friends  at this point  he would say  " What a gwaan bandun" :-)

Other  significant memories came  from our cousin  who still refers to him as her  best  friend 31 years  after  his death  or seeing  my grandmother and aunts cry when they  talk  about  him.Our dear family friend Mr. Ledgister who was a retired returning resident, was a friend to our brother, he was probably 65 when Rohan was 9 and  they would talk  for hours about life and travels since Mr.Ledgister had lived in Paris before returning to Jamaica. Not many 9 year olds  can have serious thought provoking conversations about life, war,the future and traveling to far away places.

The memories are never sad, they are  always focused  around how unique this young, gifted, vibrant,loving boy was and I am  always honored and eager to hear the stories and form my own opinion of the person he was based on these wonderful memories. We  are  all honored  to be his younger siblings,our mom always told us  that  we all have some of his traits; Chris  is warm and loving like Rohan, Jan is the talker who  makes friends easily like Rohan and Shawn  loves sports and always  has a large group of friends around, like Rohan. We have continued  to  share the legacy  of our brother with the next  generation and remind them that   October 20th is Uncle Rohan's Birthday.

This is a love post, dedicated  to  our brother whom we  love and miss  in  so many ways, we want to  wish him  a  very  happy  birthday. We  are so grateful  that our parents  kept his memory  alive  by  telling us the  stories of their  firstborn, never  taking down  his pictures or the last mothers day card and crafts  he  made. Cherishing each memory and telling it with such relevance that  we could feel his presence, he was never  our brother who died, he is our brother.
We are  thankful  to the strangers  who became our friends  and looked out for us because of who he  was  and  humbled  that  he  is still  able to impact the lives of children and adults  after  so many  years through this foundation.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

EXCITED...THANKFUL...HOPEFUL...TheRKM Foundation,Inc.&The Gleaner

  Family, you know we  have to include you all in this process, because of you we where able to touch lives. We are so happy that we are related to all you wonderful selfless  people.

RKM Foundation Inc gives back - Lifestyle - Jamaica Gleaner - Saturday | October 12, 2013

Much Love&Walk Good

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Living with a family with Allergies

I was given the privilege and title of guest blogger today to have you take a peek into the crazy life of living with and catering to a family of 5 all with different food allergies....better me than you you're thinking right ? No worries I get that all the time. 

For most when you think of allergies you think seasonal, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose etc and I know how annoying that can be as I too suffer through those, but for this family when we mention the word allergies we think of food, epi-pens, emergency rooms, hospital stays, asthma, anaphylactic shock, label reading, cross-contamination, air-borne and let's not forget eczema. Living with life threatening allergies is no walk in the park everyday is a challenge but I can say that it does get easier once you understand the severity of it and the triggers. 

First off my husband is allergic to shellfish and some nuts, I am allergic to fuzzy fruits and soy, my eldest Troy was allergic to wheat, eggs, dairy, beef, nuts, and my youngest son he has amazed us all he has 19 food allergies and counting not to mention also airborne allergies such as the smell of fish and pineapple, he had horrible eczema which we now have under control by using steroid creams, and both boys still have asthma, his twin sister however has nothing I can't believe how lucky she is, but hey someone deserves to eat everything right?

To ensure that we keep each family member safe we always use separate utensils during meal preparation  all drawers and snacks are labeled. We have a list of each family members allergies posted in a common area for Grand-parents and friends alike, always washing hands and for us no cooking of any fish or seafood ever in the house and no pineapples ever, even the smell of perfumes and colognes can make my youngest son develop hives etc. We are very careful of who touches or holds him and I typically suffer from mild heart attacks each time we go to the play-ground or play group and see kids with messy hands or mouths. I'm the hawk I can spot a kid with food anywhere then I typically swoop in and move Maddox away and of course always heavily armed with wipes and Purell.

In the past 14 years I am almost sure I have died over 2000 deaths as people are so willing to share what they are eating with a cute baby and I just want to scream as soon as I enter a room please do Not touch or Feed the Child for heaven's sake, but as the years roll by people are thankfully more aware of what's going on they are more choices in food and snacks and we have just learnt how to be more creative with our cooking and our baking to accommodate each family needs.

If you are suffering from food allergies here a few of the allergist that we have seen  
Dr Scott Sicherer - The best We saw Dr Arthur Frost at the time not a fan of Dr Weinstein
There is more that we have seen but these are the best in my opinion

Thanks for reading
Christine Allen 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Allergies and Anaphylaxis

The issue of Allergies and Anaphylaxis  which we  are  about to  address in this post would be considered  outside of our  normal  focal point. We do believe it is imperative to  address this issue as  I have been the aunt of children who has severe food and environmental  allergies  for  14 years. Allergies,Allergens, Anaphylactic shock, Epipens, Food and Environmental triggers, Label readings or Obsessive label reading for cross contamination or minor ingredient changes that  could cause major reactions,Food dyes,Parfums,Smells,Clean surfaces.The importance of keeping your hands and everything around you free of contamination  have become second nature  to  me, it is now  as simple as putting on my socks. The truth is for more and more families this is becoming their way of life, the new normal.

 I  won't attempt to sound  like an "expert " in this area, because I am not. I will leave that  to my sister  whom myself and numerous others have dubbed "SUPERMAMA" because she has at this point seen  it all and know it  all. Having  had children with extreme food and environmental allergies and the impact  it can  have  on   the child/children who have them and the  necessary adjustments needed  for everyone around them to be comfortable.

 Spreading awareness about food allergies and the realities of anaphylaxis in children is just as important as any other issue  which plaque these little angels, when they  hurt  we hurt  and  it is important to  understand the reasons and causes  behind these  issues whether  we are  in  direct contact with someone who has  a child who is affected  or you are  removed from the situation.  It is important to  know.
As  these children  become teenagers and  adults with  food allergies  it become harder  to think of them as children  in a bubble or children we don't interact with on a daily basis. They will instead  become  your college  room mate,team member, colleague,friend,counselor, doctor or  your  husband or wife with food and environmental allergies. Knowledge is never a  negative  thing, we cannot understand  what we do not know, the end result is always to raise awareness and help individuals to understand a plethora of issues which will help to bring about change.

 Today our aim  is to raise awareness by  sharing  links and articles  about  food allergies and anaphylaxis. It is our goal to  have someone who has first  hand knowledge on the issue to  write a  post  on the topic in the upcoming weeks, to directly  share with the challenges and triumphs of raising a child with severe food and environmental allergies.

Get schooled on Allergies& Anaphylaxis!!!
Much love& Walk Good


Birthday wishes

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Dear  T.J
 Happy Birthday to You.

How old are you now ?
How old are you now ?
How old are you now,
Happy Birthday to You!

It's OK if  you want to,we won't judge how well you  can or cant sing, you are among family,this is a safe space:-)

As you  all  may or may not have  known  last  week Thursday  was the birthday  of  one of RKMFoundation, Inc.  youngest team members and to honor his birthday we dedicated our TBT( Throw back Thursday) topic to him. We  wanted our twitter followers  to reminisce about childhood  birthday wishes that  had materialized and those that didn't. It was only  natural that the hashtag should be #wishes!!!

The responses were quirky,fun and unpredictable. The one thing that became evident to us was how simple childhood birthday wishes are, it made us all yearn to be back in that innocent state of mind if only for a few minutes. Mature birthday  wishes brings about  different hopes and desires that  has been far removed from the simple  things we wanted  to make us happy as children. Although that  is a necessary part of adulthood  and in most cases we welcome that  growth,It is never a bad  idea  to hold on to one simple innocent wish that  we can reflect  on every now and then. A wish is a strong feeling or desire  of wanting something  to happen and it is perfectly acceptable to wish for that thing you wanted  on your fifth birthday that you didn't  get  even if you are 45!!

These  were  some of the wishes that were emailed, text or tweeted to us last Thursday, we  urge you to keep the conversation  going  and tell us about one of your  birthday wishes that may or may not have materialized as a child or teen.

" I wished for a barbie doll"
" I really wanted to have a soft baby doll that could really cry"
" I wanted a real fire truck with the ladders that could extend"
" I wanted a train"
 " I wanted a jeans pants"
"  I wanted a dream light"
" I wanted a little sister"
 " I wanted my very own CD player"
" I wanted to  meet Santa Clause"
" I wanted a doll house and real doll clothes"
" I wanted a real cricket bat"
" I wanted a house"
 " I wanted  Lincoln Logs "
" I wanted  a Tevin Campbell CD"
 " I wanted Leg warmers"
 " I wanted a Nintendo"
  " I wanted  to have a real birthday cake"
" I wanted to have a birthday party"
"I wanted to get a real gift wrapped in pretty paper"
" I wanted to meet spiderman"
" I wanted to be superman"
 " I wanted a game boy"
" I wanted my very own room"

To everyone who every made a birthday wish...

Happy Birthday!!!!



"No one who  achieves  success does  so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with  GRATITUDE" Alfred North Whitehead

"GRATITUDE is the sign of a noble soul" Aesop

"No one  is useless in this world who lightens the burden  of others" Charles Dickens

These quotes  are a few of my personal favorites about gratitude  and what  it means to be grateful or  thankful and the emotions and depth that comes along with this expression.  As parents we often  teach this concept to our little ones  at an early  stage..." Say  please, Say thank you" or  "Did you remember to  say  thank you?" " I didn't hear you say thank you!"

As individuals it  gives us a sense  of pride and purpose when someone acknowledges something you said or did, it symbolizes connection between two individuals or a group. Those two little words evokes pleasant thoughts of appreciation.

We have launched  the  One One Cocoa  fundraising campaign  for a few weeks now  and we very happy with the progress because  you have been giving your "ONE,ONE COCOA" to help us ship and distribute  the toys and books YOU donated  to the children of rural Jamaica and we are grateful to you and we want to say THANK YOU, as you continue to donate to this cause and help us reach  our goal of $5000.


                            "THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SELFLESS GIVING "

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Review- Nightingale Grove Primary School

 Family, we are  pleased to announce  that this years recipient of  school supply donations will be;  
 Nightingale Grove Primary School  in New Market  St.Elizabeth  Jamaica.

 Nightingale Grove Primary  was carefully selected  by the RKMFoundation,Inc. team to receive this years donations through our partnership with Jamaica Impact Inc.  This is a significant step forward  in our continuous effort  to raise awareness and bring  about change  in the lives of children in rural  Jamaica. This has only been  our 2nd year,technically we are  still in the honeymoon phase:-) and it has been such a humbling experience for all of us.

Nightingale Grove Primary is a relatively small school  with 100 children  ages 6-12, grades 1-6. We  are  pleased to share this information with you and excited that we will be able to bring smiles  to the  faces of  numerous children  in Jamaica.

Stay tuned  for updates on this and more exciting ventures from the RKMFoundation,Inc.
 Much Love& Walk Good.

Attached are pictures of New Market, St.Elizabeth, Jamaica W.I.

Oldmarket - Newmarket residents were moved from this section to higher ground after the June 1979 flood. - Uploaded by Arnold Kelly on
 New Market Flood 2010 - Uploaded by pismay on
 Carr District - Uploaded by Arnold Kelly on

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Summer Review- Happy Dream Day!!!!

Dare to dream, it can  change the course of our/your life,teach your children and all children whose life you may touch to dream, always remind them and encourage them to dream !!!!

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beckoning light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.
One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
One hundred years later the Negro is still languishing in the comers of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.
We all have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to change racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice ring out for all of God's children.
There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted citizenship rights.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
And the marvelous new militarism which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers have evidenced by their presence here today that they have come to realize that their destiny is part of our destiny.
So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its Governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and before the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the mount with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the genuine discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, pray together; to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom forever, )mowing that we will be free one day.
And I say to you today my friends, let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snow capped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only there; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill in Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we're free at last!"

Summer Review- School Supply&Toy Drive

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." Abraham Lincoln

The  RKMFoundation,Inc.  team is nothing  if  not  busy worker bees, even  though we were  soaking in the summer rays,raising families having full-time jobs and taking on life, we are busy doing what we do best,  making  connections to impact the  lives of children in Jamaica.
This year  we have had the pleasure of partnering  with  Jamaica Impact Inc. on their  School Supply and Toy  Drive. We  are  so happy to report that  this was a success. Although  the donations are  not yet in the  hands  of the  little angels  they  will  be  in few  weeks  when  Jamaica Impact Inc. carry out their distribution  efforts in Jamaica. We  will be sure to  fill you in  on these events once they  take  place.

Collection  boxes  where  placed  throughout the  Tri-state area and  family  you  did not  disappoint.I know you guys  may hear  this all the time, but  you are all wonderful!!!!! We  LOVE YOU, WE CANNOT  DO  THIS WITHOUT YOU.  Please  continue  to support us in all our efforts.

We collected a total  of:
 432 pencils
 89 Note Books
 75 Markers
 86 pens
 61 Tennis Balls
59 story books
12 foam  puzzles, erasers, scissors, flash cars, chalk boards, sidewalk chalk, construction paper,lined papers,coloring books,pencil cases,clue sticks, posters crayons stuffed animals, sharpeners, calculators and bag packs.
These numbers  are  only  a sample  of all that was collected  from our  combined  efforts. Children  in urban and rural Jamaica  will  be able to go back to school with school  supplies  because  of your generosity. This will help to ease some the financial strain  that  comes with sending children  back to school  for the new school year.
We  cannot begin to  tell you how excited we  are  about this, how excited we are  that  with  your help  we are a part  of the solution,we are impacting  the lives of children. We  are going to keep working  until  this is no longer and issue  not only  in Jamaica but on a global  level.

We want to send  love to Jamaica Impact Inc. for all that they do and continue to do, for continuing to impact children in Jamaica through early childhood education.To the individuals who donated, to the business, schools, libraries and organizations who  had  the collection boxes in their business places. THANK YOU ALL!!!

Much Love & Walk Good


Summer Review - Jamaica's Independence

 Independence. Independent.Independence Day.
Independence is defined  as "freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like..."
July 4th is symbolic and patriotic for so many reasons, it is the day that  America celebrates its independence from Britain and all things Red,White and Blue are represented proudly. 237 years  of freedom, the right to stand firm and make their own decisions as a  democracy. The right to vote,freedom of speech, the right to the pursuit of happiness and equal opportunity.  Every independent country  has this  nationalistic pride which burns brightest on the day they celebrate, their independence,their birthday if you will:-) It's usually the day we focus on how much we have accomplished and how proud we are that those before us fought for the independence we now celebrate.

As Jamaican we tend to be a little more enthusiastic even though we are such a small island. August 6th  is our Independence day and  we were ecstatic to be turning 50 last  year. We shouted, celebrated,danced and used every  opportunity to remind every co worker,colleague,class mate,strap hanger,bus driver,pilot,captain, pet and basically anyone who could see or hear  that  we are Jamaican.I couldn't  have been  more  proud  nor have I ever worn so much  black,green and gold clothing:-)

Independence celebration  in Jamaica has always  been  more than just a day. It  has always been a month long celebration which includes; festival songs,festival queens from each parish,flower shows,Denbeigh agricultural show,Devon house,fashion shows,Grand Gala's, Junkanno, authentic Jamaican dishes prepared the traditional way, maypole,folk music,Miss Lou and Ring Ding on JBC and a host of other cultural  festivities.
This year we turned 51 and the festivities continued. Although  we are  far  away, August 6th  always  has a special place in our hearts and in our memories.Their is always a smile on our face or a twinkle in our eye as we reflect on a independence month  memory that  we have held on to and continue to treasure throughout the years and long after we have left home.

So, the next time  you are with  your Jamaican  friend or you see some one dressed in black, green and gold and it's August 6th, take the time to wish them Happy  independence day!!!!   They will thank you  for it, especially  if they are far away  from home.

Much Love &Walk Good!!!