I am my ancestor's harvest. ~ Carolyn Jones
On March 1, 2022, I became a member of Herbalists Without Borders. Upon the recommendation of our Executive Director, Jocelyn Perez-Blanco, on June 1, I was welcomed to the Herbalists Without Borders, Inc. Board of Directors and established the HWB Healing Project Mobile Clinic in July. Since that time, the clinic has flourished with seven new memberships and volunteers. We had a very successful grand opening event that featured a heart-opening meditation experience with gong healer, Dara Hart, at Spoke Circles, a mental and emotional wellness space in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, September 8. We are grateful to Christopher Rodgers, the owner of Radicle Herb Shop, who allowed us to host an in-store tea station for the attendees prior to the event.
My experience, community resources, and exclusively dedicated and brilliant team of healers fuels the mission of the clinic; and, supports my vision as an herbalist, certified aromatherapist and reflexologist, author, bereavement chaplain, clinic coordinator, and Herbalists Without Borders, Inc. board member.
The mission of the HWB Healing Project mobile clinic is to share the message of self-care to the community-at-large, with an emphasis on clean eating, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness.
This wonderful collaboration with Herbalists Without Borders, Inc. began with a 2021 presentation with the American Herbalists Guild, Inc. titled, “Holistic Grief: A Personal Journey.”
I was producing a webinar titled, “The Healing Project Wellness Series,” formerly known as “The Healing Project Pandemic Series,” and wanted to connect with other healers who enjoyed the benefits of plant magic.
By reaching out to Laura Rubin, the AHG president of the New York chapter, I had the pleasure of meeting Jocelyn, a dynamic educator and leader who was featured on the January 2022 episode of The Healing Project Wellness series that highlighted the first of a two-part lecture on ecological herbalism. She also has a cameo appearance in the second part that features yet another dynamic woman, Jenileen Joseph, an Albuquerque-based herbalist.
Jocelyn Perez-Blanco, founder of Herban Garden, is an educator, herbalist, urban naturalist, Flower Essence Therapist, conservationist, and avid gardener. She made me aware of the many opportunities available with Herbalists Without Borders, Inc., and I eventually became a member and Board member of this progressive organization.
Denise Cusack was the Executive Director when I joined. Since that time that leadership role has shifted to Jocelyn, but the impact that the combined energy of these two very knowledgeable and powerful women has had on my life and the lives of the people who are now my team members is explosive, to say the very least.
With the generous donations we receive from HWB, we can address the social issues that plague our community and siphon off joy that is so desperately needed, especially post-pandemic.
This includes, but is not limited to, the following initiatives:
· domestic violence
· unhoused, and
Keep these names on your short list for doing great things in the community. Every organization needs a beautiful smile at its door, especially when fund-raising. We have that in Carol Porter, my childhood friend (elementary school), who has dubbed herself as our volunteer trustee.
My friend and former aromatherapy instructor, Amy Anthony, who is the New York State Representative for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. She is also an educator, certified aromatherapist, and death doula.
Makeba Lloyd, owner of Butter by Keba and Scentonomy, is a real estate agent who changed careers and earned certifications as an aromatherapist and perfumer.
Reuben Finerson is a prolific educator, certified wealth and wellness coach, and holistic professional. He is the son of Delorise, a former co-worker and friend of mine.
Ayala Jacques is a certified herbalist and revels in her role as an operations manager for the clinic. She is a valued assistant who has taken on the administrative task of maintaining a clinic calendar and taking meeting notes.
Jae Evans is a student herbalist who does not hesitate to introduce us to community “movers and shakers.”
Last, but certainly not least, we have Lynn Hankins, a registered nurse and esthetician who is interested in learning about herbs and is excited about our initiatives. Her contribution to our blood pressure screening station speaks volumes to the level of professionalism that is representative of our clinic.
Since that time, herbs have been distributed at ZED Eats and Drinks, a vegan restaurant, Clinton Hill Library and a banquet at the Church of Freedom Baptist Church. We have invitations to participate in the prestigious BKLYN Commons pop-up event, which will feature blood pressure screening, self-care giveaways, and a herbal tea station.
Not one to miss an opportunity to spread the gospel of self-care and have fun, the HWB Healing Project Mobile Clinic team helped me celebrate my birthday and the new moon at ZED Eats and Drinks. The cacao cake was otherworldly!
ZED restaurant patrons appreciated the tea packets they received for respiratory relief, blood-cleansing, immune-strengthening and anxiety management. We expanded on that warm reception and proposed a tea-of-the-month club that was enthusiastically received by the owner. With attention focused on the change of seasons, the program is called SOLSTICE.
Amy has cooked meals for the church patrons at St. George’s Church in Manhattan for the last ten years; and, we are scheduled to offer herbal tea service and give away some of those aromatic donations of Dr. Bronner lavender sanitizers and body-strengthening supplements.
On the 7th, 17th, and 27th of every month, Awesome Home Goods in Brooklyn gives the community an opportunity to share information about their goods and services. The HWB Healing Project Mobile Clinic will be there as often as possible to thrill the community with free herbs, inhalers, and supplements.
We will end the year with a “Meet the Clinic” dinner, giving the clinic team an opportunity to meet Master herbalist, Matthew Wood, and experience a Cacao Ceremony with our very own didgeridoo and gong sound healer, Lloyd Leary, topped off with some more of that scrumptious cacao cake.
The future holds more healing modalities for the community: acupuncture, nutrition therapy, halotherapy, hydrotherapy, yoga, chakra-balancing, light therapy, and so much more.
It is obvious that the HWB Healing Project Clinic has taken on a life of its own. Our job is to organize and share. We can do that!
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until its faced." ~ James Baldwin