Historical Gift sent to the White House representing

the 2M Veteran Women in the US.

 

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AMOR umbrella is a Military-Veteran, & Women Empowerment Advocate and Support Agency

 

Earlier this year a guest in our podcast Founder Time by AMOR umbrella, episode # 16 with Makissa Lewis, a veteran women and founder of My Seester ,suggested that our signature product, one of our Heart Shaped umbrellas should be signed by several of our Florida women veterans and then it should be sent to the White House in order represent the 2M+ veteran women that reside in the US.  Florida being the 3rd state with one of the largest populations of women veterans.

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As a veteran myself and the founder of Amor umbrella, I was honored by the suggestion and for the opportunity to honor our military-veteran community. 

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I took on the challenge and with that goal in mind, I embarked on a nearly year-long journey to make it happen.

Along the year, we  collaborated with several organizations to organize events to gather the signatures required.

One of those events was an afternoon retreat in beautiful Vizcaya Museum and Gardens here in Miami, FL where we invited our fellow veterans to take the time to relax and enjoy the beautiful settings.

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Photos credit: Niurka Castaneda

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In another event we collaborated with a local nonprofit Fishing with America Finest to organize another afternoon retreat where we took several veteran fishing to the Everglades.

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Photos credit: Niurka Castaneda

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Photo credit: Zulema Reyes

As part of this collaboration we also filmed a 2 part episode featuring the work that Fishing with America Finest and his founder CPT Neal Stark does for our veterans and their families, showing now exclusively in legrity.media

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We feel that it was important to represent every branch, so we went to meet the brave women serving in the reserve guard in person

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Photo credit: Niurka Castaneda

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The Historical Thanksgiving Gift was sent to the White House for our Vice President. It was created and sent with the intention to represent our 2M+ women veterans in unity and with the collaboration of Civilian Minorities and Veteran Small Owned Businesses.

 

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To finalize wrapping and putting together this special gift, I have to personally travel to Boston, MA to meet our new friends and collaborators that were such an incredible asset to this project. We wanted to reflect the diversity of our veteran women, so every detail that made the gift had a special meaning.

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 We can now say:

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

The Historical Thanksgiving Gift was mailed roughly at 620 AM on Friday 19 Nov 2021. 

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Photo credit: Nefertiti San Miguel

Photo credit: Niurka Castaneda

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Curious note: The post office were we mailed from is steps away from the original Boston Tea Party.

photo credit: TripSavvy / Violet Smirnova

Address: 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210, USA

 

What was the gift?
A very elaborated mixed media art creation that took almost a full year to complete.

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What was included?

A red heart shaped umbrella with the signatures of X number of veteran women from across the country (include picture). What, once upon a time, got started as an entrepreneurial class project, now is a movement representing the rich cultural diversity of our Veteran Woman, from all military branches.

THE UMBRELLA
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A handwritten note that explained what was included in the gift.
 
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THE GIFT
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A two color, purple and gold (symbolizing the Purple Heart Award) multipurpose Tenugui Cloth, to be first used as eco-friendly gift wrapping material and then worn as a shawl, in honor of our Vice-President South Asian heritage.

Designed by Nefertiti San Miguel & Etnia Fusion + Friends.  

Photo credit: Nefertiti San Miguel

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Meet Nefertiti San Miguel
Mixed Media Artist,
Designer and Founder of Etnia Fusion + Friends
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 A two color, purple and gold (symbolizing the Purple Heart Award) multipurpose Tenugui Cloth, to be first used as eco-friendly gift wrapping material and then worn as a shawl, in honor of our Vice-President South Asian heritage.
Designed by Nefertiti San Miguel & Etnia Fusion + Friends.  
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A black and red leather traveling case, handmade in USA.
Designed by Niurka Castañeda & Nefertiti San Miguel.
Crafted by Dodson Designs. 
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Photo credit: Nefertiti San Miguel

Photo credit: Niurka Castaneda

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Displaying the case at the steps of Harvard University.

Photo credit: Niurka Castaneda

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An stylish, durable and practical traveling case handcraft in USA by Donald Dodson, a veteran and owner of Dodson Designs 
Photo credit: Donald Dodson
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ORIGAMI
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A two part Origami Scrapbook (greeting card)
designed by Nefertiti San Miguel and Danigami.
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A set of custom wooden military tags made by fellow veteran, and former marine Frank Manteau owner of Kamikaze Wood Werks to represent AMOR umbrella, the organizer of the event and the designer Nefertiti San Miguel that collaborated in putting together the gift and both our organizations's missions.

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A lavender sachet was also included with the gift.
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A photo-journal illustrating our almost one year dedication to make this project a tangible reality.

Designed by Niurka Castaneda & Nefertiti San Miguel.

 

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Meet Niurka Castaneda
Veteran and Founder of AMOR Umbrella

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Meet Nancy Griffin
Fashion and Custom Designer
This was a project unlike any other I have completed. Nefertiti and I began our four-hour preliminary planning meeting to discuss basic concepts; followed by couple of trips to shop for fabrics. We, then spent three hours applying design concepts and modifying them. Continued by three hours of cutting, lining up, and pinning the fabrics we chose. It took four hours to construct and finish sewing various pieces and parts of the final designs, by hand and by machine. I invested a total of fourteen active hours on this project. 

I'm not counting time invested in a myriad of phone calls and visits between Nefertiti, Niurka, and I because there's no way of tallying that. It was an exciting, technical, challenging and at times frustrating process but we did it!

Happy and proud of what we accomplished! - Nancy Griftin

We celebrated the culmination of all our hard work here at my home in New Hampshire with an autumn dinner which I had prepared:

A homegrown squash, apple, onion, and carrot cream bisque, followed by garden salad and roasted chicken, with coffee and homemade sugar cookies for dessert. After this brief respite, we then spent three hours in my dance studio compiling and dressing the set, filming and taking stills of displays and welcoming Hawaiian ceremonial chants and prayers by Nefertiti and myself, along with festive remarks by all three of us. This was a fantastic and gratifying way to wrap up the most memorable of projects! - Nancy Griftin

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There were so many parties involved in this effort that we turned to  the best legal advisor that we know and trust when comes to any legal matters, he is not only a brilliant Attorney at Fortis LLP, but a veteran as well: Andy Nelson 
We will keep updating this page with more details and pictures in order to tell you the whole story.
 
 
Learn more about the special group of people that were involved in this project
 
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Meet Donald Dodson from Dodson Designs
 
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Meet Etnia Fusion + Friends 
 
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Meet Nefertiti San Miguel
Mixed Media Artist,
Designer and Founder of Etnia Fusion + Friends

Nefertiti San Miguel is an international mixed-media artist, performer, cultural diversity advocate and trailblazer who has long been raising eyebrows in many different industries. With a reputation for rocking her eclectic style, she is the founder of Etnia Fusion, a Boston based small enterprise dedicated to promoting and cultivating multiculturalism through educational programs, functional art and dance. Nefertiti has been featured on radio and television programs, web series, YouTube Channels, newspapers and magazines across the nation, and over the last year has been garnering international attention from podcasts in New Zealand, Canada and Australia. She is currently pursuing new endeavors: teaching therapeutic arts, advocating for mental health, independently working on neuroscience research and sharing her talents with AmorUmbrella, a Veterans Organization serving military women transitioning into civil life.

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Danigami is an award winning Origamist who has been practicing his craft for more than 15 years. He enjoys showing young and old alike that anything is possible through the Japanese art of paper-folding. He has been featured artist at several gallery exhibits but his real joy comes with selling his wares at local craft fairs and interacting with all walks of life. 
 
He currently resides in Winthrop (MA) with his husband, holds a full time job as 911 dispatcher at the Boston Police Station and since 2015 has been sharing his talents intermittently with Nefertiti San Miguel & Etnia Fusion + Friends. Danigami and Nefertiti not only have in common a lifetime dedication to cultivating different Nipponese art forms but also they bond in a special way over the same fondness for Halloween Season and appreciation of Asian aesthetics. 
Vincent Liu (also fondly known as Mr. Nutty in the Etnia Fusion world) is a vivid portraitist and videographer, pursuing a graduate degree in the field of Digital Media Design at Harvard University. Through his creativity and exploration of innovative concepts, he aims to transcend the artistic world with technological platforms. When not absorbed in the dynamics and intricacies of computer syntax Vincent enjoys conceptualizing ideas for short films and capturing the beauty of urban society in his sketchbook. He is the most recent addition to Etnia Fusion + Friends

As creative individuals Vincent and Nefertiti (Founder of Etnia Fusion + Friends) naturally connected immediately as a synergy of artistic energy flowed through them upon first encounter back in Spring of 2020. Ever since, the two have enjoyed their friendship immensely as they have shared some holidays together and frequently engage in exciting excursions throughout the city of Boston in search of decadent culinary experiences and spirit drinks. Those outings have been named: Destination Unknown…
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He currently resides in Winthrop (MA) with his husband, holds a full time job as 911 dispatcher at the Boston Police Station and since 2015 has been sharing his talents intermittently with Nefertiti San Miguel & Etnia Fusion + Friends. Danigami and Nefertiti not only have in common a lifetime dedication to cultivating different Nipponese art forms but also they bond in a special way over the same fondness for Halloween Season and appreciation of Asian aesthetics. 
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Nancy Griffin is a consummate multimedia artist, a professional fashion and costume designer / creator and consultant for stage, screen, weddings, and special events. These talents grew out of her vocation as a performer and teacher of traditional Near / Middle Eastern and Hawaiian cultural dance. Since 2017 she has been a beloved member of Etnia Fusion + Friends. In 2022, she will be celebrating 40 years in the fashion and entertainment industry! 
 
She is a choreographer, writer, producer, and director of professional performances, for both group and solo format. She is a repeat performer in Canada, the East and West Coasts of the continental US, The Big Island of Hawai'i, and Oahu.
  
 
Nancy is also a published author, having co-written the book “See You Further Down the Road” with fellow dance artist, Dorothea O`Regan, a memoir of their fascinating synchronicities, travels, and discoveries, separately and together.
 She’s always in anticipation of new and wonderful opportunities in creation, education and sharing insights in her journeys!
 
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The journey of the gift for the VP was only the beginning of our efforts to represent the 2M+ Veteran Women ( 10% of our general veteran population) in the US.  
 
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We cannot thank enough to all the individuals, organizations, veterans and supporters that showed up, inspired me to start this movement and collaborated to make it a reality. More pictures to follow illustrating the epic efforts invested into this year long project.

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