Friday, July 25, 2014

What does the Clubhouse Mean to Me??

This is member Lacy A. I have been a member of the Friends in Action Clubhouse since 2008. I first started to come because I have depression and lived by myself. I couldn't stand to be by myself because I would literally sit and just think about all kinds of stuff. It was usually about the depression or bad stuff that has happened in my life. I have since learned to give it all to God and rely on Him. I married my best friend in 2011 and had a baby girl in the same year. So I no longer live by myself, but I still come to the clubhouse. My reasons have changed since I got married and had a baby. I come to see my friends and to get out of the house. It still does help with my depression somewhat because it distracts me from thinking about it. I don't think about it as much as what I used to but it’s still there. To me the clubhouse is kind of like a second family. We get along sometimes but sometimes we don’t. :-) The clubhouse means there really are people out there to help people like me with mental health. People with mental health are just like everyone else. We hurt, cry, laugh, smile, sing, dance and everything else. Your coworker, friend, spouse or anyone can have a mental health issue and you wouldn’t even know it.

Lacy A

Friday, July 18, 2014

How does our garden grow??

How does our garden grow? FIA’s garden is growing great. For such a small plot we grow some really great veggsies. The peppers and tomatoes and beans are on the menu at lunch. Our flowers out front are doing well except for our poor roses. Some type of bug must have gotten them, because they lost all their flowers and then all their all the leaves and the branches dried up and so we chopped them down. Hopefilly we can replant them next year.
As part of our work ordered day we have weekend and evening activities. We loaded up two vans of people and went shopping last night. We had a great time and people were able to do some personal shopping and had a real good time also. We have a suggestion list posted on the information board for other ideas for other things to do. One night we are having a movie night here at the clubhouse. Hot dogs and nachos and John Wayne with Mike. Can’t have a better plan then that.
We have been working on art for our new 2015 calander and are about ready to take them to the art/advisory board to choose which pictures are selected to be inculded. Putting a calander out is a lot of work. List and lists or special days, and holidays. A couple of days I really like the men cook today day, and the everything’s good with chocolate day.
They are still working on getting the Friendship house open so renters can move in. It will be great when they get to open up, so many of the clients here are so excited to see if they are picked to move in.
We miss our Ms. Donna but she felt it was time for her to move on to another job. We miss her but are happy she has a new job that she enjoys. But we still have our favorite staff, Anna, Mike , Dawn, Cindy and our two drivers Harry and Mike.
And as always the friends are here and old and new friends help each other and we have a really great time learning to grow.. \

Betty W.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Work Order Day

The word of the day is busy busy busy. The work is never ending, it takes a lot of cleaning to keep our clubhouse clean. Every one contributes their cleaning skills and if they don’t know how to do a certain job their is always some one to show you how to do it.
Keeping our clubhouse clean is just one of the jobs we do. Outside jobs are a major part of our work order day. The kitchen group caters meals for different group meetings such as the CQI meeting that meets ever second Thursday of the month and the Advisory Board that meets quartly are two of the major catering jobs. We also do other cating and everyone raves about the food. Some of the favorites are our fruit salad, chicken salad. Brownies and Jacks bread pudding, Yummy yummy. The cooks who make all this delicious food work hard to make every thing as good as they can. They are alway complimented on the great job they do. We are getting well known for our catering and that has lead to other catering jobs, like the Life center, and the Peer special group.
Then there is our Floral shop. We make and sell flower arrangements. Some of the arrangements are on display at the Farmingtom office and at Parkland Hospital, we are always contracted to make flower arragements for the annual ‘Seeds of Wisdom’ event.
Mrs. Karen Miller is very much involved in our Floral shop. She comes over and give demonstrates on how to arrange and use colors that complement each other. It is just not sticking flowers in a vase and letting them poke up where they can. The first step is always thinking about what you to accomplish with the arrangement, where it is going to be displayed, the size of the area where the arrangement is going to be set. You have to think about the colors and the style of the flowers that are used and the container it will be in. It is fun to see what beautiful things you can make. It gives you self-esteem a gratified boost when you know one of your creations has sold.
We are still selling some of the paintings that were left over from our Art show in March. Dawn takes painting to the different sites to hang on our traveling wall. Paintings on this wall are still for sale. It takes a lot of work to keep up with all the paintings and the money collected and the precentage taken out for the clients totaled up and keep on record is a job that is time consuming. The calander for 2015 is an ongoing process. There are cards to be made and sold and it is never to early to start on paintings for our 2015 Art show,
Other jobs like keeping our canteen open and opening our little store are a daily clubhouse job, cleaning and setting tables for lunch cleaning the tables after lunch, keeping our bathrooms clean, sweeping and mopping the floors, calling members to reminding them that they are signed up for the next day. Calling members who haven’t been here in awhile, sending our cards, making new cards, are just a few of the many jobs we do on a daily basis. We try to make sure that everyone if included in our daily work. It is always a mood lifter when someone tells you that you have done a great job.

Betty W.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Evening, Weekend and Holiday Program at Friends in Action Clubhouse

In our ongoing journey to become an accredited clubhouse the evening, weekend and holiday program is one of the most exciting and challenging aspects. This transition, as with most change, has been a struggle for both staff and members. The premise behind this program is that the daytime, during “normal working hours” is for the work ordered day. We spend this time doing things that need to be done to keep the clubhouse running. Not only do we keep the clubhouse clean and organized, there are many other tasks that we complete during the day. These tasks include, but are not limited to: ongoing fundraising efforts, scrapbooking, the floral shop, the catering crew, gardening, administrative tasks and cooking.

We feel that it is important to offer these evening, weekend and holiday activities to our members. It is important for our members that are working out in the community, to have the opportunity to attend the clubhouse. These activities are their chance to stay connected with their friends at the clubhouse. We offer the ‘fun” activities outside of the work ordered day because that is when you would be able to engage in social activities when employed outside of the clubhouse. This is also a time that we can attempt to re engage members that have stopped attending the clubhouse regularly.

Here at Friends In Action we offer an evening social activity about once a week. We attend the local NAMI meeting every month. Members enjoy attending this monthly meeting as a time to connect with others outside of the clubhouse and learn about advocacy and mental illness. We also offer activities such as personal shopping, movies at the clubhouse and parties. The members also decided to attend a Gateway Grizzlies baseball game once this summer.

Weekend activities can vary, but most of the ones that we have offered so far are tied to our fundraising program. We offered our members the opportunity to attend the Friends In Action Art exhibit earlier this year. This fundraiser is our biggest of the year. We also offered our members the chance to be involved in and attend the 2nd Annual St. Francois County Mental Health Walk. This fundraiser is a collaboration with other agencies and the funds raised go to our local NAMI chapter. Members are encouraged to become involved in these fundraisers. They have the opportunity to assist in every aspect of the fundraiser from the planning, to the jobs that have to be done the day of the event.

We have jumped into the evening and weekend activities with both feet, but the Holiday activity program at Friends In Action has been a slower transition. According to this standard, holiday celebrations are observed on the day of the holiday. We offered a Thanksgiving dinner last year. We had several staff volunteer to come in and make a Thanksgiving lunch and members were invited to attend. The attendance was not as high as we had hoped, but everyone in attendance had a good time. We attended a Fourth of July Celebration in one of the local towns this summer. We had the opportunity to watch the parade and visit the booths at the celebration. Members shared that they had a wonderful time and were thankful that they had the opportunity to attend. It is important to offer these activities; because a lot of our members do not have family that live in the local area nor do they have the opportunity to attend social events. They consider the clubhouse their “family” and without these opportunities they would spend the holidays home alone or at their RCF. I think that we are going to stick with our two holidays this year, but I am sure that we will expand to include other celebrations.

The evening, weekend and holiday program at the clubhouse has hit its bumps along the way, but is working out well. The members tell me that they like the social events that are offered as part of this program. Members and staff collaborate to determine the activities that will be offered each month. We are always looking forward to the next event. Who Knows? Maybe we will see you at the next one. If you are interested in volunteering to help with any of our evening, weekend or holiday events, contact us at 573-431-9620.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grizzlies Game

Last Wednesday, a group of clubhouse members and staff loaded up the clubhouse van and headed to Sauget, IL for a Gateway Grizzlies baseball game. The event had been planned for a few weeks and all you signed up for the trip were excited to go. There was plenty of laughter and clubhouse kinship on the trip. The ride was enjoyable and traffic was not too bad. We stopped at quick trip on the way up for drinks and a break. We arrived just in time to see the start of the game. The Gateway Grizzlies were playing against the Schaumberg Boomers. We had great seats on the Lawn and the weather was beautiful. We even had some shade up on the lawn. It was Half Way to Christmas night at the ballpark. There was a happy jolly Santa along with a few of his elves and assistants. There was plenty of Christmas music and I really got a kick out of seeing Santa in his red T-Shirt, red shorts and beard. He was looking just a good and he does at Christmas time. It was one dollar hot dog night at the ballpark as well. It was so great to be among friends, in a peaceful, yet exciting environment. I don’t things we could have asked for a better Wednesday evening road trip. Yeah for the Grizzlies!!!!!! By the way they won 7-3.

Letitia D