Therapy Animals Aren’t Just Cute, They Can Really Help

A man is walking with his dog, which is one of those therapy animals used to help people with health and wellness.

Contributed by Christine Binney

Anyone who has ever been lucky enough to live with a pet knows the strong bond that exists between humans and animals. Animals have long been valued for their companionship, intelligence and loyalty. These traits are the reason that animals are so well-suited to serve as therapeutic partners. Therapy animals aren’t just cute, they can really help people to overcome trauma and disabilities.

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How to Form Your Own Disaster Response Team

This image shows a house after a natural disaster, which the family could use the help of a disaster response team to help rebuild.

Contributed by Dawn Allcot

The earthquake and avalanche in Nepal that resulted in thousands of deaths. The tornado that recently ravaged Chicago suburbs. Superstorm Sandy. Hurricane Katrina. Each of these events reminds us of the power of Mother Nature and how unpredictable life can be.

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3 Ways to Show Support to Military Families

You can see one of those military families coming together at the airport.

Contributed by Tiffany Silverberg

Military families face a diverse set of circumstances which stem from a common core of demands put on them. Depending on, location, number of children, ages of children, and other factors, the demands of separation and relocation may bring more or less stress, but one thing remains the same: All military families in the midst of difficult situations or transitions could use the support of their community. Sometimes the simplest tasks speak volumes to your appreciation and recognition of the demands placed on a military family. Whether you live in a community full of military families or just happen to have an active duty neighbor, you may be looking for ways to help. If you aren’t sure where to begin or don’t know how to ask, here are a few ideas to get you started serving those who serve.

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Learning How to Ask for Help From “Strangers”

Two men ask for help from each other while sitting on a park bench.

Contributed by Nora Stasio

The other day, I was telling my Grandmother about Lotsa Helping Hands. “If you’re going through a hard time, you can find volunteers from your area to come and give you a hand with things,” I explained.

 

“I don’t like that,” she said. “Strangers coming to your house?”


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How to Support the Troops in Your Community

A woman running though a field with an American flag to support the troops.

Whether it’s one of the big holidays that remind us of our armed services – Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day – or anytime you are thinking of all those you serve on our behalf, finding ways to support the troops can be helpful for veterans and their families and can be unifying for the community as a whole. Coming together to work toward a common mission of serving those who serve is a great way to get the community involved and give back.

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How to Volunteer for Someone without a Community

As a girl offers a sparkler, she represents how to volunteer for someone without the support of a community.

Contributed by Dawn Allcot

How many times do we see a Facebook post or a tweet with a link asking us to donate to a cause? Countless. Unfortunately, most people have limited budgets so they can’t donate to every campaign or need. The truth of the matter is that people with strong networks are more likely to receive help from fundraising campaigns. When motivating others to give, half the battle is building a strong community to support the cause. Once you leverage the power of community, you’ll be able to show others how to volunteer their help in a productive way.

 

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Diabetic Diet Recipes to Share with Your Community

A women is fixing some diabetic diet recipes in her kitchen.

Contributed by Christine Binney

A healthy diet is essential to successfully manage diabetes. When it comes to diabetic diet recipes, ingredients that regulate blood sugar levels are king. Whole grains, fruits, nuts, beans, fish, low-fat dairy products and healthy fats are all perfect foods to incorporate into a diabetic lifestyle. The good news is that there are hundreds of diabetic diet recipes that are easy to prepare and full of flavor. The three recipes shared below are so healthy and satisfying that even non-diabetics will be sure to love them! Diabetes does not mean deprivation, and these delicious recipes will prove just that.

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10 Items to Have In Your Emergency Bag

When faced with the hospital waiting room, it's important to have an emergency bag full of things you'll need during an impromptu hospital stay.

Contributed By Dawn Allcot

If you’re a caregiver, you never know when a midnight emergency room visit will result in hours in the emergency room waiting area or even a hospital stay for your loved one. Likewise, if you’re a caregiver who lives apart from your aging parent, you never know when you’ll be called to stay the night in their home. In either of these scenarios, having an emergency bag packed in advance saves time and energy. Here are 10 things to keep in your emergency bag. Keep your emergency bag in your car at all times so you will always be prepared for any contingency, wherever you are.

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Mom and Dad are Moving In: Tips for Transitioning to an In Home Caregiver

As two seniors sit on the front porch of their daughters house, the daughter realizes she had become an in home caregiver.

Contributed by Michelle Hassler

Opening your home to a parent in need of care is a big step. Though the move might be the best decision for you and your parent, the transition can be difficult. Taking the time to plan ahead will create a smoother transition for everyone in the household. Here are a few tips to help you as you prepare to take on the role of an in home caregiver.


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Kids Helping Kids: Leveraging the Power of the Classroom

As a kid raises his hand in class, his teachers wonders how she can encourage kids helping kids.

Contributed by Michelle Hassler 

The old adage, “knowledge is power” rings true when referring to the classroom as well as the “real world.” However, throughout the learning process there comes a time when every student feels powerless. A student may be confused by difficult subject matter, burdened by issues at home, or may suffer from low self-esteem. With proper guidance and observation, teachers can affectively step back and encourage students to help their peers. Helping not only demonstrates mastery of a subject or skill, but it can show social intelligence, kindness, compassion, or problem solving skills. However, the presence of a teacher overseeing and guiding the process is essential. Below are three ways that you can encourage kids helping kids in your classroom.

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