We all know stress! Stress comes in many shapes and sizes. Some allows us to grow, learn, adapt, and change for the better; things like hunger, thirst, curiosity, even pain are stresses that encourage us to grow.
So, what happens when we can’t adapt and grow with the stress of our life? Sometimes distress overwhelms our ability to respond. Sometimes hunger, thirst, curiosity, and pain can slow us down and make living difficult, which may require that we ask for help from friends, family or even strangers. Sometimes this distress lasts longer than we can handle, or is so overwhelming that we try to escape or numb ourselves- that’s toxic stress. That’s the type of stress that causes risky behaviors, health issues and makes life difficult.
Did you know that your early life experiences set us up for how much stress we can tolerate? Early bonding to parents and those who care for us, and later to extended family, friends, school and community build resilience and allow us to ‘surf the wave’ rather than being ‘pulled under the rip current’ of distress and toxic stress. Our brains and bodies grow differently when they are safe and nurtured, which gives us the ‘muscle’ to stay on top of ‘the wave’.
“Adverse Childhood Experiences” or ACEs are categories of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction that make a child’s home unsafe and unpredictable. The following video, by a leading expert in ACEs, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, describes the surprising effects of early adversity and the health outcomes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ovIJ3dsNk . Unsafe schools, neighborhoods and communities can also be sources of stress for those who live there.
There are ways build personal, family and community strength to balance the negative effects of stress that we all face. In the end that strength comes from connection- living and growing in trusted, nurturing families, and being connected to safe schools, neighborhoods and communities. We can handle distress and toxic stress when we have someone we trust to turn to for love and support. Humans are meant to be connected; relationships help us feel safe enough to be curious, learn, explore, and trust the world and others.
The Schuylkill Resiliency Project’s Families Grow Together is an opportunity for any family to strengthen their bonds, build their ability to surf the stress that life throws at us. Located at the Pottsville YMCA, Families Grow Together, meets on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:00 to explore healthy relationships. On Saturday mornings (10 – 12) the families gather to do fun, family activities such as drumming circles, art projects, and yoga all designed for parents and kids to share time together. This program is FREE, runs in 6-week blocks, and is open to any family in Schuylkill County. It is FREE because of the generosity of PA Taxpayers through a grant from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Thank you.
Please contact Tracy at 570-728-3476 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register for the next group. Remember, Relationships = Resilience
In our country,a high school diploma seems a given. Everyone has one, right? But not everyone does - due to circumstances, tragedies or just poor choices. Not having a high school diploma can severely restrict a person's options and ability to create a successful life. Most jobs, colleges and trade schools and the military require a diploma or High School Equivalency. If you know someone who wants to take their High School Equivalency Exam (GED or HISET) they can take a FREE prep class in Pottsville, Mahanoy City or Tamaqua. To learn more about the classes call the Lifelong Learning Center at 570-628-5761.
To keep you apprised of all the fun events (many are FREE) you can attend to get in the holiday mood, we'll have Holiday Happenings posts on November 18, December 2 and December 16. Keep checking back on these three posts because they'll be updated as new events are promoted.
Friday, November 22
NEW! Greens Sale
Deadline to order fresh wreaths, swags, cemetery crosses and more from the Pottsville Free Public Library. Delivery is December 6. Call the library to order at 570-874-3382.
Sunday, November 24
Thanksgiving Worship Service
Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church at 4 pm
Several local musicians, including choirs, a brass quartet, hand bell choirs and a flutist will perform at the service.
FREE event. Non-perishable food donations and monetary donations for the Schuylkill Haven Area Food Pantry are welcome.
Thursday, November 28
NEW! Thanksgiving Community Service
At Zion United Methodist Church, Route 895 (Keim and School Streets) at 8 a.m.
NEW! Santa Claus Parade
Girardville at 5 pm
The parade will end at Girard Hose Company, East Main Street where children can meet Santa and receive treats.
Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 1
The Nutcracker by Schuylkill Ballet
A dance full of fairies, life-size nutcrackers, armies of mice and more followed by a meet and greet with all the talented dancers.
Tickets: at the door tickets $12, advance tickets adults $10, seniors/students $8, children ages 3-10 $6. Call 570-617-5616
Saturday, November 30
Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt
Start at Mud & Maker, Pottsville from 9 am to 3 pm
Scavenger Hunt for all ages to win prizes and visit local businesses. Dress for the weather!
Sunday, December 1
NEW! Photos with Santa and Pet
At Char-Will Kennels Training Center, 2 E. Railroad Avenue, New Ringgold from noon to 3 pm. Along with photos there will also be a bake sale and other activities.
Holiday Concert with the Majestic Singers
Majestic Theater at 3 pm
Classic, gospel and contemporary holiday hits and refreshments.
Tickets: $8 adults, $5 students and seniors
Grandparenting is the best! You get to enjoy playing with toys, receiving sloppy kisses and laughing at knock knock jokes and then, when they get grumpy, dirty or tired you can send them back to their parents....except when you can't. Research has found that over 3 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren because their parents are unable to for various reasons. Parenting is tough the first time around and comes with a whole new set of challenges if you find yourself parenting a second generation.
The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group will be hosting a special workshop on Wednesday, November 20 at the Schuylkill Intermediate IU #29, 17 Maple Avenue, Marlin at 6 pm. This valuable workshop comes complete with child care and refreshments. Guest speakers include District Attorney Mike O'Pake, Tia-Maria Smith, Kinship Navigator and local grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. This is a FREE event but please call to reserve a space: 570-622-3103.
The same day - November 20 - there will be a Veterans Financial Forum at the Schuylkill County VA Clinic, 1410 Laurel Blvd., Suite 2, Pottsville from 11 am to 2:30 pm. If you're baffled by the red tape of Veterans Affairs reserve a seat at this FREE workshop by calling 570-622-1995 by November 15 (TODAY!).
I hope you'll take a moment today to think of our military veterans and the sacrifices they made to serve our country. If you are or know a veteran, you can check out a list of events commemorating Veterans' Day happening here.
While the military is on your mind, why not take a moment to send a Christmas card or package to a local resident who won't be coming home to Schuylkill County for the holidays because they will be serving our country? When addressing your envelope/package please no cursive. Military postal workers prefer black ink, printed UPPERCASE.
For Deliver by December 25 send Priority or First Class Mail by Dec. 2 or Parcel Post by Nov. 25
APO AE 09309
SGT. DITTMAR, JEFFREY R.
GOLF COMPANY PSD
CAMP SHORAB APO AE 09354
APO AE 09309
For Deliver by December 25 send Priority or First Class Mail by Dec. 9 or Parcel Post by Nov. 25
CPL COLE J. SMELTZ
MACG 18, UNIT 37176
OKINAWA JPN 96372
U.S.S. PAUL HAMILTON
FPO AP 96667
For a couple of weeks my mom, the holiday organizer, has been sending rumbles through the family in person, by phone and by text (my mom doesn't text but she does order texts through me - I'm sort of her 21st century Western Union). Who is working? Who has other dinners? Will they bring food? Surprise guests? Vegetarians? Football fanatics? Our Thanksgivings only involve around a dozen people (give or take a few surprise guests) but there's a lot of planning. After all, no one wants two bowls of green beans or not enough chairs for the whole gang. So Thanksgiving planning (stressing) really begins around October 15.
Every year we complain to varying degrees about the hoopla that surrounds Thanksgiving but deep down, we realize we are lucky to have the hoopla. Some people have no family or no dinner to look forward to at Thanksgiving. If you know someone who doesn't have Thanksgiving hoopla in their future, they can turn to several local organizations to make their Thanksgiving cheerier. Unless otherwise noted, all meals are free. Note that most of the deadlines are November 21 at 5 pm. If you already have Thanksgiving covered why not call anyway to see if they need any help chopping, cooking, serving, or delivering?
Holy Apostle Episcopal Church
Meal at 307 East Hancock Street, St. Clair for those in the surrounding area on Nov. 28
You must register by Nov. 21 by calling 570-429-2272 or 570-429-7107
Eat in meals will be at 1 pm, meals for pick up will be at noon, delivery of meals will begin at 11 am
Knight of Columbus
Delivers a hot Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 28 between 10 am and 2 pm. You must be home to accept delivery.
You must register by Nov. 22 at 5 pm. Call 570-516-9514, 570-617-5771 or 570-628-3333. If no one answers leave your name and phone number and someone will call you back for your information.
Mahanoy Area Minsterial Association
Breakfast at St. Mary Center, 620 W. Pine Street, Mahanoy City at 9 am
Tickets are $8. You must order tickets at church office by Nov. 22
Meal includes: pastries, ham, eggs, homefries, coffee and tea
Guest speaker: Re. Craig Zimmerman of St. Paul's United Church of Christ
Salvation Army - Pottsville
Meal at 400 Sanderson Street, Pottsville 11 am to 2 pm. Eat in ONLY. You must register by calling 570-622-5252.
Salvation Army - Tamaqua
Meal at 105 West Broad Street, Tamaqua from 11 am to 4 pm. Shut ins can call for delivery by November 21 at 570-668-0410.
We'll have to call this post this and that because it's a little bit or everything!
Do you have an extra or outgrown coat hanging in your closet? Instead of leaving it for the moths, get your new or gently used coat to someone who needs it. M&T Bank, Main & Centre Streets, Shenandoah is sponsoring their 23rd annual Coat Drive from now until Thanksgiving. Drop coats in need of a home at the bank. For more information call 570-462-2734.
Do you want to learn more about the Pottsville Police Department and how to stay safe? Stop by Coffee with Cops on Thursday, November 7 from 9 am to 10 am at the Pottsville Library. There will be an informal discussion with Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojciechowsky and Captain John Morrow.
Are you thinking about changing careers? Come to the Open House at the Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing, Lehigh Valley Hospital Nurses Building, 450 Washington Street, Pottsville (1st floor multipurpose room) to tour the school, meet the faculty and learn more about registered nursing from 4 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, November 7.
Enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of Schuylkill County at the annual Farm-City Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at the Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse. If you'll be coming, register by Nov. 6 (TODAY) at email@example.com or 570-622-3742 Ext. 5. This is a free event to discuss the problems faced by both the rural and urban residents of Pennsylvania. Cost of admission is a covered dish. Doors open at 5:30 pm and dinner begins at 6 pm.