MelRo’s Foundation

As much as I love drinking and making coffee, by far the best part of my job as a barista is the people I meet every morning.

And among all the great interactions I’ve had, I would say the most notable person I’ve met is MelRo.

Miss MelissaRoshan Potter started coming to the cafe where I used to work whenever she was in town for business or visiting friends. Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, she was always light and cheery, and never without something positive to contribute to any conversation. Maybe it was because I always remembered to make her iced chai lattes with almond milk, maybe she noticed a similar light within me, but we clicked immediately and exchanged information to become friends outside of the server-custie narrative.

As we got to know each other, she always encouraged me to do great in what I was pursuing and never to let anyone look down on me for the journey that led me there. It wasn’t until we connected on Instagram and Facebook that I saw how her story was a testament to every word of encouragement that she gave me.

I will let you read about her life on her website and social media profiles, but a brief summary, MelRo grew up in twenty-three different foster homes, suffered abuse, and was a teen mom at risk of homelessness. She was discovered for modeling, giving her the power to take control of her life and a platform to reach out to kids in similar situations.

She has dedicated her life to advocating for fostered youth, from speaking at schools and organizations across the country to now, building a school in Ghana for homeless children.

After a trip to Ghana, she returned feeling compelled to make a real change in the lives of the children she met there, seeing herself in them. She’s spent this year launching MelRo’s Foundation, a Ghanaian based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), purchasing land to build a school and housing for over 100 orphaned youth, and building the facility with an aggressive goal of an August 2018 completion, because the need for shelter is so great. Classes will begin September 7th, and the upcoming students are already excited and preparing for the opening ceremonies.






I have not seen this woman sit down since the launching of this project. Every time I check in with her, she’s in a different town, either speaking to kids or training future foster parents, or she’s working in cosmetics as a freelance makeup artist, or she’s running shoe and clothing drives for the approaching school year. She is picking up work as necessary to see this dream into fruition on her own if she has to. I am ever inspired by her tenacity. And on top of donating myself, I wanted to spread the word with this post. MelRo has a gofundme fundraiser for the Foundation, and the goal to raise $11,100 is close to being reached. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the building and development of the school. MelRo has been diligent in posting constant status updates on the gofundme page, as well as her Instagram and Facebook profiles. Please contribute to the cause if you feel led to. Of course give what you can, but as a meaningful statement of support, MelRo asks for just $23, one dollar for each foster home she lived in growing up.

If you can’t help monetarily, the Foundation is in need of supplies for the students and workers. Below is the last update she shared regarding the needs for the project.

Even sharing this post or any of her statuses on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, is a huge help. I look forward to seeing MelRo change the lives of these children in Ghana. I hope to travel with her on one of her trips in the next year to see the school, meet the students, and help out. Thanks for reading and helping contribute to the project!

Here’s the Gofundme page one more time: MelRo’s Foundation


I’m Done With PFCU

“It’s good to be back!”

That is what I would say if I were writing the post I originally planned for today. But if this situation I am writing about instead was the flame to get me going, well then, so be it. I might as well make something good out of it. Cue rant!

I am taking recommendations for a new bank, or credit union, or whatever. Because first thing tomorrow, I am canceling my account with the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.

I walked over to my local branch this afternoon to deposit some cash into checking. They recently installed two new ATM machines that both accept deposits, rather than only one with the function previously. I enter my card into the machine, which it keeps instead of a quick swipe, go through all of the menu options, and get my cash ready to insert. It’s more than 50 bills, so I entered half of the stack at a time. It took a while, but save for two rejected bills, the machine counted my money and I was ready to confirm the deposit. I hit “Finish my deposit,” and it first gives me a screen saying it was processing. Then the screen switched to a cancellation screen.

This Screen

A green light flashes over the deposit slot, and my bills peek out of the dispenser. For a second.

As I grab the money, it starts leaving my hand and re-enters the machine. And the door to the deposit slot closes back up. The screen remains the same, and after waiting a few minutes, nothing changed.

I looked up PFCU’s number on my phone, and call, hoping to just ask a representative to step outside and help me. The branch closed at 2pm. It was 2:55pm. I waited in the automated menu for maybe an option for a 24 hour customer service line to be sent to. That wasn’t an option on the line.

As I attract attention in my frustration by other PFCU members waiting for the ATM, one woman asks about what was going on, and pulled out her card to find another customer service number. They do have a 24 hour line, so I thanked her and called them.

The only options given to me were for debit card activation, a lost or stolen card, or a lost or stolen device. Considering the ATM had my card and wouldn’t release it, I pressed “2” for a lost or stolen card.

I was transferred to a representative named Allie, and when I explained to her my situation, she said she couldn’t do anything, and offered to give me the number to the main customer service line.

“Do you have a pen and paper?”

“No, I am outside at an ATM and this was my sole purpose for leaving my house at the moment. I don’t have anything on me now except my phone considering this ATM machine took my card and $98. I would appreciate if you could transfer me to the proper authority to fix this problem.”

She transfers me.

To the same line I had previously called to the direct branch that informed me that customer service hours were over.

I call the 24 hour line again. After going back and forth with the next person in a similar way as Allie, he did actually make some kind of effort. But all he could do was cancel my card, should it ever be ejected from that piece of shit machine.

At this point, three incredibly sweet women from the growing line were tapping on windows and knocking on the doors to see if there were any representatives who had not yet left, because a few lights were still on inside.

Nobody came out, and the associate on the line said nothing could be done about the cash I tried to deposit. The only thing he could do was give me the same bullshit number to call in the morning, and enter “an extensive note” on my account for the next representative I speak with.  I asked him to include in that note that a representative should instead be contacting me for the major incovenience, and if I don’t receive that call, which I’m pretty sure I won’t, I will be back at that branch in person at open to close my account. But honestly, I’m closing my account anyway, because this hasn’t been the first time PFCU has given me issue, and I don’t appreciate anyone messing with my money. But this was certainly the most absurd and most time consuming and infuriating.

As I walk back home, defeated and angry, I hear, “Don’t you let this situation ruin your day!” One of the women who was trying to help called out from her car. There’s something about strangers caring, that will really overwhelm you when you’re having a bad day. So for everyone in line who tried to help or even just sympathized and said sorry this was happening, I appreciate you all. I’m going to take that vibe instead of my frustrated one and finish out my day, thanks. But before I do so,

Screw you, PFCU.

Now for the good vibes for the rest of the weekend.