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Harmony Place Support Services’ Blog

Christmas at Harmony Place

Christmas at Harmony Place is time to be with your family

It’s time to be happy and not to be sad

It’s a time to be joyous and be with your friends all the time

It’s a time to be happy it’s not a time to be sad

It’s a time to be feeling like you can be with your friends

It’s a happy time

It’s a time when dreams come true

 

4 Ways to Give Back on Giving Tuesday

Almost every day has its own name, and on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday. What is it? A global movement created in response to the consumerism that occurs during the holidays. Giving Tuesday urges us to give back to those in need. This year it falls on November 28. Here are four ways you can help:

Donate

Have some extra money thanks to all of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals? Think about donating it this Tuesday to one of your favourite charities. There are many around the city that need donations to function and could use your help. At Harmony Place we take donations by mail, through the United Way, Fundscrip, and even by Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points.

Volunteer

If you’re unable to donate, don’t fret. While charities appreciate monetary funds, they love when those in the community donate their time. A quick Google search will show you charities in your area. Whether it’s at the soup kitchen, the homeless shelter, or your local thrift store, any charity will be grateful for an extra set of hands.

Attend an Event

This year there are a lot of events happening in the city. From art galleries to the Humane Society, there is something fun for people of all ages. Consider signing up for an upcoming event, and inviting your colleagues, friends, and family. At Harmony Place we have year-round events including our “CharitiBowl” bowling tournament and General Meetings.

Use the #GivingTuesday hashtag

Can’t attend any events and don’t have time to volunteer? Simply use the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media. Many businesses will be using it (with some donating to a non-profit of their choice depending on how many times the hashtag is used) and you can show your support.

Whether you’ve made all of your holiday purchases over Black Friday and Cyber Monday or you’re a last minute type of person, start the season off right by giving back this Tuesday.

In Loving Memory

 

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of an incredible woman, Mary. Mary was the mother of an individual who attends HPSS and like a second mother to many others here.  She will be deeply missed by all of us.

In memory of Mary a celebration of life will be taking place on November 18, 2017. Please click here for the invitation. 

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.