Sunday, November 13, 2016

Don't Like the Election Results? One Simple Way to Move Forward.

Last week, America was shocked. Well, not everyone. Many people aren't surprised at all. Myself, I was expecting this. People are hurting. They are poor. They want something that they can believe in, and I believe that, finally, people have seen that the DNC is corrupted by money.

It is my contention that people voted against the DNC as well as for Trump. It's my contention that the DNC has lost its way.

The Democrats are supposed to be the party of the people. They lost their core. They have been deporting people in incredible numbers. They have been dropping bombs at unsustainable rates. They are funded by the corporations that are destroying the world. They are pushing "trade deals" that aren't going to help working class Americans. They support oil pipelines. They support fracking. They support regime change across the world. I could go on.

The way forward is to fix the DNC. They must completely re-define themselves and restart fresh. In my opinion, they already have all the ingredients. Take Bernie's platform. Make it the DNC's DNA. Hire people that live it and breathe it.

Does this election bother you? Do you want to make change? Don't want to wait for the next Presidential election to "fix it?" There are people that can't wait for the next election, so you're in luck! Here's what to do!

Find a group, a single local group, that you respect and go volunteer for a few hours a week. Do it today! I'm pouring my volunteerism into the Austin Clubhouse. I can make change work for their members on a daily basis. When you see, with your own eyes, and hear, with your own ears, the needs of your very own community, you'll see just how many people need your help. You'll feel and be involved. You'll be an agent of change. You'll make a difference, and you'll be able to sleep better every night.

Presidential politics take a long time to change. Invest in your community now. You'll see that change immediately. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Think Mental Health Assistance in Austin Is Out of Reach? Think Again.

If you've never heard of the Austin Clubhouse, let's fix that. Austin Clubhouse exists to provide acceptance and empowerment so adults living with mental health diagnoses can pursue personal goals and play a meaningful role as co-workers, colleagues, family members and friends.

I've been volunteering there for years and lately I've been spending more and more time in a support role. On a personal level, it is immensely satisfying to participate in others' successes in life. I've always loved helping people as a manager in my career, but through the Clubhouse, I'm helping people in ways that are incredibly tangible.

The Clubhouse is housed within a church, but it is not religious in any way. The staff are amazing and the members are extremely willing to get involved with everyone's success. Every day we're open (M-F), the staff and members hand make lunch from scratch. Lunch is served for $1.00.

Many of our members are homeless or marginally homeless and we provide them help in many, many ways. From ensuring that they have access to transportation (discounted bus passes) to medical care (on site medical professionals regularly). We have rooms of internet-connected computers (we just upgraded to super fast internet, averaging around 100M download) that can be used at any time, provide resume and job training classes, offer free yoga and exercise classes, support a community garden, and so much more. Learn more about our services here.

Love our supporters! 1886 Cafe and Bakery and The Driskill
If you're interested in learning more, please come by for a free tour. Our staff and members are happy to show you around and answer any question you have. All you need to be a member is have a mental health diagnosis and a treatment plan. If you're a caretaker of a person with mental illness, you should know about our organization and keep us in your back pocket. We're on your side. See you soon!

Austin Clubhouse.
610 E 45th Street, Austin, TX 78751, inside Hyde Park Christian Church.

Visit us on Facebook.
Find us on Google Maps.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Our First Halloween at Chicon Street

The kids have had a great time Halloween-ing down south and now that they have been doing their own things for years, and I'm not having to drive them around anymore, I wanted to get into the "spirit" of Halloween this year, and everyone was okay with that because they all had plans that night! I tried to get prepped in advance, but with the Cubs in the World Series, a good amount of the time I was going to spend prepping... was spent over at the Haymaker!

Tuesday and I got some good webs setup on Sunday night, and then ran out of time. She likes them to be really thin or spread out extensively. No clumps! On Monday afternoon, her plans fell through so she was able to be at the house and help with last minute prep. Lucky for me! And once I was on the way home with her, we got a call from my mom, who decided to come over and hand out candy as well! By the time we got to the house, she had already gotten some decorations up that she had brought.

We went out and got some candy / prizes purchased at just the last moment and made it to the house in time to complete decorations. Then we finally sat down to wait for kids. We had 3 kids quickly and then a small handful until we shut down at 11pm.

All in all it was a lot of fun. Lots of music, singing and kazoo playing on the porch all night. Nightmare Before Christmas to Rocky Horror. I saw some neighbors down the road and since we didn't have a lot of kids, I walked down and met the family that had lived in our house before us! They had 5 kids in there!

Here are a few pics for you to see what it looked like!

Next year, I want to find a way to get more people on the street to CONSIDER participating in Halloween. If not, maybe I'll be the house that gives away HUGE candy until people finally get the word out. We have friends in New Braunfels that don't have a lot of kids that come by, so they're like Willy Wonka. I kinda like that idea. Let's see how things go in 2017!