There are certain people who send positive vibes through you from the minute you start a conversation with them. I just spent an hour talking to one of those people: Carmina Coello. From the beginning of our conversation, I felt positive energy building up inside of me. When we finished our conversation, I immediately started typing- hoping to capture some of her spirit to share with you.
Carmina is a single mom of twins. She has been raising her son and daughter by herself since they were 4-years old…they are now 12. When she was divorced, she went back to work as a teacher and found herself struggling to balance the responsibilities of motherhood with a job outside the home. She had the opportunity to go into a family business that her parents had started when she was a young girl. The job is taking care of mentally disabled adults.
She shares her home with 6 mentally disabled women whom she considers part of her family. She gets them up each morning, helps them get dressed, prepares a healthy breakfast and packs 8 lunches. Then she drives each of her family members to a job that is provided by the state after she drops her twins at school. Around 2:30 she starts the process of picking everyone up and fills their afternoon with excercise, art and other outings. Her 12-year-old twins particpate in the afternoon activities as well. In addition to the daily routine, Carmina also takes her 6 family members and 2 children on short trips to Palm Springs, Las Vegas and other places of interest. She does this on her own and has to prepare for every situation- this is no small feat.
While the story above is inspirational, there is more! Carmina is working to raise money to open a shelter for homeless and destitute women in the South Bay. Carmina is a devout Christian. One day she felt a strong feeling that told her christianity is more than going to church- it is taking action. Two hours after this strong feeling came over her, she received a call from her friend Jozanne Hutchinson who had been looking for a way to help all of the homeless women she encountered- especially those who had children. Jozanne explained her struggle to find a way to create opportunities and provide support to get these women off the street. When she called Carmina- she knew that this was the “action” that was calling her.
While the project is still in it’s beginning stages, the fact that these two women find time in their busy schedule to raise money for such a worthy cause is amazing. Carmina credits her endless energy to her balanced lifestyle: eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and focusing on all she has been blessed with. She refuses to dwell on those things that didn’t turn out exactly has she had planned. On the days that she feels exhausted, she relies on her faith to inspire her.
The fact that these women are taking steps to help others who need it so dearly is quite an inspiration. Carmina is an amazing person who exudes warmth and positive energy. I am certain that Carmina and Jozanne will accomplish their goal to provide shelter and opportunity for change to these women who need it so badly.
An event has been planned to raise awareness and money for the homeless shelter she hopes to establish. The event is a concert/dance on June 28th at the James Armstrong Theatre in Torrance. If you would like to support Carmina and Jozanne’s effort to raise money, you can donate money or buy a ticket by following the link: http://sonsplash.eventbrite.com