To help people with mental disabilities discover and achieve their hopes and dreams for a meaningful life in the community.
Transforming communities through the contributions of the people we serve.
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Only recently, the 114th Congress and the PA General Assembly established a new landscape. In Washington, D.C., Republicans hold solid positions in both The House and Senate as the President enters the last two years of his second term.
In Harrisburg, PA, and districts across the U.S, legislators hold key positions in leadership. In The House, Representative Mike Turzai will serve as House Speaker, a true accomplishment and much-respected position. And local Representatives Reed, Ellis and Dermody will serve key positions in committee. So, what does this mean to us? It is too early to determine, but the Governor and his cabinet nominations may result in a positive partner in the nonprofit sector. The true problem remains: the $2 billion dollar deficit Governor Wolf and lawmakers face in the new year. The $1.9 billion budget deficit will balloon to $2.2 billion by 2016, while maintaining the same level of services at the current revenue level.
“The next couple of months will be critical in understanding how the new political landscape will translate to the nonprofit.”
Sadly, the growing revenue gap will be difficult to resolve with increasing expenditures. Data shows that gap is projected to grow to $2.7 billion by 2019. So, how does PA Governor Tom Wolf plan to close the funding gap? It remains to be seen how he will work with the legislation to define solutions. Solutions need to be identified for both the spending and revenue budgets. The years of hoping for growth appear to be over and reliance on one-time revenue fixes of the prior administration are of no assistance.
Interestingly enough, the new Governor has demonstrated a change to the status quo by not taking a salary and not living in the Governor’s mansion, and he won’t allow anyone in his executive branch to accept gifts—a subtle change, but one that is noteworthy.
The next couple of months will be critical in understanding how the new political landscape will translate to the nonprofit. Contact your legislators and remind them that the nonprofit sector is a true partner and a resource for strategic decision making. A resource that is too valuable to be ignored.
Victoria A. Livingstone, M.S., C.A.S.
Chief Executive Officer, Transitional Services, Inc.
The association uses the whole month to bring education to women about their heart health. According to the AHA, “Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined.”
Wear Red Day started in 2003 when the AHA and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against the disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to; Heart Disease. Wear Red Day was designed to draw attention to this important issue and to provide information to women about what they can do to prevent heart disease and live healthier lives. The strategy seems to be effective because since the first National Wear Red Day, there have been significant strides made toward better heart health for women.
“Valentine’s Day may have us thinking of romantic red hearts, but February 6th, 2015 is National Wear Red Day. A special day sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease and women.”
They include: a 21 percent drop in women dying from heart disease and 23 percent more women aware that heart disease is their No. 1 health threat. Even more importantly, gender-specific study results on women’s heart risk have been published resulting in established differences in symptoms and responses to cardiac medications and women-specific guidelines for prevention and treatment.
Since awareness is always the first step of action, it’s important to know your risks, know how to tell if you’re having a heart attack and learn what you can do to stop a heart attack before it starts. On the following page is some key information from the American Heart Association.
Every year, we appeal to our family, friends, staff, organizations and grantors to support the mission of TSI . We understand the impact the economy has, not only on the individuals we serve, but also on our supporters. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support throughout the history of TSI.
In 2014, our donors helped us to raise $12,792. There were 49 staff who contributed $7,525 through the annual campaign. Our first Dine & Donate event held at Mad Mex in Robinson Township was a success. Fifty people came out for a night of good food and to support our fundraising efforts, raising $2,116. We also participated in the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving in May, from which we received $2,189.
A grant received from The Trees Foundation will allow us to ensure maintenance for our Intellectual Disabilities programs as well as provide needed equipment and furniture. We thank you for approving our requests over the years to continue services and meeting the needs left short by our funders. Additional grants received from The Steinsapir Foundation and Direct Energy, combined with donations from board, staff and our donors, totaled $69,926.93.
We hope that you will continue to support us through 2015 as we continue to seek other funding sources and gain new supporters. As funding for nonprofits continues to decrease, nonprofits must search for other resources. TSI is no exception. We welcome any ideas or suggestions regarding our fundraising efforts and how we can better communicate with our donors by contacting Keisha Becoate at 412-461-1322 ext. 1249 or via email at email@example.com.
I’m a 55-year-old man who has a lifelong history of drug and alcohol abuse, and I live with bipolar disorder. I’d like to convey a message of hope to others who also live with these disorders, as well as other people who are currently struggling with their mental health or addiction.
My addiction has led to many hospitalizations over the years. I knew I had drug and alcohol problems, but my bipolar illness wasn’t diagnosed until later in life. I learned from an early age that drinking was okay. I spent lots of time with my father and was introduced to drinking and a life of theft and dishonesty, and I engaged in a myriad of deviant behaviors and illegal activity as a result. I in no way, shape, form nor fashion blame my father for my addiction or my other issues, but I sometimes feel that I could have been better prepared for my adult life. My addiction took all my hopes, dreams and aspirations away. Everything in my life that meant something was taken away by drugs.
I feel my bipolar illness came on early in life. In retrospect, what I know about my illness, the racing thoughts and distractibility were present in my early teens. I think I turned to drugs in order to feel “normal” and comfortable with being around other people.
Most of my life has been spent in and out of jails, detox facilities, psych wards and halfway houses. I had periods of sobriety in between, but nothing ever stuck. Later in life, I attempted suicide numerous times. I was completely bankrupt physically, emotionally and spiritually. My bipolar illness worsened, and I would engage in bizarre behaviors and had irrational thoughts even when I was clean and sober.
Flash forward to the present, and my life today is far more healthy and positive than ever! Life is very good. I’ve been clean for 8 months and treat symptoms of my bipolar illness on a daily basis. I do this with the support of fantastic friends, family and staff, including my therapist, psychiatrist, case manager and FWL staff. I surround myself with and choose to associate with positive people. These individuals play such an important role in my life and my continued success. It is also paramount that I take my bipolar medication daily. If my moods and thoughts get out of control, that’s a sign that I am heading for a relapse. I have to do daily maintenance on both of my disorders to stay on a positive path.
By no means am I a religious person, but I have found “god” as I understand that to mean. I don’t subscribe to any particular religion, but I do have faith in something. This has come about as a result of being an active participant in NA and AA meetings. I attend them a few times a week. I have a home group and a sponsor. I also have been getting more involved in a local church and attend services with another FWL member. I now understand the need for spirituality to be successful in my recovery.
Words cannot adequately describe the feeling of waking up each morning and not having to use in order to feel good. The fear, hopelessness, helplessness and despair have been lifted. My physical health has greatly improved, and I’m no longer jaundiced and lying in a hospital bed ready to die. I’m no longer thinking about or attempting suicide. I’m enjoying life again. I now have a relationship with my family, I have friends who I can trust to have my back, and I am living in a beautiful home that is mine as long as I wish to live here. I am learning how to love myself and others again. My addiction and illness took all of those things away. My desire to live a healthy life and stay clean and focused on taking care of myself has brought all of those back, plus some. At one time, if someone had told me that my life would be this good, I would never have believed them. Do not ever give up—there is hope.
For more information on making a contribution to TSI, please contact:
Keisha Becoate • 412-461-1322 ext. 1249 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org