The Good Stuff

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My in-laws were visiting from Nebraska over the weekend and while catching up on all the family news, my mother-in-law, Pat, told me a story worth repeating.

My husband and his family are from a small (pop. 1000) rural farming community in Northeast Nebraska.  Pat is a hairdresser and my father-in-law, Gary, drives trucks for farmers.  The smallest of towns have the most amazing way of taking care of their neighbors and Randolph is no exception.  There’s a retirement aged gentlemen, ...

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Inspirational Women Change Lives

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Women’s history month is March. It is a time to celebrate great women and their contributions to our society and culture.  I would like to share with you about two women who were directly responsible for my career in social work.

I have always said Judi Flannery blazed the trail for me 27 years ago when I took over as director of what was then Women’s Services and is now called Hands of Hope. I remember the first time I met Judi ...

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Renewed

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Woke up to a beautiful white landscape today and all of the new fallen snow has covered up the dirty discarded snow from the previous storm.  Absolutely stunning to watch nature rejuvenate herself.  I’m awestruck.

Anytime I experience a big snow or rain, I am reminded that each of us has the power to change and that gives me hope—both for humanity and for the work we do at Family Service Society.  The snow or rain may make things appear pretty ...

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Know your Worth

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Know your worth. A simple statement that has powerful implications, especially for teens navigating relationships.

All deserve to have these basic components in all relationships: respect, equality, honesty, trust, communication, boundaries and consent. If one of these are missing, more than likely you are not in a healthy relationship and your worth is not being valued.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a time to really focus on teaching and modeling respectful behaviors in relationships so as teens begin dating they ...

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Children’s Mental Health and Telehealth

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This is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and at Family Service Society, Inc. the majority of our clients are children and youth aged 0 to 20.  For FSSI, the mental wellness of our young clients is of primary importance because of the downstream impacts of poor mental health—lower economic achievement, lower academic achievement, relationship issues, poor physical health.

The Child Mind Institute has published its 2020 Children’s Mental Health Report: Telehealth in an Increasingly Virtual World.  There are both disturbing and hopeful ...

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King and Kennedy 1968

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In late March 1968, Martin Luther King was in Memphis, TN. He was leading a campaign of local sanitation workers for better wages and working conditions. On the 28th, the march led by King had devolved into violence. The strike was languishing due to a climate of intense racism. King and fellow organizers were hoping to provide a much-needed boost to the cause and reaffirm his nonviolent commitment. King commented  that “the nation is sick, trouble is in the land.” ...

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Caring in 2021

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As we enter 2021 let’s learn from mistakes of 2020.

Let’s continue to wear masks, social distance and wash our hands often.

As part of my morning exercise routine at the YMCA, some days I do a virtual strength class in which once the trainer asked, ‘If you could go back to the day before and have a do over, would you? Would you improve something you had done the day before?’

I also ask each of you that question. Now that we ...

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Mothers: You Are Enough

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This one is for all the mothers out there.  We’re just coming off of the holidays that each of us in our own way worked really hard to make magical on a budget.  There’s the added pressure of living through a pandemic and making sure our families are safe and well.  Many of us are working mothers and our kids are returning to school or e-learning.  We’re trying to execute everything perfectly so that our families and friends don’t see ...

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Elevate Your Rituals for Better Mental Health

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The first skiff of snow is on the ground and greedy birds are vying for position at the bird feeders outside my window.  The morning coffee ritual has begun and the smell wafts through the air signaling morning has arrived even if the sun isn’t quite ready to make herself known.  My youngest has overslept for school and is scrambling to consume a bowl of cereal and find the perfect sweatshirt, her hair in a messy bun that looks effortlessly ...

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