“My belief is that if I can be a success, I can help make a difference for others.”
Philip was “beaten, yelled at, left alone and in the dark, abused, forced to fight to survive,” all while living with his birth family. But, he was saved when placed with Little Flower’s Wading River campus at five years old.
One of Philip’s happiest memories at Little Flower was with a foster parent who was very special to Philip. While listening to the cassette player the foster mother bought for him at the piers, it slipped out of Philip’s hands and fell into the water. He was devastated, but she didn’t blame him and gave him a hug and said “hey, accidents happen.” When he was with her all the worries he had about life went away and he felt like a normal kid.
A few years after living on campus, Philip was introduced to Patricia Morrow of Queens. Philip had given up all hope of being adopted and interrogated her when they met, asking many questions, like why she wanted to adopt him, why she thought he was special and more, all of which she answered without hesitation.
Still unconvinced, Patricia proved that she was really cared about Philip. When he was sick, she made the trip to Wading River to stand by his bedside until he felt better. He was able to spend time with Patricia at her home and for the first time in his life, Philip felt like he was part of a real, loving family and was overjoyed when she told him that he was going to live with her. Philip lived with Patricia for seven years and was adopted on his 18th birthday.
Philip went on to serve in the United States Army, where he acquired the necessary discipline and skills needed to be a leader. As a soldier, he led his platoon in physical training, weaponry skills, and marksmanship. During a 12-mile road march, he sprained his ankle and refused to see a nurse and appear weak. He wrapped his ankle up with socks and had two soldiers pull each of his boot laces as tight as they could and proceeded on. Despite his injury, Philip led his platoon and encouraged them to continue on even as they faltered; as a result he was recognized the next day for his bravery and leadership.
After the Army, Philip started a clothing line, Hocoo (pronounced HaKu). Hocoo came about while Philip was on his way to a job interview–he became extremely cold while waiting for the bus and realized his cell phone died. Looking down at his necktie, he wished it would heat up and charge his phone; this led to the creation of the first business professional necktie that keeps you warm in the winter and charges your phone–The Hocoo Comfort Tie.
Hocoo now includes The Hocoo Comfort Tie, regular neckties, belts, wallets, cufflinks, shirts, 24k gold watches, and hats as well as a ladies line, Lady Hocoo featuring unique and beautiful handbags. Philip’s goal is to donate $2 for every product sold from his clothing line to Little Flower.
“I know that when the right door opens I will achieve the level of success that will propel me to join the ranks of the great people that make Little Flower a place I still consider home and a place of solace for many children that need help and need of a step in the right direction. I want to serve as an example to my six children and the children at Little Flower that even through trials and tribulations you can achieve success if you’re willing to put forth the effort. I truly love Little Flower.”
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