Voice & Vision Blog

Frozen Feet

On New Year’s Day my friend Sue and I went back and forth about whether we felt like going to the Mummers’ Parade. (If you aren’t familiar with this event, it is a 116-year-old tradition involving approximately 10,000 people, dancing and/or playing instruments, while wearing wildly elaborate costumes—truly a unique piece of Philadelphia culture.) My husband and I live very close to the old parade route, close enough that we used to hear string band music inside our house throughout New Year’s...

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2015 Highlights & Happy New Year!

Hello Friends, We hope you are enjoying the holidays and are looking forward to a new year!  Voice and Vision has a lot to celebrate as we close out 2015 and enter 2016.  Please celebrate with us as you read some of the highlights of 2015: •Our new website was launched – including this blog •H.A.N.D.- Hope and New Directions became an integral part of College Plus •The Bucks County Resource Guide – written for families by “Families Who have Walked the Walk”-...

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Overdone: How Surrendering One Thing is Making My Season Brighter

I sat down a few weeks ago, planning to write a story about thankfulness, to be posted in time for Thanksgiving. I was looking forward to writing it because thankfulness (being more thankful) is something I’ve been working on lately. I thought I’d mention the gratitude journal I’ve been keeping and how I’m nudging myself to look for the “up” side of every situation. (To be honest, I can’t always find an “up” side, but I keep trying!) I wanted to write about how thankfulness has made me a happier...

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Thank You for Your Service

I was sitting on a bench on the subway platform, on my way into center city for an appointment, when a pleasant looking older man came down the stairs and sat next to me. I couldn’t help but notice he was protectively holding a framed certificate of some sort on his lap. I knew it was none of my business, but I couldn’t resist commenting. I nodded toward the document and said, “I don’t know what that’s for, but congratulations!” As the man turned toward me, his face lit up! He thanked me and said...

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Chester County Staff Certified in Mental Health First Aid

Chester County C/FST team members (pictured left to right are Kelly Frizen, Ana O’Campo Gonzalez, Jane Rawlings, and Joan Martin) became certified in Mental Health First Aid on October 22nd.  More than being an excellent ‘team’ day opportunity, the training provided C/FST with a simple model for use when encountering someone who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.  The training is based on a curriculum first created in Australia, hence the cute koala often tossed around...

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Overcomers: Parenting Multiple Children with Special Needs

The term “special needs child” is commonplace these days. It’s likely we all know someone who has a child with special needs. It’s understood that parenting a child with special needs is a huge undertaking and a labor of extreme love—the thought of parenting more than one of these unique children at the same time, however, is mind-boggling. Recently, I met Anne*—a wonderfully upbeat woman who has three children—all of whom have “special needs.” As if coping with her children’s difficulties was...

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Friendship Will Leave Footprints in Your Life

  Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia:  24th Annual Friendship Recognition Luncheon Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart.”  Surely we saw examples of true friendships and large footprints through the fellowship and stories shared at the 24th Annual Compeer Friendship Recognition Luncheon on September 26th. A time of eating, sharing stories, gathering matched friends and meeting new friends as well...

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The Boxer on the Boardwalk

Early one day during a break at the Jersey shore, I climbed the stairs to a deck overlooking the boardwalk. It was a gorgeous morning with cool breezes sweeping in off the ocean. Heat from the sun was already breaking through the morning fog and it was obvious that the day was shaping up to be a hot one—perfect for basking on the beach. As I sipped my coffee, I watched a parade of people going by on the boardwalk below—vacationers out getting some exercise before the day got too warm. I saw people...

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QUIET!!

We live in a very noisy world. The noises we encounter every day are not just annoying, they also have the potential to permanently damage our hearing. When we are assaulted by loud sounds, tiny hair cells deep inside our ears can be harmed. These cells cannot be repaired or replaced, so once they’ve been damaged, our ability to hear is forever diminished. While there are other causes for hearing loss, noise is the most common cause for hearing loss in the United States. It is estimated...

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