Shining the Light On Mental Health

Thank you Thirty One for making a difference in the lives of others!  This blog is a repost from Thirty One

Mental and behavioral health are not always talked about openly, but millions of children in the U.S.need someone to start speaking up: In the U.S., half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14.  While an estimated 1.2 million children and youth are affected by mental illness, fewer than 20 percent will receive the proper treatment.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Thirty-One is proud to recognize the research being done with our support at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the U.S.. Thirty-One Gifts Consultants are spreading the word about ways you can help destigmatize mental health issues and help fund groundbreaking research benefiting youth across the U.S.

 

We’re are proud to partner with America’s largest children’s hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Nancy Cunningham says funding from Thirty-One Gives is supporting two research projects. One has a focus of enhancing girls’ eHealth literacy, helping them to improve how they find and evaluate health information. The second uses neuroimaging to identify girls who could be at risk for anxiety, depression, drug use and behavioral challenges.

Thirty-One Consultants are making a difference, Cunningham says.  The Thirty-One network of Consultants, Customers and leadership who champion these issues is “remarkable,” Cunningham says.

“Together we can discover new knowledge and strategies to support girls and young women, and together spread the word through our unique relationships and areas of influence,” she says.

Learn more: Read Sarah’s story to hear from one of the many young people helped by this type of research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Raising funds, raising awareness…  You can do so much to support the Gives mission in May!
  • Through the Gives Round Up! initiative, Customers in the U.S. have the option to support the important mental health research being done by our partners by rounding up their purchase (after tax and shipping) to the nearest dollar, or any amount. This May, funds raised in the U.S. will go to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  • You also can host a party to share more about Mental Health Awareness Month. The cause is represented by the color green, so incorporate it into your party! Serve green food or drinks. Enter every Customer who wears green into a drawing. Then discuss Thirty-One Gives’ partnerships during the party and share how they are making a difference in your community.
  • Another way to spread the word and reduce the stigma of mental health issues is as close as your smartphone or laptop. Use the #StartTheConvo and #31Gives hashtags on social media to discuss mental and behavioral health issues, and to invite others to join the conversation.

You can also make a difference by purchasing an Awareness Angel from me for $5.  The proceeds will be donated to Gives this month and support Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Your One-Sentence Eulogy

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Thank you KAREN EHMAN for today’s message.

My kitchen contains some of my favorite things.

My big red Dutch oven where a batch of cheesy potato-corn chowder simmers. A watercolor painting of a bowl of fruit, purchased at an estate sale. And my aqua hand mixer. Because, well, I like to bake, and I love the color aqua! But the object I adore most is a lettered sign my mother-in-law gave me, made from rustic barnwood and stenciled with this simple phrase: “Scatter Kindness.”

I hung this inspiring inscription above the kitchen door that leads to the garage, so I’m sure to see it every time I exit my home. We live in a world filled with turmoil, sadness and despair. Of course, there are pockets of happiness too. On many days, though, it feels like the sadness overshadows the joy. It doesn’t take much looking around to find a soul in need of a little encouragement or a healthy dose of hope.

I was once told that there are two types of people in the world: those who enter a room full of people and announce, “Here I am!” and those who walk into a room, seek out another soul and lovingly declare, “Oh … there you are!” It makes me wonder, someday — when I am long gone — will I be remembered as someone who sought to encourage others or sought only to make herself known? Which one will be said of you?

The Bible tells detailed stories of the titans of the faith: Abraham, Joseph, Esther and Mary, to name a few. But sometimes it gives us an intriguing glimpse of some lesser-known characters, sketching their stories in a simple sentence or two. One such character is the New Testament woman named Tabitha.

We meet Tabitha in Acts, where the story of the birth of the Christian church is recorded by a doctor named Luke. Acts also introduces us to the founders of the church, including Peter and Paul. But tucked away in its pages we also find a portrait of a woman who demonstrated how to put others first and scatter kindness. I love her one-sentence description: “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36, emphasis added).

What a beautiful and unusual introduction! While most personal descriptions mention relationships (such as “a wonderful wife and mother”) or career accomplishments (“a dedicated nurse”) this woman was known for continually looking for ways to scatter kindness. Concerned about the poor, she actively worked to make their lives better. In fact, her actions so radiated Christ’s love that the author of Acts recorded these words for us to read 2,000 years later in our Bibles.

One reason we know about Tabitha today is because she died, and Peter raised her from the dead. But as glorious as her resurrection was, her character is what impresses me: “She was always doing good and helping the poor.” Oh, how this one sentence shakes my soul and stirs my heart!

If someone were going to record a one-sentence eulogy about us, what would they say? Would they observe about us — like Tabitha — that we were “always doing good” to others? Were we on the lookout for those who had a much harder row to hoe, or were we more concerned about our own safety and comfort, giving little thought to others?

While sometimes we may think our life is boring, could we see our humble and common circumstances as an opportunity for God’s eternal purposes, just as Tabitha did? Could we seek to scatter kindness, discovering an important and fulfilling ministry as we do?

Years from now, how will you be remembered? As a, “Here I am!” person or as an, “Oh … there you are!” sort of soul?

What will be your one-sentence eulogy?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tired of Doing Good?

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Thank you AMY CARROLL for today’s message:

I felt worn-out, and I knew my perspective on giving needed a little refreshing.

Even though I’ve always admired generous people and want to be known as one, I started to feel resistance in my heart against being a truly cheerful giver in every area of my life — with my time, my gifts and my finances.

Sometimes I was reluctant to give because I felt too consumed by my every day schedule. Other times, I felt the pinch of need in my own life. And occasionally it was because I’d become jaded toward the recipients of my help.

My friend Rita told me a story that was just what I needed. Her mother, an immigrant who grew up in desperate poverty, was very committed to a relief project for her home country. She would collect gently used shoes and ship them to an organization in her homeland that had needed help.

Rita’s mother did this for years, during which her own eight children observed their mother’s work and generosity.

Surprisingly, Rita was frustrated with her mother instead of admiring her work. One day, in exasperation, she said to her mother, “Why do you continue to work on this project? You know how corrupt the system is over there. Those shoes are probably stolen, resold and used to line the pockets of some corrupt official. You are just wasting your time.”

Her mother looked at Rita compassionately and responded, “Rita, my responsibility is not in the receiving. My responsibility is in the giving.”

As I digested Rita’s story and her mother’s lesson, I realized I’d stopped giving because I wasn’t sure of the response.

I didn’t give to poor people on the street because I didn’t know how they’d spend the money.
I didn’t freely love friends because I didn’t know how they felt about me.
I withheld time from my family because I didn’t think they appreciated it.
It’s easy to find reasons not to give … Too busy. One too many scams. Believing nobody cares about giving to me in my need. Thinking that somehow, somebody else will take care of it.

I’ve used all these excuses at one point or another, but I felt a softening in the hardened places of my heart as I listened to the wisdom Rita’s mom shared.

Her reminder is one echoed in Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

If you’re tired and full of excuses like I was, the best way to renew your commitment to doing good is to start giving.

My former stingy approach to life and love never served me well. God has given me extravagance and abundance. I want to be wise about where I give my time and resources, but I also want to do it freely and with an open heart. I want to be one who listens carefully to His voice for opportunities to give, because I know He can be trusted with the results.

Receiving refreshment comes through giving. And sometimes, it’s in the simplest of ways:

Give a smile to a weary clerk.

Give a break to a worn-out mom.

Give some time to a struggling non-profit.

Give your money to someone in need.

Give loving wisdom to a stressed friend.

Join me in the refreshing act of giving, even if you’re tired of doing good!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Give the Gift of Hope

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I can’t believe it has been almost six years since I started my journey with Thirty One with a goal to help others. Sometimes it is a fundraising project, or a donation to an event or giving to those who were in need.  It doesn’t matter whether it is for an individual, a group, a team or if we were just part of making a difference…. I always want to help.  Over the years, we have been able to make a difference in the lives of many….

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This was our very first #31gives project for the kids who were in the hospital over Easter.  There are 6 beds at Ocean Medical and each child received one of these pouches. It was so humbling when we were one of the featured pictures in Thirty One’s Virtuous Women magazine.

No, I am not telling you all of this to toot my own horn. I NEVER do any of these projects without the help of my AMAZING customers, hostesses, family and friends. Individuals who believe in the cause, or just want to help. Okay, can you guess where this is leading…. YOU GOT IT!

I am blessed to know several people who are on dialysis, some who have received transplants while others still are waiting. Their daily struggles have taught me to appreciate my life so much – the good, the bad and the ugly. They go through their days with faith looking at each day as a blessing, appreciating all they have been given.

Over the last two years I have done Chemo Comfort Bags bringing smiles to those who are fighting cancer. I was asked by a friend to help those who are struggling with dialysis because her hubby is one of them. Silly me, I thought dialysis patients received their treatment in the same spot as the chemo patients so they would also be treated to the donated bags – sadly it is not the case. Here is her plea for help….

Please help! Kidney disease is horrible. It be wonderful for the patients to have a care bag to help comfort them during their dialysis appointments. These appointments can last 3 hours up to 4 & 1/2- 5 hours. That’s a long time to be sitting in a chair.

Your $30 sponsorship will pay for the actual bag and I will use 100% of my commission to fill them with a variety of things like a blanket, notepad, pen, bottle of water, lotion, warm socks, chap stick and crossword puzzle book. Donations will be distributed at the local dialysis center to bring a smile to the face of those who are fighting this dreadful disease.

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Won’t you help me bring a smile to the face of those who are struggling during dialysis?

You can sponsor a bag in memory of someone, in honor of someone or just anonymously. Payments can be made via check or through Paypal at hopesgiftcloset@@comcast.net as a friend/family.  I can also accept credit card payments directly.

Won’t you help to make a difference today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Giving Tuesday

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Today, we celebrate #GivingTuesday.  Today marks the fifth year of a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I know you are thinking “we give all year long”, right?  The truth is many times we plan to give but the moment passes us by – lack of funds, lack of time or just “a senior moment”.

#GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.  As individuals, we have causes near and dear to our hearts.  Those who may have helped us personally over the years or maybe made a difference in the life of a family member.  Maybe it is just because you can relate to an organization’s mission.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community is through #GivingTuesday……

Here are a few of my favorite causes …

  • Redeem-Her was born in 2005 to create second chances for those who need it most. Their mission is to offer help and hope to women reentering the community from rehabilitation facilities, jails and prisons.  They have helped more than 150 women and your support will help them to make a difference in the lives of women in need of a second chance. No donation is too large or small.  If you would like to help us them with their vision of providing second chances for more women, donations can be made at: http://www.redeem-her.org/donate
  • South Jersey AIDS Alliance is a caring, compassionate Organization dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS.  Located in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Camden Counties , their vision is to be recognized as a dynamic organization able to efficiently and effectively provide the diverse and integrated program delivery needed to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing nature of the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • Bethel AME Church which also houses Bethel Development Corporation and Bethel Learning Center is the oldest church in the City of Millville.  It houses the longest running soup kitchen in Cumberland County providing hot home-cooked meals four days per week.  The Learning Center is open to children 6 weeks to 5 years of age as well as offering Before and After Care programs.    All programs at Bethel are focused on giving a hand up to those who are struggling – the addicted, the chronically unemployed and the homeless.

#GiveBackWithMe is my way of bringing a smile to someone who is struggling.  Every month, I select one individual who will receive a gift from me along with some encouraging words to let them know they are special and worthy.  To remind them, no matter what the struggle there is someone who cares for them.  Click HERE and help me to make a difference in the life of someone.  Nominations are taken 365 days a year…. one selected each month.

This November 29th, join the movement and give – whether it’s some of your time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community.   #RandomActofKindness will #makeadifference in the lives of others.  It’s a simple idea. Whether you come together with your family, your community, your company or your organization, find a way to give back and then share your idea.

Share with us YOUR favorite cause with a link on how others can donate to them…Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!