Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Outstanding Volunteer


This is from a year or so ago, but I recently ran across it and am putting it so I have access to it. Pretty nice, I never found out who suggested me for the award.
From The Morning Sun
Outstanding Volunteerism Project: Profiles of altruism

·         By Holly Mahaffey/@hollymahaffey

·         Posted: Monday, 02/25/13 02:03 pm
Updated: Monday, 02/25/13 02:07 pm

 

·         By Holly Mahaffey/@hollymahaffey

·         The Morning Sun recently asked readers to nominate members of our community for a project recognizing the many altruistic people doing good things in the community. Nominations from Clare, Isabella and Gratiot counties came in, and out of these one volunteer was picked randomly to be featured – Sherry Pulverente of Mt. Pleasant, for her work with small business networking and keeping local dollars local.

·         Donna Kriss - Mt. Pleasant
Nomination: “Donna is the unofficial ambassador of Mt. Pleasant, via our airport, and puts many many long hours into making this town a better place. For all her work at the airport, her work with kids who need that extra help, feeding hungry people, and her pleasant chit-chat for all traveling into our city, she deserves to be recognized for her outstanding volunteerism.”

Monday, February 02, 2015

Grad School- Statement. "This is Me".


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
I attended CMU and graduated with a Bachelor of Science. My time at CMU was extended as I took on various life events. I finished my degree in 1991 having started it after high school in 1978. It was one of my most successful goals I completed.
I have worked using my degree for over 20 years in various State Agencies and privately. Each of my experiences would have benefitted from having a Masters in Counseling degree. The time for me, is now. My children are of an age they do not need my constant intervention, and I desire to continue and complete this goal. 
I was a “Resident Care Aide” for the State of Michigan at the Mt. Pleasant Center working with clients with various degrees of mental illnesses. I cared for clients in the least restrictive environment while helping them maintain a sense of dignity which was my goal (and the law). This involved doing IEP’s (Individual Educational Plans), personal care and activities of daily living, along with medical treatments. I  was thrilled to continue this position at the Michigan School for the Blind while it was located in Lansing Michigan. I worked in a school setting with Visually Impaired (and Multiply Impaired) Students in all grade levels. I have a son with Autism-(Asperger Syndrome) with whom we had to navigate the school system involved with his education. He is currently a Junior at a State University.  I have mentored many parents helping them with their child’s needs and getting school systems to assist them.
 I have been a State of Michigan Department of Corrections Parole/Probation Agent in the City of Saginaw and surrounding counties. Involved in this work was everything from counseling on jobs, relationship issues, employment options, drug addiction and civic duties. I enjoyed working within the Court system and seeing Offenders better their own situations. I currently work in Attorneys’ Offices, with cases ranging from Criminal to Civil, from child protective services (CPS), divorces, custody, bankruptcy, Heroin/Crack/Methadone users which then involve the entire family. It will be with these types of families I will continue to work with after my Master’s completion.
  I have worked as a Foster/Adoptive Recruiter/Trainer. My heart is here. I taught parenting classes for the Court system-everything from training adults in the Michigan based Adoptive courses to “Love and Logic” parenting classes both for the Courts, individuals and in School settings for parents and teachers.
 I taught for 7 years at Davenport University in the Criminal Justice Program. My involvement was instructing in Introductory Courses that Corrections Officer’s are required to take (Introduction to Corrections, Prison Life, Deviant Behavior, and also Personal Communications (Speech)).  
 I taught American Sign Language (although I am not licensed) through Gratiot-Isabella RESD ITV Program for 2 ½ years. I had perhaps one “live” class of students in front of me and 1-2 on TV monitors across the State. Schools included Dewitt, Central Montcalm, Breckenridge, Carson City, and Fulton. I also volunteered at St. Louis Michigan Alternative School.
I have been fortunate to have received many hours of training in Leadership Skills. Through the National Children’s Defense fund, I was an “Emerging Leader” of the Class of 2004. The Emerging Leaders project trained us to be social change activists.  We traveled to Washington DC several times and studied how to approach Lawmakers on the Hill and frame messages so they can be heard quickly.
I also completed Gratiot Counties “Leadership” program,  and Michigan’s Children “VOICES” academy- each training me how to be a more effective advocate for individuals, how to change Public Policy, and influence others toward good.
I am active in my community and currently serve as the President of the Airport Advisory Board for the City of Mt. Pleasant and as Secretary for International Relationship council of Mt. Pleasant. I am helping with the planned visit to our Sister city OKAYA Japan in August 2015.
My goals for completing my Master’s program are to continue Public Service. While not employed I always stayed busy volunteering in a Food Bank Program, Schools, Churches and supporting families. There is a huge need for compassionate trained personnel in this field. I see my future role continuing to do much the same my life path has already brought me. I want to be able to counsel women to make better life choices, to be able to give themselves better options and improve the lives of their children. I have worked counseling Felony Offenders to take parenting classes to regain custody of their children, and have worked with Foster families to gain skills needed for working with the children of Offenders. I have also had to guide both sides of families when a final placement of adoption was needed. My Master’s degree will assist me in doing this more effectively.
I love CMU. I love the Mt. Pleasant area. I want to attend classes and be involved in Campus activities and that is why I chose CMU over other learning programs. I look forward to beginning classes and starting this new chapter. 
 
Donna Husted Kriss
Foreign Student Host Family Recruiter
Mt. Pleasant Airport Advisory Board
International Relations Council Board
Love and Logic Facilitator
Gratiot County Leadership
Children's Defense Fund Emerging Leader
Michigan Children's VOICES
Mom 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Foreign Exchange Students

SO. We have TWO foreign exchange students in our house along with my Senior Student and Freshman Daughter. One girl Mo is from Germany, Sani is from Finland. It has been eye opening. I have learned the truth, that I HAVE GREAT KIDS. My girls have given up, given in so much for these other two girls...have shared friends, lunch tables and dance lessons.

I know they are also learning that you don't always get much return on investments. One girl started immediately complaining about her room. The carpet was icky. (we tore it up). Then, The floor is worse now than it was with the carpet. (we got an area rug). Her infectious negativism is affecting the other. But...then we find out what the REAL problem is..and it is she is VERY homesick. Her Grandpa has cancer and she is afraid he is going to die.

Then..they both requested to "move"...which is an entire process in and of itself. They have to investigate, and inspect and question. It really sucks. It sucks because I have offered the Absolute BEST we have, and someone finds it not good enough. It is not even a "sort of " slap in the face it IS a slap in the face.

Then, Last night Finland Girl has a Cross Country end of the year dinner. We all go to support her. She announces that her mom approved for her to go to Hawaii for 8-10 days in February. That just again shows that these exchange students are Way out of my league for money. I wasn't trying to compete, but the best we have I am sure really is FAR below what they have at home. Lesson Learned. I'm sure I have many more to learn.

States I have been too... I Think



Create Your Own Visited States Map

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sara and Carl and Baby Katherine Joy

by Emily Hansonhttps://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/in-memory-of-katherine-joy/213237
Sara gave me permission to share their birth story:

"On Wednesday July 30th at around 730pm. Sara went into active labor. However it became clear to Sara somewhere around 10pm that safest place for her to be was the hospital. So Carl helped Sara into the vehicle to get to the hospital. On the way there however the contractions became to intense for Sara to bare while in the car. They pulled over and immediately dialed 911. Ambulance came to her rather quickly but to everyone involved it just looked like a normal laboring pregnant woman. Sara continued to feel intense contractions but knew something wasn't right. They rushed her to the closest hospital and performed an ultrasound to find that baby Katherine no longer had a heartbeat. A doctor ordered an emergency c section and they rushed Sara back into the operating room. Once the surgery began the doctors found that Sara's uterus had ruptured causing baby Katherine to come out of the uterus and slide into the upper abdomen. Baby Katherine was born at 12:10am on July 31st. The doctors tried to bring her back but it was too late. They focused next on Sara's life and on saving her fertility. We are so grateful that the Lord spared Sara's life but we grieve a deep grief for her baby Katherine loss."
Share This Update!- See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/in-memory-of-katherine-joy/213237/update/200012#sthash.BDXKqoFq.dpuf

Our precious Katherine Joy...born into her heavenly Father's arms July 31st,2014  12:10am, 10pds 7oz. I

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Changes - Great teachers Ms. Finding

We recently went back to Kalamazoo where we lived for transition year. It was a miserable time for me most of the time. I was caring for my mom, had a great job for 7 weeks, Spouse went wacko. In the midst of all of this though was a person who cared for my daughter. My tears are starting to squirt as I type. Ms. Finding was the Video production instructor at Milwood Magnet School. http://milwoodmagnetschool.org/
I was crazy that year. I had moved down there because I got a great job with a local agency. After I had completed WAY more work in a very short period of time, they "Lost Funding for the Job". I had already enrolled my 3 kids in the school system, signed a $1100 a month year lease, and moved. Ms. Finding was the grounding force for Helena all year. 
We recently went back. My oldest son, WILL is transferring from Mid Michigan community college to Western. He's finishing up his last math class now. By Transferring, he was have completed his Associates, and is going into Broadcasting and Journalism. 
He learned enough to be comfortable in Kalamazoo. 
He wants to get out of Mt. Pleasant. 
He will do great. 
Helena is doing great. Joy little one is doing great. I have been BLESSED by great kids, and their great teachers. I know that Ms. Findling, helped save my daughter that year, and I will be forever indebted. 




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Death Becomes Me

I've been helping an acquaintance with the complicated in's and out's of getting Guardianship over a relative. The process started months ago. Relative was in a nursing home, got word of the details, and skedaddled. Such a FUNNY man! Wheeled himself to the nursing home doors at midnight surreptitiously, where his partner in escape was waiting with a car. They beat the system that time. It made me laugh.
He went home to his squalor.

So, like many his age, he was a HORDER. Coming from a time when "You never know what you may need when, and not have the money to buy it".
 LOTS of food. Why then did he only weigh 97 pounds? The food was accessible to his wheelchair. He was "Adored" by his neighbors in his apartment complex. Located near Michigan State University, students would seek him out for help in research, and for companionship. His mind-Brilliant. He did research for Attorneys, Judges and Corporations. Why did none of his neighbors step in? He was bull headed. He had several times come to the attention of Adult Protective Services.

 The first haul of food to a local food bank was about 300 pounds. A couple hundred more was thrown out. While clearing out his apartment one afternoon, two homeless people were digging through the trash I had just pitched, grabbing the underwear and searching for warm clothing. I told them I would begin leaving everything warm I could find behind the dumpster. This is my America?



I showed up on the day he passed away. His eyes lit up...he was delighted to see me. I asked if I could sing for him. I USED to sing...don't much anymore. Anyway, I started singing Christmas Carols to him...he started crying. When I say Crying...I mean the lone tear that sneaked down his cheek. He passed away that night. RIP my new, old friend. 




YES...THIS WAS IN AMERICA. 


Obituary

Dec. 8, 2013
more at: 

Rape , She said no.

This was several months ago...
I was on my way to a party at an Apple Orchard Sunday when I got a call.  She was crying, and I couldn't really understand her. Thank God for caller ID so I knew who it was. She's one of my "shirt tail" kids that have been in and out of my house, dated one of my son's for a while, and remained friendly with all of us, and we all adore her.

"Just Breathe Honey and then blurt it out all at once", I said.

Deep sobbing breath--"I've been raped, I'm at the hospital and I would like for you to come".

So...I was between Shepherd and Alma, about 15 miles away, I turned around and headed for the hospital.

God forgive me, but one of my first thoughts was, "Thank you God it's not one of my bio daughters".
She had been at a party she didn't want to be at with a male friend, met a lot of other people that gave her the creeps. She went to put her purse in the car and lock it as she didn't feel comfortable setting it down anywhere. A 24 year old followed her out and raped her in the car. He apologized afterwards saying he was drunk. He has a 4 year old so initially she thought, well, maybe she wouldn't report it. She knew he had a prior felony because he had talked about it at the bonfire they were at.

She had a friend there, after I was with her for quite a while..she decided she did NOT want to tell her family. I feel bad about it..but part of "MY" program..is letting others free to do what they want and not make them do what I think should be done.

I have had contact with her since....she still hasn't told her family. This is heartbreaking to me, I would feel so sad if one of my kids felt they couldn't tell me something.
Should I ask her if she's gotten counseling? I don't know.

New Year New Attitude

Thank the Universal Mind, God, The Universe whatever for Good Medication. I am in a much better spot. I have been on and off counseling since my last post. I have gotten very regular with my Thyroid Medication. I have bee meditating on a daily basis Using various YOU TUBE videos.
This one has been very helpful in releasing a lot of pain issues.

That's it for now, More later.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Counseling

So I have been on the bottom of the barrel emotionally. YEP there, now it's in black and white. Makes it more real.
  I quit going to Al Anon, a support group 3 times a week  I could tweak for my benefit because too many in the group were 13th steppin. (Screwing other group members). While great sex normally does not bother me, this latest fraternization was too much for me. My work schedule also impedes attendance.

All my support systems have big huge holes in them. This is one thing that happens when no medical insurance is the root cause.  My Doctor's office shuttered it's doors with a "don't call us" sign, no way to get medical records etc. Yes, it is illegal to do so but they have been caught up in the System themselves. I used to get free samples for pain/other issues.

I NEED certain medications. SYNTRHOID  for one. I had Graves disease with a tumor  (Overactive thyroid) and was treated with Radioactive Iodine and lost most of my hair decades ago. Because of that, my thyroid shifted into LOW production. Spotty decision making, depression, feeling in a fog, lack of energy are just a few delights. I have been fighting to get consistent "Doctoring" as my mom would have called it.

My kids have insurance, the spouse has it because he's been on Social Security Disability for 2 years. I won't get into what brought us there in this post, but his mental health issues are mine now to deal with every day now also.

ANYWAY, so I finally hit rock bottom and I, the one who TAKES people to "Community Mental Health"...usually Bi Polar youth who have been un-diagnosed, but it's obvious to me they need help. CMH has the budget of zilch, usually hires those who can't make it in private practice, and my experience is that it is better than nothing for the freaks and down and outers, but the chance of getting real help is slim to none. yet...this is my only option.

So..I presented myself, Clean, make up on and all to the main window for "Self Referral". You have to do this "PROCESS"...it's a half hour intake to First even SEE if you will qualify  to be seen there. I held it pretty together until I was sitting in the lobby. Their rule is they will get some monkey to see you within 15 minutes. Intake window person informed me she had "emailed" the worker. 45 minutes later, Tears are seeping quietly down my face, intake person notices.  I KNOW I could make a stink, get preferential treatment, get seen, but I just don't have the fucking energy. So, I sat there like an obedient servant just waiting.    That's the thing with depression, is I lose my fight. I just CAN'T TAKE ON ONE MORE THING.

Window person comes to the door, ushers me into a private office, so the other people in waiting room aren't disturbed by my tears. She might have done it so I could cry in private. The thing  is, there is no fear, no shame no remorse, no anything when a person is like I was. I just didn't have it in me to give a shit less.
So, suddenly because I'm crying I get a CRISIS counselor to see me. She informs me that Community Mental Health has No Physicians on staff that can write prescriptions. Questions like "do you feel like  you want to harm yourself or others" that used to be amusing to me are all too real.
My emotions are pretty raw at this point.
I was then told I needed to complete some OTHER assessment that was 2 hours long, that was also 2 weeks away. REALLY? All I need is MEDS. If I am out of pain or it is lessened then maybe my coping skills can kick in. Meditation, breathing, reading, etc. I show a little more "rawness". It is suggested that I have "ANGER ISSUES". Really? What kind of crap is this! So..for my first visit...them ONE me Zero.
So...