Monday, January 25, 2010

Give Kids a Smile Day

February 5th is Give Kids a Smile Day! Participating local dentists will provide free dental care to children. Appointments are needed. The following practices in Ocean County will participate:

CHEMED Health Center, Lakewood – 732-534-8061
Ocean Health Initiatives, Lakewood – 732-363-6655
The Tooth Doctor, Manahawkin, 609-597-6990
Dr. Valeria Barba, Manasquan – 732-223-4416
Ocean Pediatric Dental Assoc., Toms River–732-473-1123
Ocean Health Initiatives, Toms River 732-552-0377
DeMarco Family Dental, Tuckerton, 609-296-8700

Please call ahead for directions and appointments.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Round 20 - Final Round

November 12 to November 25
We have come to the end of the 2009 Health and Wellness Challenge. Thank you to all who participated. Look for exciting things to come in 2010. If you want to join the committee, please discuss it with your supervisor. The deadline for submitting your name is November 30th.

Next year, we will be dropping the "Challenge" and becoming the "Health and Wellness Committee". Some of the activities we will be planning are:

1. Creating a "Wellness Toolkit" for employees, which will include:
Health & Wellness Directory of local gyms, parks, food co-ops, natural food stores, and other organizations and businesses which promote a healthy lifestyle
Motivational posters for staff rooms
Suggestions for healthy lunch hour activities
Ideas for healthy food events at work locations
2. Holding training workshops for staff on such topics as: diabetes, clean eating, nutrition
3. Planning and holding activities for staff such as:
"Field trips" to health food stores like Whole Foods
"Pick Your Own" trips
Charity walk outings (Heart Walk, Making Strides, March of dimes, etc)
Letter writing campaigns to stores we want to see in Ocean County (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Wegman's...)

As we enter a busy time of year for everyone, we plan to continue updating the blog with helpful information. If you have any tips to share, please send them to us.

Round 19 October 29 to November 11

Thank you to everyone who filled out the Health & Wellness survey. We got some great feedback that we are using as we plan new activities for 2010.

On this round we continue exploring the theme of service and spirituality. Please be sure to read this article from the Mayo Clinic on the connection between spirituality and stress relief.

Of course, each person's view of spirituality is deeply personal, and everyone is welcome to their privacy. If this part of the Challenge is not for you, that is quite all right! The information shared here is not meant to promote or endorse any specific form of religion.

But if you are interested in exploring your own faith or other spiritual traditions, BeliefNet is a site whose mission is to help people find, and walk, a spiritual path. It provides inspiring devotional tools, access to spiritual teachers and clergy, commentary, and a supportive online community. Beliefnet is not affiliated with any spiritual organization or movement.

So What Can I Do ?, is a public service weblog promoting ethics in action. It presents hundreds of ways we can live as Mahatma Ghandi suggests and "Be the change you want to see in the world." Sadly, it looks like it is no longer being updated. But there are subject oriented links to the archives. This site is brimming with practical ideas for any individual looking to make the world a better place. was created by President Barack Obama to motivate citizens to volunteer. It is a resource for not only finding volunteer opportunities in your community, but also creating your own.

Thanks to all who participated in the Challenge, even if it was just for a few activities. The last round will be a time of reflection and evaluation. In 2010, we are looking forward to more opportunities for staff to work together on wellness, and more workshops related to learning about being healthy.

Round 18 October 15 to October 28

This Round's posts focus on Service.

Take some time to visit where you can take action for what you believe in by signing online petitions, taking part in the suggested daily actions, or searching for local volunteer opportunities.

Help out your community by taking advantage of the various volunteering opportunities listed on Volunteer New Jersey or the NJ Cares Network .

What could be better than playing free online games while donating to your favorite charity? At Games That Give , you can play a variety of games, such as Blackjack and Sudoku, while the charity of your choice receives donations, courtesy of a little of your downtime.

The website JustFreeStuff has a page of "Click to Donate" sites. Just clicking on the links on these sites generates donations because it shows sponsors that there are a lot of people visiting that page. The causes range from literacy to animal rescue.

Round 17 - October 1 to October 14

Rounds 17 – 20 cover Service and Sprituality.

As we near the end of the 2009 Health and Wellness Challenge, it is time to turn our attention toward matters of the spirit. In her book “Quantum Wellness” (which has served as a loose guide for the Challenge) Kathy Freston says,

“Body, mind, and spirit all work together to create wellness.” (p. 12)

Much of this has to do with expanding our perspective beyond our personal world. Freston states,

“It’s all too easy to get caught up in life’s little dramas and forget about the big picture, but when you reach out and help someone, you feel your sense of purpose and mission kick in.” (p. 41)

The easiest way to broaden your world view is to do something for someone else. Freston tells us we can start small, with almost anything: “Help your nephew tie his shoe, tell a friend why you think he is wonderful, feed the parking meter or pay a toll for someone you don’t even know; all these things will make you feel good about yourself. You will feel alive and useful…by being the Healer for someone else, you will realize the power you have and can begin to use it on yourself.” (p. 171)

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

How do we do that? A good place to start might be to try just one of the suggested activities in the book “Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World” by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger. Check out their website at:

The authors call Me to We a “life philosophy…a way of living that feeds the positive in the world – one action, one act of faith, one small step at a time. “ Here are some activities suggested in different sections of the book:

*Make a mentor’s day. List the mentors you’ve had over your lifetime. Did a teacher believe in you? Did a colleague give you good advice at a critical moment? Take the next step and thank each person on your list for the difference they’ve made in your life.

* Fill a pocket full of love. If you are a poet, a teller of jokes, or simply a kindhearted soul, sneak a note into the pocket of a loved one who hasn’t been feeling well lately.

*Host a movie night with a message. Raise awareness about an issue affecting our global community by gathering family or friends together to watch a movie about a world issue. When the movie ends, talk about it. For the adventurous, bring food or music from that part of the world. (A few titles to get you started: “City of Joy”, “Salaam Bombay”, “Hotel Rwanda”, “The constant Gardener”.)

*Buy nothing for a week. Commit to going an entire week without buying anything that you don’t absolutely need. Rely on your own resources. Celebrate the fact that it’s possible because we’re already blessed with so much.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Last Fun Round-Up

We have reached Round 16, the last round of fun activities, September 17 to September 30.

First, a game to ease you into the fun:

Draw-It, an online interactive real-time Pictionary type game. It's addictive!

Hobbies provide people endless hours of fun. Not sure what to take up? Go to Discover a Hobby, the Internet's ultimate guide for finding and starting a new hobby! Here you can find out how to start any hobby, where to find free online lessons or regular lessons in your area, free online instructional videos, and the best beginners equipment, books, and videos.

Finally, if you are serious about having some fun, please check out The Happiness Project. Writer Gretchen Warren has been spending a lot of time thinking about how to make her life happier. She encourages everyone to start their own Happiness Project too, and her blog is chock full of ideas and tips to get started. She describes a Happiness Project this way:

"A “happiness project” is an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions."

Her blog posts cover all sorts of topics. Be sure to read "Sixteen Tips to Feeling Happier at Work". Ms. Warren also has a book about The Happiness Project, due out in December 2009.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The fun Continues...

We are up to Round 15, September 3 - September 16. As we bid summer good-bye, here are some new suggestions for adding fun and creativity to your days:

The January 2009 Women's Day had some neat ideas for having fun:

*"Hide and Seek" - On separate pieces of paper, write down 15 fun things you've always wanted to do. Now put each sheet in a different spot: between the pages of a book you want to read, tucked in the back of a kitchen cabinet, between the towels in your linen closet, in the pocket of a pair of jeans, etc. During the year, whenever you come across a note, do whatever it says.

*Host a Closet Raid - invite friends over and ask them to bring clothes they are willing to part with. Go through your clothes and select some too. Then have a clothes swapping party.

*Put your right brain to work. Create your own artist's wall. Grab a camera, go outside, and snap whatever moves you. Hang the best shots, rotating in new ones every few weeks.

And on the Web...

Here are some staff favorite sites for fun.

*Nancy V. claims she learned about these web sites in Cataloging class!

For cat people:
For dog people:

*Wordle - Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

*Visit Learn Something Every Day The whimsical drawings of trivia from the sublime to the scary to the ridiculous are endearing.

* Explore Invention At Play, a site devoted to highlighting the importance of play in fostering creativity and inventiveness.