Newton Wellesley Hospital

A Summer of Volunteering with a Side of Adventure

IMG_1436While I hadn’t planned on doing anything particularly adventurous this summer (I really never do plan for adventures as I really do prefer to grab a good book and read), it turns out that I will be white water rafting, zip-lining and running (or maybe just observing), a fun obstacle course run in July – Mudderella. I’m most nervous about the zip-lining and will let you know if it actually happens. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe it’s too much.

I am also going to continue to work, and to volunteer for some great local organizations which is more my usual speed, and if you or your teens need volunteer ideas, here are a few – (italics indicate text from website of the organization featured).

NNHS Center for Civic Engagement and Service at Newton North High School – ask to join the Facebook Group here. We connect you with volunteer and intern opportunities!

Cradles to Crayons  provides children from birth to age 12, living in low- income and homeless situations, with the essential items they need to thrive.

Every year, thousands of volunteers pass through the doors of the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory warehouse to roll up their sleeves and help disadvantaged children around the Greater Philadelphia region. Together, youth and adults inspect, sort, and package all new and like-new donations into customized “KidPacks”.

Anyone age six and above can volunteer at the Giving Factory. Activities are appropriate and engaging for individuals, families, student and community groups and corporate groups. Our warehouse space allows us to accomodate large numbers of volunteers, so it provides an exceptional team-building experience for companies. Sign up for a 2-hour shift on our website. You will work at a volunteer station such as Clothing Sort, Outfits, School Supplies, Shoes, Toys, or Shopping.

Newton-Wellesley Hospital
People volunteer for many different reasons. They may wish to become actively involved in the community, meet new people, explore career possibilities, develop skills and experience or share their special touch when people are sick. Whatever the reason, volunteers do make a difference. Volunteers make it happen.

Newton Free Library

Grad Bag 

A green initiative to reuse college dorm supplies. We collect and redistribute lightly-used dorm room items that too often end up in landfills and give them to incoming college freshmen from low-income households.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Donation Drives – Small Gestures, Enormous Impact

Our patients face the unimaginable challenges of life in shelters, on the streets and in temporary housing, while struggling to maintain their health. Acquiring basic necessities can be difficult, and we welcome the help of corporations, faith-based groups, schools, colleges and individuals to organize donation drives to meet these needs.

The seemingly small, practical items gathered in these drives can have a tremendous impact. Distributed by our doctors, nurses and case managers, they not only improve the quality of care we deliver, these items help us develop and maintain the trusting relationships that are such an essential part of our work.

Futures without Violence

(through a partnership with Mudderella) is a national nonprofit that is working to prevent and end domestic violence by developing innovative programs and policies that:

  • support victims, survivors, and their families and help them get to safety
  • educate individuals about the critical roles that we all have to play in promoting healthy relationships
  • promote mutual respect as the foundation of healthy relationships
  • support children who are exposed to violence at home and in school
  • enlist health care providers and health systems to improve domestic violence responses
  • and much more

And don’t forget to register to vote –



We’re Gleeks

It’s true. We are way into Glee. This hasn’t happened since…um, Gray’s Anatomy and that was only me – everyone else called it that medical show that Mommy likes. I have always watched television programs with my children (you are supposed to, you know). Yes, from Barney (shudder) to Sesame Street (yay!) and Arthur. I do draw the line a a full episode of the Suite Life of Zack and Cody  (whether on the boat or off) but we are aware of the media they are exposed to and monitor what they watch and how much screen time they have in general.

Having said that, I let my kids watch Glee. Wow, that is pretty adult content. Yes, yes it is (that is cribbed from Phineas and Ferb which I shamelessly enjoy).  Is there an app for that? Well, there is a rationale. Here goes. I attended a seminar a while ago with Dr. Michael Jellineck of MGH* and he gave great advice to a packed conference room of (nervous) parents of teens.  The easiest one to implement (not to say this is the only one I am following) was to watch tv shows with your kids (his choices were Nip and Tuck and Hill Street Blues – his kids are older). Not just to veg out but to talk about situations the characters experience with your children. Almost any show will involve a teen pregnancy (see Glee) and the emotional distance when talking about a character on the show means that it is easier to talk about tough topics.

So far, so good. Is my rationale good enough for watching Glee with my children? Yes, it works for us and we all genuinely like it. capability mom gleeGlee is fun, funny, well-written, edgy but not too edgy, quirky, clever and – oh, the music! We discuss plot lines, ridiculous ones are easy pickings, and we having good conversations. I emphasize that this is a show and made to look dramatic and scandalous for ratings and it does give us plenty to talk about.

Do I think including the Rocky Horror Picture Show is over the top? That remains to be seen because I just saw this Time Warp video

(I fondly remember it, too – yes, there was at least one midnight show that I attended  – no more details, please) yesterday. Sadly, I missed the show because I was crashing a Reinventing Your Career Seminar run by the Kellogg School of Management. (No, I don’t have an MBA from anywhere -never mind Kellogg – I was a guest of someone with an actual MBA – that is a whole other story, stay tuned).

What I am ready to weigh in on is the photo spread in GQ – Glee Gone Wild. Inappropriate may begin to cover it. If Glee maintains it is an adult show then why are there Glee products at Claire’s (as tween/teen a store as you can get)? Here are the links for articles from Rolling Stone, The Boston Globe and NY Daily News.

Where do you stand on this topic? Even more information and discussion was to be found on NPR. Yesterday, Tom Ashbrook’s program On Point yesterday was about Selling Youth Sexuality – and Glee was one of the hot topics.  Go check it out. Write a comment if you have an opinion on this topic – I’d love to have a discussion about it.

*Michael Jellinek, M.D.Chief, Child Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital President Newton Wellesley Hospital

Here is a link to  some of the videos from Glee – Will did end up deciding it was too racy for them to perform for the school – nice decision and great performances. Maybe a bit of a nod to the seriously upset parents storming them…

capability mom links to msn blog tv buzz

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