Disney Spends Millions to Make Hospitals Less Scary for Kids

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

Disney has always been a magical brand but they have a magical new cause! The media behemoth is using their famed “Imagineers,” the engineers behind Disney’s theme park designs, to re-invent hospital layouts so that they are less intimidating for the children staying there. They have pledged over $100 million for this global initiative.

Disney plans on incorporating their famous characters and stories into the hospital rooms and hallways to help ease stress, which can cause even more psychological and emotional damage to an already ill child. Interactive technology and customer-experience training are two of the biggest elements of the new plan and the first hospital to get the Disney treatment will be the Texas Children’s Hospital.

McDonald’s 11th Annual Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour Visits Atlanta with Tye Tribbett, Donald Lawrence, Bishop Paul S. Morton, and More

ATLANTA, GA (August 30, 2017) – McDonald’s 11th annual Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is set to stop through Atlanta for a free night of inspiring music, comedic relief and giving. Some of gospel music’s most celebrated artists have teamed up with McDonald’s to deliver messages of hope and joy during this 15-city concert series. Gospel superstar and multi-award winner Tye Tribbett is joined on this year’s tour by returning music director and songwriter Donald Lawrence, legendary pastor and singer Bishop Paul S. Morton, gospel crooner Brian Courtney Wilson, songbird Anita Wilson, singing sensation Jekalyn Carr, as well as renowned quartet voice Paul Porter. Christian comedienne Small Fire will again bring the laughter while radio personality and gospel artist Lonnie Hunter resumes hosting duties. The concert will take place at House of Hope Atlanta on Sept. 14. Doors open promptly at 6:00 p.m., and the concert kicks off at 7:00 p.m.

McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is one of the ways the brand is raising the bar and extending directly into the communities it serves and operates in. In addition to providing inspirational performances, the tour also emphasizes the importance of serving and giving back to the community through its support of local Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC)® Chapters. Throughout the concert, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about RMHC and the important role it plays in keeping families close to their sick child while also providing the care and resources they need, here in their local community – and worldwide. Attendees will also be encouraged to support Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities by donating to help local families served by the Charity.

Since 2012, the tour has helped raise more than $510,500 for local RMHC Chapters. It costs $80 per night for families to stay at Ronald McDonald Houses. Factoring in love donations since 2012, ICGT has supplied about 6,300 free nights for families or a little over 17 years’ worth of free nights.

Gospel music artist Donald Lawrence

“I am extremely proud of the many ways we give back to our communities by providing scholarships, donating time and money to local school districts, hiring minority youth and much more,” said Mark Mines, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour and its support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities is just another way we continue to positively support the African-American community 365 days a year.”
The nationwide tour kicked off May 10 and runs through October 21, making stops in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Greensboro, Jackson, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Raleigh, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. This year, the tour’s theme is Unstoppable. Concertgoers will be encouraged to embrace the power of what can happen when they are determined to press forward despite their circumstances. The hope is that everyone leaves with a sense of empowerment.

Gospel music artist Tye Tribbett

McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is an extension of the brand’s 365Black platform, an initiative that celebrates the pride, heritage, and achievements of African-Americans year-round. Dr Pepper® also returns as a tour sponsor, showing its appreciation and commitment to the African-American community.

Visit www.365Black.com to learn more about the 11th annual tour and McDonald’s 365Black initiative. Follow @365Black on Twitter for tour updates and join the conversation using #365BlackGospel.

Anquan Boldin Leaves the NFL For a Higher Calling

One of the greatest feelings in life is realizing what your purpose is, and being able to walk in it on a regular basis. That is exactly what ex- NFL player Anquan Boldin is doing after his recent retirement from his 14 season career in football.

Boldin, recently a wide receiver with the Buffalo Bills, made the announcement that he would be retiring from football to focus more on his humanitarian work. “Seeing how things transpired over the last week or so, I think for me, there’s something bigger than football at this point,” he stated referring to the events in Charlottesville, Va.

Anquan Boldin is know for taking a stand on various community issues, and being a voice for those that need to be heard. He also realizes the power that he and other athletes have, and the platform they are given to make a difference in the world.

The NFL’s 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient stated , “There are a lot of guys in the locker room that are willing to help, but they don’t understand how powerful their voice is. People pay attention to athletes. For whatever reason, they like us.”

Photo credit- Instagram

For a lot of athletes and celebrities in general, when it comes to publicly taking a stand cultural and political issues, their public image, and financial loss in the form of endorsements usually plays a part in their decision making on whether or not to speak out.

“You just have to put in perspective what’s important,”  the Super Bowl champion said. “Yeah, you may lose endorsements, but I think it’s more important to be able to shape the world your kids are going to come up in. You have to be unselfish.

With his previous record of professionalism and community efforts over the past 14 seasons, we can only expect nothing but greatness as Mr. Boldin moves on to this new phase of his life.


5 Things We Can Learn from Malena Crawford’s New Book

Malena overcame her struggles and fears through faith, vowing to help heal other women along the way. Her debut novel “A Fistful of Honey is sure to be one of the hottest, unforgettable, inspiring tales of the year.   Iyanla Vanzant called her novel “a healing balm of a book” and a “must read.”

Malena stated “Writing A Fistful of Honey was life changing and life affirming for me. It was adventure that literally had me on the banks of the Oshun River in Ogsobo, Nigeria to the Gullah Sea Islands of South Carolina. It transformed me as a woman and a writer. I offer this work to the reader to receive whatever is there for them to behold.”  Below she gives us the 5 things readers can learn from her book on various topics.


Alena Ford, our protagonist, had to persevere or she stood to lose everything- including her own daughter’s life. She had to find enough love in herself to endure the darkness, the dark forces that plagued her, and keep going. Perseverance doesn’t require that you be strong all of the time. Alena was weak, she lacked faith , and she was a very reluctant hero. Perseverance requires that you keep going, keep fighting even if you are fighting through your own fears- until you get to your destined place! You have to let your vision of that destined place pull you through all of it.
Overcoming Failure

The novel opens with Alena having what some call “a dark night of the soul.” A dark place that exists right before the breakthrough. She’s lost almost everything she held dear, everything that she leaned on to give her life meaning and value- or so she thought. Alena’s failure is like ours, it was Spirit getting her attention, a clarion call moving her to a destiny she could never have imagined. She slowly overcame all of those failures when she started to gain true vision. She found a whole new perspective when she started to meet Mary Magdalene, the Orisha Oshun, and even Jesus. A Fistful of Honey reminds us that failure is an illusion, and in most ways a divine setup for something only God can orchestrate.
Making Sacrifices

There are so many layers of sacrifice in this novel. There are sacrifices that are far too great and cost too much. Alena’s journey in and out of the spirit realms delves into the enormous sacrifices that the black and brown races have made for the good of all humanity. She unknowingly meets ancestors who endured the horrors of slavery, those that took the night so that she could have the day, the “honey”. It is a sacrifice that she (and I) deeply resented but eventually consider the miracle and the honor of it. Now that Alena has the “choice” that her ancestors did not, she must learn to put herself first. Alena had been sacrificing herself all of her life, and her self abuse was not required. Alena was the prize, she was the destination. All that was required was her acceptance and agreement with that truth.

Staying Motivated
The best lesson on motivation I received was in the completion of the novel. My motivation to begin it was to heal myself. My motivation to finish was to share that healing with millions. It kept me up late at night and nudged me awake in the early hours.

The importance of religion in your life

For me, God moving in and through me, and in and through my life trumps religion. Religion is the beautiful package but God is the gift. My relationship with the Divine is what stirs my soul. I want every reader to reflect on the calling and the lessons from the God of their own understanding.

5 Places That Make the Most of Your Donations

Written by Salina Jivani

Donations tend to spike toward the end of the year when people are feeling particularly charitable, but the truth is many organizations could benefit from your gently used goods year round.

And if you are gearing up for spring cleaning or planning on rounding up your family’s gently used items and sending them off to serve a better purpose elsewhere, consider donating to these organizations reputed for making the most of the contributions they receive. They’ll put your items in the right hands and give you satisfaction in knowing your donation went a long way in positively impacting someone else in a meaningful way.

Dress for Success

With locations nationwide, Dress for Success is geared particularly toward helping women attain good jobs and succeed in the workplace. Along with supplying women with the employment resources they need to land a good job, Dress for Success also helps dress them appropriate attire. They look mainly for donations of women’s dress suits, dress clothes and accessories.

Operation Prom

As its name suggests, Operation Prom is all about dressing people for the prom. As we know, prom attire can be costly, and this organization helps those teens who possibly can’t afford the weighty price of a luxurious dress or tux. They accept all gently used clothing and have several locations that usually become more widespread and branch out as prom time inches closer.

Second Chance Toys

This organization is committed placing smiles firmly on children’s faces who live in homes that are facing hardships or live in poverty. They accept gently used toys, most of which are thrown away or discarded while so many children out there have very few if any to play with. Donate toys to this organization and help make a child’s day with your generosity.

One Warm Coat

During the winter months while most of us brave the cold with sturdy jackets, many out there suffer because they can’t afford one for themselves or their family. One Warm Coat helps these people by giving them your used jackets and coats so they can keep warm and make it through the harsh winter months.

Kars 4 Kids

A charitable organization designed specifically to benefit kids, Kars 4 Kids collects all used or non-functioning vehicles, even real estate, and uses the proceeds from sales to educate and mentor kids. Once you place a call to them, they’ll come out within 24-48 hours and pick up your vehicle. Fast and easy, Kars 4 Kids is a great way to get rid of a used or non-functioning car and give back toward our younger community with expending a minimal amount of effort and time.

When you make a donation to any charitable organization, whether those listed above or not, make sure you get your tax deductible receipt. In addition to being a great way to give back to the community, donations can also serve as a benefit to you in the form of a tax credit.

So gear up and donate away…not only will you free up space and do a good deed, but perhaps through your charitable actions karma will pay you back in a generous way.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How You Can Make a Difference

Written By Salina Jivani


Think of a woman you know: your mother your sister, your wife, your daughter and maybe even yourself. Now think about all she is to you, to the people around you, to her own family. Think about all the different hats she wears and the many people who depend on her day in, day out. About how amazing it is that a single woman can offer so much and so completely to the world around her.

Millions of women like this exist in the world. And while those women are busy raising kids, upholding families, joining the job force, contributing to the future of the world, and doing so much more, a silent killer lurks out there, knocking down so many of these magnificent, unsuspecting women, snatching them away from their loved ones and leaving a gaping hole in the lives of all those they touched. The culprit: breast cancer.

October, specifically known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), is known for its flurry of pink ribbons, pink shirts and everything pink, as people remain cognizant of and maintain a heightened focus about this devastating disease that consumes so many lives every year, impacting the families and friends of victims while leaving a trail of loss and grief in its wake.

If you’re looking for a good cause to contribute to this month, consider donating to breast cancer organizations that are active in funding research and cures for this lethal disease. Whether you wish to contribute your time, resources or money to this worthy cause, there are several options available to you.

Do a fundraiser

If you don’t feel you can make a significant difference on your own, or simply wish to engage as many people as you can in your mission to help fight breast cancer, consider hosting a fundraiser. This doesn’t have to be a boring task. Think about ways you can make the event exciting by throwing a bash, maybe even charging an entrance fee through which you can collect the funds for your campaign. Because it’s a good cause, you may also be successful in winning the support of artists and entertainers who may perform at no cost—giving your party the hype it may need to help you meet your fundraising goals.

If event planning isn’t your cup of tea or you’re looking to do something more small scale, you might start with a close group of friends and ask them for help on planning a fundraiser, or simply asking them for contributions. No amount is too small.
Make a one time or recurring donation

Foundations like Susan G. Komen host walks and encourage sponsorships as they use dollars collected toward researching, fighting and curing breast cancer, once and for all. If you’re looking to donate money, this is definitely one of the most known and credible organizations for breast cancer. Donation can be one time or occur on an ongoing basis, depending on what you want. If you work for a company that has a match program, be sure to look into it to increase your donation’s potential. Also keep any receipts of your donation amount and talk to your tax specialist about any tax breaks you may be eligible for.

Whoever you decide to donate to, make sure to do your research and ensure the organization you choose is legitimate and credible—there’d be nothing worse than to see your hard-earned money and noble intentions be swallowed up by fraudsters.
Share content on social media

If you can’t donate money or time, don’t worry! Fortunately, we live in a time and age where social media is a powerful tool. If you can, spare a few minutes to share posts about your favorite cancer organizations. In doing so, you may inspire others to either donate their time or resources in some way or, at least, re-share on their social media platforms and help garner publicity and/or funds for these organizations.
The stronger we join forces to battle breast cancer, the better we can preserve the lives of beloved women and benefit all those they touch, nourish and nurture on a daily basis. For without their power, strength and unconditional love, the world wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful as it is today.

International Motivational Speaker William Hollis joins VEU Magazine as Brand Ambassador

Message From VEU Magazine Editor-In Chief Adrena Martin-Tolbert


International motivational speaker William Hollis has just been appointed as brand ambassador for VEU Magazine. William has traveled the country delivering motivation and telling his story of overcoming homelessness, drugs, broken family ties, and more. The 27 year old has a passion for inspiring not only the youth, but anyone around him that needs to be healed and inspired by his story.

I chose William to represent VEU Magazine, because I thoroughly believe that his vision and passion for motivating those around him is aligned with what we are all about as a company. VEU, which stands for Visionairies and Entrepreneurs United, was created as a  platform  for all of the entrepreneurs and visionaries in the world, and to bring more awareness to them. We also have a goal of providing awareness to various community, health, and positive issues that are not spotlighted on a regular basis.

We want to motivate and inspire our readers, and let them know that they are not alone in whatever struggles they may be going through. I am very pleased to bring William on board and happy to have him apart of the VEU Magazine team to help us fully execute our goals.

William Hollis is an ex-professional football player turned motivational speaker from Pontiac Michigan. His mother was a heroic addict and his father was a gang member. In 2014 he cracked his vertebrae, and shortly after that, he ended up homeless with a newborn daughter. His life took a turn for the better, and at the end of 2015, he was getting featured in various newspapers, and was keynote speaker for several youth empowerment events.

Follow William on his social networks @iamwilliamhollis

3 Ways To Deal With an Adult Bully

Written by Salina Jivani


I was bullied as an adult. And no, I’m not talking about the playground kind of bullying where I was called names or made to feel left out of a group or laughed at, but it was very close.


I worked for a bank for nearly a decade. Nearly because right as I was closing in on my decade mark, I had the unfortunate luck of going through one of the most difficult periods of my life during which my niece, who was in my care a lot, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of four. And during that period, to make matters worse, was my boss—a senior executive who hated anyone and everyone.


And this lady made my days at work. Absolutely. Miserable.


We’ve all had that one horrible manager. You know what I’m talking about. Mine used to scream in a high-pitched voice, break out into a crying fit, bellow and breathe in short, huffy spurts like the big bad wolf, making me fear that she’d either pass out or pop a blood vessel—and then sue me for it. It’s by far the worst experience I’ve ever had working for anyone. I remember days eating and sleeping at the hospital, running around with my laptop and sneaking into deserted hallways to take meetings. Till this day it still surprises me that this woman is a senior executive at a globally known bank. Everyone despises her.  In fact, in my mind, I’d secretly dubbed her Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada. I eventually quit my job for several reasons—and she was definitely the cherry on top of my sundae of excuses.


Now, nearly a year later, I can stay calm enough to share with you my story and to offer some tidbits of advice to help you along if you ever face an adult bully. They’re worse than the kids on the playground, because their tactics aren’t as apparent but equally if not more hurtful to you not only emotionally but also mentally. So if you ever have the misfortune of coming across an adult bully, take a deep breath, calm down and follow these steps.


Realize that it’s not about you

Often times, bullies are bullies not because there’s something wrong with you—but rather because there’s something lacking in their lives. Take for example my former manager, who we’ll call Miranda. She was going through a divorce when I joined the team, and I attributed this to her rough behavior at work. However, after speaking to some coworkers who she’d brought to tears on more than one occasion, I realized that perhaps her behavior wasn’t a result of the divorce, rather her divorce was a result of her unacceptable behavior. Meaning something had likely happened earlier on in her life to shape her deplorable attitude.


Because like Miranda have larger issues within themselves, they turn to bullying to exploit others and turn attention from their own pains and insecurities.


When you’re confronted by a bully, sometimes it can help you feel better or more tolerable toward their jibes if you understand the root of their insecurities or aggression.  If it’s a manager, perhaps he is insecure about the progress you’re making in your career path and are miserable and stagnant in their own job. If it’s an acquaintance, maybe she is jealous of the relationship you share with your husband, or maybe a friend is envious of your financial stature because he is suffering through money woes.


There’s always a driver behind bully behavior. Sometimes understanding why the bullying is happening can help you better choose to ignore it or do something about it. For example, if you know that someone went through a life-altering event, like losing a child, that changed their behavior and outlook on life, you may choose to ignore their obnoxious jibes.


But if you can’t put a finger to the root cause, and the behavior is impacting you and your life in a strong way, it’s probably time to take action.


Stop being a victim

Bullies often have a radar for the perfect targets. If you’re someone who is easy to pick on, quiet, passive or too nice (which is often perceived as a weakness by bullies), you might be making yourself an easy target for the bully. Also, you have to know that bullies like getting a rise out of people. They like feeling authoritative and love the ability to make others feel powerless in their company. If you give into this power play, you’re likely to continue being an effective target for the bully, but if you learn to ignore him and not give him the satisfaction of knowing that he’s had any kind of impact on you, it’s possible you’ll be let off the hook. Try your best to keep your cool. Laugh with them when they laugh at your expense, shrug at their jabs, and ignore them when possible. Reacting unexpectedly and rolling with the punches might yield you better results than to let them see how their words have impacted you.


Stand up for yourself

When all else fails and the bully is still the last one standing, it’s definitely time to step up. Sometimes passiveness and ignorance may encourage the bully to pick on you more rather than to give up. If this happens, you have to fight back—because the one thing that can give a bully pause is someone who won’t take his punches sitting.


The best way to confront a bully is to remain matter of fact and calm. Don’t let emotions rule, rather state the facts and tell the bully how her actions have made you feel. Try to be as mature as you can. Bullying is a childish tendency, so it’s tough not to respond in a childish way, but remember that by being mature and calm and not starting a screaming match, you’ll increase your chances of getting through to the bully and hopefully resolve the bullying once and for all.


If the bully happens to be your manager and you’re afraid that something you say may be misconstrued or used against you, don’t be afraid to engage help from someone in your HR department or from your manager’s colleague, preferably someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Having a third party present to mediate can prevent false allegations and stop the confrontation from getting out of hand.


While it’s great to learn how to stand up to a bully, also remember that being a silent bystander when someone is being bullied is just as bad as doing the bullying yourself. Your silence will only serve to encourage the bully. Taking a stand when someone is being bullied will not only serve to throw the bully off his tracks, but also the person being bullied, and even other bystanders, will respect and admire you for your courage. Even better, it’s likely you’ll lessen your own chances of becoming a victim in the future.

3 Lessons Every Adult Can Learn From The Movie “Finding Dory”

Written by Salina Jivani


I’m honestly not big into children’s animations. To be completely frank, I’m not a movie person at all—I just can’t sit still long enough to enjoy a movie. But I do on occasion give into the whims and pleads of my two girls who are enamored by anything that plays on a flat screen. Which explains why I got sucked into watching Finding Dory while agonizingly tapping my toes, stifling my yawns and smiling brightly each time one of them looked at me to make sure I was still there. Although I can’t say I was completely successful in my efforts to pay attention, I will admit that I’m happy that the television time was well worth the great life lessons that this movie taught—lessons that even we adults can use a healthy reminder of.  

Never give up

For those of you who are planning on watching the movie but haven’t seen it yet, I’ll try not to include any spoilers, so, in the vaguest way possible, one of the main things that this movie teaches us is that we should never give up. No matter what challenges lay ahead, no matter how seemingly difficult or impossible a task appears, no matter what your personal limitations, follow your dreams and charge on ahead. If you’re persistent enough, you’ll get exactly what you want. 

Respect everyone

Dory has memory challenges, but this doesn’t stop some of his dearest friends from sticking by him no matter how frustrating it gets to keep refreshing his memory. Those friends are with him till the end and they don’t belittle him, treat him differently or make him feel stupid for his challenges. And the good news is, people like that truly exist. They respect everyone, try to be helpful and stick by you no matter how difficult the war or great the feat. We each fight our own battles, and the more we kick people down or disregard others’ feelings, the more disrespect we receive in return. You never know what struggles someone is facing, so if you can’t find it in you to offer respect, the next best thing to do is to simply walk away.

Family is everything

This is perhaps the most important lesson of all, and as a mother who strives to create that magical bond between her kids, I was warmed to see that the importance of family was the core lesson of this movie. Most of us have a lot to be thankful for, but this movie teaches us that nothing is as valuable or integral as your family. Dory fights for his till the end, traversing all boundaries and conquering all risks. And for this, he’s a hero.  

After watching glimpses of this movie (yes, I cheated and let my mind wander every now and then), I’ve got to say I’m pleased that the creatives behind these films give thought to the morals they can teach the younger generation. Hopefully the lessons these kids learn from these movies will be imprinted in their small minds and remembered well into the later parts of their lives. 

5 Ways To Be More Confident

Written by Gustavo Camilo


I believe confidence is the key to be a successful person. That person who everyone looks at and think: wow, this guy is really awesome.

For everyone, there is always a “bridge” to be crossed between the person he is and who he wants to be. A lot of things are needed for cross that bridge, and to be who he really wants to be. One of these things, if isn’t the biggest one, is often a lack of confidence, because it stifles your real potential. The person who doesn’t trust themselves, usually   doesn’t  go very far. You can feel when someone isn’t confident, you can feel it by their voice, you can see it by their gestures.

I’m just a guy who want to learn and be better everyday, so I wrote 5 tips that I believe, can make everyone a little bit more confident, they are:

1 – Do not be afraid to express yourself.

Never be afraid to express your ideas. At first it is a little uncomfortable, but if it’s a good idea, everyone will think “Wow!” If it isn’t, no one will kill you, so don’t worry. Express yourself, let the world know who you are.

2 – Focus on your strengths.

The weaknesses should also be worked out, but they are the background. You need to focus on your strengths. That’s what will make people look to you and think “This guy is really good!”. How do you know what are your strengths? Ask yourself: “What do people tell me I’m good at?” and then, work on it.

3 – Get feedback.

Don’t be shy! You can ask  for  feedback from your managers, superiors, customers, partners and even providers. Use this as leverage to grow on your strengths and improve what is necessary. Talk to people, be interested and it’ll also help you to do a good networking. You win twice.


4 – Take a step beyond the comfort zone.

The title is already self-explanatory. Comfort zone is one of your biggest challenges. Is very easy to stay on that zone, and don’t even notice it. But come on, stay hungry, look for the new (never give up to new challenges). How does it help you to be a more confident person? Just by exposing yourself to the new and unknown.

5 – Do the homework, always.

Building confidence is a process that should be continued. Work it every day and you’ll get there. Do whatever you have to do, and one day, success will come.