Voice & Vision Blog

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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When is a Vitamin Not a Vitamin?

When is a vitamin not a vitamin? When it’s actually a hormone. “Vitamin” D is a hormone our bodies produce in response to sunlight, and it is profoundly important for good health. Like all hormones, vitamin D is essentially a messenger chemical that sends information from one body part to another in order to regulate body processes. If the body’s vitamin D levels are insufficient to send these messages properly, illness is inevitable. Scientists have long known that vitamin D is essential to the...

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The Road Trip

The autumn when my daughter Alison was 19, she and one of her best friends decided to drive from our home in Anchorage, Alaska to visit friends and relatives in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Since she was no longer a minor, Alison didn’t have to get our permission to go; but out of respect, she asked for our blessing. No small undertaking, the mileage for this trip would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500 miles, many of those on the infamous ALCAN (Alaska-Canada) Highway—notorious...

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Bruce Mitchell: A Tribute to a Beloved Co-worker and Friend

Bruce Mitchell – a man of honor, service and grace!  Voice and Vision employees and Board were so sad to hear of Bruce’s passing on Saturday, June 20th, 2015.   Bruce began working at Voice and Vision in 2011.  He was kind, generous, sweet, smart, intuitive and encouraging.  He worked on CFST and IM4Q as a supporter and interviewer.  He helped with College Plus.  Two years ago he started Voice and Vision’s Veteran’s Program working with a veteran,...

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Overcomers: Escaping Generational Poverty

Jean grew up poor; her parents were what today would be called “working poor.” They worked hard but only earned enough to get by. They were kind, generous people but did not encourage Jean to rise above their own meager means. Jean’s mother was killed in a car accident when Jean was only 15. Jean suffered from poor self-esteem, which seems to have caused her to fall prey to abusive men. When she married the first—within a year after her mother’s death—her siblings disapproved of her choice and...

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The Staycation

When my husband and I moved back to Philly after 24 years elsewhere, it wasn’t really by choice. I mean it was—in that no one forced us to move—but Philly wasn’t a place either of us ever thought we’d live again. We were used to living in a suburban setting—having some air around us and a bit of separation from neighbors. But our mothers were doing poorly and we felt like being near them was the right thing to do. So we moved. Shortly after coming back here, I went to a farewell party for a new...

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You Don’t Have to Catch It!

I was having the most perfect day. Believe it or not, this most perfect day included having a diagnostic test that I’d been told was dreadful—an EMG, or electromyogram. My doctor warned me not to read the horror stories about it on the Internet, so I didn’t.  I did ask my daughter if she could get time off from work to go with me. I was having the test done at the University of Pennsylvania, where she works. She made arrangements to take a few hours off; I picked her up first thing in the...

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The Worth of Water

Most of us know that the human body is around 75 percent water. What we may not know is that not drinking enough water to maintain that 75 percent can cause illness—serious illness; so says Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. in his book, You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty. His research suggests that the cause of many serious diseases is “unintentional chronic dehydration.” “Dr. B’s” back-story is riveting; he was a political prisoner in Iran for two and a half years. Late one night an inmate was carried...

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Overcomers: Parenting a Child with Asperger’s Syndrome

Amber had never heard of Asperger’s when she realized something wasn’t quite right with her then three-year-old son, Taye.  Their pediatrician repeatedly told her not to worry; but as a mother, Amber knew better. She spent the next three years scanning the Internet, trying to figure out why her son was so different from other children. When she heard someone mention Asperger’s on a TV show, she immediately went to the computer and searched for the symptoms. What she read made the pieces fit,...

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