Volunteer Effort – Sister Friends Together http://www.sisterfriends-together.org/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 23:36:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Volunteer Effort – Sister Friends Together http://www.sisterfriends-together.org/ 32 32 North Island brown kiwi on the rise in New Zealand https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/north-island-brown-kiwi-on-the-rise-in-new-zealand/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 23:03:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/north-island-brown-kiwi-on-the-rise-in-new-zealand/ New Zealand conservationists are rejoicing at the first recorded increase in the North Island’s brown kiwi population, reversing decades of plummeting bird numbers. Until the last expert assessment of New Zealand birds – which is conducted every five years – every kiwi species was listed as vulnerable or worse. However, the latest report moves the […]]]>

New Zealand conservationists are rejoicing at the first recorded increase in the North Island’s brown kiwi population, reversing decades of plummeting bird numbers.

Until the last expert assessment of New Zealand birds – which is conducted every five years – every kiwi species was listed as vulnerable or worse.

However, the latest report moves the North Island brown kiwi from ‘at risk – declining’ to ‘not threatened’.

For Michelle Impey, executive director of Save The Kiwi Trust, it is exciting to conclude that efforts to rebuild the population of New Zealand’s iconic native species are working.

“For everyone doing the work, it’s a huge endorsement,” she told AAP.

“For the first time in the history of this program that we’ve been able to salvage, they’re not going down anymore, we have a prediction that they’re going up. That’s extremely important.”

The Department of Conservation’s chief scientific adviser, Hugh Robertson, goes further, estimating that the species has already fallen from a low threshold of 25,000 birds to around 27,000 to 28,000.

“It’s fantastic…It’s really great for the kiwi that they’ve crossed. There’s still a lot of work to do, but they’re not in the threatened category,” he told AAP .

Dr Robertson has spent three decades monitoring and caring for New Zealand’s unique birdlife and is the lead author of the assessment.

His estimate is that one million kiwis would have roamed New Zealand before human settlement, showing the wild impact of introduced species and habitat loss.

The five species now number about 75,000.

“When I started researching kiwifruit, we didn’t even know what the threats to kiwifruit were,” he said.

“If you asked people 30 years ago, ‘What are the threats?’ you would say habitat loss and dogs…we just didn’t know stoats and ferrets were such a big deal.

Dr Robertson says credit for the turnaround must go to the thousands of New Zealanders invested in saving the country’s favorite bird: keepers, trappers, scientists, donors, landowners and more.

A number of strategies were crucial, including controlling predators.

Kiwis thrived before human settlement, when the only mammals in New Zealand were bats.

European settlers brought a wide range of pests and invasive species, including stoats, ferrets, rats and opossums, which all kill kiwis and other native birds before they develop.

“Stoats are the number one problem for kiwi chicks, so trapping efforts are primarily aimed at stoats and also ferrets where ferrets are found,” says Dr. Robertson.

Deploying the 1080 poison is particularly effective because “the rats will also eat the bait, then the stoats will eat the opossum carcasses, so they get a secondary dose of poisoning.”

Another strategy is Operation Nest Egg, a national program that sees kiwis hatched and raised in captivity and fenced sanctuaries until they are large enough to fend for themselves.

The program, at great expense and effort, increases the likelihood of hatched chicks reaching adulthood by 5% to 65%.

Once the kiwis reach a weight of around one kilogram, they are considered hardy enough to take stoats and are wild-caught.

Dr. Robertson said some of the volunteer efforts were inspiring.

“Hundreds of community groups are trapping and poisoning predators all around the North Island and the results of their work are increasing again,” he said.

“At Taranaki…they now have something like 1300 pairs of kiwis.

“On the Coromandel Peninsula, many community groups are seeing really positive growth and a doubling or tripling of the population since we started management in 2000.”

Local dog owners have also answered the call, holding back their pets to allow the native birds to flourish.

“In a large project at Whangarei Heads, the population has grown from 200 birds to over 1,000,” said Dr Robertson.

“Dogs can wipe out a population very quickly, but the whole community is really supportive of it.

“If someone sees a dog wandering around without a leash or owner tied up, they stop and say ‘you have to tie up your dog,’ or they grab the dog and return it to the owner or to the pound.”

The growth in numbers comes with an important caveat: the North Island brown kiwi is now classified as not threatened but still requires conservation support.

Ms Impey said all five species of kiwifruit still needed support to thrive.

“It’s a very good indicator but…the nagging fear is that people think the job is done. It’s far from it,” she said.

“We rely on sponsors and donors. We have to take this as a pat on the back and keep going.”

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Tornadoes Hit Kentucky and These Linn County Men Responded | Local https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/tornadoes-hit-kentucky-and-these-linn-county-men-responded-local/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 02:18:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/tornadoes-hit-kentucky-and-these-linn-county-men-responded-local/ A Sweet Home High School alumnus and current Millersburg resident were part of a team that helped Kentucky residents recover from the devastation of tornadoes that tore through the area in December. A month after the National Weather Service said 66 powerful tornadoes created a path of destruction across eight states, many are still working […]]]>

A Sweet Home High School alumnus and current Millersburg resident were part of a team that helped Kentucky residents recover from the devastation of tornadoes that tore through the area in December.

A month after the National Weather Service said 66 powerful tornadoes created a path of destruction across eight states, many are still working to clean up their properties so they can start rebuilding. The Kentucky governor’s office says at least 13 people have died in Hopkins County. Those who survived have a long road to recovery, which includes rebuilding entire communities. READ MORE: Newsy Investigates: OSHA Violations at Tornado-Struck Candle Factory Hopkins County resident Billy Wells is retired and spends all his time helping the community organize teardowns, the removing trees and helping media managers find residents with stories to share. He showed us several neighborhoods where only piles of debris remain. He says that the houses that are still standing must be demolished. Wells also helped crews clear a path so photographer Tandy Cook could walk up the road to what remains of her property. focused on collecting small keepsakes she lost when the tornado hit. Countless photos ended up in neighboring states, swept away miles away by the power of the storms. “Most of our photos ended up in Elizabeth, Indiana, or all the way to Louisville and La Grange,” Cook said. “But I was very grateful to have it all.”



Will Chiaffino, 46, and Bill Blair, 71, were part of a Team Rubicon volunteer operation that mobilized hundreds of volunteers to help local residents. Team Rubicon is an international non-governmental organization specializing in disaster response.

“After seeing footage of the devastation there, I wanted to see if I could help,” said Chiaffino, who helped chainsaws cut debris and trees to help clear the area and make the neighborhoods again habitable.

“There are obviously a lot of dangers after tornadoes,” he said. “Big trees overturned, snapped and, you know, right behind the neighborhoods. There were many grateful people (and) were there to help them, secure their properties.

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Other crews dug through the debris for personal items, in what is being called a “clean-up” operation.

Blair was the incident commander, overseeing the organizational structure and deployment of personnel and resources. As someone involved in several Team Rubicon operations, he described the destruction in Kentucky as one of the most severe he had seen.

“It was pretty devastating,” he said of the tornado damage. “It was a long tornado path. … I heard it was a few hundred miles that it went through.

The effort was coordinated from a forward operating base in Perdonia, Kentucky. The operation was dubbed Unbridled Spirit, which saw hundreds of “greyshirts” — the nickname for T-shirt-clad volunteers who work for Team Rubicon — in western Kentucky to help with recovery efforts.

This military terminology is not a coincidence, it reflects the history of the association.

Team Rubicon was co-founded in 2010 by former US Marine Corps sniper Jake Wood, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he saw the devastation following the earthquake in Haiti, he decided to form a team to help.

From this initial effort, Team Rubicon was born. Since then, the organization has been responsible for 785 field operations, ranging from natural disasters to even the COVID-19 response, according to the organization’s website.

Although membership is not required, Team Rubicon caters to veterans and first responders. Blair and Chiaffino served in the armed forces before joining Team Rubicon.

Chiaffino was an air traffic controller for the Navy and Air Force, while Blair was in the Army from 1968 to 1972 and stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War.

However, Blair pointed out, all kinds of people are joining volunteer operations.

“We are about 65% veterans and the rest are first responders, law enforcement and just regular civilians. … We call them “ass-kicking civilians,” Blair said. “No matter who you are or what your skills are, there’s something for everyone who wants to be part of the Rubicon team.”

While the nonprofit has made a name for itself responding to natural disasters and humanitarian crises — including helping relocate Afghan refugees last year — the organization also works locally. Blair estimated there were about 600 grayshirts in the Pacific Northwest and even a branch in Salem, so local volunteers could quickly mobilize to help with things like distributing the COVID-19 vaccine or d other local events.

“We want to prepare that if things happen here that we would be able to respond here before we send gray shirts out,” Blair said.

Both Chiaffino and Blair described their deployments with Team Rubicon as fulfilling and eye-opening.

“It’s the neatest organization I’ve ever worked for and been involved with,” Blair said.

Troy Shinn covers health care, natural resources and Linn County government. He can be reached at 541-812-6114 or troy.shinn@lee.net. He can be found on Twitter at @troydshinn.

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First Responders Celebrated at Wrights Corners | Community https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/first-responders-celebrated-at-wrights-corners-community/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/first-responders-celebrated-at-wrights-corners-community/ The rescue efforts of a trio of Wrights Corners Volunteer Fire Company members were recognized in tandem with the company’s 81st annual installation ceremony last weekend. New York State Senator Rob Ortt and Assembly Member Mike Norris attended the ceremony to present proclamations recognizing the efforts of Company members Mark Hare, Christopher Brueckner and Fire […]]]>

The rescue efforts of a trio of Wrights Corners Volunteer Fire Company members were recognized in tandem with the company’s 81st annual installation ceremony last weekend.

New York State Senator Rob Ortt and Assembly Member Mike Norris attended the ceremony to present proclamations recognizing the efforts of Company members Mark Hare, Christopher Brueckner and Fire Chief Jonathan J McKnight to save the life of a man suffering from a heart attack on March 10, 2021.

Survivor James Tomasine also attended the ceremony to reiterate his thanks to the volunteers. Tomasine and his wife were shopping at Wrights Corners when Tomasine fell ill. His wife called 911 and drove Tomasine to the local fire station, where Mark Hare met them and started CPR on Tomasine. McKnight and Brueckner quickly joined in, resuscitating Tomasine in an ambulance en route to the hospital.

During the installation, service awards were presented to: Charles Smith, uncle of Fire Chief JJ McKnight, 55 years of service with the company; Sharon Drew, McKnight’s mother, 35 years of service to the company’s Ladies Auxiliary; and firefighters Kevin Guay, 35, and Tracy Jufer, 30.

Also, these members who joined the company in 2021 were recognized: Sean Fisher, Adam Gillespie, Katie Langdon and Wallace Linderman; and members of the Women’s Auxiliary Tracy Williams, Annette Mietlicki and Jill Pietkiewicz.

Installed as fire line officers for 2022: McKnight, fire chief; Ryan Dickinson, First Deputy Chief; Jeffrey Seefeldt, Second Deputy Chief; Kevin Hunter, Third Deputy Chief; Jeffrey Lee, master mechanic; Christopher Brueckner, fire brigade captain; and Michael J. Norwood, Parade Marshal.

Installed as administrative officers were: Kyle LaRuffa, President; Michael J. Norwood, vice-president; Gregory Birke, treasurer; Penny Lymna, meeting secretary; Bonita Reid, Corresponding Secretary; Kristofer Hunter, Principal Administrator; Ralph Pollow, two-year director; Robert Brueckner, three-year trustee; Jack Bridwell, chaplain; Shyenna Hildebrandt, steward; and Richard Jufer, Sergeant-at-Arms.

The exonerated officers for the year are: Randy Roeseler, President; John Schmitt, vice-president; Stephen Schmitt, treasurer; Susan Stegner, secretary; Robert Smith III, one-year trustee; Robert Smith Jr., two-year director; Dan Szumla, three-year director; John Lobczowski Sr., Sergeant-at-Arms; Wayne Jagow, Senior Chaplain; Daniel Szumla, historian; and Kevin Hunter, Steward.

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“Everyone can play a role” to help victims of human trafficking https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/everyone-can-play-a-role-to-help-victims-of-human-trafficking/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 10:11:39 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/everyone-can-play-a-role-to-help-victims-of-human-trafficking/ This week, the Missouri Highway Patrol is joining agencies across the United States and Canada to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking. The Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Law Enforcement Division will participate in a three-day initiative, starting Tuesday, which is Human Trafficking Day. The initiative is a focused effort to educate commercial vehicle drivers, […]]]>

This week, the Missouri Highway Patrol is joining agencies across the United States and Canada to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking.

The Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Law Enforcement Division will participate in a three-day initiative, starting Tuesday, which is Human Trafficking Day. The initiative is a focused effort to educate commercial vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officials and the general public about human trafficking, what signs to look for and what to do in these situations.

Human trafficking is the illegal exploitation of a person by force, fraud or coercion. It can take the form of sex trafficking, forced labor or domestic servitude. Authorities have said human trafficking is not specific to age, race or gender, and occurs in rural, suburban and urban areas of Missouri. Victims of human trafficking come from all socio-economic backgrounds and all levels of education.

“Our commercial vehicle drivers, motor carriers and law enforcement officers are often our first line of defense against human trafficking,” said Patrol Superintendent Col. Eric Olson. “Knowing what to look for and how to react to these situations is essential to saving the exploited vulnerable people. “

Authorities have said that signs of human trafficking are not always obvious and may include the presence of an older “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”; physical trauma such as bruises, cuts, burns, scars; bad health; trained / repeated responses to questions; and roaming.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office maintains a Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) works with the state to help hospital staff or other health care providers understand and identify victims of human trafficking.

Law enforcement data indicates that about 88 percent of those caught in human sex trafficking have reason to see medical providers. And, more than 63 percent of these interactions with health care providers occur in hospitals.

The task force identified more than 80 illicit massage businesses and closed 39 of them.

Service agencies that work to help victims of human trafficking welcome assistance from law enforcement, health care providers and others. They said that educating the public on this issue is something they do constantly.

“I did outreach in the Kansas City area before I came to Jefferson City, and it’s more common in rural areas than a lot of people think,” said Julie Meranda, deputy director of the Redeem Project. Ministry. “I worked in the state’s children’s division and saw children being trafficked by their own parents. We see it through the foster care system and even the websites promoting trafficking, so you have many different forms. “

Meranda said they often travel to areas where they know human trafficking is rife, looking for signs of people being scared or controlled by prostitution.

“We are trying to build a relationship to help them embark on a new path,” Meranda said. “We give them choices because they no longer have the right to choose how they live their lives.”

Meranda said there are many myths about human trafficking because of social media.

“These aren’t necessarily people in chains and cages, there’s a lot more mind manipulation and we tend to excuse it,” she said. “These people have been beaten without any will to retaliate. This makes them easier to control.

“People should do their research and not just take what they read on social media about it at face value,” Meranda added. “Find the real facts, not just hearsay.”

Angela Hirsch, executive director of Rape and Abuse Crisis Services in Jefferson City, said they see one survivor per month. They can be men or women, and their ages range from late teens to early 40s.

“Most are from large communities like St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City, and several have come here because, for lack of a better word, they were thrown here,” Hirsch said. “Most are reluctant to take our services and are very suspicious. It takes time to develop relationships with survivors, but we want them to eventually set realistic goals for themselves.”

Hirsch said that sometimes these are the people we see on the city’s viaducts and highways.

“They could be a survivor trying to get away,” Hirsch said. “Statistics show that between 40 and 60% of traffickers turn out to be a member of the victim’s family, so it is difficult to get away from these people.”

Hirsch said there is a false stereotype that the majority of victims of human trafficking are minorities or non-US citizens.

“This is not true at all, and the majority are not those,” Hirsch said. “It is a heartbreaking situation because often victims find it difficult to recognize that they deserve a better life and have a say in their own decision-making because they have never been in control of their own life. “

Although they do not yet have numbers for 2021, the Central Missouri Stop Human Traffic Coalition reported in 2020 that they have served, on average, more than 60 survivors each year since they began in 2008.

Nanette Ward, board administrator and lawyer, said they started with all their education efforts, but very quickly got involved with law enforcement officials, especially the office. of the Western United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

“As a volunteer advocate, I deal with human trafficking issues 24/7,” Ward said. “This week someone showed up at the Room at the Inn Homeless Shelter in Columbia. A volunteer there recognized the signs that they had just come out of trafficking. was able to put the victim in a recovery program. While we were working with her, she broke down in tears, saying that just knowing she would be in a safe place meant so much. “

Ward said other survivors refer people they know to them because they know they can trust the coalition.

“It’s life-saving work, and we’re so grateful to have volunteers and donors helping us with this cause,” Ward said. “COVID has left many people desperate, leading to the degradation and loss of humanity.

“There is no one who should not be concerned and ready to receive more education to identify a potential victim of human trafficking,” Ward added. “Don’t think that this is just happening somewhere else or to someone else. It’s here, in our own community. There is no excuse for any of us not to believe that we do not. there is no way you can make a difference to change the lives of these victims. “

If you suspect that a person is being forced into an activity they cannot get away from – whether it’s commercial sex, housework, farm work, or some other activity – call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373. -7888 or send an SMS to BeFree (233733). Information is also available online at humantraffickinghotline.org.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating to the coalition, visit their website, stophumantraffickingmo.com, or call 866-590-5959.


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City unites with churches, volunteers to warm bodies, boost morale https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/city-unites-with-churches-volunteers-to-warm-bodies-boost-morale/ Fri, 07 Jan 2022 18:39:21 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/city-unites-with-churches-volunteers-to-warm-bodies-boost-morale/ “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”Muhammad Ali As temperatures began to drop in the 1930s on Thursday, January 6, the first visitors began to arrive. Although the temporary warming shelter wouldn’t open for an hour, the two homeless men – both carrying their belongings in plastic bags […]]]>

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
Muhammad Ali

As temperatures began to drop in the 1930s on Thursday, January 6, the first visitors began to arrive. Although the temporary warming shelter wouldn’t open for an hour, the two homeless men – both carrying their belongings in plastic bags – were greeted at the University’s Baptist Church on Jordan Lane.

Inside the spacious basement of the church, volunteers unfolded cots. Others worked on assembling the “Warming Shelter Here” exterior panels.

The volunteers, each sporting a smile on their masked face, worked quickly.

“Back to the Future” was shown on a large-screen TV in the corner as the two men, still in thick coats, watched from adjacent sofas. Soon after, another volunteer brought several plastic bags stuffed with blankets.

The kitchen, right after the TV room, was well stocked with food. Some are cooked in homes, others bought by volunteers.

The effort to save lives on a cold night was not accomplished by just a handful of individuals, but rather by a dedicated network of community development workers, volunteers, churches and organizations with purpose. non-profit like First stop and the Northern Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (NACH).

“We really can’t thank our community partners enough,” said Scott Erwin, director of community development. “None of this would be possible without them. “

“The first question the priest and the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’
But… the good Samaritan reversed the question, “If I don’t stop to help this man, what’s going to happen to him?” -Martin Luther King jr.

Organizers predicted 50 to 70 people would seek refuge in the shelter as the troughs hit teenagers, with single-digit wind chills.

Some would come just because it’s close. Some because they have nowhere to go.

This was the second year Reverend Rose Veal Eby has helped organize the warming shelter. When asked why this effort was so critical, she offered a dark story.

“Last year one person was unaware and lost four toes,” she said. “So, this is really important.”

Like Erwin, Veal Eby praised the efforts of local churches, including the Church of the Nativity, where she is a outreach missionary.

“They give blankets, food, coffee, money and help to crack,” she said. “Parishioners pick up food, drop it off, and pack supplies. “

“As long as we love, we serve; as long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless as long as he has a friend. Robert Louis Stevenson

In previous years, a heated shelter was set up at the Max Luther Community Center. This is the first year that the University Baptist Church has offered its facilities, which community development officials truly saw as a godsend.

Like Veal Eby, Peavy recognized the efforts of local churches and volunteers, as well as the leadership of city government, Erwin, and community development staff.

“There are over a dozen people who helped put this in place,” he said. “It’s not perfect, but this place doesn’t exist.

While not perfect, the refuge provides temporary warmth to a part of the Huntsville population that is often overlooked or ignored. More importantly, Veal Eby sees it as a way to get away from his own reality for a short time.

“I’m going to go out later and win some prizes,” she said. “Tomorrow we are playing bingo.”

To learn more about how to help the homeless in Huntsville, visit the websites of First stop, the Northern Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (NACH), Church of the Nativity and that of the City Community development office.


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Save A Forgotten Equine volunteers help rehabilitate rescued horses – and build friendships between them https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/save-a-forgotten-equine-volunteers-help-rehabilitate-rescued-horses-and-build-friendships-between-them/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 15:00:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/save-a-forgotten-equine-volunteers-help-rehabilitate-rescued-horses-and-build-friendships-between-them/ FEW THINGS ARE MORE ATTRACTIVE to us humans than to the creatures who need our help. The 30 horses in the barns and paddocks of SAFE (Save A Forgotten Equine) require the usual assistance – yes, poop collection is involved. But having been saved from neglect, abuse, or owners who simply couldn’t care for them, […]]]>

FEW THINGS ARE MORE ATTRACTIVE to us humans than to the creatures who need our help.

The 30 horses in the barns and paddocks of SAFE (Save A Forgotten Equine) require the usual assistance – yes, poop collection is involved. But having been saved from neglect, abuse, or owners who simply couldn’t care for them, these critters need more: people who will come forward for them without asking for much in return. That kind of person is a good kind of human indeed.

I chat with Danielle Jaffy as she helps feed the horses on a cold late fall evening at SAFE Farm in Redmond. It’s not far from the high-tech urban bustle, but this verdant, tree-lined valley feels like a different world.

“They care so much about all the horses. They really are hard workers, ”Jaffy says of his fellow volunteers. “They even care about each other, as a community. It’s just a great group of people.

The operation wouldn’t work without many hours of work from people who reliably show up for their shifts, under all kinds of circumstances. “We have had a total global pandemic for the past two years and the horses still expected to be fed. They weren’t friendly at all, ”Bonnie Hammond, executive director of SAFE, told me with a chuckle.

Most volunteers sign up for one shift per week, although some do more. About half a dozen show up each morning and evening, plus a couple each night, to help with everything from paperwork to cleaning the stalls in the nicely tidy barn.

“I see a lot of friendships forming and a lot of people who are just happy to be here,” Hammond said.

Some volunteers own horses; others have never been around them before but want “time on horseback”. They are trained on the job, through workshops and by attending riding lessons that SAFE runs for local horse owners.

They start each shift with a meeting, where they hear what’s going on with the horses – those who want to be petted, those who want to be left alone, those who have a special diet.

Ideally, these horses will get a second chance; the goal is to rehabilitate them and find new homes for them. SAFE is one of a handful of rescues around the state that are part of the “A Home for Every Horse” rescue and placement network, all of which rely heavily on volunteers.

“I’m here because I love what they’re doing. It’s not just about rescue. They want these horses to have life, ”volunteer Anne Healey tells me as she efficiently collects manure in what looks like a giant dustpan.

The first step: Make animals comfortable with humans. SAFE’s carefully crafted curriculum follows the principles of trust-based training using clear, gentle instructions. “We rehabilitate their bodies, but we also put a lot of effort into training and retraining,” says Hammond.

Experienced volunteers join the small paid staff to handle and ride the horses.

All of this work “makes them feel more involved in the transformation that horses go through,” says Hammond. “I want our volunteers to look at this horse and say to themselves, ‘I made this happen.’ “

Many horses find forever homes with carefully selected owners who will love and understand them; a few become permanent residents here. Either way, the people here are on their side. “When I get home I feel satisfied,” Healey says. “I really feel needed here. “


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Merritt mourns the loss of a broadcaster https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/merritt-mourns-the-loss-of-a-broadcaster/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 17:09:03 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/merritt-mourns-the-loss-of-a-broadcaster/ Image Credit: Provided Through Michael Reeve, Q101.ca / Dave Barry Elisabeth liard January 3, 2022 | 9:04 am MERRITT – A longtime radio station owner who used her business to advocate for industry, tourism and nonprofits has died after a valiant effort to beat cancer. Elizabeth Ann Laird (née Futter) passed away on Friday, December […]]]>

Image Credit: Provided

Through Michael Reeve, Q101.ca / Dave Barry

Elisabeth liard

January 3, 2022 | 9:04 am

MERRITT – A longtime radio station owner who used her business to advocate for industry, tourism and nonprofits has died after a valiant effort to beat cancer. Elizabeth Ann Laird (née Futter) passed away on Friday, December 31, 2021, surrounded by her family. She was 73 years old.

Elizabeth was born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario, before moving with her parents to British Columbia in 1967 after graduating from high school. She met David Laird in 1968 and the two were married the following year.

The couple first settled in Salmon Arm, then moved to Enderby, then Armstrong. While raising her two sons in the North Okanagan, Elizabeth was involved in many volunteer activities and became a key volunteer for community groups and organizations in the area.

In 1982 the family moved to Nicola Ranch near Merritt and immediately established new relationships and contributions to the Nicola Valley community. In 1984, Elizabeth became the owner and operator of the JADE Garden Center. When the family moved to Merritt in 1985, Elizabeth was elected administrator of School District 58, a position she held from 1986 to 1996.


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The training of volunteers for the homeless count is set for January 18 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-training-of-volunteers-for-the-homeless-count-is-set-for-january-18/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 17:22:50 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-training-of-volunteers-for-the-homeless-count-is-set-for-january-18/ Each year, during the last 10 days of January, the Delaware Continuum of Care does a one-time count of homeless people in Delaware. This year, the count of the PIT will take place on the night of Wednesday January 26 and in the morning of Thursday January 27. The count includes persons and families not […]]]>

Each year, during the last 10 days of January, the Delaware Continuum of Care does a one-time count of homeless people in Delaware. This year, the count of the PIT will take place on the night of Wednesday January 26 and in the morning of Thursday January 27. The count includes persons and families not accommodated, persons and families temporarily accommodated and young people not accommodated.

The successful implementation of the PIT count has always been due to the efforts of volunteers at the community level. In order for everyone to count in the tally, boots of field volunteers are needed in Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties at night and the next morning of PIT to help survey individuals outside and upon arrival for services.

The virtual training for volunteers will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 18.

For interested volunteers to complete the opt-out form, go to Housingalliancede.org/2022pit.

Other ways to help the homeless during the colder months of the year include donating COVID-19 PPE, winter clothing, non-perishable food, personal hygiene supplies and more at Housing Alliance Delaware. To find out more, visit Housingalliancede.org


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Bowls game: Tennessee Vols-Purdue Boilermakers https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/bowls-game-tennessee-vols-purdue-boilermakers/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 02:40:30 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/bowls-game-tennessee-vols-purdue-boilermakers/ As we have done every week this season, we are giving away the Volunteer Country on Sports Illustrated game ball edition based on player performance. the Offense: WR Cedric Tillman Cedric Tillman flew to the Flights again. He was always very open early in the game and had two scores and over 100 receiving yards […]]]>

As we have done every week this season, we are giving away the Volunteer Country on Sports Illustrated game ball edition based on player performance. the

Offense: WR Cedric Tillman

Cedric Tillman flew to the Flights again. He was always very open early in the game and had two scores and over 100 receiving yards in the first period. He finished the bowl game with an incredible 150 yard stat line on seven catches and three scores.

Tillman’s efforts saw him gain over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, having totaled 124 yards and two goals in his first three years at Rocky Top.



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Haitian American Museum of Chicago in Uptown receives grant to digitize collection as it enters Grade 10 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/haitian-american-museum-of-chicago-in-uptown-receives-grant-to-digitize-collection-as-it-enters-grade-10/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 14:23:57 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/haitian-american-museum-of-chicago-in-uptown-receives-grant-to-digitize-collection-as-it-enters-grade-10/ UPTOWN – Elsie Hernandez started the Haitian American Museum of Chicago with a modest collection. “At first, I would upload photos to the internet and frame them,” Hernandez said with a laugh. Now the Hernandez institution has started giving Americans a more detailed, nuanced view of the Caribbean nation ready for critical upgrades. A major […]]]>

UPTOWN – Elsie Hernandez started the Haitian American Museum of Chicago with a modest collection.

“At first, I would upload photos to the internet and frame them,” Hernandez said with a laugh.

Now the Hernandez institution has started giving Americans a more detailed, nuanced view of the Caribbean nation ready for critical upgrades. A major grant will allow the museum at 4654 avenue N. Racine to digitize its collection for the first time. The added visibility and opportunity to educate Chicagoans about Haitians and Americans of Haitian descent comes just after the city renamed one of its iconic roads to Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the first non-settler. native of Chicago.

For Hernandez, the grant is also a chance to further tell the story of Haiti from a Haitian perspective.

“Haitians always have foreigners doing things for us,” Hernandez said. “Haiti’s history is so rich, but the stories are not written by Haitians themselves.

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Enter the Haitian American Museum of Chicago, 4654 N. Racine Ave., Uptown on December 19, 2021.

Hernandez, a longtime Chicagoan born in Haiti, is a former nurse who recently made the transition to teaching biology classes at City Colleges in Chicago. She was inspired to create the museum after a volunteer trip to Haiti nine years ago, which included a visit to Cité Soleil, a notorious slum in Port-au-Prince.

“It’s not the same when you see poverty on TV,” Hernandez said. “I thought the best way to help was to focus on the positive aspects of the country. “

The experience motivated Hernandez to bring a different Haitian narrative to the United States and highlight the country’s cultural richness. With virtually no artistic training, Hernandez opened the Haitian American Museum in Chicago in November 2012.

The museum – at just 486 square feet – is tucked away at the corner of Racine and Leland avenues, with a large red and blue flag bearing the Haitian coat of arms waving to passers-by.

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Artwork at the Haitian American Museum of Chicago, 4654 N. Racine Ave., in Uptown on December 19, 2021.

As Hernandez built her museum, she took inspiration from Estrella Ravelo Alamar, a Filipina and West Side who self-funded a Philippine American museum and later became founding president of the Philippine American National Historical Society.

Hernandez relied on donations from community members to fund his small collection. The museum’s initial board was made up of five members, including Hernandez, his son, friends and relatives.

When the Field Museum opened its exhibition “Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti” in 2016, museum executives called on Hernandez as a Haitian-American consultant, her “first major connection” to a larger museum. With this, Hernandez caught the eye of the Know Your Chicago women’s volunteer organization, whose members facilitated a reunion between Hernandez and Nicole Smith, a fellow Haitian American and famous Chicago conservative.

“When the women from Know Your Chicago came to visit me, they realized I had nothing,” Hernandez said. “It was all printed stuff.”

When Smith arrived in the United States in 1973, she sold Haitian artwork from her home and her car. She then opened the Nicole Gallery, 1723 N. Halsted St., where she became known for her collection of Haitian, African and African American art. Galerie Nicole closed in 2011 after 40 years.

“It was Nicole who loaned us all of her large paintings,” Hernandez said. “It was Nicole who made it look like a real museum. She said, ‘Elsie, I have to help you.’ “

A painting that belonged to Smith hangs on the west wall: an allegory of Haiti in the form of two horses pulling half of the island into the Caribbean Sea as colorful huts thread the backs of the horses and Haitians pull themselves together. move around the island.

Before Smith’s death in March 2016, she asked Hernandez to take ownership of the work she had accumulated in her gallery. Most of Smith’s collection, mostly paintings, are in storage because there isn’t enough room in the museum to display them all, Hernandez said.

The museum now has a permanent collection, a rotating collection, a library and a store. Current exhibits include works by Haitian and Haitian American artists, student artists from Truman College, and oral histories collected and donated by Chicago historian Courtney Joseph, whose parents emigrated from Haiti.

The museum has seven executive members and 10 interns and volunteers. Over the years, museum leaders have partnered with other community organizers, for example by raising funds to support the Haitian-Polish community in Haiti. The museum joined the Chicago Cultural Alliance in 2015.

“It is so important to recognize and learn more about the contributions and resilience of the Haitian community in Chicago,” said Marie Rowley, communications manager for the Chicago Cultural Alliance. “The museum has created a beautiful welcoming space for education, reflection and celebration.”

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago

The museum has also been involved in the city’s efforts to honor perhaps the most famous Haitian in its history. In June, city council renamed the outer portion of Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Point of Sand Lake Shore Drive, an effort that had been underway for years.

Hernandez was consulted about the name change and called it a “victory”. Ald. David Moore (17th), who helped lead the name change, said in October that it “opens the door for everyone to learn more” about du Sable’s contributions to modern Chicago.

Du Sable, a black man believed to be of Haitian descent, is often considered the founder of Chicago. He and his wife, Kitihawa, settled where the Chicago River and Lake Michigan meet in 1779, establishing a trading post and farm before selling the property in 1800 and moving to St. Charles Harbor.

In addition to a school and the DuSable Museum of African American History in Hyde Park, a small monument dedicated to Sand can be found near the DuSable Bridge on Michigan Avenue.

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Du Sable Lake Shore Drive as seen from the 360 ​​CHICAGO Observation Deck in the Streeterville neighborhood on April 30, 2021

Beyond the Sand, Hernandez said she and her team have the opportunity to help Chicagoans learn more about the city’s Haitian diaspora.

In July, the museum received a $ 20,000 Broadening Narratives grant from the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, which supports archival projects sharing stories of racial, sexual, gender and other historically sub-identities. represented.

The grant helped hire archivist Eve Mangurten to digitize the museum’s entire collection so the public can view it at all times. Mangurten has been working in the field of archives for over a decade.

“It is important that a collection is accessible to the public and to the museum, because it is important to know what they have so that they can properly make the material available to anyone who wants to access it,” Mangurten said.

Accessibility to the public is a common theme in the objectives of the museum. Mangurten will spend a year archiving the museum’s vast collection in a digital catalog. She will also host public presentations of the collection.

“Our collection will be available for the public to view, think about and research,” said museum executive director Carlos Bossard. “In the long term, digitizing the collection will help uncover stories of the Haitian community that are being overlooked. “

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Carlos Bossard poses for a portrait at the Haitian American Museum in Chicago on December 21, 2021.

Bossard said he hopes the grant will help the museum find additional funds over the next year to retain the collection specialist post once Mangurten completes his work.

“What museums do is it changes your perception,” Hernandez said. “I don’t have to impose my own views. People come in, they smell it, they touch it, they see it. The grant will help make my culture and Haiti more accessible to the public. Now they can smell it, touch it and see it in a digital space.

Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Elsie Hernandez poses for a portrait at the Haitian American Museum of Chicago, 4654 N. Racine Ave., in Uptown on December 19, 2021.

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