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LIFRC Community Update                    

May 20, 2022
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From the Executive Director

It is hard to believe that we are well into May already. Oceanic weather patterns brought us one of the coldest and wettest Aprils in recorded history. Now, surrounded by new green leaves, blossoms, and birdsong, we eagerly await warmer summer weather.

We recently celebrated Mother's Day, giving us a moment to reflect on the people in our lives who have nurtured us. Maya Angelou has said,
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Making everyone feel special—celebrating them as unique creative individuals—is crucial to forming joyful and lasting connection. This e-blast highlights innovative work in this spirit, building our community's resilience and sense of belonging through the guidance and talent of diverse leaders.

We are grateful to you for accompanying us on this journey toward a fairer, safer, and more connected community. Your support gives us the strength to persevere and fills us with hope for the future of our treasured island home.
—Barbara Schultheiss
Upcoming Events
Registration for summer camps and workshops is now open. Register here!
Join us for summer fun and learning in the K-5 summer day camp and in specialty camps designed for tots and older youth.  

The K-5 summer day camp was born in the first year of the pandemic to allow youth to return to social, in-person learning environments and provide fun, enriching, and healing outdoor activities. Now in its third year, the camp needed a name. Participants in the current K-5 after-school program offered suggestions and, in a democratic process, voted on their favorite: “Camp Huckleberry.”
Huckleberry, a cat living near the school, was a frequent visitor at last year’s day camp and has become a beloved unofficial mascot.
Camp Huckleberry will be bigger than ever this year, with activities including arts and crafts, science, games, dance, nature walks, scavenger hunts, and a particular favorite in the heat of the summer: water balloon fights. Camp will also include daily literacy-building sessions, designed in partnership with the Lopez Island Library, to encourage a love and enjoyment of reading and writing 

We will also have a range of specialty workshops for tots and older youth, including old favorites such as British soccer, as well as brand-new ones like cooking and poetry. Last year’s popular tree climbing camp will now include rock climbing. 
Campers and counselors explore the understory in last year's tree climbing camp.
For more information on camps and how to register, download our brochure in English or Spanish.

To ensure that every child can participate, scholarships are made available for local youth, supported in part by the generosity of local businesses, organizations, and individuals.

Please register quickly as spots are limited. We look forward to creating lots of summer fun! 
Program News
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Two years of unprecedented mental and emotional pressure from the pandemic have resulted in fully 25% of Washington adults reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression, with higher levels among young adults, women, BIPOC, LGBTQI+, and those living with physical and mental disabilities. (CDC - April 2022 Survey).

Our youth mentor programs are participating in the No Shame in Your Brain campaign developed by the Washington State Health Care Authority as part of their suicide prevention efforts. It provides valuable messages encouraging teens to see their talents, share what they are feeling and reach out for help.

LIFRC is also proud to announce that we have received a grant from the Washington State Health Care Authority and staff have begun training to launch a Recovery Café on Lopez this fall.  The first Recovery Café was founded in Seattle in 2003 creating a  drug- and alcohol-free space that is embracing and healing, and shown to be a highly effective model for recovery. This best practice model closely matches LIFRC's existing peer support counselors and wellness programs.

The Lopez Recovery Café will be an alternative, supportive community based on the belief that every person is precious and worthy of love regardless of earlier traumas, emotional anguish, addictive behaviors or past mistakes. It is a person-centered system of care that supports individuals as they establish a healthy life with a meaningful sense of membership and belonging in community.

LIFRC staff members Nikola Chopra, Nicole Szostak and Melissa Montalvo-Chavez are leading this initiative in partnership with the community. For more information or to get involved, contact
Our Partners
Saturday, April 23 marked the launch of a new Lopez tradition: the first annual Children's Day celebration, organized by Voices & Visions leaders Karina Cerda, Cecy Martinez Ortiz, and Stephanie Cariker. They prepared a fabulous array of indoor and outdoor games and activities including musical chairs, face painting, balloon animals, cornhole, velcro darts, soccer, piñatas, and lots of snacks for the kids. Youth leaders Michelle Gil, Ulises Velazquez and Juan Pellegrino played an important role as hosts, welcoming and guiding the younger children in games.
Lopez children team up to gather treats from a piñata. Participants wondered, "Could we do this every month?"
Children's Day is widely observed in Latin America and celebrated in more than 90 countries around the world, but is one of the lesser-known celebrations in the United States. After two years of pandemic isolation, it was a welcome opportunity for a joyful gathering. Over 120 children and family members convened from across the island to celebrate the courage, creativity and resilience of our island youth.
Children of all ages gathered at the Community Center to enjoy the activities.
Tim Slattery's balloon animals were a popular attraction.
We offer special thanks to Voices and Visions members for sharing traditions that have the power to connect our community. We are delighted to embrace this tradition, and look forward to many more Children’s Day celebrations in the years to come. After all, in the words of the organizers: “Our children are our future.”
Voices and Visions Leaders Karina Cerda, Stephanie Cariker, and Cecy Martinez Ortiz being thanked for their incredible efforts by LIFRC's Executive Director Barbara Schultheiss
Another recent partner is The Nature Conservancy.  Yellow Island caretaker Matt Axling recently welcomed three special gatherings on the island: 15 LIFRC staff at a retreat on April 29th, 20 La Cima Youth Leaders and adult facilitators on April 30th, and 30 Lopezians who are tribal members or have indigenous roots on May 15th.

Yellow Island has been stewarded by the Coast Salish people since time immemorial. We greatly appreciate Matt offering this important opportunity and all the hard work TNC continues to do preserving the island and partnering with the Coast Salish tribes.

Saturday, May 21, 2022 from 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Fossil Free by '33: Rising to the Challenge

Join Transition Lopez Island on Zoom for their annual community conversation on the campaign's progress to a fossil-free county. The event includes a keynote address by climate and indigenous rights activist Paul "Chiyokten" Wagner, concurrent breakout sessions on how to make affordable local food happen, electrifying our county, and limiting plastic use and waste in the islands, with a policy roundtable including State legislator Alex Ramel and County Councilperson Cindy Wolf.  Please register in advance.
LIFRC acknowledges the sovereignty of the Coast Salish people and that we live and gather on their unceded ancestral land. We honor with gratitude the Coast Salish tribes’ stewardship, sacred beliefs and connection to these lands and sea since time immemorial. Recognizing both past and present harms, let us pause for a moment of silence to reflect on opportunities for healing and justice.
Help strengthen the Lopez community! 
Donate today

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

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Lopez Island Family Resource Center · PO Box 732 · Lopez Island, WA 98261-0732 · USA

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