Tag Archives: Philanthropy

at-Tajnīn (Jinn-Influence/Possession) vs. Mental-Illness By Gareth Bryant

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Author’s-Note:

The Following-Article is based upon Personal-Research: my Role as a Chaplain/Counselor lead me to author this Research, as per my Professional-Expertise via Chaplaincy. I’ve submitted my Research, for review, to the Dept. of Psychiatry, Michigan State University. Michigan State University not only approved my Research, but also invited me to attend the annual Global Muslim Mental Health Conference, hosted by Clare College/Cambridge University, United Kingdom, where I in turn was also invited to orate/defend my Research.

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Gareth Bryant

1439, A.H./2018, C.E.

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Never Too Late To Grow: 30-Tools Of Empowerment Gareth Bryant & LaTisha Bradford

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This is my 1st-Book. Myself, along with my Co-Author, LaTisha Bradford-We’ve published this to provide Readers with something pragmatic: to look within themselves introspectively, objectively: reflecting upon their Lives. I’m personally very excited concerning this Publication. I’ve been writing for a Long-Time. However, I never really expected that I’d be at this Literary-Level, authoring Literature/Books. This is truly a Watershed-Moment for me personally, because it stands as a Magnanimous-Accomplishment within my Life. To be an Author is such a Monumental-Feat. Most People don’t get to be Authors. So, this is something for me an Accomplishment/Achievement, the Ability to share something with the World which is real, tangible, and has the Potential/Capability to improve the Lives of anyone who chooses to read my Book. Our Purpose for even writing this Book is because both my Co-Author & I saw as well as felt the Neccessity to highlight Life-Experience as a Stepping-Stone towards Progression, Evolution, Improvement, etc. So that any Person reading this Book can potentially reflect upon their own Lives & draw from our Book ways to look at themselves as those whom still possess the Capabilities&Abilities to grow, regardless to what Space/Place, Age, Career, Situation which they’re currently within. The Book itself is exclusively meant to provide Hope, along with Practical-Tools to improve one’s Self, at one’s on Pace, at one’s own Time, without Judgmentalism, Criticism, Ridicule, etc. And, I’m confident that we’ve been able to accomplish this as such.

To order “Never Too Late Too Grow”:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1797099256?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Being Black In Britain: The Casualties Of The Windrush-Policy & Brexit

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My Travels via the United Kingdom, the 1st-Time I’ve traveled externally of the United States since 2006, C.E. & my 1st-Traveling within Europe, has given me a Significant Contrasting-Lens to view how Things like: Islāmophobia, Xenophobia, etc. really play-out throughout the UK. Being Visibly-Muslim & African-Descent in the UK is still, I’m sure, is viewed as an Exotically-Foreign Commodity…being African-Descent not so much. However, Opposition to both al-Islām & Blackness may very well be of Equal-Par. Even as I explored the UK for myself, I has met with a Tense-Sense of: Xenophobia, Otherism…I saw it within People’s Faces, I felt it from their Vibes…this was just about anywhere/everywhere that I went-It was extremely: Subtle, Covert, Indirect, Clandestine, etc. But, I knew it when it came my Way, as it approached me. The British, from what I’ve observed possess very Sly-Ways of throwing Shade in the most Sophisticated-Ways, which kind of explains why there’s so much Sarcasm wirhin British-Humor/Comedy.

The UK particularly, not only fully expresses Disdain towards the Other, but even amongst their own Ethno-Continental/European Counterparts, there’s this seemingly British-Style Posture of Superiority, Exclusivity, Anti-Inclusion/Acceptance, etc. One of the Things which proved this to me is the Fact that, to my Surprise there were lots of Interethnic/Interracial Couples: Afro-Euro Couples most commonly, within London particularly/especially. However, I constantly observed Euro-Brits stare, glance, scowl, at these Non-Euro Brit Couples and/or Non-Euro Couples period, as if they were plagued with Jungle-Fever. I mean, I literally saw this every Day I was in the UK. One of the most prominent Displays of Exclusivity I observed was when I went to Stonehenge. Stonehenge was/is actually much more significant than I ever really took it for, in Terms of its Purpose: I learned that the Druids who built Stonehenge used that Stone-Complex to commemorate the Celebration of People transitioning from Life to Death: kind of like a Afterlife-Gateway/Portal if you will. So, as one of the Tour-Guides was telling me Extensive-Details regarding Stonehenge, I had asked whether there were older Stone-Complexes than Stonhenge…her resoonse, “Yes, there’s Stone-Structures all over the World.”; then, however, instead of actually mentioning Stone-Structures across the Planet, they only mentioned the Stone-Structures within the UK. By itself, the Statenent is apparently quite innocent. But, as per Context, it’s extremely telling as to how they view themselves as the Center of the Universe & this is also just as evident pertaining to how they’ve historically conquered & governed Others.

Even as per the Brexit-Fiasco unfolded, pertaining to the UK being politically turmoiled as to whether remain with or depart from the European Union, the Discourse concerning Anti-Blackness is very much apparent, in spite of the Macrocosmic-Narrative surrounding Immigration into the UK, which was the Genesis of the Friction between the UK & EU initially. Anti-Blackness, in lieu of Brexit, comes into play directly, resulting from Mass-Deportation of African-Peoples whom were allowed to immigrate to the UK via Post WWII, when most of the West-Indies, the Caribbean, as welk as Places within Africa, etc. were British-Colonies & even today are still (politically/economically) shackled to the UK via the British-Commonwealth. Many/most of these African-Peoples being forcibly deported are People who’ve made their Families, Careers, Lives within the UK: so much so that they basically have no Life external of the UK. As a Result, these Deportees are literally forced to start-over in Nations which they’ve probably haven’t been to in Decades.

Now, let’s explore how/why the UK possesses this Entitled-Posture to treat those whom were once welcomed to contribute to British-Society, yet are now being viewed as “the Other”. Well…let’s take a Look at the Landscape&Scope of Dominance from the Lens of the Victor/Colonizer: the UK, much like it’s other European-Colonial Counterparts, obviously, had and/or has 0-Problem with conquering, exploiting Non-European Peoples around the World, yet ironically are so bothered if/when the Descendants of these Conquered-Peoples make their Way to their Mainlands/Motherlands…ahhhhh, now all of a sudden these People are “2-Close 4 Comfort”?!!!

Whenever you’re the Dominator of any Human-Demographic, particularly/especially if/when you’ve oppressed them, then of course, it makes Sense as to how/why you’d deliberately, purposely/purposefully, methodically, set Social-Political Mechanisms in place to either keep them “in their Place” or to use/drain them of their Potential actualized within your Society & then expel them once donewith them. This is seemingly, most defintely, the Case as per the Climate&Tension surrounding Brexit which is merely yet another Excuse for the UK to put the Lean upon anyone/everyone deemed an “Outsider”, which is simply a Political-Euphemism for Non-Christian/Non-European.

African-Peoples, regadless to where they hail from under the Shadow of the British-Empire (and/or what’s left of it), are simply deemed threatening: not in Terms of Military-Opposition, but more/most importantly, in Terms of them being Historically-Perpetual Reminders of the Fact that the UK as a Global-Power, as well as an Economic-Force, had profitted mightily from Colonization, the Trans-Atlantic Slave-Trade, etc. The Descendants of those whom were oppressed are in many Respects being just as victimized via the Same-Oppressors. So, of course, the greatest Global-Immigration Crisis in Human-History to date-Since the Children of Europe’s Former Colonial-Regions are suffering as per the Proliferation of: Economic-Destitution, Political-Chaos, Religio-Cultural Impossition on Part of European-Powers are now wanting to seek Assylum within Europe’s Borders, then obviously Europe must now “save itself” from being overrun by the Peoples whom have historically/generationally had their Backs broken via the Service of their Colonial-Masters.

And, also, since many of these African-Peoples whom reside within the UK as (Downtrodden, Uneducated, Unskilled) Persons yearing to escape the Poverty & Dead-Ends of their Homelands which were exploited by the UK & whose Hardtimes are mainly the Direct-Result of Colonial-Oppresdion: when they’re too Uneducated to acquire Careers which offer Higher-Standards of Living, when thay’re not Affluent enough to afford Solid-Education leading to Promising Economic-Opportunities, when they can’t afford Private-Properties & must settle for dwelling within the British-Slums which’re Breading-Grounds of/for Criminality, then of course you’re goung to have significant Percentages of these Demographics whom’re: Roadmen/Trapstars, Journeymen/Hustlers, Knifemen/Shooters, Gangsters, etc. & of course Places where these Demographics are mostly concentrated like: London, Glascow, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, York, etc. are going to be Criminalized Hornets-Nests. And, of course, as per the Pseudo-Narrative that the Vast-Majority of British-Crimes are committed by African-Peoples will be readily accepted via the Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Scottish, Celtic Masses of the UK, allowing themselves to deflect from the Reality that Criminality is never exclusively a Black-Man’s Vice, but rather a Human-Vice.

Instead of actually addressing the Socio-Economic Disenfranchisenent of the UK and/or its Socio-Political Marginalization, Parliament via the Xenophobic Right-Wing Factions of Governence&Government would much rather just point Fingers & shift Blame in a Dishonest-Way. We can/should all agree that there’s 0-Justification to pontificate/proluferate Criminality. At the exact Same-Time though, manipulatiing alarming Crime-Rates also isn’t any Justification to criminalize Human-Demographics & deliberately work towards forcibly expeling/exiling them from the Hone&Life which they’ve made for themselves…what’s being established via this Brexit-Phenomenon is simply an Excuse for the UK, as well as any/all other European-Nations like it to suck People dry of their Personal/Human-Resources for the Good of their Nations, only to repay them with Deportation/Exile, to the exact Same-Places which they once were where these European-Nations have decimated & exploited damn near to Death.

Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion:

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Someone that I really respect, love, and care about was in the Hospital. I was really looking forward to seeing them; but, at the time I hadn’t known that they were in the Hospital. I tried calling & texting them. Yet, there was no response, and me being me, I thought that the person was straight-up ignoring me. However, when I did truly come to know of the condition of this person, I immediately began to realize how selfish, self-centered, and how “It’s all about Me”, I had been behaving, which is obviously a huge negative, all around. I’m merely just making the point that oftentimes, more often than not, Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, puts us in positions where we’re tested as to how our behavior will dictate our actions. Unfortunately, I miserably failed this particular test. But, it’s a great lesson to be learned, to really get my act together, to exert more Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion, in the hopes that Allah will in turn exert His (Eternal) Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion upon me, because, I’m in such desperate need of it. I hope that I’m truly able to learn from such an important experience, that I keep the lessons learned from this experience, going forward throughout the rest of my life; and, to the person that I was such a jerk to: I’m truly sorry & for the Pleasure of Allah, please, forgive me…Amen

Paul Walker: How He should be remembered

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Author’s-Note:
“Every Soul shall taste Death. Then to Us, you all shall return.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.29, V.57)

“It is He who has created Death, as well as Life, testing which of you will do best. And, He is the All-Honorable, the All-Forgiving.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.67, V.2)

Paul Walker, A-List Actor, who made a signature-role for himself, as LAPD Det. “Brian O’Conner”, in the very popular “Fast & Furious” movie franchise, unfortunately, died in a car accident, in California, Nov. 30th, 2013. His death, of course, has shocked many. However, I don’t want to go too deep into his death, or how he died, because I personally feel that this would be an (unfair) infringement upon his respective loved-ones-I would like to simply focus more on how this Man had lived as opposed to how he died.

I’ve read some confirmed reports, by US Weekly, that he had came from a charity-event, for the typhoon-victims of the Philippines, prior to his untimely demise. Now, imagine that: realistically, this actor, much like many screen-stars like him, he could’ve been anywhere that night. Yet, he chose to be in the service of others, to help raise much-needed (monetary) relief-aid, for people whom he’s probably never met & would’ve probably never met; but, because they’re Human beings just like he is, he felt that it was that necessary to help them-It’s very ironic that had Paul Walker had not even died, we probably wouldn’t have even known that he was at a recent Filipino charity-event. To me, that actually speaks volumes about his sincerity, that he wasn’t looking to expose his own good-works just for the World to see.

This is what I’d like to really focus upon: this celebrity could’ve easily been at a party, or any other place on Earth that his status as an A-List Celebrity could afford him, which are so many/too many places to count; however, when called upon to help his fellow Man, he didn’t hesitate to respond. I have no idea what will become of him in the Hereafter, that is exclusively the Divine-Decision of Allah, his Creator/Lord. But, one thing that I can say, personally, as a Muslim, that I would rather have been like Paul Walker, doing something that will in fact enhance the Humanity of others via helping them in their darkest hours of need, than to die at a club, or in Jail/Prison, or on the streets of an Urban turf-war, or any other thing which poses no true benefit to anyone.

I think that it’s especially important, at this point, to be respectful to the sensitivities of those whose hearts are connected to this Man, like his family, friends, etc. Even Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), had said, “Insulting the dead causes grief to the living and does not reach the dead.”(Companions of the Prophet, AbdulWahid Hamid) I’ve seen some pretty tasteless things made about Paul Walker, whether it’s memes, or any other photo-shopped gestures, or even statements, which people seem to be appropriate as soon as someone is confirmed dead, when it reality, it’s so not appropriate at any time, but, especially at the time of someone’s death.

Let’s not only remember Paul Walker as just “some actor”, but, rather as a great Humanitarian, who spent the last weekend of his life in the service of others, while the rest of us would’ve just spent our weekends having what we call “Fun” & just selfishly enjoying our limited time here in the Mundane, without any care in the World, about the life of the Other. This Man, this Human being, who was more preoccupied with the business of being an Actor than any of us could possibly imagine, spent the last weekend of his own life in the service of others. How many of us, who are not Celebs, whom are not wealthy, who have all the time in the World, purposely walk by a person who may need our help & we pretend like they don’t even exist, as if their existence has zero-value?

So, to conclude, I’ll just end-off with the following advice: if you really respect Paul Walker, if you really love Paul Walker, if you really miss Paul Walker, if you’re really a fan of Paul Walker, then, do what Paul Walker would’ve done & did do…go out there, wherever you are & help someone, be the cause of improvement & enhancement of the Humanity of your fellow Man.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Support Muslims Giving Back’s Project #Zakah:

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Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, explains the purpose & reasoning behind az-Zakah, the 3rd-Pillar of Islam & how helpful it is to the general betterment to Humanity as a whole:

Support Muslims Giving Back’s Projects: #Need2Feed & #Warmth!!!

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Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, has a very important message, concerning the importance of helping others in need, drawing from his own personal-background of being in-need himself, at one point in his own life. This noble work, of enhancing the Humanity within others is something that those at Muslims Giving Back take very seriously & so should all of you.

Breast-Cancer Awareness: It’s not just a Women’s-Issue…It’s our Issue!!!

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With the permission of Allah, Muslims Giving Back will be participating, as volunteers, advocates, walkers, at this year’s annual Breast-Cancer Walk in Central Park in New York City.

These are the reasons why Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, is participating:

1. For every Mother, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Son by her side.

2. For every Daughter, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Father by her side.

3. For every Sister, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Brother by her side.

4. For every Wife, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Husband by her side.

There’s one particular fact that people, whom don’t know, have to recognize/accept:

1. Breast-Cancer is like the Female version of Prostate-Cancer for Men: every Woman, within her respective lifetime, if she lives long enough, is going to have to come to terms with the fact that this will in fact impact her life, in some way…it’s one of the leading-causes of deaths among Women, particularly within the United States.

2. Statistically, although not nearly as common, Men have also been documented to have acquired Breast-Cancer; so, none of us, as Men, should ever dare think that this disease is Gyno-Centric, that it only affects Women.
Allah says, “Men are Responsible for (supporting) Women.”. (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.34)

These (4-types of) Women, that I’ve mentioned previously, are the most-important Women in any Man’s life, and these Women do so much, for us, yet we do very little/if nothing for them…we need to change that & it needs to start by supporting them via supporting Breast-Cancer awareness…Any/all Men, whom are able to make it to this walk, in New York City, must go…and, if you are going, think of your own, personal reasons why you’re participating in the Breast-Cancer Walk, in support of awareness concerning one of the most relevant health-crises effecting the most-important Women in our lives…no exceptions!!!

(Trust me when I tell you) Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the greatest, created-thing that Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe ever created, the greatest person whom was ever given Revelation, the greatest Prophet, he greatest Messenger, the greatest, Son, Father, Brother, Husband, that any Woman could ever want or ask for: if he were alive, today, among us, he would most-definitely attend a walk such as a Breast-Cancer Walk, because that was both his (Prophetic & personal) nature, that’s why Allah sent hm, with the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, to show us how to work, strive, fight, help make the existence/lives of others better, via Community-Service, through service of one’s Fellow-Man.

For more info. about how to support the noble-efforts of Muslims Giving Back, in our efforts to spread Breast-Cancer Awareness, please, visit us online:

http://www.muslimsgivingback.org/

A Necessary “Thank You” to Oxfam, for teaming-up with Muslims Giving Back:

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Oxfam, one of the best, well known, organizations, dedicated to Food-Justice, has agreed to work with Muslims Giving Back, to help us in our noble efforts, and to continually collaborate with any/all projects, involving Hunger-Prevention/Food-Justice that we have. The reason why this is so important is because Muslims Giving Back is just one step closer to more positive recognition. We’ve struggled to be where we are, a lot during the past year. And, fortunately, Allah has always been supporting & protecting the integrity of our work.

Also, He has sent people, whom are working towards many of the exact same goals which Muslims Giving Back are striving for (one particularly being) Hunger-Prevention/Food-Justice. We, at Muslims Giving Back are so happy, to be an infant-organization, receiving an audience, help, and alliance, from such a well-experienced, well-seasoned organization, such as Oxfam.

We are truly humbled at the fact that such a well-renowned organization, with such a noteworthy reputation, has agreed to align themselves with us…this is truly an honor, as well as a very big-deal. This opportunity to work with Oxfam, will never be forgotten by any of us, from Muslims Giving Back. This is one of the best ways for Muslims Giving Back, to showcase our noble-efforts to embody our self-made slogan “No Human Left Behind”, on a much grander scale.

So, to Oxfam, you have given us, here at Muslims Giving Back, a grand chance to expand our work, experience, influence, in combating Hunger & Food-injustice, and we are most-thankful to you for that.

For more information about Oxfam:

http;//www.oxfam.org

For more information about Muslims Giving Back;

http://www.muslimsgivingback.org

I speak, on behalf of all members, volunteers, and supporters of Muslims Giving Back: Thank You.

Gareth Bryant,

National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back

Gareth Bryant/2013

Oxfam is Awesome!!!

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Kristin Davis, popular actress, of the world-wide critically acclaimed T.V. & movie series, “Sex In The City”, very recently did a commercial for Oxfam, an internationally-renown non-profit organization, geared towards establishing food-justice in under-developed countries, particularly. When I had seen this commercial on TV, I immediately told my mom that I had & still do work for this organization. Actually, this is the very first time that I’ve actually seen a commercials in which I actually have a legitimate relationship with, via actually working with/for them. It was such a great feeling that I had seen this commercial, it was really awesome; I had actually felt that the work which I had & still do for Oxfam actually goes a really long way.

Also, to see a celebrity, with such a powerful reach, like Kristin Davis, is very inspiring. She has a great opportunity to encourage, not only fellow celebrities, but, also, regular people, to go above & beyond, for the other, to help Humanity, in any/every capacity possible. I am very proud, as a Muslim, of being a part of an organization, such as Oxfam, which is so ambitious to helping people whom they’ll probably never even meet. As Muslims, we are, thetically, taught that being of good-service to others, regardless of orientation, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, political-allegiance, etc. is a must-do, Islamically. Allah tells us that, “By Time. Verily, Humanity is lost (misguided, spiritually/religiously). Except those who believe (in Allah & his revelation) & do good, encourage one another via truth & encourage one another via patience.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.103) This chapter displays, very clearly, that in order to be saved from misguidance, we, as Human beings must first help ourselves, by being obedient to Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, then, by being good-people. And, ensuring that people have food, and good-quality food at that, to eat, and preventing starvation is most definitely one of the best things that someone/anyone can do. Saving lives, preserving life is actually of of the Maqasid/General-Maxims of Shari`ah/Islamic-Law: the Preservation of Life, which Allah makes very clear, as to the great merits of the preservation of life, within the Qur’an, itself.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.32)

Every March, in honor of Women’s-Day, there’s an annual awards ceremony, in New York City, honoring individuals, dedicated to Oxfam & all that it does for the world. Over 20 independent organizations, including an organization which I am a part of, Muslims Giving Back, the Muslim version of City Harvest, in New York City, came together, to celebrate & honor the immense accomplishments of 3 distinguished individuals, whom have dedicated their lives to food-justice…they are the following:

1. Leticia Alanis-

Co-Founder/Executive-Director of La Union in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. La Union is an organization of people of the global south working to advance the socio-economic and socio-cultural rights of communities where they live as well as communities which they’ve left behind, many within the state of Puebla, Mexico…One of these very important rights are access to healthy-food/healthy-food choices. Alanis states, “My goals are to advance social-justice goals, through dialogue and common-action, through my service to the empowerment of those affected by policies, but that rarely have a voice on their creation or implementation and working with those that have decision-making authority, to make systems work better for people.”.

2. Tanya Fields-

Executive-Director of the BLK Project, an organization seeking to address food-justice, public & mental health issues, as they specifically relate to under-served women of color, through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening, and community programming. She has worked with Mothers on the Move’s Environmental Justice Committee, and has served as an Outreach-Coordinator at Sustainable South Bronx, as an advocate for residents. Simultaneously, she is building a media company that seeks to unite women of the African Diaspora, through media, entertainment, and community projects. Recently, after being disinvited to speak at a conference on the food movement, she organized an event on February 16th, 2013, entitled, “Not Just Talk: Food in the South Bronx”. Her vision includes a democratic system that gives power back to communities and promotes sustainability.(http://www.ebony.com/news-views/activist-tanya-fields-on-race-class-and-the-food-justice-movement-406)

3. Winnifred Lee-

A former Co-Leader of Oxfam Action Corps, from 2009-2010, worked on a variety of farms, including: Wassaic Community Farm, along side memebers of the Malcom X Grassroots Movement & others from New York City communities, targeted by racism. As a former member of Oxfam, she had lobbied U.S.-Senators & U.S-Representatives, on Climate-Change, support for small-scale food producers, food-aid, and a global development strategy.

Oxfam is one of those pristine organizations, with an immaculate reputation for getting things done, as well as being very transparent, being able to see for one’s self all the boots-on-the-ground, frontline-work, which Oxfam, its workers, patrons, supporters, advocates, are 100% committed to. So, please, when it comes to Oxfam, give them your unyielding support, anytime/every time that you can.

Gareth Bryant/2013