David & Jackie Siegel lost their beautiful daughter Victoria to a drug overdose on June 6, 2015; she was only 18. This tragedy inspired the creation of Victoria’s Voice Foundation, which shines a light on the opioid crisis. Through Victoria’s Voice Foundation, the Siegel family is bringing this matter to the national stage, championing specific ways we can reduce drug experimentation, addiction and overdose, changing the reality of drug addiction in our country. Their singular mission is saving lives so our future generation is not lost. We are honored to donate to this dynamic charity
What is the U.S. Opioid Epidemic?
1. In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
2. Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.
The scope of the drug-abuse issue is inescapable and touches everyone in our country. An estimated 24.6 million Americans, age 12 or older, have used an illicit drug in the past month. This epidemic is particularly detrimental to the lives of our children. Most people use drugs for the first time as teens. Every day, more than 3,600 kids under 18 try an illicit drug for the first time. This statistic is terrifying. In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died from an overdose, driven by a surge in prescription painkiller (opioid) and heroin abuse. Since 2000, the overdose death rate from opioids has increased a staggering 200 percent.
Victoria’s Voice Foundation is taking aim at reducing drug experimentation, addiction and overdose death by supporting:
1. Legislation to encourage locking up prescription medications. Fifty-three percent of kids who use illicit prescription drugs get them out of a relative’s or friend’s medicine cabinet.
2. Legislation for the co-prescription of naloxone every time an opiate painkiller is prescribed. Naloxone is a completely safe opiate-reversal drug that can pull someone out of an overdose state—even on the verge of death—into an immediate withdrawal. It is life-saving and non-addictive. We believe this antidote to death should be carried by every first responder and made available through every university and college.
3. Implementation of a policy platform for random drug testing in partnership with educational institutions.
Addiction is a baffling and cunning disease that touches just about every family in this country. This book brings to life the very personal struggles faced by those battling addiction and the impact it has on their families. By sharing Victoria's diary entries with the public, David and Jackie Siegel are preserving their daughter's wishes and dreams. Victoria’s Voice Foundation coupled with this book provide important resources to a public in crisis. Kate’s Island Shop is honored to help be the change.
The season of giving is upon us once again and it’s time to jump back into the hustle and bustle of the holidays. The gift of giving is a wonderful feeling. It’s a happy moment seeing the smile on your loved one’s face as they open each gift you’ve picked out just for them. However, this isn’t the only reason it’s good to give. Studies show that giving to charity has added health benefits for the giver. And, there are a variety of ways that those who give can reap added (and surprising) health benefits while helping those in need.
Whether offering emotional support for loved ones, volunteering time to assist an organization, or donating money to charity, there are more ways to enjoy the health benefits of giving than simply shopping for the perfect gift! Giving may make you feel good, while also boosting your physical health and mental well-being.
Improved Self-Esteem & Self-Worth Are Benefits of Charitable Giving
Donating is a selfless act. One of the major positive effects of donating to charity is simply feeling good about giving. Being able to give back to those in need helps you achieve a greater sense of personal satisfaction and growth...it feels good to help others.
Positive Moods and Low Depression Rates Due to The Psychology of Generosity
With positive self-esteem and self-worth comes a genuinely more optimistic mood and outlook on life as even more health benefits of giving. Studies show that donating to charity has been proven to have a positive impact on the brain. These effects are similar to activities people usually associate with joy and happiness such as eating, exercising, or affectionate gestures like giving someone a hug. Different chemical reactions can lead to an ongoing pattern of improved mental health and well-being. Keep this in mind the next time you’re having a bad day and need something uplifting to draw from.
Giving is a Natural Stress Reliever
As much joy as the holiday season brings, it also brings with it a great deal of stress. It’s no surprise that stress, depression, and anxiety can lead to a number health issues, such as headaches, insomnia, and high blood pressure. One of the reasons giving is good for you is that it acts as a way to de-stress your everyday life. With the simple act of charitable giving, not only are you assisting the world as a whole, but you receive the added benefit of a more relaxed holiday season.
We’re all trying to make the world a better place. At Kate’s Island Shop, we cultivate a culture of giving. A portion of all proceeds go to a different charity each month. The holidays are a time where we can appreciate the people and causes we hold dear. The gift of giving always comes full circle. Giving is receiving and generosity is contagious! So, this holiday season, remember the positive benefits on your health that donating to charity brings, as well as the positive change you can help bring to the world!
The holiday season is a time for enjoying time with your family and friends, not for stressing out. But stress seems to be unavoidable when you’re rushing around everywhere, trying to juggle decorating, shopping for the perfect gifts, figuring out travel plans, hosting parties, and just feeding your family. By shifting your thoughts and making yourself a priority, you can enjoy the holiday season more and freak out a little less!
Remember what the season is about.
Try to remember that the holidays aren’t about gifts, lights or the perfect party dress. They’re about celebrating something special with loved ones. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the people you are with. Try to be in the moment while you are surrounded by those most important to you.
Prioritize your priorities
Figure out what your priorities are. Take some time to get clear about what’s most important to you during the holidays...spending quality time with loved ones perhaps? Remember those closest to you spell love T-I- M-E
Adjust your expectations
Adjusting your expectations and perspective is important to simplify the holidays. Stop aiming for a Pinterest perfect Christmas...it’s not realistic and will only leave you exhausted and disappointed. Let go of your unrealistic expectations and keep your focus on your priorities and what matters most to you. Your friends and family won’t remember (or care) if you had five different kinds of cookies. But, they will remember spending a fun night laughing, talking and enjoying your company
Stick to a budget
Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
Try these alternatives:
* Donate to a charity in someone's name.
* Give homemade gifts.
* Start a family gift exchange.
Take a breather
Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
Some options may include:
* Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
* Listening to soothing music.
* Getting a massage.
* Reading a book.
Focus on GRATITUDE
Remembering to focus on gratitude can go a long way to shift your perspective during the holidays. Actively look for things to be grateful for. Take the time to notice and appreciate the simple joys during the holidays.
Remember, you and your family’s holiday memories probably won’t be about who got what, or how many dessert options there were. What will be remembered is the time spent together.
Thank you for being family, near and far...Happy Holidays from Kate’s, wherever you are!