Tag Archives: give back

Purposeful Connections

Vantage Point: Purposeful Connections

Everyone knows that February is the month of love. It’s the month with the holiday where we buy our loved ones candy, flowers, a card, and maybe even dinner as a token of our love for them. We purposefully connect.

With that being said, how much time do we really spend purposefully connecting with the people around us, including loved ones, outside of designated holidays?

Technology has really enhanced our social connections with those far away, but in my opinion, it may be hampering our social connections with those close to us. What would happen if we took the time to connect to the people in our lives, no matter the day or relation?

If you want to connect to those in your life more, these are my ideas to get started:

  1. Call (yes, actually call) a friend or family member that may have moved away or who you haven’t talked to in a while, and start up a conversation. If the conversation sparks that I’ve-really-missed-this-person feeling for you, maybe invite them to something, like coffee.

  2. Give a compliment to someone, and really mean it! Plus, don’t forget to smile. If you want extra credit, maybe leave a nice note for your loved one where they will see it. No texts, actual paper and a pen.

  3. Limit technology time. I know this is a popular suggestion, but maybe just limiting the times that family can be on their phones, tablets, or video games, or even limiting phone usage while out at dinner will help.

And if you’re looking to make more meaningful social connections, volunteering in the community might be a good idea. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, all while giving back. The Harman Center is always looking for volunteers. Contact them at 509-575-6166 for more information.

This isn’t a be-all-end-all list, but it’s a list to get your creative ideas going. What are other ways that you can connect with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers? Someone in your life or community might really benefit from a kind smile and a sincere compliment. You never know what people are going through.

Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a homegrown girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world. When not attending community events or providing Medicare education throughout the Valley, she can be found indulging in her hobbies of homesteading, pioneer cooking, and learning new survival techniques. She also has a strong love for all things Halloween.

How to Honor Veterans

Long View: Honor and Comfort a Veteran

My mother is a quilter. If anyone reading this knows a quilter or happens to be one yourself, you know that this is more a way of life than a hobby. 

Every important occasion in our family merits a quilt. Getting married? Quilt. Having a baby? Quilt. When you fly and look down on Midwestern corn and bean fields, what do you see? Mom sees potential quilt patterns.

Lately, barns have her very excited, because farmers (and the quilters in their lives) have started hanging pretty quilt patterns from their haylofts. When my youngest son was about 2, he would announce any cows, goats, or chickens he saw on a country drive. Now, I can count on my mom yelling out a barn quilt with the same childlike excitement. Mom would quilt for world peace if the United Nations asked her.

November is an important month in our country, because it’s the month we celebrate Veterans Day. How do you recognize Veterans Day? Of course, my mom would say, “I’ve got a quilt for that!”

The Quilts of Valor Foundation is an organization that seeks out and honors veterans by making and giving them handmade quilts. Their foundation’s motto is “Quilting to Honor and Comfort.” I like that. Here is a group of people with a passion for sewing something with their own 2 hands to make someone else feel better. To date, Quilts of Valor has given away over 165,000 quilts.

Let’s go back to the question, how do you recognize Veterans Day? Or better yet, do you recognize veterans? We live in a time in our nation’s history when veterans can look very different from one another.

Our nation’s veterans are handsome 90-year-old WWII veterans, hardworking and stoic Korean War veterans, proud but quiet Vietnam veterans, or even 25-year-old grandsons and granddaughters . 

The men and women who served our country have done so in my name, in your name. How can you recognize them today? How can you tell them that you see them and understand what they mean to our country? 

We can’t all make quilts. But we can buy cups of coffee. We can shake hands, or if appropriate, give a hug. We can all say thank you.   

Here are some organizations that reach out to veterans. See if you can find one in your community, and offer whatever special skill you might have to their cause. If you bake, bake. If you woodwork, woodwork.

Share yourself with a veteran so they know you care. It’s the very least any of us can do to honor and comfort the heroes around us.

Lora Felger is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. She is the mother of 2 terrific boys, a world traveler, and a major Iowa State Cyclones fan.

Coming Together for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Protect yourself now. How can you reduce your risk of breast cancer? Learn more.

Find out what you should be doing to detect breast cancer early.

Staying Ahead of Breast Cancer


Create your early detection plan and make sure you’re protected from breast cancer.

Preventing Cancer Now


Nervous about your mammogram? What you should know:

7 Things to Know About Getting a Mammogram


Use Beyond the Shock, a comprehensive guide to breast cancer, if you or a loved one is diagnosed.

Moving Forward After Breast Cancer


Stories of hope offer support to those who have or care for someone with breast cancer.

Hope for Moving On


How can you support the breast cancer cause? Get started today.

Get Involved to Stop Breast Cancer





Prostate Health Month

Prostate Health Month

September is Prostate Health Month, and last week was Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. Make sure you get your annual screening before it’s too late.

Your Yearly Preventive Care and Physical


Ladies, you’re often the ones who get men to go to the doctor for screenings. When was the last time the men in your life got checked?

Protect the Men in Your Life


Prostate cancer kills approximately 30,000 men in the U.S. each year. Know your risk.

Prostate Cancer Death Toll


1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and African-American men are 1.57 times more likely to develop it. Early detection can help.

At Higher Risk


Did you know that BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) affects more than half of men over age 60?

BPH and You


Limit your risk of prostate cancer by not smoking and by getting regular screenings from your primary care provider (PCP).

Reduce Your Risk


Learn more about prostate cancer treatments, or find a walk and give back.

Prostate Cancer Facts


Becoming a Blood Donor

National Blood Donor Month 2017

January is National Blood Donor Month, and it’s the perfect time to make a New Year’s resolution to give.

Resolve to Give Blood


Why do you donate? The mother in this article donates knowing the supply isn’t guaranteed.

Giving Blood to Save Lives


Get the facts about the value of blood, giving, and eligibility, and find a place to give.

Learn the value of giving from this woman’s firsthand story. She was saved by blood donations.

Saved by Donated Blood


Can’t give? Volunteer or host a blood drive to still give back.

Blood Drive to Save Lives


Give the gift of life. Some need blood donations to survive.


Go digital with the Red Cross’s blood app to schedule appointments, track your donations, and earn rewards.

Track Your Donations On-the-Go

National Ovarian Cancer Month

National Ovarian Cancer Month

September is National Ovarian Cancer Month, and there’s still time for you to learn more and get involved.

1 in 75 women will get ovarian cancer in their lifetime.

Pap tests can’t tell you if you have ovarian cancer, so know the symptoms and talk to your doctor.

Know Ovarian


Symptoms include bloating, trouble eating or feeling full too fast, the need to urinate often, and abdominal pain.



90% of those diagnosed and treated in the early stages of ovarian cancer survive.



Find ways to raise awareness, take action, learn more, and shop to give back.



Find a run or walk to get moving to fight ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Walk


Get support and share your story as an ovarian cancer survivor, and find caregiver resources.






Give Back Christmas Wishes

Give Back for the Holidays

This week, we’re helping you find ways to give back this holiday season.

Donate a homemade scarf to the Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project and give foster teens in college a way to stay warm.

Donate a Red Scarf


Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped, or your homemade toys to give to kids in need. Find a drop-off center.

Donate new, gently used, or homemade coats to those who need them with the Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Coat Drive.

Giving Warmth


Send a thoughtful holiday card to American service members, veterans, and their families with the American Red Cross’s Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

Reaching Out for the Holidays


Fill a shoe box with handmade or bought gifts to send a personalized present to a child in need through Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child program.

Give a Personalized Gift


Donate your old cell phone to Cell Phones for Soldiers and give the gift of communication to our troops and their families.

Give Your Old Phone


Give the gift of a good holiday meal to a family that might otherwise go without through a food bank near you.