Thursday, December 19, 2013

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

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Do you ever feel like you want to do something to make the world a better place but you just don't know where to start?

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Here are some ways you might be able to make a difference this Holiday season.

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Help someone you know.
Make a status on facebook and ask any of your friends that are having a difficult time this year to send you a message. Sometimes, the people you know might be embarrassed to share their struggles. You might never know someone is hurting, unless you ask. 
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When they write back look at their specific situation and see how you can help. Maybe you can meet them at the gas station and buy them a tank of gas. Maybe you can help with Christmas gifts for their children. 
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Just do something. Help in whatever way you can. Ask them what they need. Paying an electric bill is not as much fun as buying their children Christmas gifts, but it is important. used photo 871c8e00-6dbe-4757-b2f8-fe4821f4ea17_zps3f68fab8.jpg

Help someone who lost their job.
If someone you know has recently lost a job they are probably struggling. Many people will qualify for unemployment after losing a job, but unemployment does not typically pay an entire salary. 
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You can help someone by buying them some groceries or giving them a gift card to the grocery store. 

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Help an animal.
You can visit your local shelter and see if you can help. If you have time you can volunteer. You can also help by giving a bag of food or litter. Ask the shelter what they need most and then give it if you can. 

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Help a child.

Everyone likes to help a child by giving a gift. If you don't know any children you can help, you can call the local elementary school and ask if there is a child in need. The school might not be able to share the child's name, but they will be able to tell you a grade and gender.
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 You can google for gifts that the child would like. If you get them something to read, something to play with and something to wear, you will be sure to ensure they have a sweet Christmas. Be sure to take your gifts to  their school before they get out for Winter break. 

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Help a stranger. 

Do you live near a city? You can help someone that is homeless or hurting. 
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Often these are people that begging in the intersection have lived a more difficult life than you could ever imagine. It is so easy to shake our heads and say (or think) "Why don't they get a job?" Maybe this Holiday season, instead of thinking those things, you can give them a new pair of gloves, a few dollars or a hug. Your love and help can make a difference. 

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You can always make a difference. 

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“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” 

Mother Teresa

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday :: December, 2013 :: the Creativity Project

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We went really crazy with our theme this month:

Thanksgiving was pretty wonderful for our family. 

Our circle is growing! 
It was so much fun to visit all of the posts last month. 

Hop on over to visit everyone's favorite Jersey Girl,
She always has the best posts.

We would be thrilled if you would share a Holiday picture on our facebook wall. You can share Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or anything else you are celebrating at this time of year. 
We absolutely love seeing all of your images on our wall each month. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm thankful for you.

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Of all the things I am thankful for, 
 I am most thankful for you.

How do crazy people walk through a forest?
They take the psycho path. 

These pictures are from last Thanksgiving.
 I am such a slacker, I don't have any thing new of my favorite little pumpkin.
Please don't disown me.

Friday, November 22, 2013

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

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Happy 2nd Birthday to Max!

Here is a little Friday bonus for you.

What do you call cheese that's not yours?

Nacho cheese.

I am wishing you a weekend filled with more joy than you can even imagine.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Drug Free PA: Media Literacy and Prevention Seminar @DFPA

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Drug Free Pennsylvania hosted a Media Literacy and Prevention Seminar in October.
It was fantastic.
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This workshop was interactive and thought provoking. 
Our teacher, 
Renee Hobbs, was passionate about this subject.

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We talked about the way media influences children (and also grownups!)
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There are many dangerous messages that our children are presented with in the shows they watch and the music they hear.

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Alcohol use is glamorized in the media. Our children are presented with dangerous messages constantly.

"Young people learn about drugs through both their real life experiences and from vicarious images and stories they encounter in the mass media. By the time a teen hits age 18, he or she will have seen thousands of messages for alcohol, presented through attractive, fast-paced, humorous messages. These messages make beer drinking seem a normal part of social life, connected to sports activities, something that people of all ages and races partake in. But beer commercials don’t tell the whole story about alcohol use. Alcohol use endangers teens by leading to violence, driving accidents, and unprotected sex. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and nearly 60 percent of all fatal accidents involve alcohol."

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Taken from the Media Straight Up Website.

Have you heard the song Last Friday Night by Katy Perry? I have heard it and even sang along with the chorus a few times. Our teacher had us watch it with the lyrics. 

Here is the first stanza:

There's a stranger in my bed
there's a pounding in my head

Glitter all over the room
Pink flamingos in the pool
I smell like a minibar
DJ's passed out in the yard
Barbies on the barbeque

Watch it. You will be startled at the message. 

We looked at print ads such as this one for Captain Morgan:

and this one:

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We talked about who these ads are targeting and what message they are sending. 

It is important for everyone to talk about drug and alcohol use with the children in their lives. 
Schools in Cincinati, Ohio had a program for the high schoolers called
#yourlifeyourchoice where the students were encouraged to post pictures of things they were doing instead of drugs.

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The focus of Ohio's program was for students to tweet or share images on instagram about the good choices they were making instead of doing drugs. 

If you teach or work with teenagers, you can download the Media Literacy Curriculum for free at this link. I have used it with several of the teenagers on my caseload.
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I also plan to do some of the activities in the curriculum with Kaishon, Sabria, Naji and Jonathon this summer.

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Drug Free Pennsylvania is on facebook and twitter

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I think this quote sums up what I learned at this conference best: Over and over, the mass media reinforce the false belief that consuming products can take away all pain and stresses making you feel truly alive. But the media doesn’t often show us that the best ways to reduce stress and feel truly alive is not by consuming a product — but doing something meaningful, like being with people, learning, being creative, 
exercising, taking action in the world.

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