Category Archives: Happenings

Bella Girl’s Night Out: Lucy in the Sky

bellagnoNew boutique, Lucy in the Sky is now open and is located inside the upper level of Towers Mall. Lucy in the Sky offers handmade jewelry by Lucy herself and local artists. The one of a kind boutique also sells art by local artists, books, candles and accessories ranging from purses to scarves and more! In the future you could expect to see classes offered on how to create your own jewelry and art. 

Be sure to stop by check out the new boutique and join us for our Bella Girls Night Out, Thursday (November 13) at Lucy in the Sky!

 

Written by Kristi Hall

Recognizing Forensic Nurses

bellawebThis week is Forensic Nurses Week. Organized by The International Association of Forensic Nurses, it is a time when we recognize the contributions and commitments forensic nurses make and raise awareness about the importance of their work.

The week is celebrated internationally though awareness events in local communities and education efforts to teach colleagues about the forensic nursing practice. Forensic nurses all over the world wear lilac (the designated color of forensic nursing) to mark the week.

“This week is so important because awareness of the specialized knowledge and skills of a forensic nurse can increase access to care for those individuals who have forensic needs as well as health care needs,” said Sheila Early, RN, BScN,  and board president. “Creating awareness of forensic nursing services within the health care world can only lead to better public awareness and access.”

According to the association, health care consumers are becoming more aware of the value of having skilled caregivers to meet their forensic needs in life and in death—but there is still a long way to go because many people are not familiar with the forensic nursing specialty and its role in victim care and the criminal process.

Forensic nurses provide specialized care for patients who are victims and/or suspects who have experienced injury (both intentional and unintentional). These healthcare professionals are nurses first, but have knowledge of the legal system and expertise in forensic science. After meeting a patient’s medical and psychosocial needs, a forensic nurse often collects evidence, provides medical testimony in court, and consults with legal authorities.

“We are not the first group of helping professionals that come to mind when people think about violence,” said Jennifer Meyer. “Typically, they think of law enforcement, advocates or even prosecutors. However, at every step of the way—from reporting the crime to the courtroom—a forensic nurse is there. We provide hands-on care the moment a patient presents to our hospitals and clinics. We are present as they report to law enforcement and we are present to testify in cases that go through the justice system. The public deserves to know more about us and how to access our care.”

Forensic nurses use their advanced education and training to provide nursing care, collect evidence and provide consultation in a variety of areas including: sexual assault, intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, death investigation, elder mistreatment, corrections, emergency services, mass disasters, psychiatric mental health and public health.

For more information, visit www.ForensicNurses.org.

SuperFood Drive

Woman checking food labellingIn the next few weeks we will be surrounded by food drives. Although all of them are important, a non-profit organization called SuperFood Drive is changing the way we think of donating to the hungry.

To simultaneously combat the epidemics of hunger, malnutrition, obesity, and chronic disease, SuperFood Drive works with and supports food banks and food pantries around the world to transform them into healthy hunger relief organizations.

“Our goal is to fill all food banks and food pantries with nutrient dense foods so those in need get the food that is critical to living a healthy and active life,” says Ruthi Solari, founder and executive director of SuperFood Drive.

Over the years, many products have been donated to the one in six Americans struggling to keep food on the table. Unfortunately, filling empty stomachs with unhealthy, non-perishable food is not enough. Often it does not satiate the recipient’s hunger. Even if it does, it can lead to health problems down the road that will present yet another financial obstacle.  

bellaweb1SuperFoods are foods with the most nutrient-density per calorie. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals, and they are what we all should be filling our bodies with to get healthy. Some of us have the choice to purchase them for ourselves. For those that do not, it is important that they are given the same opportunity to be healthy as everyone else. By transforming every food drive into an opportunity to collect healthy, nourishing food for those in need, obesity and its related diseases will fall by the wayside in this highly susceptible population. SuperFoods have been proven to help prevent, and in some cases, reverse the well-known effects of aging, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers.

SuperFoods also has a program focused on educating the next generation called SuperKids for SuperFoods. It provides two options: a quick and fun educational engagement called SuperKids OlympiKs or, for a more in-depth approach, a six-week service-learning program that combines nutrition education with community service to engage youth, ages 11-18, as community leaders and food equity advocates. In addition, SuperFood Drive provides resources for the community on how to host their own SuperFood Drives.

To find out more about SuperFood Drive or to find out how to host your own SuperFood Drive please visit www.superfooddrive.org.

Reduce Tailgating Waste

tailgating

Tailgating at your favorite sports events is almost as big a draw as the game itself, with lots of food, lots of fun – and, unfortunately, lots of waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, large college stadiums can generate 100 tons of waste per game. But you can help reduce game day waste by taking a few simple steps, such as choosing the right packaging, recycling everything you can, and using tailgating essentials made with recycled plastics.

Here are some tips for minimizing waste at your next tailgate:

* Airtight: Choose airtight plastic packaging, such as zipper bags, factory-sealed pouches, cling wrap, and reusable storage containers to help keep food fresh and free of contaminants that could cause spoilage. This can help reduce the likelihood that food will need to be thrown out.

* Minimalist: Recent innovations are leading to new, minimalist packaging designs that help protect food with less material, helping reduce packaging waste. Look for thin, lightweight pouches and bags for game day foods, such as nuts, cheeses, and deli meats, just to name a few.

* Lightweight: Look for beverages sold in lightweight plastic bottles and containers – they’re shatter-resistant which contributes to safety, they typically use less material than alternatives (resulting in less packaging waste), and they’re accepted for recycling in most communities.

* Recycling: Place clearly labeled bags or bins at your tailgate to remind everyone to recycle used plastic packaging and other recyclables. More and more everyday plastic bottles and containers can be recycled in curbside programs, including beverage bottles, ketchup and mustard bottles, containers for sour cream and dip, deli containers, caps and lids, and more. Even plastic bags and wraps – grocery bags, zipper bags, bread and bun bags, wraps for cases of water and soft drinks – can be returned to participating grocery and retail stores for recycling. Check your community’s website or visit www.iwanttoberecycled.org or www.Earth911.com to find out how to recycle as much as possible in your community.

* Recycled: Finally, seek out products made with recycled plastics. Thanks to increased plastics recycling, it’s never been easier to find tailgating essentials made with recycled plastics, such as coolers, serving utensils, plates, cups and bowls.

Fighting Breast Cancer

Think of eight women you know and love. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with eight. Now, think of women who are simply friends and acquaintances. Women who may have families, children, and other people who love them. Did your list get longer? Ours did.

Here’s a sobering thought to accompany that list: about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Those who have regular exams will have a better chance of catching it early and beating it, but until a cure is found, we will continue to lose mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends to the disease.

By raising awareness and working towards a cure together, we can be apart in changing these sobering statistics. October is the month set aside for breast cancer awareness, but it is something we should be thinking about year round. Too many women (and men), of all ages, have lost their battle with breast cancer in our area and worldwide.

In their quest to help find a cure, the Blue Ridge affiliate of Susan G. Komen has raised more than 1.5 million dollars for local and national breast cancer programs and research.

Lisa-and-MJ1Their October ribbon report spotlight features Lisa and her dog, MJ. Lisa and MJ were both diagnosed with cancer in the late months of 2013. Lisa explains when she feels weak she just looks to MJ for motivation, “I have learned so much from MJ. Sometimes I think about my cancer and how I might die. Then, I watch MJ. She wakes up everyday happy. Having cancer does not depress her or ruin her days. So, my advice is to live everyday like MJ!”

Lisa is one of many people living with breast cancer, and every penny donated, every hour volunteered, every mile walked is one step closer to finding a cure. That means every person giving whatever they can is contributing to a day when Lisa does not have to think about her cancer and the chance that she could lose her fight. They are helping her work towards happiness and hope– and another day to wake up happy, like MJ.

If you or someone you love are facing a similar battle and have questions or concerns, you are encouraged to call 1877-GO-KOMEN, a free breast cancer hotline offering professional support. For those wishing to donate their time or money to finding a cure, please visit www.komen.org.

Written by Kristi Hall

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. An issue that impacts millions of people around the world, most domestic violence incidents are never reported. It’s time to change that.

The Aspire News App is a way for victims to speak out. The app is sponsored by the Robin McGraw Foundation and offers several features to help those dealing with domestic violence.

Aspire is a free application that disguises itself as a source for top news stories, sports and entertainment updates. By clicking on the ‘HELP’ feature, users can take advantage of the safety applications. The app is designed to appear like any other smart phone app, allowing it to be downloaded and used in secret.

One of the features of the app is a system where you are able to create pre-written text or voice messages to be sent to designated numbers (911 or other contacts in your phone). The app’s “go button” starts recording to capture the details of the domestic violence encounter, so you have proof of the attack.

aspireThe app is not designed to be a replacement for emergency services; you should always call 911 in situations where you feel like you may be at risk.

Aspire News app has had more than 127,000 downloads and has been recognized as one of the most beneficial apps in 2014 to fight the end to domestic violence.

You can download the app for free in the ITunes store and at www.whengeorgiasmiled.org

 

Written by Kristi Hall

Craftsmen’s Classic Art & Craft Festival

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out this year’s Craftsmen’s Classic at the Berglund Center on October 10, 11, and 12!

MakingKScopeThis event features original designs and work from hundreds of talented artists and craftspeople from across America. See the creative process in action as many exhibitors demonstrate throughout the weekend. There is something for every style, taste and budget with items from the most traditional to the most contemporary.

Visit their website for more information or call 336-282-5550.

Those That Mourn Must Not Give Up

As we remember and celebrate the life and accomplishments of Robin Williams, it is important to take a few things away from his tragic death.

Suicide. Depression. When did these words become so taboo that those being crushed under the weight of such thoughts felt forced to deny them? To be so ashamed of their illness that they could not reach out for help?

In reality, those who ignore their cries or expect them to “be strong” are the ones who should be ashamed for creating a culture where it is expected of everyone to wear their socially accepted mask in public and face their demons alone—behind closed doors.

We must re-examine our expectations of everyone we interact with on a daily basis. Do you want to make a difference in this world? Stop judging people based on their appearance, sexual preferences, past addictions and life circumstances. Stop making them feel weak when they ask for help.

Sit down and LISTEN to them. Sometimes, all someone needs is for another human being to see their struggle without sitting in judgment.

A lot of celebrities and news outlets are expressing that they are “heartbroken” in the wake of this announcement. Although they have every right to feel this emotion, we must remember that Mr. Williams, and the millions of people suffering from depression around the world, are often so well acquainted with that feeling that it does not even shock them anymore. In fact, it lives behind every smile, every laugh and every mask they wear.

If you take anything away from the death of Robin Williams, perhaps it should be that we are all facing struggles—even those who appear to have everything. Remember that we are all human, and sometimes we all need a helping hand. Be a friend.

Finally, if you are battling depression, the most courageous thing you can do is tell someone. There is nothing shameful about reaching out for help. If you are uncomfortable speaking with someone you know, I encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).