"It Takes a Village"   

"When Leonard Abess Jr. sold his Miami bank, he gave away
$60 MILLION - out of his own pocket - to employees. A tale of loyalty repaid."
-Martha Brannigan, The Miami Herald, February 15, 2009


From left: Joyce Andrews; Peggy Foulkes; Jack LaMont; Leonard Abess Jr.; Virginia Dunn; Linda Naueton;
Carleatha Barbary; and Shirley Taylor.

How does Mr. Abess' generosity tie into the "village" concept one might ask? Well, plenty. My name is Guy Barbary, son of Carleatha Barbary - Bank Manager. Even though Mr. Abess' generosity may not have been as advertised as it was on February 2009, my siblings and I benefited significantly from it for most of our lives. In fact, many of the choices and opportunities afforded to me was because of the stability, appreciation, and respect shown to the bank employees, in particularly my mother.

        To my parents Roy and Carleatha Barbary and Leonard Abess Jr. and his family, I truly thank you all for being an intricate part of my "village".  Furthermore, my hope and desire is that I too can be a blessing in others lives, and continue to mirror your examples.  Subsequently, how do I get others to then mirror my examples?  

"Not by might nor by power. But by spirit" says the Lord. - Zechariah 4:6

 I've dreamed about it, and I've talked about it, and now, I am finally ready to "Be" about it! T.U.F.F. Kids is my dream, and it is also where my spirit has lead me. As I've gotten older, and next year I'll be 50, I often reflect, as people do, on things that I wish I would have done. A process often fueled by vanity and pride - I say that because vanity and pride is usually what distracts us from what we could or should be doing.

      Granted, like most, I don't have $60 million to give away, but I do however have 60 minutes of my time that I could give away once or twice a week-if I really wanted too.  Then, by faith I set sail into the unknown, with humility as my wind and God as my guide.  Although I've been told, "It's not always as important to know where your going, as much as it is to know who's leading you there"  So, if you, like myself have genuine concerns about what's happening to our children, then let's try to rekindle the "village" concept and start working together towards reshaping our country.  "No man is an island."-John Donne

-Guy Barbary, A.S., Physical Therapist Assistant, Founder, Veteran
                                      "It's not just Ok, that I'm Ok"!

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