March 2020 Azalea Blossom Newsletter

Dear family and friends,
We at Azalea Blossom, Incorporated realize this is an unprecedented and challenging time for all of us. At a time when we are all concerned about a contagious virus; it is helpful to remember that love is also contagious and we can continue to spread it though our hearts, the airwaves, prayers, and also by doing something to help friends and family. Amid the chaos and despair, we would like to offer some inspiration and words of encouragement by sharing one of our favorite quotes.

Quotation of the month:
“Love is essentially self-communicative. Those who do not have it catch it from others who have it. Those who receive love from others cannot be its recipients without giving a response, which, in itself is in the essence of love. True love is unconquerable and irresistible. And it keeps on gathering power and spreading itself until eventually it transforms everyone whom it touches” (Meher Baba). News from the SAFE Through the Arts bullying prevention program:
Safe through the arts instructors have been enjoying teaching the Kindergarten and Special Education classes at Van Corlaer School in Schenectady during the past few weeks! It is always very rewarding to see how much positive impact the puppet skits and other art-based activities have on the children. SAFE Through the Arts prevents addressing root causes by providing young students (age 4-6 years old) with specific skills that prevent bullying: building self confidence; expressing emotion in appropriate ways; and learning empathy towards others through acknowledgement of our differences and through practicing compassionate communication. We are proud of our groundbreaking work and are grateful for all of the support of our donors who enable us to keep doing the very important work in schools populations who need it most.
* Donor of the Month: Maurice Catel*
Our donor of the month is Maurice Catel, the founding member of Azalea Blossom’s new “Reoccurring Benefactors’ Club”. Maurice is a retired Sergeant First Class with the United States Army. He is also retired Captain from the City of Troy Fire Department, where he served the community for over twenty years! He has served in the military for a total of thirty years with serving including, being a Combat medic in Afghanistan for which he received the Purple Heart Award, as well as him service in the Marines and the National Guard. Currently, Maurice is the Training Officer and Vehicle Operator Instructor for the Rensseaerlville Volunteer Fire Department. He resides in Medusa, New York with his beloved dog Charlies. Maurice’s interest in donating to Azalea Blossom’s SAFE Through the Arts program is that is aligns with his strong belief in prevention education. As a firefighter, Maurice spends time visiting public elementary schools in Troy and Lansingburg in order to present puppet shows on fire prevention. He loves that SAFE Through that Arts also uses puppets in our mission to educate young children on bullying prevention.

* We Invite You*
We encourage you to join our winning team by donating today! Donations go directly to our programming and are especially needed right during these troubling times so that we can be ready to jump back in and roll out our programs to as many children as possible once quarantine is lifted. Children who are being denied refuge from their abusive homes during the school closing will need the words of encouragement and love, which SAFE Through the Arts provide to them. Next month, we will let you know how you can join Maurice in being a charter member of Azalea Blossom’s “Reoccurring Benefactors’ Club”. In the meantime, checks of any amounts can be made out to Azalea Blossom, Inc and mailed to our temporary address, PO Box 117, Rensselaerville, NY, 12147. All donations are greatly appreciated.
* Thank you to our generous Azalea Blossom donors:*
We would like to thank our loyal donors for their continued annual support!
The following have recently made their annual donations to Azalea Blossom:
Helen Resnick Shaw, Natalie Adorno, George P. Ricci, Carolyn Cirnitski, Eric Tepperman, Bill Grover, Billy Whitbeck, Margaret Jean Bernstein, Rick Lawton, Steven Jacobs, Julian Jacobs, Laura Principato,Michael Lamkin Sandy Sorrell, Ann Ahmed, Nancy Eaton-Shev, and Sharon Solph.
We would also like to thank our new donors!
Susan Kemp, Maxime Laboy, Daniel Greendale, Victoria Cernos-Kiely, Maurice Catel, Herbie Beryer-Hershkowitz, Michael Peezah, Heather Gee, Joan Jaeger, Mimi Fox, Daniel Elstein, Voke Elstein, Kelly Ryan, and Deanna Dunning-Schwarts.
* Thanks to you all!*
Thank you for being part of the solution to end bullying and help to make this world a more equitable place for our children. We are grateful for your thoughts, prayers, and love to all of the children who need encouragement. We continue to keep you in our players as we wish you warmth, love, and safely.
With gratitude and best wishes,
Margaret Jean Bernstein
Founder and Executive Director,
Azalea Blossom, Incorporated and the Safe Through the Arts Program

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