Coalition Connections Create Powerful Partnerships
March 2017 – The Olympic Peninsula Healthy Community Coalition (OPHCC) conducted an exercise at our February 15 monthly meeting to determine the breadth of value attained from collaborating together between numerous government, health care, non-profit, business and community members. The OPHCC, in existence for 1-1/2 years and now formally a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded under the mission of helping to make the Olympic Peninsula a healthier place to live, learn, work and play through the sharing of ideas, resources and relationships.
Participants at the meeting were polled to learn more about how being a partner with OPHCC had impacted individual partners, and what cross-sector benefits might have been gained from partnering with the Coalition. Though not an exhaustive list, the following represents some of the significant work described at that meeting.
Coalition partners are highlighted in bold.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead
Posted February 28, 2017 at letsgo.org
Cooking with kids? The idea might sound uncomfortable, overwhelming, or even dangerous. But if we want our kids to love nutritious food, understand the importance of a home cooked meal, and eventually be able to shop for and prepare their own healthy meals, we need to empower them to find confidence in the kitchen from an early age. Where to start? It’s always a good idea to try new routines a few different ways to find what works best for you. Read more at Letsgo.org for tips on how to start cooking with kids!
Imagine bringing together the lonely, the isolated, the hungry, or just the “I don’t feel like cooking today” in order to enjoy a meal together celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s exactly the vision that began last year as OPHCC partners began to talk about putting together the first ever Thanksgiving Community dinner.
Recognizing that the beautiful Sequim Boys and Girls Club sat empty over the holiday, and that only a few blocks down the street, the Sequim Food Bank filled hundreds of holiday meal boxes to hand out to those needing a lift, the idea began to germinate of pulling together all in our wonderful community in order to celebrate our gratitude, to enjoy good food and to laugh and connect to one another.
Once the word was out, the generosity from our incredible community poured forth. Pies from Costco and coffee from Rainshadow Roasters and whipping cream from Walmart, money from our Soroptomist group, all supplemented by generous food donations from the Sequim Food Bank (200 POUNDS of turkeys? Wow!). Within weeks, our volunteer list was overflowing as helpers came forward from every corner of our community to join with us to do the work that serving this meal would entail.
Our kitchen crew was legend, and they worked miracles in the short window between the time the Club quit serving meals to the kids on Wednesday and 1 PM Thursday, blast-off time for dinner. Our dining room crew hustled and bustled, decorating and sweeping and brewing good coffee and lining up at the front door to greet our guests—122 of them—this year! In addition, we sent over thirty meals to homebound folks; turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed, gravy, green beans and cranberry/pear sauce.
It was a terrific beginning and the realization of a dream, a dream we hope to see grow in spades over the coming years. Please contact Monica Dixon at 360-790-0517 if you’d like to contribute next year, or Andra Smith at 830-570-2521 if you’d like to join next year’s team of volunteers.
Thank you to our generous community event sponsors:
Sequim Boys & Girls Club
Sequim Food Bank
Sequim School District
Soroptimist International of Sequim
Take our October 2016 "Ready, Set, Go 5-2-1-0!" Challenge for great prizes and even better health for you and your family! Download the Challenge form here, then work on eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, getting 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour of physical activity and drinking 0 sugar-sweetened beverages every day this month.
Bring your completed Challenge sheets to the new Sequim YMCA desk either Saturday, October 29th, or join us for the Grand Opening Sunday, October 30th from noon to 3 PM, and receive your FREE T-shirt just for participating!
In addition, you'll be entered into drawings for a free year-long family membership, swimming lessons, free class certificates, new bikes and other great prizes!
All ages are welcome to participate, and you can jump into the Challenge at any time!
Okay, Sequim and the Dungeness Valley, it's time to get REAL. It's time to have fun. It's time to tell a new story for our community, one which revels in how healthy, energetic, active, fun, engaged and committed we are.
I LOVE living here, and look to those mountains every single day and count my blessings that I've settled in such an incredible wonderland. Hike, ski, bike, walk, run, kayak, swim (ok, we'll get SARC back at it soon!), garden, yoga, and sometimes all in the same day. A day in paradise is one in which my husband and I go snowshoeing on Hurricane Ridge and come home to mow the lawn. Share THAT story with your friends!
We live in some of the richest farmland in the country and are surrounded by the riches of Clark farms, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Creamery, Nash's amazing farmland, and Sunny Farms. Unlike when I was growing up in the Midwest, we have no excuse whatsoever for not choosing from our cornucopia of healthy, local food every day. And I'm going to teach you how to prepare it.
I plan to challenge you here, on every level; to walk one more block than you did yesterday, to share your time with those in our community less fortunate, to add one more serving of our abundant fruits and vegetables in your meals every day, to put down that sugar-rich beverage and grab a big glass of unsweetened iced tea, to push yourself away from that computer (what am I doing here?) and move it.
We'll have guest posts from our partners. You'll learn how Nourish Restaurant actually manages to provide such wonderful food from those gardens right outside the restaurant, how Dungeness Valley Health and Wellness Clinic successfully eeks out every penny of a dollar to provide health care to our most needy, and how our little rural Boys and Girl's Club manages to capture the attention of the big shots in D.C. with their USDA Summer Food Program and how our Sequim Food Bank has connected across the Olympic Peninsula to feed our hungry with gusto and love. Our partners will talk and share their stories, in order to help us ALL change our story...
About Dr. M
Dr. Monica Dixon, our resident blogger, has a 30 year history of work in the worlds of nutrition, physical activity, and helping to make communities healthier. Though health information abounds on the internet, much of it is ill-founded and not based in the good science that tells us what really works and what doesn't. Dr. M is a Registered Dietitian, Culinary Nutritionist (means you can learn how to actually COOK at home!), and a Health Psychologist.