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My Town: Need for life-saving blood donations doesn't take a vacation

My Town: Need for life-saving blood donations doesn't take a vacation

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—Many families are celebrating summer by taking a trip, but the need for life-saving blood donations does not take a vacation.

The American Red Cross says during the summer season, each of its blood drives falls short of meeting the needs of patients by approximately two donors.  Further complicating the issue is the short shelf life of red blood cells and platelets, which are no longer good after 42 days and five days respectively.

The American Red Cross is accepting much-needed donations during the following drives:

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A leafy green initiative to improve the lives of Grand Rapids families is leading to a plant free-for-all this weekend.

On Saturday, July 26, Our Kitchen Table will be giving away a variety of vegetable plants to those who rely on the United Church Outreach Ministry and the Asian West Michigan Association for support.  Kale, collars, broccoli, cauliflower, Bok Choy, chard, lettuce, cabbage and Brussel sprouts will all be available on a first come, first serve basis. The plant pick-up will take place at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

My Town: Pantry on wheels rolls into Eastown July 22

My Town: Pantry on wheels rolls into Eastown July 22

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A pantry on wheels will be rolling into Eastown Wednesday to help feed families in need.

The Feeding America West Michigan mobile food pantry will be stationed outside Sigsbee School/Southeast Academic Center July 23, to distribute food traditional pantries do not normally have available for those in need.  Distribution will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.   People who would like to volunteer to help should email info@eastown.org.

 The Feeding America truck will return to the area Aug. 13.

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

Opinion: Have you ever been to a 5k for Mental Illness?

Opinion: Have you ever been to a 5k for Mental Illness?

 

Yes, it's me and I am on the band wagon about the subject of Mental Health. Here is something I found that describes Mental Illness in plain language:

A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.