One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for.
Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor.
Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. Ruth 3:1-3
On Saturday June 3, 2017, President of the National Council of Women of the United States (NCW/US) Mrs. Mary E. Singletary, received multiple honors at a tribute luncheon, hosted by the Friends of Mary E. Singletary. The event, held at Mayfair Farms, was held in recognition of the enormous work Mrs. Singletary has done in New Jersey, nationally and internationally.
Among the accolades flowing in the room, embellished with her friends from all the years of her work, were that
She is a woman of quantity, quality and longevity;
She goes out, seeks people and push them through the glass ceiling;
Mrs. Singletary “goes out seeks people and push them through the glass ceiling;
She’s is a modern day heroine like Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman;
She should be immortalized as a learning tool for other young women;
As an 88-year young New Jersey resident, four days a week, she treks to office – an hour ride into New York City (across the UN Headquarters);
The Newark Council President, Honorable Mildred C. Crump cupped the accolades declaring that “everyone should have a Mary Singletary;”
I would add my own: Mrs. Mary E. Singletary never wants anyone to fail; but more importantly for me, she loves connecting people to work together for greater good of marginalized people around the world.
Who is Mrs. Mary Singletary? And why all the pomp? Why all the circumstance? I was privileged to meet Mrs. Singletary when she invited the Ambassador and staff of the Malawi Mission to the UN, to attend a breakfast and later in the day a seminar. After reading that there would be Ann Gloag, who wanted to build a fistula hospital in Malawi, I invested to a dawn wake up to enable me make the 8 a.m. breakfast meeting.
Right away, Mrs. Singletary introduced me to Mrs. Gloag, the millionaire philanthropist who have “been talking with Bill and Tom (former President of the US Bill Clinton and billionaire Tom Hunter). She’d been talking to these two about space in their Lilongwe hospital. She had asked them for 12 beds to set up a fistula hospital.
She got my 100 percent attention. Malawi would be the second.
But the two big lads wouldn’t have it. She was told to get permission from the Government of Malawi; and as she was having trouble, could I help her? The request was echoed by Mrs. Singletary. With permission from my Ambassador Steve Matenje, I connected Mrs. Gloag to then Vice President Joyce Banda, who ensured of its completion.
Malawi has a fistula hospital. Slightly changed, the new fistula unit at Bwaila District Hospital, has a new major theater and a 28 bed inpatient unit.
The next Malawi project Mrs. Singletary had was collating items into Mama Kits. These are bags (similar to layettes for mother and baby, would be given to pregnant women; by the time they have the baby, they would already have basic provisions required. Eight hundred sets were assembled with the assistance from college students from the NYU.
Mrs Singletary did not stop there; always calling to her office so we could strategies on the next project to raise funds and submit them to Malawi.
The highlight of our relationship, reached a crescendo when again she called me to her office and told me she had amassed books from the US and wanted to take them to Malawi. There were 50,000.
That is a lot of books, however Mrs Singletary has a vision of bringing joy to children and hear them read from the books; and she believes that that one book has the power to change a multitude of lives., When the Malawi Mission could not afford to pick up the freight costs, Mrs. Singletary partnered with the United Parcel Service. Under the company’s “Your Wishes Delivered,” Mrs Singletary brought books to Malawi and distributed to primary and secondary students.
My role in this was to connect her with officials in Malawi who would receive the books and facilitate distributing them to the students. In this I was fortunate that Honorable Patricia Kaliati. She graciously agreed to receive the books, arrange for three to four schools and distribute in the local schools. This was November 2014.
Mrs. Mary Singletary is a teacher, mentor, instructor, coach; she encourages and gives advice. And she’s a powerful resource for organizations, women and girl. She is a connector: simply put, she brings powerful synergies to any group. Mrs. Singletary is also someone who connects people, creating powerful virtuous cycles of philanthropic excellence.
Other tribute speakers, which reads like a Who’s Who of philanthropists, political figures and members of African countries where Mrs. Singletary, presented Mrs. Singletary with tributes in the form of resolutions. The tribute speakers were Mary White, Club Sister (BPW)/Friend; New Jersey Senator, Honorable Nia Gill; Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver(Speaker of the House); New Jersey Fourth Ward Councilor of Montclair, Honorable Renee E. Baskerville; Rose Ivy Quartier, former Secretary General, National Council of Ghanaian Associations Inc.