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2018 February PASO Magazine

The Story of Us - PASO Magazine

Recycle Love with

Recycle Love with Heart-Shaped Crayons By Sarah Pope We have officially survived Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Decorations have been collected from throughout the house and packed away in the attic until next year. All that is left of the holidays are a few pine needles under the couch and crumbs of leftover Christmas goodies given to us by our neighbors and friends. Time to set the alarms and say goodbye to the late nights. It’s back to school we go! We’ve all got a little bit of that holiday hangover. Too many chocolates, too much wine and pumpkin pie! It’s time to get back on track! … well, until the next holiday! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and with my youngest starting preschool this month, it’s got me thinking it’s time to get the valentine cards started. With all three in school, that’s almost 100 cards that need to be signed, sealed and delivered. And with the large gap in age between my youngest and older two, we will have to come up with something “cute” and something “cool”. Ever wondered what to do with your collection of dull broken crayons or the ones you get with the children’s menu at your favorite restaurant? Make heartshaped crayons for Valentine’s Day! You’re going to love these! Here’s what you’ll need: • White card stock • Heart shaped crayon mold tray (found on Amazon.com) • Crayon pieces • Small clear treat bags Step 1: Remove the paper from the crayons. The easiest way I found to make this happen, is to (have an adult) carefully slice a line down the entire length of the crayon through the paper with a sharp knife or razor blade. This will make it super easy for your child to pinch the paper off. And as most crafts can get a little messy with kids, we like to use old (or new from the dollar store) baking sheets. One for the paper peeling and the other for the crayons. Step 2: Once your little helpers finish peeling all the crayons, they will need to be chopped or broken into about one inch pieces. Step 3: Fill each heart in your tray with an equivalent of three full crayons (is what usually works for us). You can mix a few colors or stick with the same shades. Have fun with it! Step 4: Set your oven at 250 degrees and pop them in for 15/20 mins. Let them cool completely before removing them from the mold. Step 5: Browse Pinterest for free printables to complete your card! Please check me out on Instagram @ (popexthree) for the “cooler” card ideas! Happy Heart Day! 18 PASO Magazine, February 2018

SENIOR PEER COUNSELING PROVIDES LIFELINE FOR OLDER ADULTS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IN PASO ROBLES & NORTH COUNTY By Meagan Friberg Care, compassion, empathy, respect — all of this and more is what volunteers with Senior Peer Counseling, a program of Wilshire Health & Community Services, provide local older during difficult times in their lives. Under the guidance of three clinical supervisors and a program manager, professionally-trained volunteer counselors help 150-200 seniors annually throughout the county struggling with grief, loss, isolation, depression, and other life challenges. “Our goal is to remove barriers to receiving mental health services so more clients have access to the support they need to live and age well in their own homes,” said Jennifer Kaplan, administrative services coordinator. One client, referring to her counselor, said, “She was my link to living.” Another said, “This service was a lifeline for me. Thank you for this wonderful service. In my situation, with no family and few friends locally, it was much needed.” Volunteers Needed Services are offered free of charge, and there are no income or insurance requirements for the clients. On average, volunteers provide around 1,000 Senior Peer Counseling hours to clients across the county. Most clients live alone, many are widowed and may be visually and/or hearing impaired. The largest demographic being served is 80-84 years of age; 30 percent of those live in North County. Currently, there are dozens of potential clients on the wait list. The greatest need is in North County, an area that receives requests and referrals daily. “We only have two active senior peer counseling volunteers in North County,” said Kaplan. “We do not like people to be on a wait list, so we are putting a lot of effort into recruiting new counselors in this area – they are definitely needed.” Although most referrals for Senior Peer Counseling services come from community agency social workers, anybody may refer themselves or a loved one. Counseling services are provided for as long as needed for the client, on average six months. Oftentimes, volunteers say they benefit from their involvement just as much as the clients. “It is the best ‘job’ I ever had,” one said. Another, “Being a Senior Peer Counselor has been extremely rewarding. It has opened my eyes to some of the challenges our seniors face and taught me invaluable skills, such as compassionate listening and being present.” More about Wilshire Health and Community Services As a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization, providing compassionate care is the hallmark of Wilshire Home Health, Wilshire Hospice, and Wilshire Community Services. Wilshire Community Services support individuals and families throughout San Luis Obispo County who are facing challenging circumstances and difficult life transitions. – Next month, we visit the Good Neighbor and Caring Callers programs offered through Wilshire Community Services. Learn how to sign up to volunteer or request services as a client in Part Two of this twopart series. UPCOMING TRAINING What to know how you may help seniors in your local community? Learn more at Senior Peer Counselor training sessions hosted by Wilshire Health and Community Services. Aging Well: A Training Workshop for the Fundamentals of Senior Peer Counseling March 8 and 9 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wilshire Community Services office 285 South St. Suite J, San Luis Obispo The volunteer training program for Senior Peer Counselors. includes a 60-hour initial training and a weekly two-hour supervision led by a clinician. There are ongoing opportunities for education and skill building. To sign up and for more info, email Jennifer at: jkaplan@wilshirehcs.org. SECTION 189 February 2018, PASO Magazine 19

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