"Giving Hugs 2 Those Who Matter Most"
Poet and Author Tasha TNT/Mystique da Poet knows all too well, a hospital can be a scary, cold, and lonely place for a seven-year-old. When a stranger warmed her heart by giving her a teddy bear during one of her usual hospital stays, ripples from that small act of kindness followed her into adulthood. In 2011, Tasha/ Mystique Da Poet, realized her dream of paying it forward by founding Poetry in Motion Care Bears, LLC (PIMCB). On July 21, 2011 Tasha walked into a Walmart purchasing as many stuffed animals as she could afford. She gathered some poets and independent artist, headed to Children's Hospital in New Orleans and handed out over 50 stuffed animals. Her vision had now became a reality. PIMCB is devoted to "Giving Hugs 2 Those Who Matter Most," and visits sick children at pediatric hospitals, as well as the elderly in nursing homes, to give them stuffed animals, gift bags, quilts, helping them to smile through their pain.
In 2012, PIMCB expanded its vision to include two new special programs. "Dream for a Day" which provides PIMCB the opportunity to make the unique dreams of severely ill children come true. With their program "Home: Where the Heart Is," PIMCB visits shelters for homeless women and children to hand out stuffed animals, gift bags, and words of encouragement. Also, the program donates business attire to homeless women, to aid their professional appearance during job interviews. This program is very close to Tasha's heart. Just four years ago she too was homeless and living out of her car at a truck stop in New Orleans. She says hard times falls upon us all and many people are just one paycheck away from being homeless. Through the Home Where the Heart Is program, she says this is her way of giving these families a hand up.
The organization operates partially on donations, but also creatively sustains itself by hosting poetry and comedy events in the community. Poets and artists from across the country come to New Orleans to perform at PIMCB events and to volunteer their time for hospital visits. All donated funds and 50% of all proceeds from event ticket sales go directly into PIMCB's community work in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast.
In its short, but impactful existence, PIMCB has earned the first ever Spoken Word Billboard Award for Humanitarian of the Year in 2012. PIMCB has reached hundreds and will continue to help children, women and elderly smile through their pain, simply by doing a small act of kindness. Poetry In Motion Care Bears, LLC, believes that every day we are blessed to live is another chance we have been given to be a blessing to others.