Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Models Making a Difference

Are you a model who is involved in a charitable cause or organization? Are you interested in something else besides modeling in which you are a "role model" and give back to your community? Please share with us how you are involved?


  1. We want to initiate a movement and you can be part of it!! Our first goal is to enlist 1,000 models that will create a powerful marketing tool in which we reach the media and various other charitable and fund raising organizations such as MAA (Models Against Addictions).

  2. I began modeling back in the late 1970s, when was a college student. At that time, I was attending CEUCA (Centro Estudios Universitario Colombo-Americano) in Bogota, Colombia in an off campus program, which lasted one year. I was on the cover of LAURA and did various TV commericals. The experience of living in a third world country such as Colombia, and seeing the disparity of rich to poor, was one of the reasons that prompted me to go into the Peace Corps, after graduating from The College of Wooster.

    Once joining the Peace Corps, from 1980-1983, I lived in the sub-saharan bush of Morocco, North Africa, in a small Berber village called Goulmima, and taught English as a foreign language (TEFL) to high school students. This experience led me on to obtain an MBA at the University of San Francisco, USF, and eventually have positions in international marketing with a couple of financial instituions, where I traveled to places such as Argentina, Uruguay and the Cayman Islands.

    I now feel as if I have come full circle. And I am able to use all of these experiences to work for an organization such as MODELS MAD (Models Making a Difference), MAA (Models Against Addictions) and Super Role MODELS.. and our newest group, Wholly Role Models. Please, won't you share your story with us and let us know how you are helping in your community and the world.

  3. The word "role model" probably makes some people cringe. It sounds self-righteous and too sweet. A great role-model today, certaintly has something that makes them "edgy". Take Angelina Jolie for example. As beautiful as a goddess, but she has been inked so much that no one forgets her bad girl image, even as she crusades arounds the world for children with a soul as sweet as Mother Teressa.

    So whether you have a "Past", whether you have "warts", whether you have overcome an addiction (or are trying), or whether you are still a work in progess on a multitude of levels...a complicated mix of good and bad and still trying to figure it out, day by day...YOU are the person we are looking for. Real Role MODELS like you.

    As Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

    To laugh often and much:
    To win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children,
    to earn the appreciation of honest critics
    and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    to appreciate beauty,
    to find the best in others,
    to leave the world a bit better
    whether by a healthy child
    a garden patch,
    or a redeemed social condition;
    to know even one life has breathed
    easier because you lived.
    This is to have succeded.
    Ralph Waldo emerson

    And, this to me, is what it means to be a "Role MODEL".

    Enjoying this snowy day in Westchester, NY
    Ann Bissll Luke

  4. I have a favorite little book that I read from time to time called, "All Things Are Possible, Pass the Word", by Barbara Milo Ohrbach. Following are some passages from this inspirational book...

    ..."today, I find it's almost too easy to be pessimistic. We live in a complex, uncertain world that seems out of our control and can sometimes make us feel powerless. It's hard enough to face the everyday obstacles, let alone think about trying to make a difference in the big picture. But we must not give into this feeling. One person doing something can make a difference. In the nineteenth century, Goethe wrote, "Let everyone sweep in front of his door and the whole world will be clean". We must have faith in ourselves and what we can accomplish. Then we can pass on this feeling of empowerment, enriching our lives and the lives of others as well....(My hope is that this blog will)...encourage and challenge all of us to do, and keep on doing, something we've always wanted to do but never attempted. Remember that all things are possible--and optismism is meant to be shared. If you pass the word, you will help someone else to believe it, too.--Barbara Milo Ohrbach

    And the last thought I would like to leave you with today is this...
    "I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. The longer I live, the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and the wonder of the world". John Burroughs
    Namaste. Ann Bissell Luke

  5. Who is inspires YOU?

    Just as writers tend to read a lot of books and cooks and cookery writers read and try a lot of recipes, any one who stands behind a cause or charitable organization was probably inspired by someone.

    The person who inspires me, is Asia Janina Dyrkacz. She is the reason I am working with her on MAA Models Against Addiction, the non-for profit organization that she created and founded. And, she is the reason, I co-founded Super Role MODELS with her.

    Asia was born and raised in Poland. She received certification from the Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC) for Image Consulting and Feng Shui Design. She has been featured on the Discovery Health Channel and was named one of 100 Women making a Difference by Today's Chicago Woman magazine.

    She has been featured as a model in Marie Claire, Oprah Magazine and More Magazine!. She has appeared in runway shows for Hermes in Paris, and national Target commercials. In 2005, her son was diagnosed with a bipolar illness. After caring for him for 2 years, she decided to look for alternative treatments. She went to India looking for holistic options and at the same time experienced Vipassana--silent meditation and did her own self-healing. She recently visited the Yogi Bhajan Ashram in New Mexico and practiced Kundalini Yoga with meditation. Asia received a scholarship from ACNY (Alcoholism Council of of New York) and is currently studying for the CASAC Certificate Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor).

    The website for MAA (Models Against Addictions) is http://wwww.modelsagainstaddictions.org

    Looking forward to hearing about who inspires you...

  6. Naomi Sims inspires me.

    Besides the fact that she was born in Pittsburgh, we had little in common. Yet the story of her life inspires me and will continue to inspire generations to come, just as her death saddened us all when she died August 1, of cancer at the age of 61.

    The following was written by Keli Goff, author and political commentator in the August 17, 2009 TIME magazine ariticle, p. 20 under "Briefing" Milestones...

    Naomi Sims

    "Tall, striking, confident and chiseled, Naomi Sims forever changed how America defines beauty. Sims...was one of the first black super-models, and her appearance on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal in 1968 broke the color barrier for major women's magazines. She was not the only succcesful black model of that era--Donyale Luna was another--but she was the first darker-skinned beauty to enjoy such success.

    Born in Oxford, Miss., in 1948, Sims endured a troubled childhood in Pittsburhg, Pa., that included time spent in foster care. (She later credited her upbringing with fueling her drive and determination). When she arrived in New York City in 1966, modeling agencies turned her down, pronouncing her "too dark". Undeterred, Sims forged ahead on her own, landing a photo spread with the New York Times by contacting a photographer directly".

    In addition, Goff goes on to write in TIME magazine "Person of the Year 2009 Edition"...that "she went on to grace the covers of Cosmopolitan, Essence and Life. She opened the runway door for others, including "her" role model, Michelle Obama and another supermodel Naomi Campbell, to walk through. And she made it possible for girls everywhere to embrace their inner balck beauty".

    Looking forward to hearing...Who inspires YOU.

  7. Nicole Kidman inspires me.

    While waiting at Westchester Medical Center yesterday, to see an Orthopedist, for my 11 yr old daughter who broke her finger a few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of the Dec. 09/Jan. 10 copy of the Ladies Home Journal. Following are excerpts from the article entitled "A New Nicole Kidman" p. 112-116.

    Between 2001 and 2008, Kidman made 17 movies, one of which, The Hours won her a best-actress Oscar. But it seems Kidman's days of zooming from one film set to he next are over. "I was running from my life, in a way" she says. "My imaginary life was better than my flesh-and-blood-life. That's a sad thing to say, but it was. Now I love my real life so much it requires an enormous belief in a film to want to take it on...I think that we're in the world to connect. Because that is what you're left with. You're not left with your houses or awards for money, you're left with the people that you built relationships with.

    After recently filming the the movie, Nine, in Italy, Kidman left in November 09 to travel to Kenya for a few days on behalf of UNIFEM, a United Nations organization dedicated to ending discrimination and violence against women and with which she's had a long association. She wants to help start a hotline for abused women. "It's so they'll have a place to call. A lot of women are so terrified; they'll go to the police or court and don't win. We can set up shelters and raise money", says Kidman. "I'm constantly trying to find new ways to give back", she adds. "Women are nuturers. There's so much we can do with the power of our feelings, the power of our sensitivity."

    "Kidman brings that same energy to her marriage, which was tested early on when Urban entered rehab for alcohol addiction shortly after their wedding. "Keith and I have a very honest, profound marriage, which we both contribute to every day," she ways. "We have a phrase, "Does this contributre to the good of our union?" Because that what's most important."

    Who inspires you? Would love to hear from you.

  8. Naomi Campbell inspires me.

    Excerpts from Business Week, The Associated Press, February 4, 2010.

    Naomi Campbell plans fashion show for Haiti relief
    by: Samantha Critchell

    Naomi Campbell called on the fashion world to do its part for the Haiti relief effort -- and the fashion world answered: There will be a charity catwalk show pairing top models and designers at New York Fashion Week.

    Campbell organized the first Fashion for Relief event at he Byrant Park tents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and has since taken it to Tanzania and Mumbai, India. The return to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Feb. 12th comes at the right time, Campbell said.

    "Everyone else is trying to help Haiti, and we wanted to do our part on the fashion side of things," Campbell said in a telephone interview from Paris. "The response has been overwhelming. No one has said "no"--which means a lot because it's such a busy time with designers preparing their fall collections".

    The event is still coming together, but Campbell said she had called upon her friends, including Christy Turlington and the Duchess of York, asking them to participate. Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe is putting together the looks, and designer Marc Jacobs has already created a special Louis Vuitton handbag, one of many items that will go on sale on the Net-a-Porter Web site March 15, with proceeds going to the organization CARE.

    The 39-year old, who rarely walks the runway nowadays, will be one of the models. She hasn't retired from the catwalk, she said, although she saves most of her appearances for charity shows.

  9. Cindy Day Cohen inspires me.

    The following excerpts were taken from CMH (Columbus Metro Hub) magazine, Nov/Dec 2009 by Jon Theiss.

    Cindy Day Cohen grew up dreaming about becoming a supermodel, but she didn't know she'd realize that dream at the unlikely age of 39. After valuting over obstacles that would crush the spirits of most waif-like 20-something wannabe models, the recently crowned winner of the second season of TV Land's She's Got the Look (a reality competition for models over age 35), is still reeling about her sudden step into the limelight.

    She grew up in Delaware, Ohio, became a single mother at age 20, and moved to Los Angeles 10 years later. Once in L.A. a bad relationship landed her flat broke in a homeless shelter for women and their children.

    Determined to turn it all around, she worked to provide for herself and her son and slowly became acquainted with the business of real estate.

    "A lot of people stay in the same position. People saw me go from my lowest point to my highest point, so I decided to write about it", she explains. The Life of your Dreams in 30 Days or Less! The Ordinary Person's Guide to Extraordinary Abundance is the fruit of this decision.

    Life coach, published author, committed mother --with cover girl aspirations? "Why not?", she thought.

    When her son left home to attend college, Day Cohen was 39 and resolved to make headway into the fashion industry. "I knew I was not the prime age for modeling--but I kept that dream within me."

    In a twist of fate, she stumbled across the season finale of "She's Got the Look". Surprised to know there was a reality show competition for women over 35, she thought, "Why didn't anyone tell me about this? This was supposed to happen to me!"

    "I never really thought about what would happen if I won...as far as the money, I'll put it to good use," she says about her $100,000 winnings. "I want to donate a portion of it to some type of women's and children's organization, because I was in that position. I know what that life is like."

    Despite bouts of bad luck and staggering life experiences. Day Cohen's ability to pull herself up by her bootstraps--or high heels rather--has led her to the life of her dreams. She's Got the Look awarded her a monetary prize, a contract with Wilhelmina Models and and a cover and photospread for Self magazine. She has since appeared in multiple publications in various capacities.

  10. Last night at the Yodit Tibebu show at La Pomme in Garment I had the pleasure of meeting Ann and finding out about Models Making a Difference.

    I must say that last night, Ann inspired me. Her vivacious enthusiasm for the project and outgoing fun personality made the evening a true event to remember.

    The fashion world is foreign to me, last night was my first visit. It was luck to have met a guide like Ann early on.

  11. Good Houskeeping Magazine Sept. 2010

    Why I Give: Drew Barrymore
    Barrymore has been an Ambassador Against Hunger for the World Food Programme (wfp.org) since 2007 and in 2008 she donated $1million to the program, which reached just over 102 million people in 78 countries with food assistance that year. Why she gives so generously: "I have seen with my own eyes what a simple cup of nutritious portidge can ;make in children's lives. It helps them learn and stay healthy, and sets them on track for a bright future. I urge everyone--everywhere--to help hungry children, and make hunger history.

  12. People Sept. 6 2010
    Help us Brighten Children's futures with free books.
    Martina McBride: "As a mom, I'm prod to join the SunnyD Book Spree, to bring free books to your child's classroom. Just collect SunnyD labels. When your child's class sends in 20, we'll donate 20 free books. And we're awarding hundreds of books to the the ten schools that send in the most lables.