The Sunny Day
August and September 2020
We welcome one and all to the next edition of The Sunny Day, for August and September 2020. We have brand new things to share with you since you last visited. We’re glad you were able to join us again. It’s great to see you.
We are dedicated to serving consumers with severe and Persistent mental health challenges. Our goals are to empower, encourage, listen and support every consumer who are on their recovery journey,
As I reflect on my path and continued journey as Director, I discovered the following:
Solidarity is one of the finest points of Sunshine Connection; it just doesn’t get any better. The staff and members stand in unity, especially when it comes to supporting each other.
Unsung in that our staff and members often recognize when others are in need of and reach out without being asked or told. Why, because they know what it’s like and what it takes.
Nice is that the Staff and members take pride in their environment and daily help with the Things to Do lists.
SEASONAL, although some change like the seasons, we often adjust due to what must be done and we do it with the idea that it may reduce the stigma in our communities thru both advocacy and volunteerism.
HELPING each other to sustain our mental health in a positive way and to uplift others along our way.
INTEGRATED population makes us as diverse as a community as you may want to belong to. We are ready to learn and educate each other in our cultural ways in order to be an inspiration to each other and our community.
NURTURING and Nourishing by providing the tools to help to educate our members to keep healthy and nourish them with the resources to continue in their efforts to do so.
EAGER and Enthusiastic for everyone who comes thru Sunshine Connection doors to feel welcomed and cared for no matter the circumstances at all times.
In closing, I am very proud to have been chosen as Director of Sunshine Connection. I look forward to a long-lasting partnership with both the Staff, Members and the Community,
And to continue to support all who are having challenges.
Well, for starters, our Activity Director, Cara, turned 39. She is one of the “babies” of our group as the baby boomers at Sunshine call them. We celebrated birthday day on her birthday which was on a Thursday. It was a swell day. She also made a birthday wall that shouted out to all the other birthdays along with hers. There were four birthdays this month. We also learned One of our members moved to a different place. Three of our “Sunshine Babies” had birthdays this month. 19 years, 28 years, and 39 years. We also started an activity in August where we wrote letters to ourselves. Each month we try to write a letter to ourselves and reflect on how we’ve changed in the last month. We also have been enjoying taking quizzes that have funny answers about yourself. One quiz revealed that our Activity Director was a crested penguin.
Our Director, Marilyn, began reading Don’t Cry Wolf on Fridays. The members really enjoy listening to it. its about a woman who writes about her horrible treatment in a mental facility. It really eye opening.
We have begun doing a gratitude journal which helps us see positive things in our daily lives with activities and mood soothing activities.
On August 10th, a visitor named Marty Brown came to Sunshine. (A role our Activity director played to make the Sunshine Wellness Action Plan group more interesting) She came in to the building holding the sunshine Connection Toolbox. She was greeted by a secondary role player one of the board members, and given a pamphlet about sunshine. Marty explained she was invited by one of the members and decided she’d share her wellness “tool box” with everyone. She pulled out the measuring tape and said this is my therapist because they measure my progress. The Drill was her doctor because they were always drilling her with questions. The level was the pills she takes because they keep her level headed. The pliers were hotlines and peer support which ply her up out of depression. The screwdrivers and bits to them were the daily maintenance which she uses to keep herself mentally and physically healthy every day. The hammer was the daily affirmations she hammered into her mind by repeating them. Lastly the pinking sheers were used to cut through negative thoughts and feelings she had about herself. After talking about the wellness “toolbox” she had, Marty Brown said good bye to sunshine and said she had fun but was going to rest. The activity was over and everyone loved the role play. Cara had come back in saying she had been “napping” and lost track of time what did she miss. The group said she missed this lady named Marty Brown who talked about wellness tools. The whole group had fun that day.
Once in a while Sunshine will show mood boosting videos, videos that make laughter and smiles. Its took help lift up the many negative moods that can be felt during these trying times especially hard on people with mental illness. Usually they are funny cat an animal videos.
We also did a “member teach” segment which was the chance for members to teach something they know about to the group. This month it was Jewelry by our board member Renee, who had a booth at the Creations of Hope. Cara has been teaching the group Spanish but it is out of fun.
WE also did Dancer-cise which is just what is says Dance exercise. We played music that was from the 80’s and got up and danced. It is fun for some of the younger members to do we also did exercise that was bean-bag toss into a bucket.
We worked on some grants and to get our floor in our kitchen replaced and to get a new appliances because one of our freezers has gone out. We also applied to the Nancy perry Day of Caring to get some work done at Sunshine as well.
We’d like to say thank you To Nami for allowing us to have our wall for our art.
Along with the regular activities we have been doing including Pathways and S.W.A.P. (Sunshine wellness action plan) and exercise group we have some new editions to our activity list. Including member teach, which lets people showcase their talents and knowledge on various subjects and show others how they do what they do. It gives the activity director a chance to know who is good a what so she can help them to lead groups.
We want to make a shout out to our September Birthdays, we had five celebrated this month. One of whom is a star in the night sky now. We also had the Nancy Perry Day of Caring on September 18th 2020 as well as getting all our artists and their work displayed on our wall. We have a lot of talented people.
The activities we did in September were making lots of crafts for all the seasons. Fall leaves, turkeys, scarecrows, ghosts, wreaths, ghosts, mummies, pumpkins and even a Christmas tree. The leaves we have colored were so good looking one member asked if they were real. We learned about fall colors and even how autumn is celebrated and why. We have been having fun doing the crafts and people are so happy when they see their creations hanging up.
One of the crafts we did recently that our members enjoyed was our Crayon art pumpkin.
We took a medium sized white pumpkin and asked every member to select one or two colors from our color box, each color was different there were no repetitive color names in the box, and tell the activity director where on the pumpkin they wanted the color to be placed. Then using a lighter the activity director melted the crayon for the members to watch drip down the pumpkin. Everyone enjoyed watching it melt. After all the people had gotten the chance or offer to do the color selection, the activity director took a hair dryer and blew the color so it spread out and touched the colors next to it and melted together. It came out so neat. You can find that pumpkin on our facebook page.
We added group prayer to the calendar this month because so much has happened within the lives of our peers and with Covid-19 still in our midst our members are constantly asking and seeking prayer. Music time was added this month because it helps calm our nerves to liseten to music and helps us to be at peace. We were going to do a lip-sync battle to see how well people knew their favorite songs and for fun but the activity director soon realized you can’t do a lypsync battle if we are all wearing our masks to keep each other safe. So instead we listened to our favorite songs via youtube.. We have some very talented singers in our group. One member uses singing to lift her troubles away when she’s “in her funk” as she puts it. Everyone requests the radio when we are here so music has been integrated into our schedule. We have been working around the construction of our parking lot as well. The activity director joked that we were having a moat put in. The members love doing guess the word puzzles and bingo. We offer bingo for praises and acknowledgement of success when we don’t have a ton of prizes to give out. Most of our members are okay with that. Funny Cat videos are also a big hit with people and are requested. We also have been doing mood boosting videos which have been shown to create smiles and laughter. A lot of the videos are funny cats and animals. We need more smiles during these covid-19 times.
Currently on our video cookbook we have 18 recipes. You can find them on youtube. Just look up Cara Talley. Also if you are a mental health consumer from a CRO we are welcoming suggested recipes from our community.
We are also looking forward to our Halloween party on the 30th of October. Nothing to frightful just good old fashioned fun. We are planning on having it from 10am-6pm.
Thank you to our Contributors and Funders
Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services for their grant money
Faith Lutheran Church: for their monthly and yearly financial
Topeka Rescue Mission: for their contribution of food.
Lori Dutton: for her continuous help with taxes and finances.
The miscellaneous contributors who donate aluminum cans.
Thank you to our volunteers:
Everyone who contributes to Sunshine on a daily basis.
We encourage you to help your fellow peers to volunteer
in your areas of achievement.
Consumers who helped with this edition are: