Voice & Vision Blog

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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Silver Linings

A while back I began noticing an epidemic of bad posture—otherwise healthy people of all ages, their shoulders slumped forward, necks craned out in front, heads arriving everywhere a second ahead of the rest of their bodies. (Presumably a side effect of long hours spent hunched over computers and cell phones.) I found myself feeling sorry for these people and wondering if they knew what was happening to them. While shopping one day, I tried on an outfit in a dressing room that had large mirrors...

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College Plus: College, Mentoring, Success! Grant Received

For our fourth year in a row, College Plus received a grant from the Joseph Jocelino Gaskill Education Fund through The Philadelphia Foundation. The amount we received this year was $3,332.70. The fund was established in 2010 by Joseph and Almerinda Gaskill in honor of their late son who died prematurely as a result of an undiagnosed mental illness. This grant helps Voice and Vision’s College Plus Program to fund and support people who have mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders to...

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