Fatima's Heart

Listen to the Rhythm of my Heart!

Moms Helping Moms

In September 2015, I happened to stumble upon Moms Club of Fresno North on facebook. I discovered a group of dedicated moms trying to be there for other moms, extending a hand of compassion and providing support to moms in need. It is not only a social group, set up to provide play dates and mother’s time out opportunities to its members but also a 501(c)(3) certified non-profit organization committed to making a difference. I was invited to their clothes and toys swap meeting at Woodward Park library. I met this wonderful group of very busy moms, some expecting, others nursing and then more with kids all ages. I could easily blend in with two minor girls of my own. I joined the club instantly.

Heather Blades is the president of the club. She herself joined the club five years ago when her second son was two years old. Her eldest was twenty and with such an age difference, she wanted to find moms with younger kids to hang out with. That’s when she found Moms Club of Fresno North.

Her inspirational journey from being ‘just a mom’ to the president of moms club of Fresno North involves her commitment to do more than the regular service projects the club has been doing in the past. “The first thing I did to become more involved was to become an activity coordinator,” she told me. “I took that job so I could help plan outings and play dates for the members. It seemed like an easy way to start. I was then nominated and elected to become the Membership VP. I remember what it was like to reach out to the club when I was interested in joining the club and I wanted to provide a friendly and welcoming experience to moms looking to join the club. I was then nominated for President and I was the only one who stayed on the ballot. I guess the inspiration was that I wanted our chapter to continue, so I jumped in with both feet.”

MOMS Club of Fresno North held a Golf tournament and Silent Auction Dinner for the Endowment for Valley Children’s Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program last year. The program provides cancer survivor kids with the education, support and treatment needed to live healthier, happier lives. “Today, an overwhelming majority of childhood cancer patients survive,” says Heather, “However, the same treatments that cure cancer, puts them at risk for long-term health problems resulting from surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. We were able to provide the program with a check of $15,701.”

The club has also supported Mighty Moms Foundation, another charitable foundation established by Dr. John Burnett of Fresno, California, which recognizes the intense financial burdens and emotional stress of single mothers, as they undergo cancer treatments. MOMS Club of Fresno North has been able to help two Mighty Mom families with a Thanksgiving meal and one with Christmas dinner and presents for the kids. With the generosity of many of the club members, they were also able to supply one family with household items and furniture that they desperately needed. Here is a video that tells ….. story who was helped by moms club of Fresno north.

“This year, MOMS Club of Fresno North received 4 awards at our yearly Regional Luncheon,” Heather told me. “One was for our support of the Mother to Mother fund, which helps members who have been affected by an emergency. The others were an outstanding chapter award and for our Service projects and Golf tournament. The club also has a Sunshine committee/ helping hand that helps members with meals, babysitting, grocery shopping, house keeping or any other needs during an illness, after having a baby, when on bed rest or in an emergency situation.”

Isn’t it amazing how much stay at home moms can do for the community. Every member gives something to the club. “From the moms that step up and help plan activities or take on a board position to the moms who help with service projects,” says Heather, “It would be hard to just acknowledge a few. Without all of them the club would not be what it is.”

Thank you Heather Blades for playing such an important role in the society. And thanks to all members of Moms Club of Fresno North for welcoming me with open arms and giving me an opportunity to hang out with them and know them better.

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PTSD-face it, do not fear it.

I had a very interesting discussion with a dear friend of mine on whether people are innately evil, or if it is life’s bitter experiences that makes them do evil things. The result was interesting, we ALL have the tendency to become cruel human beings, but at the end of the day, we all have a CHOICE.

Just because we were abused and neglected as a child doesn’t mean we have to become an abuser as an adult, or just because we had a mean mother-in-law doesn’t mean we have to be mean to our kids as well. However, it is the responsibility of the adults in the child’s life, to nurture his vulnerable mind and show him the better choices.

We must also understand that people, especially children and youth, who go through extreme traumatic life experiences, may develop a condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is treatable as well as preventable. We must not shy away from it, but face it, treat it and conquer it.

The life experiences that can leave an ever lasting scar include rape, incest, abuse, neglect as a child, violence at home, terrorism and warfare, violent death of loved ones and continuous bullying. However, it is the nurturing by the family first, and then the society at large, that can either make a man or break a man.

Research shows that most of the adult abusers, criminals, drug addicts and even murderers have disturbing pasts. Being abused themselves as a child or witnessing violence and crime at a very young age either makes them bitter and vengeful or that’s the company they have always lived in so they do not “feel” they have a choice.

That is where our intervention comes in, to break the cycle, to remove the vulnerable from the disastrous situation.

We usually associate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with combat veterans who go through mental stress, depression and adjustment issues because of the extreme situations they witness and experience as military personnels. However that is not always the case. Anyone of any age, who experiences severe trauma in any form, be it abuse, neglect, kidnapping, torture, sexual assault, murder attempt, natural disaster, war or even as little as bullying or a burglary attempt can be afflicted by PTSD.

A PTSD patient has flashbacks, nightmares, re-lives those terrifying moments and may develop depression and paranoia if not treated early. Depression is the feeling of sadness, hopelessness and unworthiness and one starts losing interest in every day activities of life. Paranoia is when distrust, severe anxiety and fear causes them to think negatively about everything, to the point of irrationality and delusion.

PTSD can disrupt one’s whole life, the job, relationships, health and enjoyment of everyday activities. Having PTSD also increases the risk of other mental health problems as stated earlier.

After surviving a traumatic event, many people have PTSD-like symptoms at first, such as being unable to stop thinking about what’s happened, fear, anxiety, anger, depression or guilt. However, majority of people exposed to trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Getting timely help and support can help you recover and also prevent turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol and drug misuse. This means turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort, seeking out a mental health provider who offers psychotherapy and counseling and even turning to faith community that can be of tremendous help.

We always have a choice to make our lives better, for ourselves and for others. Surrounding ourselves with positive people and helping those who suffer, can not only save one life but it can save the whole of humanity. So next time you see someone suffer, intervene. You may be the only option he has.

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Happy International Volunteer Manager (Leader) Day!

Happy Volunteer Manager Day!!

volunteerplaintalk

great leadershttp://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm

While doing some research, I came across this comparison between a manager and a leader and that got me thinking about our jobs. Are we managers or leaders or both? I’ve included the main points of the article below, but you can read it in its entirety if you follow the link above at changingminds.org.

What is the difference between management and leadership? The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate the people who work or follow them, and this sets the tone for most other aspects of what they do.

Many people, by the way, are both. They have management jobs, but they realize that you cannot buy hearts, especially to follow them down a difficult path, and so act as leaders too.

By definition, managers have subordinates – unless their title is honorary and given as a mark of seniority, in which case…

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Challenge of Smiles

Wonderful idea. I have gone through a lot of difficult time but I am proud to be where I am today. Will be writing about that soon 🙂

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