Tag Archives: volunteer

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.

National Anti-Boredom Month Activities

National Anti-Boredom Month Activities

It’s National Anti-Boredom Month, and it’s important to beat boredom in more ways than just bingeing Netflix, no matter your age. Give these National Anti-Boredom Month activities a try.

Try a new and adventurous activity, like kickboxing, indoor rock climbing, or yoga, or just find a great hiking spot.

Reaching New Heights


Got bored kids this summer? Try a campout in the backyard or build an awesome indoor fort with them for a change of pace.

Campout at Home


Create a dream and goal board, which can help you identify things to work toward in your personal or professional life.

Dream Smart


Explore your community. Find a place to volunteer, visit a local farmers market, and check out a local calendar for festivals and events.

Learn something new to beat boredom. Pick up a new skill for your career, teach yourself to knit or paint, or start a garden.

Growing a New Skill


Get creative! Find crafts and activities for you or the whole family, like scrapbooking, sewing, or woodworking.

Creative Creation


If TV or movies are your favorite hobbies, do an exercise each commercial break or make a game out of it. Try doing something like 10 crunches each time a character says their catchphrase.

Active in Front of the TV

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

Fun Ahead

Social Wellness Month

July is Social Wellness Month, which calls for you to nurture yourself and your relationships through social support.

People with a strong social network tend to live longer, and their heart and blood pressure respond to stress better.

Come Together


Strong social networks are associated with better heart and immune system function.

Your Health and Social Support


Be aware of commitments and following through to make sure you make commitments you can stand by.

Follow Through for Friends


Break the cycle of blame and criticism to own your role in your relationships.

Own Your Role


Focus on resolving conflict and fixing your personal flaws instead of trying to fix others.

Focus on Change for You


Show your appreciation through words and actions to build healthy relationships.

Sharing Your Appreciation


Grow your social network by volunteering or by joining a gym, club or group for a hobby.


Hope for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is this month, and it kills more children than any other disease in the U.S.

There are amazing ways to help the cause. Go gold by donating or organizing a fundraiser now.

Go Gold to Fight Childhood Cancer


Shop consciously, like by buying Angela & Roi Handbags, whose gold purses donate part of the proceeds to Childhood Cancer.

Angela Roi Gold Purses


Kids with cancer spend months or years in their pajamas. Organize a fundraiser or event with the American Childhood Cancer Organization’s PJammin program for your kids to support Childhood Cancer.

PJammin Party


Goorin Brothers Hats offers a range of hats for kids with Childhood Cancer. Buy one now or get one for free for your child fighting cancer.

Hats for Kids with Cancer


Vist the ACCO’s store for Hero Beads or comforting things for your kid with Childhood Cancer, or awareness items and resources.

Hero Beads


Childhood Cancer can take up more than 40 hours a week of family caring time, that’s a full time job. Find all the ways you can help.

Time Spent on Care for Kids with Cancer


Host a PediCure event at a salon or your home to raise money for a cure to Childhood Cancer.

Nails Go Gold


Affordable Health Services for National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week 2015

This week is National Health Center Week, so we had more info about finding these resources each day.

The Champaign Urbana Public Health District’s website can connect you to local health resources and info and Board of Health info.



The Francis Nelson Health Center in Champaign provides care to those who need it most and can’t afford it. Learn more about their services or help the cause.

If you’re a University of Illinois student, McKinley Health Center is your first stop for all kinds of health information, including online classes.



The Champaign County Christian Health Center offers free and quality health services. Learn more about making appointments, giving, fundraising, and volunteering.



Avicenna Community Health Center has been providing health screenings and learning to the CU community since 2009. Learn about what they do and how you can help.



While Medicaid in Illinois has expanded, there are other ways to get help too. Carle’s Community Care Discount Program helps people get the care they need.

Health Insurance Policy brochure


Looking for health centers across the nation? This government database can help!



A Helping Heart

Vantage Point: Have a Helping Heart this Valentine’s Day

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”  – John Holmes

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate loved ones. But what about seniors in our communities that don’t have a sweetheart? Winter can bring on depression and feelings of isolation, especially if one is living on a small fixed income that, if no other catastrophe happens, barely covers basic needs.

What if during this year’s season of love, we gave the gift of time and attention to someone who has nothing to give back but gratitude? If this call speaks to you, look to the Catholic Family and Child Volunteer Chore Service Programs, run by Amber Bryant in Wenatchee and Tammy Huber in Moses Lake.

The volunteer program, funded by federal grants, the United Way and Serving Wenatchee, is based on volunteer hours. It can be direct services, such as cleaning a senior’s home, shoveling snow, delivering a hot meal, or providing transportation, or indirect services such as clerical work or, like Health Alliance staff did this winter, donating winter coats, blankets, and hand sanitizer.

If you are interested in volunteering, a coordinator will ask the amount of time you can give and ask what kind of tasks you’re comfortable with. Both Amber and Tammy have many creative ways they can utilize volunteer hours.  One successful idea is enlisting groups, such as coworkers from an office or members of a club. Many hands make light work and volunteers are more comfortable entering someone’s home in a group setting. Plus, the project helps groups work as a team.

One misconception about the program is that you have to be Catholic to volunteer. This is not true and you don’t even have to share your religion. Beyond finding people to volunteer, coordinating the program presents many challenges including serving the mentally ill, those living in extreme poverty, and those with adult children who reside in the home. I am in awe of Amber and Tammy’s passion, as they both volunteer in addition to coordinating the program.

If you are someone who has time and a helping heart, please contact Amber at 509-662-6761, abryant@ccyakima.org  or Tammy at 509-765-1875, thuber@ccyakima.org . They will find a way to match you to a client or project that can create great joy for all involved.