The Holidays have come and gone and we welcome in a new year and staff. We have new staff which includes a new Social Worker for the NHCP program, a new NHCP Occupational Therapist, a primary social worker for Our House residents and an Occupational Therapist for Our House Residents.
The NHCP Self Compassion Group learned how daily messages of gratitude can bring caring, insight and the awareness that we are not alone. It’s been over a month since they started sharing what they are grateful for in a daily email. It’s not like writing a letter, as they aren’t obliged to respond to the contents of the other person’s message. They are witnesses to each other’s experience. That’s all.
One of them wrote in regards to the experience: “I am grateful for: this practice… The Wisdom Of My Sponsor… doctors who have my best health at heart… my friend Chris who at any hour drives me to late medical appointments when I am not able… Reminders to breathe… My son's integrity… Not going to bed with the demons I awoke with…”
Residents and clients receive a monthly newsletter that is created by the Administrative Assistant for NHCP. The newsletter is a resource for activities, outings, recipes, etc. The newsletter also includes a monthly calendar.
On Wednesday, December 17th we had the Our House Holiday party where clients, residents, staff, and volunteers where invited to celebrate the holiday season. Several of the Oregon Symphony members came and played holiday carols.
April showers may bring May flowers but until then we need to first start working on the garden and get it ready! And this is exactly what Erica Crane, Our House BSN ACRN, has started to do. Erica is in the process of reaching out to our community partners to see where we can get support for plants and tools that will be needed for the garden this year. The residents are excited as we start the gardening season and have already started to clean out the beds in preparation for the Spring weather to come. Erica is helping residents understand the importance, and procedure, needed to make this year’s garden a huge success.
In January we had approval for a student from PSU to complete her organizational experience project with the Therapeutic Garden Program. Her focus will be on program design, evaluation, and policy. She will help with many of the unmet needs: identifying these and opportunities for data collection, creating a framework from which we can all understand the steps in the process and streamlining communication. She will be here from March until August providing 150 hours of work. We are very excited to work with her as she brings experience of being a project manager and garden programmer to the table.
As the holidays come up we look towards our community partners and supporters to help those that would otherwise not be able to enjoy the holidays. In the month of November we had several 3rd party events where donations to Esther’s Pantry and Tod’s Corner were collected with the barrels that we have. Two of our local establishments, Embers and Crush Bar, collected over $325 and 400+ lbs. of non-perishable food and personal care items. On top of this we received over $700 from The Imperial Sovereign Rose Court of Oregon, which was used to buy over 30 meals for our NHCP clients.
Several of our NHCP clients enjoyed the holiday here at Our House where a traditional Thanksgiving dinner filled with turkey, green beans, stuffing and pie were served. The dinner was prepared by a local Portland chef who was assisted by our very own Development & Volunteer Coordinator and her family. The meal was served by one of our NHCP RN’s and her daughter who took individual orders from each resident or NHCP client. No one left the table hungry for sure!