Tag Archives: giving back

Giving Back: Creative Therapy Care

Creative Therapy Care is a local nonprofit organization that supports children and adults with special needs through the use of occupational, physical, and speech therapies by incorporating animals. They also provide music therapy onsite through Anderson Music Therapy Services.

The newly-expanded campus includes a gym for sensory integrative activities, a woodworking station, and a shop where items made by clients are sold. It will soon include a room renovated for expressive art.

photo-aug-26-4Occupational therapist Mona Sams owns and cares for all of the animals used at Creative Therapy Care. Dogs, rabbits, and llamas comfort and bond with clients on the grounds. This unique form of treatment is not only soothing, but also helps in the development of key life skills. “Animals help because they don’t pass judgement,” explains Mona. “They give unconditional acceptance. They also help in that they create an awareness that beings other than just yourself need to be cared for. It helps develop a nurturing aspect and social skills. They each pick a llama to care for and they share.”

In addition to occupational therapy, clients can participate in music therapy with Noel Anderson and Cassie Smith from Anderson Music Therapy. Music is used therapeutically to address physical, psychological, communicative, cognitive, behavioral, and/or social functioning. Often clients are co-treated with the two therapies since they are at the same site. This allows parents and caregivers to take advantage of both in the same trip.

“Sometimes a client has been in a session with me and Cassie will come down and I can let her know what we’ve done during the day,” says Mona. “They can then make up a song about something that happened with a llama. If the client gets restless we can walk around the building again with the llama.”

Through a door in the music room awaits a gym. Once a garage, it is now a room of discovery and growth. There, nonverbal children learn to communicate with the animals without speaking by making motions with their hands or indicating direction with their bodies. In the last few months, clients have been using the gym to practice with the llamas for Llama Fest, which will take place on Saturday, October 8 from 10 am to 4 pm (with a rain date of Saturday, October 15). The event will take place at their location, 8209 Williamson Road, Roanoke. Clients will lead their llamas through obstacles and it will be categorized according to skill. There will be judges present for the event, which helps teach sportsmanship and self awareness.

If you are interested in learning more about Creative Therapy Care and Anderson Music Therapy, their websites are www.monasark.org and www.amusictheraphy.com, respectively. Don’t forget to check out Llama Fest on October 8! We’ll see you there!

Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

Until we live in a world where domestic violence no longer exists, it is important that we remember the victims include all ethnicities, income levels, and age groups. The bravest thing a victim can do is seek help, and it is important for everyone in a community to know where to send someone who needs those services.

Family Services of Roanoke Valley, TAP Domestic Violence Services, and the Salvation Army’s Turning Point are working together to offer a “Star City Survivors Support Group.” This group offers comprehensive support for survivors of domestic violence and meets twice each week—once in the morning and once in the evening. The collaboration also includes a weekly support group offered by Family Service staff at Turning Point. Their goal is to empower survivors through trauma awareness and skill-building.

The best part about this partnership is that it creates an opportunity for each organization to offer their best services to those in need. Family Services of Roanoke Valley is a mental health counseling agency that provides individual and group counseling for people regardless of age or ability to pay. This includes children, adults, families, elderly, and group counseling. Some children who receive their services will continue to do so as adults.

Turning Point is a secure and accredited shelter for women survivors of domestic violence and their children. Family Services has a group at their location and they provide referrals into private counseling as needed. They also offer therapy for children staying in the shelter with their mothers.

Finally, TAP’s domestic violence services program focuses on crisis intervention and has a hotline for people who need immediate resources. They have several different programs to meet the needs of various situations including one that facilitates an environment for parents who are no longer together but are granted supervised visitation.

The Star City Survivors Support Group is made up of a group of women who start the ten-week course together after being referred into the group. Going through the course together allows them to build a community of people who can lift one another up.

There are ways that we can help as a community. Turning Point has a list of items they will take for donations including feminine hygiene products, food, and clothes. You can also provide information on Family Service of Roanoke Valley to someone in need of counseling services. Visit their website, www.fsrv.org, for more details.

Heels for Healing

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate spring and meet new friends, you don’t want to miss Heels for Healing on Friday, April 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Berglund Center in Roanoke! This annual women’s fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will feature a shoe raffle with gorgeous footwear from Yarid’s. Wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar will be available. The event will also include a large silent and live auction.

Tickets to Heels for Healing are $55 each, or $400 for a table of eight. Since its inception, the event has raised thousands of dollars and awareness for local nonprofit children’s hospitals. These funds help provide lifesaving medical equipment and services for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatric Units at Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital in Roanoke. Each year, over 2,200 hospitalized children and 25,000 children visiting 17 speciality outpatient clinics benefit from the money raised by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

12814617_10154034110948140_1515970955429804959_nThis is possible because 100 percent of funds raised remain locally to enable the hospital to pivoted miracles of health and healing for babies and children in our communities. Every ticket, every pair of shoes, every donation—every single dollar makes a difference.

In previous years, the event has been held during the day. The new hours this year may be more convenient for attendees to relax and enjoy the event—all while doing their part to help children in our community. For more information about this event and how to purchase tickets, visit www.carilionclinic.org/cmn.

Giving Back: REBBL Beverages

REBBL Elixirs & Tonics are making waves in the nutrition community, having recently earned the title of 2015’s Best Functional Beverage. Even the name itself, REBBL, stands for plant­based nutrition; Roots, Extracts, Berries, Bark, and Leaves. All of their beverages are Certified Organic Products (meaning no GMOs or pesticides). However, that’s not the only reason why the name is so fitting. The company stands for many economic and environmental issues globally, and isn’t afraid to ‘rebel’ by putting their money ­ and efforts ­ where their mouth is, so to speak.
s6Many global resources derive from people who live on the impoverished side of the economy, and REBBL provides such people with medical care, housing, and clean water products. Furthermore, the organization sources their organic, ‘super­herbs’ and ingredients from these communities. Also, REBBL proudly believes in efficiency, as to not waste any of “nature’s invaluable, treasured ingredients.”
The REBBL website lists the variety of flavors for their ‘elixirs and tonics’, like the Maca Mocha (made with the maca root) or Hibiscus Mint (which is made with Cat’s Claw, a plant that boosts immunity). Rather than simply listing complicated­ ingredients like many other companies, REBBL also provides explanations for the unique ‘super­herb’ in each drink ­ along with any other ingredients ­ and the community from which it is derived.

Written by Madison Correiro