Invisible Yet Invaluable part8

Invisible Yet Invaluable part8

Invisible Yet Invaluable

You know who they are.  People who are passionate and committed to helping while encouraging others.  The invisible are invaluable.  They use their talents to let someone else shine. The invisible do not encourage others for accolades.  They do it out of the passion that is in their hearts.    

On November 3, you will be able to meet amazing encouragers and see some of the work that has been done by those that they encourage at the 2018 LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited.   

Location                        St Augustine Catholic Church

                                          1310 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40203

Time                               5:30-7:30pm (the Walk of Hope is at 7pm)

Vernell Porter Jr. Founder of Complex Collaboration Step Team Est. 2011

Vernell Porter Jr. Founder of Complex Collaboration Step Team Est. 2011

Let us introduce you to the Complex Collaboration Step Team.

I want to continue to inspire, motivate, and instill passion into others! Back in 2011, I created something that was a desire, a dream, a vision; Complex Collaboration Step Team. CCST is a youth organization made up of elementary, middle, and high school students in Louisville, KY that enhances confidence, builds character, promotes progression, & saves lives through the art of STEP & DANCE!

Complex Collaboration Step Team has been blessed to have rehearsal space partnerships with different venues and we are so thankful for all of them. Now it’s time we know what it feels like to have a key to our own space and somewhere to call HOME! I want to provide these kids with a facility where they can continue to develop and explore their creative voices through the sound of step and the movement of dance.

Louisville, Kentucky is a city of hidden talent! My dream doesn’t stop here. I plan to expand and develop more opportunities for the youth in my community using this facility! The Complex Dance Centré  will instill positive attributes in the generation today! Most importantly giving an outlet for the youth to release energy, express emotions, and escape from hardships. I am dedicated to my art! This is why this space is sure to make a difference in what I will be able to contribute back to my community.

Here is where I need YOU:dance
The Complex Dance Centré will be HOME of Complex Collaboration Step Team but will also be HOME to any supporter who is willing to donate. With a new business, comes a lot of start up expenses. All money donated will go towards start up cost (mirrors, studio equipment, signage, etc.). Any monetary contribution will be greatly appreciated and the Complex Collaboration Step Team family will love you long time!

THANK YOU!   

-Complex Collaboration Step Team

Invisible Yet Invaluable part7

Invisible Yet Invaluable part7

Invisible Yet Invaluable

You know who they are.  People who are passionate and committed to helping while encouraging others.  The invisible are invaluable.  They use their talents to let someone else shine. The invisible do not encourage others for accolades.  They do it out of the passion that is in their hearts.    

On November 3, you will be able to meet amazing encouragers and see some of the work that has been done by those that they encourage at the 2018 LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited.   

Location                        St Augustine Catholic Church

                                          1310 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40203

Time                               5:30-7:30pm (the Walk of Hope is at 7pm)

Let us introduce you to Cathy Upshire, Wholeness Strategist, Author, Speaker and Spiritual Wellness Coach.

HeadshotHi, I’m Cathy Upshire. I help women who have lost their sense of identity and power to not only reclaim it so that they can live their lives with dignity and resolve, but I also help them break free from the clenching jaws of their past.  I am not a doctor or a therapist.  I liken myself to a beautiful butterfly.  The colors and intricate patterns embedded in my wings represent all of the collective experiences and lessons I’ve learned along the way.  I spread my wings proudly (void of shame); I spread them wide; because they legitimize me, they authenticate me, they are God’s signature and seal that I am a transformed being; ready and suitable for the task at hand; ready to take those who are wounded, broken and marred on their own personal journeys to inner healing, wholeness, self-acceptance and self-love.

Invisible Yet Invaluable part3

Invisible Yet Invaluable part3

Invisible Yet Invaluable

You know who they are.  People who are passionate and committed to helping while encouraging others.  The invisible are invaluable.  They use their talents to let someone else shine. The invisible do not encourage others for accolades.  They do it out of the passion that is in their hearts.    

On November 3, you will be able to meet amazing encouragers and see some of the work that has been done by those that they encourage at the 2018 LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited.   

Location                        St Augustine Catholic Church

                                        1310 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40203

 Time                              5:30-7:30pm (the Walk of Hope is at 7pm)

rev carolLet us introduce you to Rev Carol Wieger, Pastor of New Life in Christ Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) located inside Dismas Charities – Diersen and supported by Mission Behind Bars and Beyond Inc.

“I believe that God has blessed each of us with a gift.  That gift may not be readily apparent to us without the encouragement and discernment of another individual.  That gift may not be something that’s exactly tangible, either.  But, regardless, we each have a beautiful gift to share with one another.

When we realize that we have something valuable to share, we realize that we are valuable.  Unfortunately, not everyone has felt this before in their lives. 

My hope is to serve women in a capacity that leaves them feeling empowered, valued, capable, and respected.  When all these goals are achieved, the gifts that are found within each one of us can be shared with others… and that’s when the beauty truly begins.”

Invisible Yet Invaluable part2

Invisible Yet Invaluable part2

Invisible Yet Invaluable

You know who they are.  People who are passionate and committed to helping while encouraging others.  The invisible are invaluable.  They use their talents to let someone else shine. The invisible do not encourage others for accolades.  They do it out of the passion that is in their hearts.    

On November 3, you will be able to meet amazing encouragers and see some of the work that has been done by those that they encourage at the 2018 LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited.   

Location                        St Augustine Catholic Church

                                        1310 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40203

 Time                              5:30-7:30pm (the Walk of Hope is at 7pm)

 blue browningLet us introduce you to Jacqueline “Blue” Browning, a psychiatric nurse who works with patients across the life span and volunteers to offer hope through health and wellness education.

Since a very young age, I knew I was placed on this planet with a mission, that mission being help others heal. Little did I know of the pain and struggles I would have to face and conquer in order to understand the concept of survival and thriving.  Everything I do, I do with the vision of being my best version, so I may impact others who may need a glimmer of hope, a kind word, reassurance. Many people whether it be family, friends or strangers have given me just that along the way. I am eternally grateful to them and work to give back every day. 

My goal is to bring holistic care to my patients and with those whom I volunteer. We all share this planet; this living breathing planet and we are all connected. My hope is to have people re-connect with themselves so that they may connect with others. Connection is what makes us strong. Together we are an unstoppable force.

Invisible Yet Invaluable

Invisible Yet Invaluable

You know who they are.  People who are passionate and committed to helping while encouraging others.  The invisible are invaluable.  They use their talents to let someone else shine. The invisible do not encourage others for accolades.  They do it out of the passion that is in their hearts.    

On November 3, you will be able to meet amazing encouragers and see some of the work that has been done by those that they encourage at the 2018 LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited while learning about the “Learn and Earn” initiative.  

Location                     St Augustine Catholic Church

                                      1310 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40203

 Time                            5:30-7:30pm (the Walk of Hope is at 7pm)

carol annLet us introduce you to Carol Ann Balogh, Owner and Founder of Enrichment Activities, LLC.

“I am focused on each Individual finding their purpose.  Thus enabling them to feel more a part of their community. I want to help them to find how they can actually give of their own efforts, which will fulfill and enrich their own lives and increase their own self-esteem.

No matter what skills a person possesses, no matter what challenges he or she is going thru.  Everyone has the ability to move forward.

I want to be the person who helps a person find that talent, that skill, that interest…To take that interest and ignite that passion in their own ability to push forward.  To not only enjoy life, but to expand on the purpose to keep living.  To connect with the community, as a vital part of the community.”

Learn and Earn – A Personal Perspective

Learn and Earn

A Personal Perspective

Written by Sharon Cecil

Growing up in a dysfunctional family and my mother’s death my senior year of high school set me on a journey full of exploration and discovery that included a failed marriage, multiple moves and several jobs.  I was full of doubt, had no self-esteem or confidence in myself. But, I knew that I had to learn in order to earn my way in life.

While married to my first husband, I experienced a turbulent yet MIRACULOUS pregnancy, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, bouncing baby girl in 1972.  Whew—after experiencing a Postpartum Depression, I was in need of a full body wellness experience.  

In order to be a good mother, I knew that I was going to need a lot of guidance.  Mental health seemed to be what was needed the most.  Part of the health care plan was to become engaged in therapeutic crafts.  This seemed to be the most beneficial part of my care plan, it was important to learn as much as I could.

In 1974, I started a craft class at Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY with the Highland Community Ministries.  This class lasted until the mid-1980’s.

During this time, I found myself to be a single parent after a difficult divorce.   I learned how to barter, and sell consignments utilizing my craft skills.  In order to supplement my income, I began:

  • doing cleaning at a local sewing center in exchange for sewing lessons and material to make my daughter and myself clothes 
  • making craft items to sell at a shop in St. Matthews, KY
  • learning a simple painting style while talking ceramic lessons in order to teach lessons for a craft shop in Jeffersontown, KY.

In 1979, an opportunity was available for me to go to college on a grant. During the discussion with my advisor, I shared that I would like to do hair styling, be a seamstress, chef or baker—something artistic.  He said that the only college course that would fit the list was chef through a Culinary Arts Program, which was not recommended.  He said that if I wanted to do something artistic, “you need to minor in art and get a traditional degree.”  He pushed business.  

I decided to get an Art Degree with no business in the mix.  

Some years passed, and I became a Registered Nurse. Since then, I‘ve applied my art and nursing skills as a psychiatric nurse, university lecturer, health educator and social advocate to design creative programming that benefit others.

As cancer survivors, my late husband, Moody Cecil, and I co-founded We Survive in 1994.  In 2012, Moody became dependent on me for much of his care.  Choosing to keep Moody at home was a choice I don’t regret making. Although it drained our finances and I am now experiencing financial fragility, I am a fighter who will not sit back with self-doubt.  That will not get me anywhere.   

In 2014, it was decided to re-ignite an event that was originally held in 1997—LIGHTFEST.  By 2015, we became less involved in the community because of both of our medical challenges.  But it was still possible to keep LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited (LFR) viable.  In 2017, LFR was celebrated in over 70 cities and 2 countries. It has been the goal of LIGHTFEST to reach an international level whereby everyone around the world will shine a Light of HOPE.

I faced life’s tragic obstacles that came with a dysfunctional family, the harshness of not being loved by a parent to watching people self-destruct through poor choices. Once I married Moody, I learned how to be loved unconditionally, believe in myself and dare to dream. 

Moody and I faced many obstacles and yet never gave up our passion to help others.  We blended our talents and created We Survive.  Our obstacles were many but our resolve was strong.

My actions have been from acquiring a deep-seated desire to never have another person feel alone or afraid.  As my husband would say to me and I now say to others, “I will believe in you until you believe in yourself. “  

Moody passed away in December of 2016.  Today I sit here writing this story thinking about the Business Degree I didn’t pursue and the lessons I have learned along the journey life has taken. Having personally experienced the power of hope, I am inspired to share that message with others through art and nature. I believe that “Art Saves Lives.”  It has saved mine numerous times.  

This year, We Survive is kicking off a Social Entrepreneurship Initiative—Learn and Earn which had gained momentum due to We Survive’s Voices – Passport to Art that took place in March 2018.

It is important to do what gets you excited–Purposeful Living is about living a life that you love.

I feel that Learn and Earn is not just about the potential to earn money. It’s about earning self-respect, self-confidence, recognition and support, and learn entrepreneurial skills. If some money can be earned, great!!!

Watch this short video to learn more about We Survive and some of its programming.


 

What the Day of Hope Means to Me

What the Day of Hope Means to Me

What the Day of Hope Means to Me

by Jacqueline Blue Browning

blue and sharonThe love and compassion that Moody and Sharon share always struck me at my core. Here were two individuals who had discovered some of the secrets of life. Simple secrets, that get lost in the hustle and bustle of life as we know it to be on this planet today. Some of the most important secrets ; to stop and take the time to breath in nature, to be grateful for and appreciate the beauty of our Earth and to share with one another. These simple truths are often forgotten by many, yet when these secrets are put into practice the results are amazing.

I remember much laughter and wonderful conversations with the children and parents at Day Of Hope. This event is so important to the community. Providing children and families with not only hope but relaxation, a moment to pause and reflect and appreciate the beauty in the world. The atmosphere is always harmonious and everyone shares with one another and smiles.

6-15DayHopeCreek(3)I met Sharon Cecil when I was on my first clinical rotation for the LPN Program at Galen College. She was my first ever clinical instructor. She was so knowledgeable and compassionate. As I continued with my studies I moved on to the RN program. Upon graduation I began working with Sharon on the Day of Hope event. I partnered up with Whole Foods as they donate fruit, snacks and drinks for everyone. I enjoyed being the nurse educator and would provide health and nutrition information. My favorite part was always hiking with the kids. We would also go down to the creek and explore, face paint and paint rocks. We would have a fire pit and make smores. It was always a great time for everyone involved.

Hearing the laughter of the children, seeing the smiles on the faces of the adults, listening to the trees sway in the wind, smelling the fire pit’s smoke float and dance with the wind all while feeling the sun on our skin was one of my favorite memories. I have attended the day of hope for the last 5 years and will continue to for as long as I am able. I plan on continuing my commitment to Sharon and Moody and their vision. I will be graduating in 2019 as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and will continue to participate, create and be a part of Day of Hope.blue

 

Jacqueline Blue Browning, PMHNP- student

Eastern Kentucky University, Class of 2019

Taxes on the Go Offers Hope for the Homebound

Taxes on the Go Offers Hope for the Homebound

Written by Sharon Cecil

In the fall of 2015, I found myself in a situation where I was pretty much limited due to a fall that created mobility issues. To the knee injury that imposed restrictions that I referred to as “stair incarceration” add blustery wind and a flurry of snow accumulation, home became my husband’s and my sanctuary.

During this time, there were a lot of people sharing stories about how it was hard to get out of their home to get things done. The information shared took me on an explorative journey to seek out services that are available to you when you are homebound.

Two services that I felt were vital included getting your taxes completed and food for the pantry.

Taxes on the Go Offers Hope for the Homebound

TaxFormIt is inevitable, that January brings with it that time of the year. TAX time! It can be one of the most grueling tasks that you procrastinate about for multiple reasons.

One young man’s story was fascinating.

Michael Fitzmayer has done tax preparation for more than 35 years. He will tell you that he has seen just about every type of tax situation in that time.

Mike started Taxes on the Go. He will come to your home with his laptop in hand and prepare your taxes.   He has the capability to e-file, but needs to file from his office to ensure that it is sent from a secure network.

In order to help people that were less fortunate than he is, Mike started doing Taxes on the Go. Mike wanted to be there for people who were in recovery situations and be able to reduce the cost for those with lower incomes or stressed financial concerns.

Mike talked with me regarding, “People with low incomes are going into tax preparation offices and being taken advantage of by paying very high preparation fees.”

When you can’t leave home, there is always the option to do your taxes yourself when you have access to the internet. For many people, they don’t have the luxury of owning a computer and internet access due to their financial limitations. Or health issues such as sight might make that option prohibitive.

Thank goodness that there are people like Mike who have put a personal touch to taxes.

Taxes on the Go takes the worry out of getting your taxes done if you can’t leave home.

Contact Mike at Taxes on the Go 502-640-8782. He will also prepare taxes at his office.

FYI—If you live in Louisville, you might want to check out ValuMarket’s Curbside Direct, Louisville’s original online grocery shopping platform that allows customers to buy all their favorite grocery items online in a safe and convenient way. Or check with your local area store to see if you can call in the day before to get your order delivered.

Honoring Someone’s Wishes Gives Respect

Honoring Someone’s Wishes Gives Respect

Honoring Someone’s Wishes Gives Respect

Respect“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. … The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.” – Robin Williams as Lance Clayton in World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

In today’s social and economical environment, there are people (young and old) who are feeling as if they are all alone due to the fear of the unknowns in their future.   Will the outcomes bring devastation and destruction to their world order as they know it!!

Life throws you many obstacles, health and finances can be challenged.  This can lead to a downward spiral if you feel that you don’t have any resources available to you.  That is when you need to take a chance and talk— let yourselves be known.

Moody Cecil, the love of my life, was to a point in our life’s journey that I had to assess our situation and made some difficult choices.

In 2014, Moody and I began to experience financial fragility in part due to my decision to no longer work and be with him 24/7. moody-cecil

It was important to Moody that the legacy he started at the farm would be continued. Therefore, my priority was to keep that vision alive.

I approached the family to see what we might be able to do to keep the property, known to most as Haven of Hope, in the family.

There were two family members that stepped forward to help devise a plan if we should we find it necessary to sell.

What a blessing!! 

When it comes to Moody and his wishes, the following stories regarding his vision brings to life the impact the Haven of Hope has had throughout the years:

I am honored and full of gratitude for the opportunity to have been part of Moody Cecil’s life long vision.  He taught so many that it is important to “Realize the Power of the Dream.”  Thousands of people got the chance to know this loving, caring, gentle man.  To see the twinkle in his blue eyes as he watched over and taught about nature.  Knowing that he was never alone is inherent in everyone who got to know Moody. What was admired most about Moody was that he continued to be a champion for causes in which he believed. This allowed those of us around him to Celebrate Life.

Homelessness Can Happen to Anyone

Homelessness Can Happen to Anyone

Homelessness Can Happen to Anyone

A letter from Sherry P.

Dear Friends and Family

Unexpected happenings can take you from stability to fragility in a matter of moments.

Have you or anyone you know:

  • ended up in the hospital for an extended period of time,
  • lost his or her job and can’t find a job at his or her same pay grade,
  • graduated from college and has enormous tuition expenses and can’t find a job,
  • an elder person who is on a fixed income or health is declining?

Many years ago as a college student, it wasn’t unusual to see a woman who pushed around a grocery cart with sacks of stuff in it.  She was referred to as a “bag ladies.’  What was in the cart was everything she owned.

Men would hang around the area fast food places near the college begging for money, saying that they wanted food.  These men were referred to as “pan handlers.”

One day in Sociology class, there was a discussion on how did these people wind up on the street.  There were many perspectives to that question.  Primary, the perception was that they were either lazy, mentally ill or on drugs.  A discussion ensured that didn’t bring about much change in the negative view towards their situation except to say that they were living on the street.  Could not say with certainty that the words poverty or homelessness were even used.

The issues surrounding poverty, hunger and homelessness need to be address.  The are a leading issue of today and is not going away.

No one is immune.  The potential to the vulnerability to poverty, hunger and homelessness impacts each and every single one of us in some way be it environmentally, economically or overall health.

There is an estimated 15% of the homeless who have jobs, but do not make a living wage.  Then you have retirees who are on fixed incomes who watch their benefits get cut while the cost of living continues to rise.

Infants to the elderly are struggling to maintain their basic needs – food, clothing and shelter.  Children and the elderly have the most difficulty surviving the devastation of poverty.

In 2017, the access to healthcare is a big issue.  With the potential policy changes to Medicard and Medicare, healthcare becomes an even bigger uncertainty for those who are medically fragile—which lead to financial fragility.

We need to become advocates for our fellow man.  It is the simple things that make a BIG difference.

As an avid volunteer, I want to tell you there are so many organizations that would love your help.  Find something you enjoy and then see what you can do.

soupkitchenBeing able to interact is rewarding.  Working in a soup kitchen has been rewarding over the years for my husband and myself.

You will be amazed at the gratitude that you receive when you are serving others.  In our case it is serving times two.  We are able to serve a population in need while serving up a hot meal.

What a blessing that is for everyone.