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Biweekly Community Update 

December 20th, 2022
Happy Tuesday! 

This is the last community spotlight and update for 2022. It it hard to believe how fast the year has flown by.

Before we close out the year, we want to express our deepest gratitude for everything you do for the Lopez community and wish you and yours a happy holiday season. 

We look forward to welcoming the new year with you!

--The LIFRC Team

In the Spotlight
We’ve all had moments of big emotions, times when we’ve felt ourselves pacing back and forth, throwing hands up in the air to signal giving up, wanting to crawl under a bush, or dancing around singing at the top of our lungs. 

It’s natural. As humans, our feelings both motivate and activate us.

That said, it is not easy to understand what we feel and knowing how to bring ourselves back to a calm, more centered state is not something we have had opportunities to learn. 

If that is true for us adults, one has to wonder, what about the youth in our community? 

According to the 2021 San Juan County Healthy Youth Survey Results, high school students had these feelings:
  • 76 -77% were anxious in the last two weeks
  • 55-71%   were unable to control their worrying
  • 17-23%  considered suicide, and 13-15% made a suicide plan.
“After 3 years of increased uncertainty and disruption, our island’s youth are carrying a lot of unregulated feelings and are really struggling to cope and communicate,” says Nikola Chopra, Coordinator of Wellness programs with the LIFRC. “That’s why we are so happy to complement the Lopez Island School District's health class curriculum with the Calm and Connected Toolkit," she goes on to say. 

Grounded in aspects of health and well-being, Calm and Connected focuses on social, emotional skills and works to create a safe, trusted space for youth to explore their feelings. By finding their unique personal strengths, they explore how those strengths might help them navigate challenging situations they encounter in their day to day lives. 

The toolkit development was funded with donations from generous Lopez donors.  Ongoing funded is provided by  San Juan County Health and Community Services.

Calm and Connected initially launched as a pilot program with the last year’s 8th graders, and has just wrapped up a semester with fourteen 6th graders. The feedback is just amazing!

Here are a couple of our favorite 6th grader quotes:

"Thank you for teaching us how to breathe and how to meditate. I am also happy that you showed us how to be calm. I think nothing should change about this class."

"Thank you for teaching us about the chemicals in the brain, it is cool" 

Next semester it will be offered to 8th grade and high school students.

The students, however, weren't the only ones learning and experiencing new things. 

“It has really impacted my awareness around the fragility of emotions and the stresses children in 2022 go through in day to day life,” says Tara Patino, Calm and Connected facilitator. “I wish everyone knew how important self-regulation, mindfulness and the safe discussion of mental health issues are,” she goes on to say, “The need for kindness and a willingness to listen is immense and it has the ability to change the course of a child's life.” 

It has the ability to change anyone’s life. 

So as we close in on the end of the year, we want to thank you for the kindness and listening that you share with others.  Together we are having a positive impact!
Updates and Reminders
The LIFRC will be closed from December 23rd, 2022, through Monday, January 2nd, 2023 and will reopen on January 3rd with our regular business hours. 

Happy holidays and we look forward to seeing you in the new year!
Due to the holidays, the Food Share has a few changes in hours: 

Wed. 21st - Normal hours
Fri. 23rd - Open ONLY for in-person shopping from 3-5PM
Wed. 28th - Closed
Jan. 4th - Reopen with regular hours. 

Also, starting in January, the weekly Food Share menu will now be available on the Food Share page of the LIFRC website: with online shopping hours Monday 5 PM to Tuesday 5 PM 
Other Ways You Can Collaborate
  • Share this email with a friend. 
  • Hit reply to this email and inquire about becoming a volunteer.
  • Consider making a one-time or monthly pledge to support the phenomenal work of our community leaders. 
Donate today

P.O. Box 732  Lopez Island, WA 98261
(360) 468-4117 

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