Outreach programs are designed to meet people where they are; however, it’s not every day an unwavering commitment to ‘empowerment’ meshes perfectly with a cause; when it does, those are the moments that can change lives. The excitement of such an opportunity can take on many forms, and it can produce different outcomes. But when the ‘benefit’ of encouragement exceeds the ‘hope’ of expectation (especially for a child), that’s where we stop—and celebrate!
The ‘Harold Lefty Williams Dare2Dream Foundation, Inc.’, offers a sense of empowerment for children (and their communities), who deserve to have positive outlines shape their destiny. Founders – Harold and Shyneefa Williams, believe when kids are shown what their future can look like, it’s easier for them to understand their place and purpose in the world. As a proponent of philanthropy, our team takes a moment to celebrate the ‘Dare2Dream’ organization and its founders, with a candid over-the-shoulder glimpse at their mission, message, and manner in which the ‘currency of kindness’ strengthens communities.
Long before the launch of the 2008 Dare2Dream Campaign, Harold ‘Lefty’ Williams and wife Shyneefa – had a dream and path for their own destiny. Shyneefa’s passion for community advocacy (and interagency) started as a whisper of inspiration from her mother, Karen Ramsey McCoy. She was encouraged to understand the importance of not just doing more—but also being more than the public expected. With a quest for betterment and empowerment beyond what would improve her own life, Shyneefa sought ways to extend herself (and her beliefs) beyond the role of wife, parent, peer educator and writer. A role that would soon include her community and cover the world. Lefty, in turn – used his experience as a professional basketball player (formerly with the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters, and now with the Harlem Dreams; a team that he owns and currently tours with), coupled with extensive world travel, being a committed husband and father, life-lesson influencer and peer educator – as a way of inspiring others to broaden their perspective.
Together, Lefty and Shyneefa now serve as advocates for the improvement of domestic and international communities, by teaching children the importance of keeping promises. The organization has a world-wide mission to instill core values in young adults – which creates the building blocks for success (Impact, Support, and Commitment). These are the same core values that promote the belief that challenges can be managed and/or overcome, through effective dialog, education and corrective action (or in some cases, perspective).
Through basketball camps, tours, guest appearances, partnerships and professional alliances, Lefty and Shyneefa share information with children that reinforce the organization’s unique platform for change. They are not shy about giving a real-life perspective to young audience members (using the tools of entertainment and age-appropriate dialog) as a means to address: Substance Abuse, Alcohol use, Child Abuse, HIV/AIDS, Abstinence, Goal Setting/Attainment, Peer Education, Mentoring, Higher Education and Healthy Lifestyle (among other topics). The Dare2Dream Foundation does more than identify a need or a longing. The organization offers vital information and effective solutions that give children a true sense of reality, worth, and purpose.
When Lefty makes a guest appearance at a school campus, the kids are initially awestruck by his professional ball-handling ability and clever tricks; however, the value of what’s initially perceived as the main benefit, seamlessly shifts into a life-lesson centered around responsibility and respect. These lessons are also woven into the Dare2Dream Basketball Program – that promotes The Dynamic 6-Point Thrust System: Determination, Accountability, Body, Citizenship, Mentality, and Education. Through sports-based activities, important information is shared as the win-win pendulum swings in one direction toward our children; and the other direction, toward the community around them. It’s encouraging to witness the presentation of life skills, in a manner that increases the likelihood of use according to the designed application.
The concept of using basketball fundamentals to deliver life-skills and perspectives – is a great way to ensure young adults do not have a mediocre existence but strive to have a ‘great’ life. With Lefty and Shyneefa drawing strength from their humble ‘Jersey City’ beginnings (as tools to connect with today’s youth), it’s clear to see their own challenges are what help paint a picture of hope for others.
Thanks to the compassion of two visionaries who chose to create something that would minister to the world – we have a selfless example of brotherly love from which we can draw inspiration. But as one can imagine, Lefty and Shyneefa are not resting on their accomplishments or patting themselves on the back. They are busy applying the principles they openly teach, in order to create new growth opportunities and avenues for expansion within their organization. As progress dictates movement, there will be new initiatives rolled out, program implementation phases announced, and a continued display of support from the communities that live the Dare2Dream Mission: Support a Child. Change a Life. Impact the World. Side by side, this husband-and-wife team are creating a burgeoning legacy, born of hard work and commitment (and a few ball spins here and there, for good measure). With life-changing offerings that make for sufficient platform aggregation: Basketball-Media School, Tours, Dream Partnerships, Volunteering, Keeping Promises, Children’s App, Programs & Camps, it would not come as a surprise if the opportunities just over the horizon included Nonprofit franchising or global mergers.
Lefty and Shyneefa, understand the impact they’re making within communities, and the value it adds to the life of each child. What a token of gratitude it would be, to have these loyal founders witness a massive display of appreciation for the selfless ‘acts of kindness’ they perform as a way of honoring the Dare2Dream mission. The 2nd point defined by the ‘6-Point Thrust System’, is the trusted element of ‘accountability’ (the act of showing up and doing the ‘right’ thing for the right reason), that works to build and display character.
As an expression of gratitude toward the level of compassion shown to our children – we stand in positions of accountability alongside Lefty and Shyneefa, to offer our appreciation and applause for giving our youth new perspectives and tools for setting and attaining goals. The lessons our children are learning, reinforce a standard of certainty and self-worth, that praises their desire for a better life—when they Dare2Dream!
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