Illuminating Invisible Disabilities
Quadriplegics in a wheelchair or Blind people with a walking cane are some afflictions that come to mind. If I asked you, “What is the most common disability?” what would you say? Actually, the most common ones are typically non-physical related. Many people will not know immediately that someone is living with these Hidden Disabilities. This is where we want to step in to help spread the word.
Improving Lives With Heightened Hearts Foundation
Who is the Heightened Hearts Foundation?Recently, the Dreamscape Foundation had the pleasure of speaking with Lyubov Smirnova, the Founder and CEO of the Heightened Hearts Foundation. While speaking with her, it was clear she is a driven and dedicated woman on a mission. It is no surprise that since founded in 2015 they have been able to implement over 32 successful programs in the US, Ukraine and Mexico. Outside of these set programs, Heightened Hearts is open to doing all they can to provide for those in need. But what sets them apart from many organizations is their ideology that providing needed goods alone is not enough. In line with their mission of creating lasting solutions for poverty, hunger, and social injustice; they focus not on just providing for temporary relief but work with people to help them become self-sufficient once again. To put into prospective, as the old saying goes, you can give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, or you can teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry again.
Programs Leading to Lasting SolutionsHeightened Hearts has 6 main programs established to help families, individuals, children, students, and the elderly. These consist of: Food Box program, Adopt-a-Grandparent, Back to School Children’s Baskets, Spiritual Programs, Teen Pregnancy Education, and Global Relief Centers. The Food Box program offers meals and vital nourishment to people in the worst conditions. The recipients of this program are constantly struggling to battle hunger, malnourishment and even starvation. However, it goes beyond just providing them with food for survival, but to educating those better off, of the devasting conditions being faced around the world. The programs purpose is to save countless lives, while educating and inspire others to join the fight. The programs run twice a year every November and June. Adopt-a-Grandparent is a sponsorship program to aid the aging and elderly. Unlike most developed countries who have assistance and elderly care programs, many seniors in other regions of the world are not as lucky. All volunteer sponsors will aid in offering services to the senior they are connected with. These services include obtaining proper medical care, proper nutrition, and companionship to let them know they are not alone. To ensure children have all the necessary supplies they need to learn and further their education, Heightened Hearts has created their Back to School Baskets program. Many families struggle financially and are faced with enough hardships as it is. Heightened Hearts believes their children’s education and chance for success should never be one of them. What this program offers are baskets full of all the necessary supplies a young student needs. Including backpacks, notebooks/paper, pens/pencils, highlighters, rulers, calculators, dictionaries, folders/binders, and a whole lot more! The Heightened Hearts Spiritual programs focus on specific themes from the Bible to provide insight and an opportunity for reflection on life. Help comes in all different forms and for many, reconnecting with God and strengthening themselves from within is all the help they require. Additionally, these programs allow individuals to address broken relationships with God, friends/family, and even themselves. The Teen Pregnancy Educational program is just as it sounds. A program established to properly educate teens on the aspects of safe sex practices. Additionally, many unplanned pregnancies around the world come from abuse. That is why Heightened Hearts includes therapy and clinic-based programs to ensure no child/teen is left to suffer alone. Lastly, the Global Relief Centers program is an initiative to give communities around the world a place to meet and discuss social and economic issues. Heightened Hearts will work with these communities who lack social gathering or relief centers, to build new Community Centers. Providing a safe, spacious area to discuss solutions to the problems they face.
Holiday Events on the HorizonEvery year, leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Heightened Hearts goes to work. Packing large sized laundry baskets with pantry staples, foods, snacks, desserts, detergent, toilet trees and more, to ensure families will have much needed supplies to make the best of their holiday season. Delivered one week before the holiday, the baskets include enough supplies to last through the holiday and for weeks to come. At Heightened Hearts, they feel families should be helped in the long term and not just for a day or two.
Love the Mission and want to get involved?Heightened Hearts relies entirely on Volunteers. With almost no paid employees, they are always look for new donors or volunteers to support their programs. If interested in donating, you can go online and give funds right through their website. But if you are more interested in helping prepare for the upcoming holiday events, they are still in great need of the following items:
- Children’s toys, clothes, school supplies
- Nonperishable food items
- Home goods: detergent, toilet trees
- Kitchen items
- Beds or bedding
- Cooking items
- Adult Clothing: Male and Female
Jade Brings a New Creative Style to Dreamscape’s Next Charity Stream
Jade (PaintWithJade) for a 12-hour long stream, to raise money for the young students at Whispering Forest Elementary. From 10am-10pm, Jade will be demonstrating her true talents on the canvas. Just coming off her first ever showing in a gallery, she is excited to create a piece with a deep level of meaning. To Jade, “it always feels good as an artist when you are able to create something that represents something or has a greater meaning to it.” Continue reading « PreviousNext »
Live Accessible Changes Lives for the Blind
Live Accessible hopes to fill in the gaps.
Who is Live Accessible?Live Accessible is a platform created to provide visually impaired people with resources and information they need to learn about the many programs, communities, technologies and more that are available to them. Additionally, they have a very active Youtube Channel, loaded with helpful tips and advice for the blind community. It was founded by Carrie Morales, a young woman who has lived her entire life with a visual impairment. Carrie was born with Aniridia, an eye disorder where the iris (colored part of the eye) is either partially or completely missing. This condition causes a loss of visual acuity and sensitivity to light. In addition, as Carrie got older, she developed Cataracts (age 6) as well as Glaucoma (age 15). Inside every eye, there is a natural lens that captures light to help us see. Cataracts cause this lens to become clouded and diminishes the ability of the eye to pick up light. Glaucoma is caused from a build up of pressure in the eye most commonly from excess fluid. The increased pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve, diminishing the connection between your eye and brain. Carrie knows that life with a visual impairment/s can be difficult but it’s not just the disability that makes things hard. Growing up, one of the toughest difficulties she faced was the reaction from society. One of the effects of her visual impairments causes her eyes to move constantly. She does not always have a way to control it because her eyes are simply trying to focus on something they cannot. For her it was the reactions she would get from people in her every day life and the stereotypes that came with them. But she did not let this discourage her! With the help of her Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and different organizations providing her and her parents with resources, she was able to figure out what was out there to help her. Without these, she never would have known about the assistive technology or programs that could help her and her family. Additionally, through these resources she found the visually impaired community. Just being with and talking to people who understood what she was going through helped her to finally not feel alone.
Using Personal Experiences to Help OthersDespite these conditions and difficulties, Carrie has remained positive and now wants to use her own personal experiences to help others struggling with conditions/difficulties of their own. But she is not alone here! Her husband Pablo, who in his mid-twenties went completely blind, also brings his own unique experiences and perspective to Live Accessible. Pablo went from having perfect vision to being completely blind within a matter of hours due to a medical mistake. Additionally, they have a son, Pablo Joseph, who also has a visual disability. Together, they want to help those facing their own difficulties find the resources they need to fully equip themselves with the knowledge necessary to live a fully accessible life. Whether it be tech related, parenting advice for a child with visual impairments or parents with visual impairments, and much more! With a combination of constant resources and information provided on their site, along with the walk throughs, tips and tricks for the blind on their Youtube Channel; Live Accessible, wants to give people the knowledge they need to live a life without limits. At Live Accessible, they are clean and clear with their goals and purpose. “We don’t claim to know everything but, we have a lot of experiences and want you to take advantage of them.” Dedicated only to helping people educate themselves and not feel as if they are alone! To learn more about Live Accessible and see all they have to provide, you can check out their site or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube! « PreviousNext »
Joys and Challenges: Tips for Disabled People on Preparing for Parenthood
disabled people either aren’t physically able to be parents, or that they need extensive and ongoing assistance. Some people believe that an expectant disabled couple has twice as much work to do getting ready to be parents, having to accommodate both their disabilities and the demands of parenthood. In fact, they face the same challenges that any parent faces: their baby will need a crib and changing table, baby clothes, and the emotional support of loving parents. Getting up for a 3 a.m. feeding may be the hardest adjustment for any parent, disabled or not. By the time they become parents, a disabled couple’s home has already been adapted to accommodate their physical needs. There may, however, be a few logistical arrangements to make depending on the nature of their disability. Most of these adjustments can be made with easily acquired special equipment. Just like any parent, disabled people are simply interested in making the job of parenting as easy as possible.