Victoria's Journal

Vicky Nelson

Ms. Nelson first came into our program in 2012 and stayed with us until she aged out in 2015. During her time with WIN Family Services, she developed a number of strong relationships that will last her a lifetime. “My experience with WIN was amazing,” she says, “I still talk to some of my workers today and call them aunts and uncles. Even one of my foster parents’ friends – Ms. Guthrie – has stuck by me through everything. I call her Aunt Donna!”  Like many youth in care, Ms. Nelson struggled with not knowing her birth parents and not believing in herself. To this day, she feels deeply connected to those kids  and knows all too well what their struggles are day in and day out. Her experiences have very much shaped the person she is today, “Foster care has affected my life decisions because I know not to give up even when people say I can't do it.”

Ms. Nelson has started a blog that gives insight to the foster care experience. The blog is intended to reach other youth in similar situations and offer words of encouragement and love, “I want to tell all of the foster kids out there know that if I can do it, so can you. You are not alone. There are people out there who do care and are willing to help you. Don't give up on yourself because you are worth fighting for.” The blog is called ‘Victoria’s Journal”. Check it out now! 

Ms. Nelson plans on becoming a social worker and would love to come and speak to foster youth about her story.

January 2016 Newsletter

Happy New Year family! We're off to a great start as we reflect on what we have accomplished and look forward to a bright new future with WIN Family Services! Read more about our holiday parties, join us in thanking all of those who helped out tremendously during the holiday season, and a special spotlight on a former foster child. 

Read on for more about WIN Family Services!

 

Great News!

We are proud to announce that one of our foster youth has been officially adopted by Joyce and Sean Richardson. Our youth was placed with Mr. and Mrs. Richardson since February 2009 and has been with the loving family ever since. We are so excited for this special child’s future and wish the growing family all the best wishes!

 

IMG 1376An Act of Kindness

The holiday spirit is a beautiful thing. At Serenity Helping Hands Therapy Center, two clients decided to make a special donation in honor of their late son/brother for one of our deserving foster youth. In just the last year this youth was able to raise his GPA from a 2.5 to a 3.17, working on himself and improving tremendously in various aspects of his life. He is doing extremely well with his currently foster family and is working toward a career in clothing design. With extreme generosity, Jodi and Kenayah provided a very special Christmas for this hardworking young man, purchasing a new PS4 with a Call of Duty 4, clothing and giftcards. The holidays have proven to be an emotional time for both Jodi and Kenayah who lost their loved one just in July. However, we are truly grateful that they channeled their hearts to encourage and strengthen a young man with a bright future.

 

giftcardsSanta's Helpers

 A special thank you goes to one of our devoted foster parents, Keara Hayes, for her company’s generous contribution to our holiday extravaganza. Apex Payroll donated $500 worth in ChickfilA, Forever 21, and Foot Locker gift cards. Our teenagers were absolutely ecstatic to receive the cards to stores and restaurants that they love and visit frequently. We are grateful to Ms. Hayes and the Apex Payroll family for their tremendous generosity this past holiday season .

 

holiday party 2015 collageA Special Thank You!

As the holiday season comes to a close, we are reminded of just how blessed we are as an organization. With four holiday parties under our belt, we are glad to have seen the smiles and hear the laughter of all those who attended and celebrated the reason for the season. No holiday soiree would be complete without food, entertainment, and presents. But WIN couldn’t do it themselves! A huge thank you goes to everyone who made a donation to make these extravaganzas possible – Refreshing Life Ministries, Kingdom Life International, Packages for Success, Apex Payroll, and HOF City Sports. We are also truly grateful to all those that made monetary donations to ensure that our clients had a wonderful holiday. Every family is blessed to get the opportunity to spend the holidays together and WIN is no different.  We are so glad we were able to celebrate the season with everyone we hold near and dear to our hearts. As we close out another eventful and successful year, we eagerly await what 2016 has in store for us. Thank you all for your support!

 

Vicky NelsonYouth Spotlight

Ms. Nelson first came into our program in 2012 and stayed with us until she aged out in 2015. During her time with WIN Family Services, she developed a number of strong relationships that will last her a lifetime. “My experience with WIN was amazing,” she says, “I still talk to some of my workers today and call them aunts and uncles. Even one of my foster parents’ friends – Ms. Guthrie – has stuck by me through everything. I call her Aunt Donna!”  Like many youth in care, Ms. Nelson struggled with not knowing her birth parents and not believing in herself. To this day, she feels deeply connected to those kids in care and knows all too well what their struggles are day in and day out. Her experiences have very much shaped the person she is today, “Foster care has affected my life decisions because I know not to give up even when people say I can't do it.”

Ms. Nelson has started a blog that lends insight to the foster care experience. The blog is intended to reach other youth in similar situations and offer words of encouragement and love, “I want to tell all of the foster kids out there know that if I can do it, so can you. You are not alone. There are people out there who do care and are willing to help you. Don't give up on yourself because you are worth fighting for.” The blog is called ‘Victoria’s Journal” and can be accessed at www.theannaforlenzafoundation.com.

Ms. Nelson plans on becoming a social worker and would love to come and speak to foster youth about her story.

 

November 2015 Newsletter

It’s that special time of year when the nights are colder, but hearts are warmer! Pretty soon, snow will replaces the leaves on the ground and we’ll be looking forward to the holidays that bring families ever closer together! This season is the busiest yet for WIN Family Services and we can’t wait to share with you all that we have been up to and are looking forward to!

 

Read on about upcoming events and all the exciting things we have accomplished!

 

toy drive articleLet's See Some Smiles this Holiday Season!

WIN Family Services recently partnered with Heaven600 AM and iHeartRadio for our 3rd annual gift drive. We were back at Big Lots at the Reisterstown Road Plaza  on December 1st from 10am to 3pm.  It was dark and rainy outside, but cheery and bright inside! WIN Family Services team members and Heaven600 radio personalities greeted shoppers, took pictures and even gave away prizes to those who donated.  The event was a huge success , but it's not too late to donate! We are collecting items such as: gift cards, movie tickets, shirts (M, L, XL), alarm clocks, watches, headphones, purses, jewelry, sleep wear (adult sizes), cosmetics, and athletic gear.

You don’t have to wait until December 1st  to donate! There will be a collection box at the Big Lots location and you can drop off any items there OR bring them straight to our office at 2502 W. Northern Parkway. 

 

Sunseria SmithA Day of Celebration! 

Saturday, November 21st marked WIN Family Services’ annual Mass Meeting. For one day a year, foster parents and staff from Baltimore and Prince George’s County come together to celebrate family with fun and fellowship. Held at Martin’s West, parents were immediately greeted by staff as we prepared for a full day of fun activities and learning. Attendees took part in raffles, dancing, and even physical exercises. Foster parents were to hear from CEO, Al Laws Jr., as he encouraged them on their journey as angels for the youth in need. Sunseria Smith, President of the L2 Family Foundation and mother of NFL legend Ray Lewis, was a guest speaker – sharing her experiences as a struggling single mother and foster parent.  As a special surprise, Smith signed copies of her newest book, “P.U.S.H. Out the Pain” for all of our parents. A truly memorable and exciting event, this year’s Mass Meeting was a true testament to how far the organization has come and how much it has grown. A special thank you to everyone who made our Mass Meeting an immense success!

 

#GivingTuesday

It’s that time of year again! WIN Family Services is working to create a memorable holiday event for the youth and families we work with. And what better way to show love this Christmas than with great company, delicious food, and thoughtful presents!

So we come to you this this: We’ve all taken part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday Why not take part in a day focused on giving and supporting?#GivingTuesday falls on December 1st this year. We are asking for the community’s support to make this holiday vision a reality. Please consider donating to our page:

 

http://givingtuesday.razoo.com/story/Winholidaycelebration

 

movie night 2Welcome to the WIN Theatre! 

WIN Family Services hosted its first ever “Movie Night” at our Baltimore and Lanham locations! Equipped with our very own popcorn machine, hotdog roller, and nacho warmer, WIN Family Services showed “Facing the Giants” - a film about a losing coach and his football team facing fear and failure and rising to victory. With over 50 attendees at our Baltimore location and 20 attendees in Prince George’s County, the event was a tremendous success and everyone who came is looking forward to the next one. A special thank you goes to Zimbabwe Brown and her team for facilitating the event!

 

Gifts of Love 

WIN Family Services is excited to have had a very successful first “Gifts of Love” event! In hopes to more effectively distribute the generous donations we receive from organizations and individuals in the community, we have launched a day of giving for our youth and families. “Gifts of Love” will be held each month at all three locations – Baltimore, Prince George’s County, and Cecil County. Our goal is to distribute much needed items such as clothing, bedding, home goods, toys, and food to the families we serve. To more easily share with everyone we work with, we are asking the community for help! Please consider donating new clothing, home goods, toys and non-perishable food. Please contact Kristina Ramos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details on how you can help!

 

A Special Thank You 

We have such a great team at WIN Family Services! Not only does our staff do great things in the community, but we also do great things for each other. The best part? We’re not afraid to tell everyone about it! Take a look at what our great team members have to say about each other:

Ms. Linda exhibits above and beyond Godliness, Excellence, and Service to the youth and families that we serve. Ms. Linda works in the background but is one of  the driving forces that keeps WIN together. She purchased art supplies for our DREAM program with her own money and then took the time to scan pictures for our youth to color and design. Thank you so much Ms. Linda, you’re  the best!” – D. Laws

Marlon exemplifies Service. Marlon exhibited pride and concern for the agency at large when he took extra time to sweep and vacuum the entire Lower Level the night before the audit. This effort was remarkable due to the fact that he was not feeling his best, and also proved to be serendipitous as our audit was conducted in the Lower Level.  Thank you Marlon for your great customer service!” – I. Attiko

Zimbabwe, I love your heart. A [former client] was homeless living from family member to family member until DSS could place her. I spoke with the program today and they informed me when they asked [the client] who she considers family and a support system, she replied the staff at WIN and Mrs. Zimmy  who buys clothes for her little son. Thanks for your Godliness and Service to ALL the clients who come to your office throughout the week. You have a heart of gold!” A. Brown

Kristina is known  for her very familiar service and Godly actions.  You are the truly one of a kind!  Thanks for being you!” – P. Scott

We're grateful for such a wonderful team! Keep up the good work family!!

 

Advice 4 Life 7Get Your Advice4Life! 

Don’t forget to catch our podcast on all things Family Strengthening – Advice4Life – Sundays at 9am on Heaven600 AM. Family Strengthening is a practice that is committed to improving relationships and ways of life for every individual and we can’t wait to share that insight with you!  Not near a radio? Don’t worry! Advice4Life is available online via iHeartRadio and our very own podcast. Don’t miss valuable holistic insights on how to have happier and healthier relationships with one another.

Can’t get enough advice? Take a look at our blog as we break down each weekly discussion and apply it to our own lives!

 

Drink More Water!

 

How many folks do you know who say they don't want to drink anything before going  to bed because they'll have to get up during the night!!

Heart Attack and Water - Drink 1 glass of water before going to bed avoids stroke or heart attack! I never knew all of this!

I asked my Doctor why people need to urinate so much at night time.

Answer from my Cardiac Doctor:

Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell).  When you lie down and the lower body (legs and etc) seeks level with  the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier.  I knew you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body,  but this was news to me.

Correct time to drink water... Very Important.

From A Cardiac Specialist!

Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:

2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs  1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion . 1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure . 1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack. I can also add to this... My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.

Mayo Clinic on Aspirin -

Dr. Virend Somers is a Cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic  who is the lead author of the report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the  Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 A.M. and noon. Having one during the night, When the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Somers and his colleagues have been working for a decade to show that sleep apnea is to blame.

1. If you take an aspirin or a baby aspirin once a day, take it at night. The reason: Aspirin has a 24-hour "half-life"; therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the wee hours of the morning, the Aspirin would be strongest in your system.

2. Aspirin lasts a really long time in your medicine chest; for years. (when it gets old, it smells like vinegar). Bayer is making crystal aspirin to dissolve instantly on the tongue. They work much faster than the tablets.

Why keep Aspirin by your bedside?

There are other symptoms of a heart attack, besides the pain on the left arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating; however, these symptoms may also occur less frequently.

Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack.

The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up.

However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep. If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water.

Afterwards: - Call 911. - Phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by.

Say "heart attack!" - Say that you have taken 2 Aspirins. - Take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for the arrival and DO NOT LIE DOWN!

Donations are Welcome!

IMG 1798Our youth have experienced far too many transitions, disappointments, and obstacles in their young lives.  WIN helps to offset these difficulties with inspirational experiences that instill a sense of pride and self worth. We are looking to our community to help us ensure that our youth have access to the resources and experiences that will further their talents and holistic restoration.

We are always accepting NEW donations of:

·         School supplies

·         Toiletries

·         Clothing

·         Household Items

·         Bedding

·         Toys

·         Items for teenagers

·         Luggage sets

 

Please consider supporting WIN Family Services and dropping off your donations in Baltimore (2502 W. Northern Parkway Baltimore, MD 21215).

 

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