Safe At Home® with Baseball Legend Joe Torre

Joe Torre Safe At Home®
On April 27 when Darrell Carr and I first entered the Venice High School auditorium you could hear the rumbles from any large group of energized kids. Then the room applauded as Joe Torre, Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and former professional baseball player and manager took to the microphone. He quickly welcomed the students and he immediately started talking about why he was there. He did not speak about the glory days of playing baseball, but instead, he spoke about how as the youngest of five children, he witnessed the aftermath of routine physical beatings that his mother endured for years from her husband—his father who as a revered NYC police detective who protected his community and made everyone feel safe—except his own family. The room was silenced.
He spoke about how it took years for him to understand that it was not his fault as to why he lived with shame. He kept his family life a secret until he and his wife Ali attended a seminar where he was subsequently able to talk openly about his childhood experience with domestic violence.
On that day,
13076770_1043286142373932_5179358443200348412_n 13076680_1043286175707262_6928920387466085590_n the Joe Torre Safe At Home® Foundation had a ribbon cutting ceremony at Venice H.S. for yet another Margaret’s Place—that was named in honor of his beloved Mother. This on site comprehensive program provides students a safe room in school where they can meet with a professional counselor trained in domestic violence intervention and prevention.
Joe and Dodger player Justin Turner also emphasized to the students that you are not alone, the importance of not keeping pain inside, to find the support needed, to have respect for each other and to avoid social media mishaps.
Joe’s daughter, Andrea Torre was Justin’s very good friend.

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They were in choir and performing arts together. He often told us how Justin was the only kid he met who had a firm handshake and who looked at him directly in the eyes and greeted him with an affirming “ Hello, Mr. Torre.” Today, Joe told me that when the Paparazzi approach him for a comment, he often says one line: “ Justin Carr World-Peace” (http://www.justincarrwantsworldpeace.org)
He said, “You know Susan, it gives them something to think about and hopefully Justin’s message will catch on…” I took that with a smile…
Keep on doing what you are doing Joe and Ali Torre as you help hundreds of kids find their way out of a life filled with domestic violence and pain.
Let the truth be told… It frees you in so many ways !!!!
Donate to help with this worthy cause and learn more about this Safe at Home program
http://www.joetorre.org/
xoxo

JCWWP Letter from the President …It Takes a Village

The African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  This past saturday was the conclusion of the 3rd  school year session of the JCWWP “Dare to Dream” program  at the Frank D.  Parent school.  It was the school that Justin had adopted and shared with his peers to help bring the visual and performing arts and math tutoring to the underserved students.

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Darrell spearheads this program.  At least once a month, the Harvard-Westlake Student volunteers, Justin’s  High school Art Teacher, Ms. Hall,  his elementary Principal Ms. Q, and our many friends including Angie Daves, Pam Daves and Ricky Lin and the school coordinator Ms. Wallace come together for the saturday program.

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Ms. Q and Ms. Hall
Ms. Q and Ms. Hall

I attended the last session. Teacher Darrell gets the ball in motion and tells Justin’s story.   This final day was a “fun” day!! Although the H-W students do give them valuable tips for Math to make their efforts fun. Ms. “Q” and her daughter Aurora cheorgraphed a hip dance to Janelle Monáe’s song.  Three hours later the routine was completed– and the kids were exhausted!! They soon learned what it takes to put a short number together and now they can appreciate how their favorite artists prepare for their performances. Our village of supporters made this program a success. The kids did not have any electronics or other distractions for 3 hours!! Darrell  told the kids:” You know what you just did?  Old School Fun!!”

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Well a few days ago something special came in the mail.  This is how Darrell describes it:

“Susan & I received a letter from President Barack Obama on Monday. He said that he was inspired by the strength we have shown in the face of tragedy. Losing Justin in 2013 was just plain insane, & our lives have changed forever. Justin’s tutoring program Dare To Dream, he started in 2012 when he was 15 years old is thriving, because of our Village & supporters. Susan & I want to say THANK YOU!!! For all that you do for us. This is a very difficult road we are trying to navigate. Thank you Mr. President for reaching out to us. Your encouraging & helpful words will always be an inspiration to us. We love you. Darrell”

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This is the backstory as told by Susan:

“It is all because of the support, compassion and love from our friend Renee Plummer.  Even though she and her husband Michael , daughter Ashley and her family are kindred spirits and walk their own unimaginable loss of losing their son Austin, she still had the empathy to share our story to our Commander- in -Chief. Out of the thousands of letters he gets daily… her empathetic words got his attention… Can’t make this stuff up!!! Bless you Renee. It’s all for you Justin,  Susan”

Like President Obama said : “I have found that Americans can achieve extraordinary things when we work together.”

The African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,”

Because of all of you-our village we have come so very,very far.

 

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Darrell and I both agree!!!