Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Costas for Sylvia's Children

  Name: Michele & Tony Costa. Yes, we are related as sister and brother.                
What is your job? Michele is a Fashion designer by day and drag racer on the weekend. I’m a Financial Advisor by day and musician by night.

What social causes are most important to you? We both support education for the underprivileged, children’s health and animal rights.

What charity do you support – and how? Sylvia’s Children is the main one. We are on the board of directors/trustees of the charity.

Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie? 
Our mother Sylvia started the charity in 2003 after visiting Uganda, Africa with a mission group. It wasn’t until 2007 that we got involved during our first trip to Africa and to the Mbiriizi Advanced Primary and Day Care School in Uganda. Once we saw the children at the school and how much the teachers and staff loved them, we had to get involved; it was too great of a calling not to be.

Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved? 
We would both say any way you can; we do not limit anyone or have a ‘minimum’ for involvement. If you can help through volunteering, we would love to have you. If you can make a donation, that would be fantastic. If you want to come with us to Africa and work at the school, let us know because we run two to three trips a year and would love to talk to you about it.

Have you done a song about this topic, or dedicated a song to a charity?   
Yes, a song called “Jambo.” Jambo is a Swahili word that means ‘Welcome’ and was the first word I learned there. The song is a finger picked guitar instrumental that I wrote just before the first trip. I played for the students at the school who were the first people to hear it and they loved it. They also love me for sharing it with them. I called it ‘Jambo’ because that’s what they did, made me feel so welcome.

How would you define social responsibility? 
We would both say pay it forward and take responsibility. Give someone a chance at the opportunities you have been given and then commit and see it through.  

Do you have any tattoos that relate to your social/charitable beliefs/work? 
Michele has ‘Live with purpose’ tattooed on her right forearm, which reminds her everyday to make a difference in the world. Our next tattoos are the African names we were given on our first trip.

Quick list of artists: 
We both have all our tattoos done at Rising Dragon Tattoo in New York City by Darren.

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