As part of The Gallery Collection’s charitable donation program, we recently donated 250 Birthday cards and 250 Sympathy cards to The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ) mission is to help improve the quality of life of children battling pediatric brain tumors and their families.
In 2004, 9-year-old Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. In 2005 Jaclyn became connected to and later adopted as an honorary member of the Northwestern Women’s lacrosse team. Jaclyn’s strength, courage, and joy for life inspired the players, and they in turn inspired Jaclyn. Later that same year the Murphy Family started The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation so that other children battling pediatric brain tumors can have the same wonderful experience that Jaclyn had.
FOJ pairs up children and their families battling pediatric brain tumors with college and high school sports teams. The teams give these children love, support and friendship as they fight this devastating disease. They celebrate each day by creating lasting relationships between student athletes, the child, and their families. This greatly improves the quality of life for children with brain tumors, as well as those who support them.
For more information about the The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, and how you can help, please visit their website at http://www.friendsofjaclyn.org/.
Did you ever wake up on your birthday and feel depressed about getting older or reaching a milestone that you thought wouldn’t come about for a long time? I guess we could put a name on a birthday and call it reality. As we awaken to the day’s celebration, we begin to realize that it just might be a great day we can be thankful for. Most of us would love to have a day off from work to do our own thing to make the day feel worthy. The feat of making it to another healthy year is more than special. But, reality strikes, and we find that your business office is waiting for you.
Upon arrival, you discover that your home away from home, where we spend most of our time, has become your place of celebration. Our friends greet us with special treats, maybe a birthday cake and a birthday card signed by all of our coworkers. What a special feeling to find unique birthday cards, even signed by the President of the company too! Another successful, healthy, happy year and a day of happy memories!
Exercise is a love/hate relationship to most of us. Some exercise faithfully, and there are others who wouldn’t think of it. I was raised in a physically active home as a child with a Dad who played semi- professional baseball, and parents who engaged in bowling, tennis, swimming, dancing and walking. There was no way around it, and I am happy for the healthy education of exercise. I began teaching fitness, from infants to seniors, in 1985 and for 22 years brought the gift of healthy living to many of my clients.
In many professional offices, employees sit at a desk for approximately 7 hours per day. Ten simple exercises you can do at work can make you body feel energized, provide a clear thinking mind and grant you good health in your professional journey. While you sit at your desk, make a conscious effort to:
1. Rotate your ankles
2. Perform heel raises
3. Raise your toes
4. Stretch your arms over your head and bend to each side while in your chair
5. Roll your neck to reduce tension
6. Do knee lifts in your chair
7. Perform straight leg lifts
8. Be mindful to sit up straight
9. Tap your toes to keep the blood flowing
10. Stand up often
These ten simple exercises that you can do at work will make you feel more alert, hold your energy level high, keep your muscles strong, keep your mind stimulated and your attitude enthusiastic!
When I was a little girl of six, I received a beautiful Christmas card in the mail. It was not addressed to the family, but just to me. You cannot imagine the thrill of seeing my name on an envelope with a stamp. It came from my girlfriend who lived just around the corner and she spent three cents to send me my very own Christmas cards. This was huge. I still remember the red cardinal sitting proudly on a barren branch with snow falling. Strange how those certain areas of our life are shaped by one small memory. My love of the Christmas season blossomed along with a life long love of greeting cards.
I cannot go into a store without looking at the greeting card display or pass up a greeting card catalog. The thought of sending a card on any occasion fills me with anticipation. Part of that is the thought of how someone will feel when they receive the card. I always imagine someone getting the mail out of the box, and the expression on their face when they see a card addressed to them. I suppose I am projecting my feelings of joy forward. I certainly hope that a small measure of my feelings can be felt through the card by the recipient. Good wishes should always carry through the paper, don’t you think?
Although, every occasion warrants a card, the holiday season will always be my favorite. There are so many beautiful cards to select. A lovely winter scene with smoke curling from a chimney, a frolicking quartet of snowmen or an ornament in brilliant colors festively displayed. The choices are so vast it makes me smile for days when I finally decide. Just imagine when I sit down and write out the cards, address the envelopes, then mail them off. Nothing says Christmas louder or more clearly than sending out the cards.
How lucky I am to have found a job later in my life working for a greeting card company? Going to work is a joy, pleasing people with our quality cards is a joy and most of all the hectic holiday season is joyful, tiring but joyful. I leave you with a wish for a wonderful holiday season filled with a mailbox of fabulous greeting cards!
The Gallery Collection is proud to announce a donation of 750 Thank You cards to The Joyful Child Foundation. The Joyful Child Foundation is dedicated to preventing crimes against children through programs that educate, empower, and unite families and communities.
The Joyful Child Foundation was formed after the kidnapping, molestation and murder of 5-year old Samantha Runnion in July 2002. Formed by her mother, the Joyful Child Foundation aims to prevent child sexual abuse and abduction through programs that unite and uplift communities, such as by providing child safety empowerment programs to children and adult education to parents and other caring adults.
The Joyful Child Foundation plans to use the cards to thank their donors and their sponsors for all the contributions made to this important cause.
For more information about The Joyful Child Foundation, and how you can help, please visit their website at http://www.thejoyfulchild.org/.
Having a Christmas party at work can be strenuous. First, you have to come up with a Christmas party theme for the office. Then, the planning begins. The planning is the easy part. One of the hardest part seems to be a theme. Since I have been in charge of this project we have had four themes. The first year we did “Christmas Around the World”. We had the words Merry Christmas and Santa Claus in different languages from many countries. We had dishes from different countries on the table, and we even had people tell short stories of their Christmas traditions. That year was one of my favorites. The next year we worked with Toys for Tots. Our theme was Santa’s Christmas List. The idea was to buy a gift that you would have wanted as a child and donate it. Everyone who brought in a gift for a child received a ticket to our Christmas Buffet. It was a great year for the kids. My associates were very generous, some giving several gifts each. The third year, our theme was “Generosity and Kindness”. The idea was to be generous and giving for the month before Christmas. Every time you did something nice or charitable, you received a ticket for our tricky tray. The nicer and more generous you were, the more tickets you got to put into the bucket. Everyone seemed so much nicer that year!
This year, I’m working on something really special. We are actually having a Christmas mini carnival. We are inviting the staff’s families so they can enjoy some carnival games, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, and of course, a visit from the big man himself, Santa Claus. Then we will have a sit down style dinner. I know family is the most important thing in life, so why not include them in the fun? I’ve already called The Gallery Collection to order my holiday party invitations, and as soon as they arrive I’ll add my own personal touch to each one. Everyone is so excited. My boss can’t wait to dress up as you know who! While everyone is ready to enjoy this years fun, I’m already working on next years theme.
In our lives we are met with challenges that test our patience, our character, and sometimes all that we have held true to our personal image. Though we look for escapes they are not always available to us, the stress builds and we become less of who we want and more aggressive or more detached from our social structures. It can engulf so much of our lives we sometimes begin to think these feelings normal, all from negativity and stress. Stress at work can add to the already overwhelming amount of difficulties presented in life, but if we take a few short moments to collect ourselves, we can spare ourselves some weight from the boulders we each push uphill.
Available at all of our desks is a key to lower stress levels. While reading, take both hands and place them palm up on your desk. Rest your feet on the ground and relax your body against your chair. Close your eyes and breathe in heavily through your nostrils, expanding your abdomen as you do. Hold your mounted breath for a moment and exhale slowly, pulling your abdomen in as you do. While taking the time to focus on your breathing, tell yourself you are relaxed. Repeat it while you inhale, feel the weightlessness of your limbs. When you again open your eyes, repeat that you are relaxed. Whenever you feel stress or negativity, you can come back to this small meditative exercise for as long as necessary.
Stress at work can be out maneuvered by simply removing yourself from the situation momentarily to collect thoughts. Taking the time to focus on our breathing can again center ourselves when we spin away; taking the time to work through a stressful work situation can relieve us from continued negativity throughout the day. You deserve to feel as stress free as possible, and you can begin your journey today!