Tag Archives: chronic illness
by Thyonne Gordon, Ph.D., Executive Director
Last week was the first Video Blog for The Art of Improving Lives. We were so excited to spotlight people who were improving lives and look forward to every other week getting a glimpse at these extraordinary people. Please continue to stay tuned. Next week we’ve got a great line-up!
Today, in honor of Father’s Day, we’re highlighting the word, SECURE.
In some ways the thought of a father evokes the thought of security and safety. Father’s are traditionally the head of the household who help keep things together. When there’s a bump in the middle of the night, father’s check to make sure everything is okay. And when kids are bullied or threatened at school, it’s nothing like running home and telling daddy to make everything feel alright. Father’s give us a sense that everything will be okay.
When father’s are not in the home, there’s definitely a lack. That sense of feeling secure dwindles and though we make it, things just are not as easy as they might be.
Today, we honor the father’s who’ve helped us feel secure. We all want to feel secure in some way — with or without our dads. But, when we have someone to look up to. Someone to be there when we’re afraid. Someone who makes us feel safe. Then we grow to be more secure in ourselves. And who doesn’t want to feel secure?
Thank someone today for being a father figure in your life. They don’t have to be a father to bring out that secure feeling. When you thank them, remember that this person helped to improve your life in a very special way. Tell us about the person you feel secure with.
COACHART RECEIVES CULINARY CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS FROM
CHEF ERIC’S CULINARY CLASSROOM
LOS ANGELES, CA — ERIC CROWLEY, the Owner of CHEF ERIC’S CULINARY CLASSROOM, had donated 15 scholarships to his Kid’s Summer Camps at his a Cooking School in West Los Angeles to COACHART.
CoachArt provides free lessons in the arts and athletics to children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses and their siblings. Chronic illness affects 1.5 million youth nationally. In Los Angeles County, there are approximately 175,000 economically-disadvantaged youth living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease or other serious illnesses and most of these children do not have access to art and recreational activities.
Of the scholarships, CoachArt Outreach Director Kai Tramiel said, “Receiving these scholarships is a true gift. We will be able offer classes to 15 students currently on our waiting list. Our students can’t wait to get cooking!”
Chef Eric’s Culinary Camps offer a creative outlet to distract patients from the pain, therapies and isolation often associated with chronic illness and provides a sense of normalcy. Through the Culinary Arts, siblings and patients alike have increased confidence, hope, and self-esteem. “The best part about teaching the CoachArt Kids is their enthusiasm and courage in the face of adversity,” says Chef Eric Crowley. “They inspire me every day and are a joy to teach. They like to eat, too!”
Chef Eric opens his doors to all Kids during the summer months as they learn to cook for themselves and their families. Children’s Culinary Academies Level 1 through 4 are specifically designed for kids ages 7-15. Each Academy Session is 2 ½ hours a day – Monday through Thursday, in the morning or afternoon. The Academies start June 11th and run through August 23rd. Tuition covers everything the Kids need – they don’t have to bring anything to class. They take home their Recipes so they can cook and bake at home with their families. Last summer, over 200 kids learned from Chef Eric Crowley and his Culinary Team.
About Chef Eric’s Culinary Academy
Since 1999, CHEF ERIC has taught professional and recreational cooking classes to thousands of students; first at a Los Angeles-based cooking school and since founding the CULINARY CLASSROOM in 2003. Many of his past students are successful Restaurant Owners, Chefs, Caterers, Personal Chefs and Home Chefs. His cooking, catering, and teaching career is studded with accolades from students, clients, and employers. His love of gourmet food, cooking, and teaching is apparent. For class information please visit www.culinaryclassroom.comor call 310-470-2640
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CoachArt’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their siblings, by providing free lessons in the arts and athletics. CoachArt matches volunteer mentors with its students to provide lessons based on the child’s preferred activity.
For the past ten years, CoachArt has served more than 2,500 children and in 2011 managed over 15,000 donated volunteer hours consisting of 665 volunteers, and more than 78 program partners. To find out how to become involved with CoachArt as a volunteer mentor, or to take part in the activities, please visit www.CoachArt.org or call 213-736-2850.
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What an awesome day we had at the Beauty Bus Pop-Up Salon at Mercado la Paloma On May 20th! Beauty Professional volunteers from the Beauty Bus Foundation provided 114 services (haircut, styling, manicures, feather, tinsel, makeup application and facial) for a total of 34 CoachArt daughters and moms (and a few dads) that attended the event!
Many thanks to our CoachArt Volunteers for the great arts & crafts table that kept the families engaged while they were waiting for services, and Ed Bartel, CoachArt staff photographer for the awesome before and after shots of our families.
Special cheers and snaps to Jaclyn Rosenson and Elizabeth Weeks-Comeau of the Beauty Bus and all of their volunteer Beauty Professionals for making our first event with them an overwhelming success. It far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Everyone left the event with a new smile on their beautiful faces and proudly toted the super cool “bags of beauty”.
We can’t wait for our next pop-up salon geared towards sons and dads.
Those who attended couldn’t wait to share their experiences:
“Everyone was really nice. It was so relaxing. The best part was that I got some time with my daughter.”
Abby, CoachArt mom
“I really did not want to leave. This was a really fun day!”
Kimly, CoachArt mom
“What I liked best was the haircut because it was nice what they did to my hair.”
Gabrielle, CoachArt daughter
“I loved when they did my nails because I could never do it as perfect as they did.”
Cynthia, CoachArt daughter
Click here for: CoachArt photos
Click here for: Beauty Bus FB photo link
by Thyonne Gordon, Ph.D., Executive Director
I am grateful for the things that you have done.
Yes, I’m grateful for the victories we’ve won.
I could go on and on and on about your works.
Because I’m grateful, grateful, grateful.
Flowing from my heart,
Are the issues of my heart
It’s gratefulness. — Hezikiah Walker
On the heels of Mother’s Day there is much to think about and I am grateful for the process. Having experienced two losses that affect me deeply during this time, I am mindful, reflective and thoughtful. The loss of my mother was early in her life yet, natural in the circle of life. However, having a miscarriage in the late stages of a pregnancy was not supposed to be a part of that circle. So in reflecting during this time it brings my heart hurt yet gratitude.
I know this sounds strange because it says I’m grateful for loss. And in actuality it’s exactly what I mean.
In our gratitude we normally think of what we have. Yet, being grateful is about what we have already received. The love I felt, the insight I gained and the compassion I’m able to share with others going through similar circumstances are attributes I would never had if my losses had not occurred. I now have first hand experience to help others get through difficult times — and I have wonderful, heart warming, humorous and loving stories that range from laughing with my mother to feeling a first kick from my unborn child.
It is these lived experiences that I am grateful for.
We all have loss and I’m certainly not here to say we shouldn’t experience the pain and tears associated with having a loved one gone forever. But, I do believe we must appreciate what we had while we had it and learn from whatever that period affords us.
We must be grateful — in good and bad. We must be grateful that these experiences shaped us into who we are. We must be grateful that we had someone or something to look forward to. We must be grateful that they were a part of our lives to help us grow and to help us love.
Today take a moment to be grateful for whomever is helping you grow. If that special someone is still around, appreciate them more by acknowledging what they’re bringing into your life. If they are no longer here, say a special word or prayer thanking them for what they’ve left. Know that you are not alone in loss and in the collective of that spirit there is hope and that leads us to a grateful place of love.
by Thyonne Gordon, Ph.D., Executive Director
A friend shared the story from the Bible when Elizah the prophet ran in fear because he was threatened. Though destined in his prophecy he ran in FEAR because he lost his faith. Elizah saw false evidence appearing real. His mind was playing tricks on him as he thought something bad would happen even though he knew God’s promise to him.
So many times we are like Elizah, running in fear. We try to see into the future based on false evidence and the reality is, we don’t really know what the future holds.
For some the fear is moving forward in a career — not sure how or if they should move forward. For others it’s opening hearts in relationships — whether to trust feelings over thoughts. Whatever fear we have, we must stop, stand to it and face it head on. Looking fear in the face shows the reality of what is and what’s really possible.
Fear paralyzes so many people in so many instances. It’s like a thief taking away your power to choose a positive futuristic path.
Take some time to think about what has you running in fear and then think about where the False Evidence Appears Real and shake it off.
Remember the acronym for FEAR and find what’s real!
On Saturday April 28, twelve CoachArt students interested in filmmaking got the opportunity of a lifetime. The students learned from Monster’s Ball director, Mark Forster what inspired him to enter the field of film, his experiences as a director and tips and tricks of the trade.
Mark then mentored students throughout the day while they wrote and directed their own short documentaries. A piano prodigy with cancer on his spine, a poet with sickle cell, a post-kidney transplant recipient and a dancer – all uniquely special. The students shared stories of laughter and fun leaving the challenges of their illnesses behind.
CoachArt’s Program Partner, Make a Film Foundation helped to make filming possible and will edit the final products. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) served as the backdrop for this very special day.
Kai Tramiel, CoachArt’s Outreach Coordinator commented “This was our second Vidz4Kids project with MAFF, and my expectations were far exceeded, once again!” Tamika Lamison, founder and Executive Director of Make a Film Foundation added, “Every time we do a VIDZ 4 KIDZ with CoachArt, I am reminded once again of why I love this program so much. Watching the children, mentors and volunteers show their passion, enthusiasm and creativity, never gets old.”
See all of the fun from the day in our photo gallery.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and the thousands of chronically-ill children & their siblings being served through CoachArt, THANK YOU!
The art of improving lives began when you volunteered your first hour with CoachArt and will continue for a lifetime in the children you have touched.
As a small token of our appreciation, we are pleased to partner with The Original El Cholo Mexican Restaurant to offer our volunteers a 50% discount off of your entree during National Volunteer Week on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. This offer is only valid at the Santa Monica and Western Ave locations.
You must sign-up via the link below and wear your CoachArt T-shirt to receive this generous discount from El Cholo Restaurant, serving authentic Mexican cuisine.
Thanks for practicing the art of improving lives!
We hope this meal will be indicative that the life you improve, may just be your own. Have a great time at El Cholo Restaurant, a Los Angeles landmark since 1923!
Receive 50% OFF of your entree at El Cholo Restaurant on Wednesday, April 18th when you RSVP NOW and wear your CoachArt T-shirt!
Valid ONLY at these locations:
This promotion is only good for one visit, per volunteer at either the Western Avenue or Santa Monica location on April 18, 2012. You may bring friends and family, but only CoachArt volunteers, wearing a CoachArt T-shirt and who have submitted a RSVP will be eligible to redeem this offer for their entree ONLY. Alcoholic beverages are not included.
There is no cash value to this offer and this offer may not be substituted for, or combined with any other promotional offers. El Cholo reserves the right to deny/rescind this offer if the volunteer does not adhere to the rules listed herein.
Harmony – orderly or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
“I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms and keep it company”
Those “hokey” song lyrics first aired in 1971 in a Coca Cola commercial. I knew every word and used to sit on my front porch singing them. For some reason these words were comforting. It was something about how the tune and lyrics went together. They matched. They were harmonious.
When something is harmonious it just fits together and you know it was meant to be. When it gets right down to it, throughout life we’re always looking for the perfect match or harmonious situation. Whether job hunting, finding a new place to live or looking for that “right” someone – we are constantly trying to find harmony.
Why is it so elusive? How come it won’t just come together like the song? Perhaps the answer lies in how we perceive harmony.
During the 80’s I came up with a combination of a bright red dress matched with an awesome orange scarf and belt. No one believed it matched but I liked it. At the age of 6, in a piano recital, my daughter played the happy melody of Swan Lake in a minor key. It was shocking to the teacher but she beamed at its’ completion.
What “matches” or seems harmonious all depends on your attitude towards harmony. When we are happy about what we see and what we put together, there’s comfort. Too often, we are clouded by what we think others see. We want the perfection to come from the perception of someone else.
It is in releasing the “ideal” of perfection that we find true harmony. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek for the best of what we want nor does it give anyone room to settle. However, it does mean taking a look at what we truly see and feel verses what we think others view as harmonious.
That red and orange combination that I wore is quite popular today. I find it amusing that the CoachArt logo has the blend of colors. And that Swan Lake melody – well, let’s just say it earmarked my daughter’s untraditional style in which she’s always comfortably finding harmony.
What ways can you find your own harmonious tune? Share it proudly with others without feeling judged and see how that makes your melody a lot brighter.
The act or power of forming a mental image of something present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality; ability to confront and deal with a problem.
On Sunday, the Masters Golf Tournament was played. The winner, Bubba Watson won his first major without ever having a golf lesson. When he played the Masters the ball went into the trees making it an impossible shot.
Bubba stated after the win, “I just got into the trees, I saw a crazy shot in my head, and now I’m wearing the green jacket.”
It was Watson’s mind-set that helped him win the Masters. He wasn’t necessarily the best player and he hadn’t been prepared for golf his whole life – but, his mind was creative enough to see the possibility of something without knowing how that something could be.
Have you ever had a problem to solve that you didn’t know how it would end? Life throws us these situations often. It is how we address them that determines whether we get resolve or frustration.
When we use our imagination to create solutions to problems, it allows us to step outside of conventional space and see possibilities that are beyond what already exists. This is when resolve becomes fantastic wins.
Think of your problems as possibilities on the spectrum of reality and watch how your creativity starts to flow. Send us your creative ideas and let us incorporate them into our imaginative world at CoachArt!
Chronically-ill teens in Los Angeles and New York City will come together digitally for a “photo slam” to talk about what matters most to them. A team of teens from each city, guided by volunteer mentors, will have its turn to throw down a photo challenge for the other city to answer.
COACHART ENTRY SPECIFICS
CoachArt provides free lessons in arts and athletics to chronically-ill youth and their siblings, to promote normalcy and creative distraction from the pain and isolation often associated with their illnesses. CoachArt will use $2,500 to hold a 6-week “photo slam” between teams of teens in New York City and Los Angeles. Each team will have its turn to thrown down a challenge to the other city around the theme of “what matters most.” Funds will provide photography equipment for participants. The final project will be showcased through CoachArt’s website and social media outlets. Please vote for our project to improve the quality of life for chronically-ill youth and their siblings. Follow the project on facebook! facebook.com/coachart
GOOD recently combined forces with Jumo to further their mission of helping people take meaningful action in the world. GOOD Maker is first of many exciting developments to come as we build more online tools to help people make change out in the real world.
GOOD knows the Jumo community is filled with organizations doing really interesting, inspiring work for social change, and they want to learn about what they’re working on. Better yet, they’re offering $2,500 in grant funding for projects that are exclusively from organizations who are former Jumo members.
Vote for us to win $2,500 to support and expand the valuable work that we do.