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Harmony Place Support Services’ Blog

25 years

I have been here 25 years

I feel great being here 25 years

There is no place like this place anywhere in the world

I mean what I am saying, this place is good and I feel great to be here

I understand why I had to be here, but that is ok

You have to be happy wherever you go because you are going to be here for a long long time

This place means a lot to me

I take this place to be my home and it is a good place to be

I know I can live here for 25 more years because I got God in my heart

 

Five Reasons You Should Volunteer This Thanksgiving

Soup kitchen full? Don’t let that dissuade you. Thanksgiving is a holiday for spending quality time with family and friends, feeling grateful, and of course, eating turkey. But it’s also a time for giving back and you may feel the urge to help others. Soup kitchens are usually the number one choice, but other places could use your help too. Here’s why you should reach out to non-profits and volunteer:

  1. It’s Good for Your Health

As it turns out, volunteer work isn’t just about helping others but also yourself. Many studies have found that when you volunteer, your stress levels decrease leading to a strengthened immune system. One study in particular from Carnegie Mellon University found that volunteer work can decrease your blood pressure, which lowers your chances of heart attacks and strokes.  After that huge Thanksgiving meal, lowering your blood pressure might not be such a bad idea!

  1. Gain Valuable Work Skills

Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable experience and help people. In 2016, Deloitte conducted a study where they found 82% of interviewers prefer applicants with volunteer service, and believe volunteer experience builds leadership skills. With time off during Thanksgiving, volunteering at your local non-profit would be a great way to improve your résumé.

  1. It’s Fun (d’uh)!

Little well-known secret: volunteering is fun. Often times, organizations like Harmony Place have options where you can volunteer as a group. Not only will you help people, but you’ll also get to hangout with your friends. As you surround yourself with those you love this holiday, make volunteering a new Thanksgiving tradition.

  1. Make New Connections

While volunteering you’ll meet a wide range of people with different stories and backgrounds. Striking up a conversation with a fellow volunteer can lead to a potential new friend, mentor or business partner. You might even be introduced to other volunteering opportunities! Who would ever turn down the opportunity to make new friends?

  1. Strengthen Your Community

When you volunteer, you do work for your community that might not otherwise get done. Not only are you supporting those in need, but you’re also saving money. In the US, for instance, it’s been estimated that the average volunteer’s time is worth $24.14. Not only does this make you incredibly valuable, but by saving your non-profit money, it can use its budget on other resources.

This Thanksgiving as you look for ways to get involved in your community (or burn off that turkey), reach out to organizations like Harmony Place, and get your volunteering on.

Want to help shape the future of research on neurodevelopmental disorders?

The Ontario Brain Institute’s neurodevelopmental disorders research program (POND) wants to know what questions you want answered about diagnosis, therapies, care, and other interventions for neurodevelopmental disorders. If you have a neurodevelopmental disorder, or if you care for or work with someone who does, we want you to help us set research priorities for neurodevelopmental research.  We received questions from over 300 people across Ontario living with neurodevelopmental disorders, carers and health care professionals which have been grouped into 63 questions that have not already been answered by research. We want you to identify the top 10 questions that are most important to you. Your survey answers will help researchers and research funding organizations incorporate the priorities of people living with a neurodevelopmental disorder when planning their future projects.

The neurodevelopmental disorders included are:

  • attention deficient hyperactivity disorder
  • autism spectrum disorder (including autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified)
  • Down syndrome
  • fragile X
  • intellectual disability
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Rett syndrome
  • Tourette syndrome
  • learning disabilities
  • other genetic syndromes related to intellectual disabilities

This priority setting process follows the methods of the James Lind Alliance (UK) and is being funded by the Ontario Brain Institute. It is led by a steering group that includes patient advocates, patient advocacy group representatives, clinicians, and healthcare professionals working with persons who have a neurodevelopmental disorder.

This is an opportunity for you to lend your expertise from your own personal/professional experience, and have your say in setting neurodevelopmental disorders research priorities.

Please complete this short questionnaire at: http://bit.ly/NDDsurvey

 

Life at 50

We had fun playing a game called “Sabateur.”

I was so sneaky that I planned my moves.

I did great

Life is great

I have no complaints

I feel lucky to be alive

I feel strong as a black man

I’m a nice Christian

I don’t like to make people cry

I like to make people happy

I am a capricorn

We take things seriously but not THAT seriously

We have fun

Life is fun

Life doesn’t stop at 50

It begins at 50

The Park

We’re at the park today

We’re having fun

I’m with Harmony Place

I’m lucky to be here

I’m feeling great & I’m 47 years old

I’m looking good

I went to school in Montreal in 1978 and it was great

It was a learning experience

I got to play with kids my own age

I had a teacher whose name was Jim and he was a classic guy

They don’t make teachers like him anymore

I was a student there and it was a good school

I was eight years old and I had a girlfriend

Her name was Penny

My bus driver’s name was Renee

We went for root beer every Friday after school

Be a Man

Being a man means taking care of your woman

Being a man means taking care of things on your own

You can ask for help sometimes

Just not all the time

If you need someone to talk to you can talk to beautiful Janice

You can always talk to her in person or on the phone

I come from a hard working family

I am a hard worker

I am from Montreal

I went to school there

I feel proud

My parents are from Jamaica

I’m strong

I’m proud to be a man

I’m 47 almost 48

Let this be a lesson

Don’t like anyone tell you that you aren’t smart

You are smart

That’s what draws me to Janice

She’s everything I want in a woman

And more!

Free

You can be free to do whatever you want to do.

You can go to school or go to whatever city you want to go to.

You can be whatever you want to be.

Summer Games

We had fun playing summer games outside

We were in teams and my team, the blue team, won!

It was a good try by the other team

Better luck next time

I hope they win because they deserve it

It is like a family

Being Black

Being black is beautiful

I wouldn’t want to be anything but myself

I’m a truthful person, when somebody tells me something I like to believe them.

I give them a second chance if they make a mistake

I make mistakes too, everyone makes mistakes

I know my manners, what’s right from what’s wrong

It feels good to be black

To be comfortable in your own skin and to know your mind

I love Harmony Place

You can do so many different things

You can make a lot of friends at Harmony Place.

You can do things with help at Harmony Place.

I like being around people.

People like to see me happy and not sad.

I love to sing and play bingo with help.

I love coming to Harmony Place twice a week and wish I could come more.

People respect me here.

I feel confident and very mature and  not like a kid.

Not like I was in 1976.

I live in Toronto now.

Before I lived in Montreal.

Somebody told me that I can learn my lesson on my own.

While I was living in Montreal.

My mom will not be around for too long

But she is still around and I love her so much

I have been living in Toronto for a long time.

I feel good living here.

I feel like I am more educated in Toronto than I ever was living in Montreal.

There are more doors open to me in Toronto than closed.

There is more accessibility for people in wheelchairs in Toronto than there was in Montreal.

You can be anything that you want to be if you put your mind to it.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste but a beautiful thing to have.