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Within a pandemic, we can find purpose...

COVID 19 has monopolized our existence. There isn’t a moment that we aren’t bombarded with news surrounding the spread of the disease the toll it is having on our loved ones, communities and economy. So it makes sense that the first week of the crisis in America every company was sharing their COVID plan. It turned out that shoe stores would save us all, I’m still not sure how. I was too busy preparing to quarantine with my grandmother. But if any of you finished that email from famous shoesource please fill me in.

Once I shifted from disaster preparation (thank you Hawaii Pacific for the skills!) to living in a disaster the severity of the pandemic finally destroyed me. I had been monitoring COVID since early January because I couldn’t believe Chinese New Year celebrations would be canceled. As New York City began detecting cases my preparations ramped up. The transformation the city has undergone has been surreal culminating with the arrival of USNS Comfort.

In my previous life working at US Pacific Command I supported USNS Mercy, her sister, as they planned a mission throughout the pacific. I was so grateful to have been part of that process, and to have supported our Navy in providing much needed medical assistance to our geographic partners. And now Comfort is here. To help us. But what has been most difficult to accept is that not all of us are being helped.  

The communities that I normally advocate for continue to be overlooked during the COVID crisis. I’ll be sharing how we can each shed light on the challenges facing those living in public housing, the future of NYC’s public transportation and why Rikers Island makes it hard for me to sleep.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll take care. Stay home, if possible. Wash your hands regularly; pray to your spiritual beacon. Laugh. Cry. Also, keep in mind those that leave their homes daily to respond. Those like Dani's mom. I will to do the same.

I will also be creating new items for Ojala. But I am also more determined than ever to use Ojala as a vehicle for good. If you can, support us at this time! via a purchase. Know that proceeds from our sales are used to positively impact our local economy, and community.

Finally, the U.S. Small Business Administration, New York District Office selected us as the Minority Owned Small Business of the Year for 2020! So, I no longer say that timidly.

P.S. We now offer gift cards!

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