Friday, December 30, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Moderation Management

It’s the last Feel Good Friday of the year and the day before New Year’s Eve. A perfect time to reflect on your alcohol intake with Moderation Management.

Founded in 1994, Moderation Management (MM) is “a behavioral change program and national support group network for people concerned about their drinking and who desire to make positive lifestyle changes.” They are the group behind Dryuary, an outreach initiative to support people abstaining from alcohol during the month of January.

First, let’s define moderate drinking. For men it’s no more than 14 drinks per week, and not more than 4 per occasion. For Women, no more than 9 drinks per week, and not more than 3 per occasion. None of us should drink on more than 3-4 days per week if we want to be considered a moderate drinker. If you’d like to score your drinking to see if you have a problem with alcohol dependency you can take this self test.

Next, let’s talk about moderation versus abstinence. As they explain on their Facebook page, “by the time people reach serious stages of alcohol dependency, changing drinking becomes more difficult, and treatment is usually costly. MM believes that this situation needs to be remedied in the interest of public health and human kindness with early intervention and harm reduction programs. Moderation programs are less costly, shorter in duration, less intensive, and have higher success rates than traditional abstinence-only approaches.”

MM offers members a supportive mutual-help environment that encourages people who are concerned about their drinking to take action to cut back or quit drinking before drinking problems become severe. All meetings are free of charge and you can find resources to help you develop awareness of your drinking habits on their website. These include:

  • MM Tool Box - a month’s worth of tips such as: abstain for one day, buddy up with someone who has a similar goal, and brush your teeth to signal your brain and your mouth that you are done drinking for the night
  • Abstar Drink Tracker - a tool to help you develop awareness of your drinking habits and share them (if you choose) with members of the MM community
  • BAC Limits - charts that show how each drink affects your Blood Alcohol Content

You can read the MM step-by-step approach to moderation management here: Guide to Moderation Management Steps of Change

If you like what Moderation Management is doing and want to get involved you can register for, Dryuary 2023, support MM with a donation and spread the word about their work on social media. Like the MM Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @ModerationMgmt and Instagram @moderationmanagement. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Oregon Food Bank

I'm in Oregon for Christmas and wanted to highlight a local organization in today's Feel Good Friday, the Oregon Food Bank.

Founded in 1988, the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) is a network made up of 21 regional food banks that manage logistics and distribute food and services to more than 1,400 sites where anyone can get free food. Their mission is “to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry.”

As they explain on their website, nearly 1 in 5 Oregonians experienced income and job loss in recent years and the result was an unprecedented need for emergency food assistance throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. OFB served nearly 1.7 million people in 2020 and over 1.2 million in 2021. Locations where people can pick up free food are community based and accessible to all, and many also help people connect with additional services, such as nutrition support and affordable health insurance.

The most recent numbers listed In the 2022 Impact Report are impressive: 

  • 12,273 volunteer shifts and actions to help end hunger and its root causes
  • 58% of all food distributed as fresh or frozen produce, dairy and protein
  • 44.4 million meals shared across the OFB network

In addition to food distribution, the Policy Leadership Council engaged in over 3,500 actions to advance anti-hunger policy and systems change. Recent victories include: $87 million invested in the OFB emergency food assistance network, $400 million invested in affordable housing and a law providing overtime protections for farmworkers.

Numbers tell one part of the story, here’s another. This 2-minute video gives you a peak into one of the warehouses and lets you hear a forklift operator explain what motivates him about the work he and OFB are doing.

While you may not be able to move pallets of canned goods around a warehouse, there are many other ways you can support the Oregon Food Bank this holiday season. Locals can volunteer their time and all of us can make a donation and amplify the OFB message on social media. Follow them on their Facebook page and also on Twitter and Instagram @oregonfoodbank.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Trees for Troops

In today’s Feel Good Friday, we invite you to take a break from trimming your Christmas tree and learn about Trees for Troops.

It starts with the Christmas Spirit Foundation, an organization whose mission is “to advance the Christmas Spirit for kids, families and the environment through programs and activities.” One of their major programs is Trees for Troops.

Since 2005, the Christmas Spirit Foundation has partnered with Christmas tree growers and FedEx to provide “free, farm-grown Christmas Trees to United States armed forces members in all branches of the military and their families, through donations, sponsorships, grants and the work of many volunteers.”

To date the Trees for Troops program has delivered more than 277,001 trees to military families in the U.S. and to troops stationed overseas in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Spain and Guam. This year they will pick up over 15,000 trees from 55 locations around the country and deliver them to 77 military bases.

Trees are donated by individual farms and lots, the collective efforts of state and regional Christmas Tree associations, local sponsoring groups, and the customers of participating locations. If there’s not a location near you, check the websites as some of these locations offer online purchase and donation of trees. 

Each year, hundreds of donors and volunteers participate to make Trees for Troops happen. Ilf you’d like to be one of them you can make a donation to Trees for Troops and amplify their message on social media. Like their Facebook page, and follow them onTwitter @Trees4Troops and on Instagram @treesfortroops. 

Friday, December 9, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Project Linus

As Feel Good Friday heads into December, it’s time to switch into winter holiday mode! Let’s start with Project Linus.

If reading the name Linus calls to mind the Peanuts character who loved his blanket, you’re on the right track. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Belton, Missouri, the mission of Project Linus is “to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.” They do this with blankets.

There are Project Linus chapters in all 50 states. Volunteer chapter coordinators actively work within their communities to gather homemade blankets and then distribute them to children in need. The volunteers who make the blankets are called “blanketeers” and there are many ways they can stay engaged with Project Linus throughout the year.

A great time to get involved is on National Make a Blanket Day! Coming up on February 18, 2023, this is a day set aside by Project Linus and their chapters to bring awareness to the mission. If you need inspiration, or a pattern, for your blanket creation you can find some on the website. There are even options for no-sew fleece blankets, perfect for people like me.

In addition to National Make a Blanket Day, there is an annual Knit & Crochet Along that runs from March to August. On the first Saturday in March a knit and a crochet pattern segment is released. New pattern segments are released succeeding Saturdays through the end of April. You can download the segments from the website at any time during the entire event period so that you can knit at your own pace.

Finally, there is a Mystery Quilt Challenge and Contest. The Challenge portion consists of weekly “clues” revealed over several weeks to challenge registrants. Each clue is a PDF document that contains very detailed instructions, diagrams, and even templates to make a segment of the mystery quilt. Clues are accompanied by online videos demonstrating step-by-step how to make them. At the end of the challenge, all weekly clue segments are assembled into a beautiful quilt. The Contest portion consists of entrants rallying everyone they know to make donations in the form of votes for their entered quilt. Vote-buying for good!

Across all chapters, Project Linus donates an average of 350 blankets each month. Since they began in 1995 they have delivered over 9,058,293 blankets to children in need!

If you want to support the work of Project Linus, you can find a local chapter where you can volunteer, donate a handmade blanket or donate materials. You can also make a monetary donation, shop for merch, and amplify their message on social media. Follow them on Facebook, on Twitter @ProjectLinus and on Instagram @project.linus.official.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Ten Year Anniversary

Today we’re celebrating TEN YEARS of Feel Good Friday! 

I started this blog back in 2012 as a way to share weekly stories of people and organizations making a positive impact in their communities. Ten years later and I haven’t stopped because there are still many more stories to be told.

As I did in the five year anniversary post, I’m going to take a trip down memory lane and recap the most viewed story for each of the last five years, starting with 2018.

2018 -
Sacramento Tree Foundation

Focused on building healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest possible. Sacramento Tree Foundation offers education, advice, training and support for people planting trees in the community.

2019 -
La Clinica

A health clinic founded in California over 50 years ago, their mission is "to improve the quality of life of the diverse communities we serve by providing culturally appropriate, high quality, and accessible health care for all."

2020 - COVID-19

In March, 2020 when people in the U.S were first being asked to stay home for what we thought would be a few weeks, many zoos, theaters and museums made their content available online. Revisit this blog to see what adventures you can have from the comfort of your couch. The live jelly cam from the Monterrey Bay Aquarium is a favorite of mine.

2021 - Pay Away the Layaway

With a mission to “inspire hope and spread kindness” Pay Away the Layaway raises money year round. Volunteers then go to stores and use that money to pay off layaway balances for families during the holiday season.

2022 - Volunteer Match

As the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, the mission of Volunteer Match is to make it easy for good people and good causes to connect. You’re a good person, why not connect with a good cause today?

Whether you’re reading these stories for the first or second time, thank you for being a part of the Feel Good Friday community! Your comments, likes and shares make me feel good about telling these stories, so keep them coming. Stay in touch by following the blog at Hey Miss K or  connect with me on LinkedIn

Here’s to ten more years. See you next week!