April 9, 10:00-4:00: Stop by Webster Central PTSA’s Community Arts Day and visit our table where we will not only have loads of prevention information to share, but also a fun, free, “Planting Positivity” craft where kids can plant flower seeds and take them home to watch them grow. Tending their plant together is a great opportunity for families to build protective factors through open communication, and bonding over shared activities. Learn more about Community Arts Day.
April 30, 10:00-2:00: Start cleaning out your medicine cabinets – the DEA’s National Drug Take Back Day is April 30. Wegmans is hosting this event in partnership with WHEN:DFCC. Check out the details here.
A Note from Executive Director, Janine Sanger:
Spring into Action with WHEN!
Spring is here and our community is offering more opportunities to gather as COVID restrictions shift. While we have remained focused and productive during the pandemic, we are very excited to pivot to more in-person events and opportunities to interface with our community. To do this, we need you! We are calling on all our members to actively participate in planning, developing and implementing upcoming activities. We need your input, drive, and talent to move our work forward. If it’s been a while since you volunteered, please consider doing so now as we evaluate potential spring and summer projects. See open volunteer needs here, and please consider the following potential projects in advance of our next meeting, in order to bring your questions and suggestions. Thank you, as always, for making WHEN such a vibrant and impactful organization! I am honored to work with you all.
Proposed projects for your consideration/prioritization this spring and summer:
Posters inside WCSD schools directing kids to resources
Coalition retreat and/or social event
Local business outreach: in-person, group canvassing
Community scan & improvements
Gather skill lists from coalition members to aid in matching volunteers with projects
Trail signs fostering protective factors
Protective Factor training for coalition members
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or suggestions!
WHEN on WARM 101.3
In case you missed it, click here to listen to the interview Janine Sanger gave to WARM 101.3, which aired Monday, March 28, 2022. She shared our mission and invited the community to check us out online and at Community Arts Day.
Congratulations to Ethan, winner of Clovers and Clues! Our first self-guided, family-friendly scavenger hunt sponsored by WHEN and Webster Parks and Recreation was a great success! Many thanks to Katie Kovar and Webster Parks and Recreation for making this event possible. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and included many comments like these:
"This was so much fun for my family and I. We enjoyed seeing places in Webster that we had never seen before!"
"SO much fun!! Thank you for the fun adventure! The kids and I loved it!"
"My son, Joey and I, had a lot of fun doing this. We saw two areas of Webster I’ve never been to in my 34 years living here. We’ll definitely go back to Finn Park and Gosnell Big Woods to hike!"
Prevention Tip: The Creative Brain
Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Activating our brains' creative side has a multitude of benefits for us emotionally, mentally, and physically. Writing, drawing, singing, painting, playing music, and coloring in a coloring book gives our brains a boost.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
– Maya Angelou
An article by Lifehack.org states, “Many of the physical and mental benefits of creativity involve being in flow, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s term for that state we get into when we are so engaged in a creative task that our sense of time disappears and we temporarily forget ourselves and our ‘internal chaos.’” Creative moments that result from writing a poem or visiting an art gallery have a calming effect on your brain by releasing dopamine, a natural antidepressant. That is why you tend to feel good when you are being creative.
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”
– Dieter F. Utchdorf
Being creative reduces dementia, gives your immune system a boost, improves your focus, and makes you smarter. It also improves your mental health. According to an article in Forbes.com, “Creativity reduces anxiety, depression, and stress… and it can also help you process trauma. Studies have found that writing helps people manage their negative emotions in a productive way, and painting or drawing helps people express trauma or experiences that they find too difficult to put into words.”
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
Go get your creativity on! Plant some flowers, make a craft, loudly sing a song as you drive your car, or go explore an art show (Community Arts Day is perfect for the whole family!). Do this knowing that you are giving your brain and body a happy boost of positivity.
We meet online via Google Meet the second Wednesday of each month at noon. Many of us join during our lunch break. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. In fact, our goal is to have representation from all walks of life, to better meet the needs of the whole community.
If you have been enjoying our recent prevention tips, you have Judi Swanson to thank for that! We are so grateful that when our (fabulous, and much-missed) feature writer, Sharon Zukoski, had to step down, Judi volunteered. Judi’s enthusiasm and positivity is infectious and she is always so much fun to work with. We are thrilled that she found the perfect way to contribute and share her expertise! Thank you, Judi!
Outside of her work with WHEN, Judi is the founder and CEO of Kindness Champions. If you'd like to invite more of her positivity into your life, you can follow her on Instagram @kindness_champs, Twitter @KindnessChamps, and Facebook: @KindnessChampions.
Prom and Ball season is right around the corner. If someone you love will be participating in these events, please consider sharing our safety tips with them long before the event and use the opportunity to discuss your expectations, consequences, and support.