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Tabano Law
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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

2020 Continues to Give - Free Mental Health Help from Services of Hope in Muskegon


I'm willing to bet that at some point in the last 10 months, there has been a moment or two where you've felt the need to drop to your knees and give in.  "I can't take it anymore" has been heard far and wide and as we look back over all we've been through, there's really no escaping it.  For some, that's the kind of mental state they live in day after day.  Life is hard, life gets harder and in a year when there really are no answers, life can be unbearable.  Mental health, there is still a stigma.

It's a little more top of mind for everyone this year, mental health.  What we've seen and been put through could be equated to trying to get a sip of water out of a fire hose.  We've seen friends and family split over politics.  We've seen people struggle over finances and work.  We've worried about friends and neighbors, we've worried about health and procedure.  We've worried about who's right and wrong and we've worried at the end of the day about ourselves.  There's no shame in needing to take care of you...because without you...none of those mentioned before that you care so deeply for, well, without you...they are really all lost.  You are needed.  You are the key to your world and all those in it and we're thankful you're here! 

We all know the holiday's can be stressful too.  This time of year evokes a lot of emotion to begin with and 2020 presents a series of challenges unique to itself.  Do you stay home and stay safe?  Do you celebrate traditionally?  Do you Zoom your get together?  Add all of that to what some already go through during the holidays, like too many houses to visit, which relatives will feel disappointed if you don't make it, work, life, money....it's adding up again isn't it?  Stop.  There's help. 

To begin with, let's be open.  I am 17 years sober.  I wouldn't be 17 years sober without an absolutely incredible counsellor who helped me navigate the first 3 years after I quit drinking.  She helped me heal everything within that's made me who I am today, which is perfectly flawed and able to understand what's broke, what's fixed and where I can find ways to keep things working properly.  Jane was sent to me as a final gift for living through the hell of addiction and her loving guidance made me into the son, husband, step parent, "geepa" and human I am today.  Why the story?  Well, it's to let you know that no one can go this alone and there is no shame whatsoever in asking for help.  I consider this life a miracle now, and it took work to get here, and it takes work and willingness to give it all away to keep it.  I want that for you too. 

Services of Hope Online

Now, that first step.  Ask.  Don't know who to ask?  That's why we're here today.  Services of Hope is a counselling center in Muskegon and they have been given a grant to help out a great number of people who are willing to ask.  They have funding to get you started with some free visits with telehealth or any kind of digital platform for the moment.  Yes, it's a matter of safety to begin.  You doo need to register soon and do a little orientation before the 30th though, it's a grant that came in quick and has to be used quick, so act on it.

Jax Bliss is part of the staff at Services of Hope and she sent a message today wondering if we could help spread the word, and what better gift could we possibly give than helping someone past their darkest hour in a year filled with them.  Take a listen.

Let's go over it again. No one can do it alone and there's no shame in asking.  Mental health is real, it's important to maintain and the first step for you is being offered right here and now.  Reach out and ask is all you have to do and the first three visits won't cost you a penny.  231-722-7980 is the number.  We wish you happiness, health and a much better 2021 for all.  

Thursday, December 17, 2020

500 Toys for Christmas - A "Wrap Up"

A little over a month ago, in fact it was November 4th, we introduced you to Keysha Mcclanahan who was gathering up a few friends to combine some efforts after a successful "trunk or treat" event at Halloween for kids to try and catch a little lightning in a bottle twice.  It's not a job easily done any time and if there's a global pandemic going on as well as a lot of people wondering "what if" over a multitude of life's problems, catching lightning can be seemingly impossible.

Well, Keysha and company were not going to let any odds against them stand in the way of at least trying.  After all, Christmas is on the way and kids....ya, they know things are different his year and they too have had to endure a lot of upheaval.  Working remotely for school in a lot of cases.  Parents doing their best to shield them from worry and fear.  Some of their favorite activities might be shut down, or the budget might be a little tight in some cases.  Way back in March, they started saying "we're in this together" and that meant everyone, kids included, but what about Christmas? 

The 2020 Toy Team

Well Keysha and her crew consisting of Tina Grissom, Willie Wilson and Shawanna Evans jumped in head first.  They set a goal to collect 500 toys for area kids this year.  Way back in November, it seemed like a huge goal.  They had a drop off spot or two and the ball was just rolling.  Then, as it always seems to do, Muskegon and all it's people made lightning strike.  One or two drop off locations became many.  Restaurants who can only do take out still found a corner.  Churches pitched in.  Human service companies dug a little deeper and even hair care places said "Sure, we're in".  

It's this kind of togetherness that sets this community a part.  I want to take you back a little here a minute on a side track.  Way back when in 2001, I really got my first look at how Muskegon does it.  It was just after 9-11.  We at the radio station decided to go collect spare change to help the recovery efforts and I was at the corner of Henry and Sherman.  I was out there for a few hours and literally had so much money come in, I had to start dumping it in my car.  This very same thing came through when I helped the Old Newises out for a few years, I saw it happen again and again with cancer benefits, help for women's shelters, reading programs, benefits to help special needs kids.  I have a very deep and very personal connection with the grass roots charitable work that goes on here in Muskegon and it's truly one of the things that fills me with pride and truly, sets us a part from all of the other communities.  We never let a need slip and more over, if that need is for kids, come hell or high water, we make it happen.  It's in this togetherness that we are able to set aside what the rest of the world is doing, circle the wagons and stand in unison with pride and say "Watch us Go".  It's a great slogan to see on billboards, but it's really people like Keysha, Tina, Willie and Shawnna who make it happen.  We are blessed to have them here.

Now, on to the results!  At the time we recorded, well, the goal had been well beaten.  In fact, not only was it beaten, there were still more toys coming in and at first glance this morning...500 toys had gone over the 800 mark and the level of gratuity was coming through in every picture shared on Keysha's Facebook page.  So without further adieu, let's meet the team that made a Christmas Miracle happen for so many kids this year.  

There's nothing better. Seeing first hand how a few people come together despite all odds and most everyone throwing their hands up in the air over things and saying "we can do this".  Watching people build community, share their passion, build up one another and make sure that some of the rights of childhood are not lost in the whirlwind of a temporary crisis.  Simply put, we're standing here in awe of the accomplishment and we're again standing in awe of the way the people of Muskegon never ever fail each other.  We are truly blessed to be who we are, where we are and in a time that we all share.  Our many thanks to Keysha, Tina, Willie and Shawanna for keeping that Christmas Spirit alive for all of us.