Tag Archives: Caring For Our Community

Keeping Contents, Connection, and Compassion

We are Helping to Build a Community, One Locker at a Time.

Solution! Secure, outdoor storage lockers accessible 24 hours a day

We would like to thank the following People who helped bring this dream into reality.

  • PK Welding and Fabricators for going above and beyond in the design and construction of the lockers and for their financial contribution
  • Dailey Enterprises for donating expert consultation and assistance in preparing the site and coordinating installation
  • OPUC for generously donating equipment and manpower for site preparation and installation
  • John Henry, Mayor of the City of Oshawa, for catching the vision quickly
  • Rick Kerr, Councillor for the City of Oshawa, for his enthusiasm and for facilitating many important connections
  • Dirk Taylor and Jonathan Mash for website design, development, hosting, and support
  • PI Tool Ltd. for donating use of a truck for transportation
  • Region of Durham Police, Business Improvement Association, Chamber of Commerce for enthusiasm and support
  • Simcoe St. United Church for allowing the lockers to be placed on their property
  • MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, the community who will use the lockers for suggestions, encouragement, and the assurance that this project was worth doing

In Memory

Spirit Alive Outreach Ministry would like to remember Don MacLeod.  Don was the President of Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty and, when presented with the idea, quickly began working tirelessly to ensure that this project would happen.  Unfortunately, Don passed away before the Keepers Project was completed.  We firmly believe that the individuals who will be helped by the KeepersProject will be a lasting legacy to Don.

Participate!

A pilot project consisting of 12 lockers has been installed in downtown Oshawa. We are actively looking to install lockers in other sites in Oshawa and elsewhere. If you would like to be part of the next exciting adventure in helping the marginalized please donate!

Learn More

NEED:  Members of Spirit Alive have recognized for a number of years that a real need of homeless individuals is a safe place to store their personal belongings.   Carrying all one’s personal belongings everywhere is not only cumbersome, it stigmatizes the individual by identifying him/her as homeless.  This can limit one’s ability to attend appointments, seek work, and find accommodations.  Stashing or hiding those belongings, on the other hand, often leads to theft and further vulnerability since one’s appearance and ability to provide identification and other documents, are essential to seeking assistance.

PLANNING:  Board members have done a great deal of brainstorming and research into this problem and potential solutions.  This included a visit to an area in Portugal where a successful locker project for the homeless has been established.   After much consultation with elected city officials, interested downtown Oshawa residents and business organizations (Chamber of Commerce, BIA), community police, and, most importantly, members of the homeless population of Oshawa,  it was determined that a pilot project should take place in downtown Oshawa.

ACTION:  A set of twelve outdoor lockers has been installed in downtown Oshawa.  Each locker includes a mail slot and a USB connection for cell phone charging.  Spirit Alive is partnering with Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty (a local, downtown-based service agency)  to administer the first set of lockers as a pilot project.  Consistent connections with staff and volunteers at Back Door Mission will potentially lead to solutions to other issues.  It is believed that having a permanent, secure place for belongings will be an important stepping stone to a better life.

FUTURE:  After this pilot project has proved successful, and any adjustments deemed necessary have been made,  it is anticipated that there will be additional locker sites in Oshawa. As well, Spirit Alive hopes to be a resource for other communities who feel that lockers could help in their work of assisting individuals to end homelessness.

 If you would like to see this initiative brought to your area we would love to help!  Please contact:  info@spiritaliveoutreach.org or http://www.keepersproject.ca for more information on How To Donate.

Holiday Fire Safety

There is nothing like decorating your home for the holidays with fragrant candles, colorful lights, and festive bows and ribbons. But take steps to protect your family this season with these fire prevention tips.

 

There is nothing like decorating your home for the holidays with fragrant candles, colorful lights, and festive bows and ribbons. But take steps to protect your family with some holiday fire safety.

This holiday season, when you are gathered around the fireplace with family and friends enjoying the smell of pine needles from your freshly cut tree, a little holiday fire safety can give you peace of mind.

Holiday Candles and Fire Prevention

Fragrant candles can add a festive flare to a room, but take precautions to avert a fire by making sure that your candle is placed on a heat resistant base and never leave your candle burning when you are not in the room. Keep your candles high up where children cannot reach, and do not under any circumstances leave your home without extinguishing your candles. One unattended candle can cause terrible damage and at the very least, ruin your holidays.

Lighting and Holiday Fire Safety

Holiday lights and lighted trees add a celebratory cheer to your home, but use these fire prevention tips to keep your family and you’re home safe. Check all electric plug-ins and extension cords. Make certain the plug-in has a place for a ground wire. Check the extension cord for splits in the wire.

  1. Never run extension cords under a rug.
  2. Do not overload extension cords.
  3. Equip your home with a fire extinguisher.
  4. If you plan on using your lights outdoors, make sure the lights you are using are rated for outdoors.

Fireplace Safety

Gathering with friends and family around the fireplace can keep you cozy and warm your heart. Be sure to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected every year to avoid disasters and keep your family safe. Do not dispose of Christmas wrapping by burning it in your fireplace.

If you have a live tree, water it often to preserve the pine needles — this is especially important if your tree is located close to the fireplace or wood stove. As beautiful as your tree may be, remember pine needles are very flammable. Many deadly fires have been caused by family Christmas trees with lights that are plugged into defective wiring or trees that are dried out.

Oven Fire Safety

Christmas cookies and other holiday treats are great this time of year, but watch out for burns and keep all plastic away from the oven heat — burning plastic is toxic.

Count Your Blessings

By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the holidays and celebrate with family and friends worry free, and concentrate on what this time of year is all about, counting your blessings.

20 Barnard Crt. Ajax

Open House October 8, 2017 2-4 pm

$525,000

Quiet Family Court

You’ve got to see this one in person! Full of designer touches. The good life is certain in this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with finished basement, hardwood floors on top level, and walk-out from kitchen to covered patio overlooking huge back yard. Enjoy carefree living with low maintenance exterior, updated windows, furnace, newer shingles and electrical panel. Enjoy the convenience of an large eat-in kitchen that has been recently updated with top of the line appliances, quartz counter-top, under the counter lighting and over sized center island with B/I dishwasher, cupboards and seating for 5. All this for only $525,000 .

 

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Weed Away!

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In our quest for a perfect, green lawn that more resembles AstroTurf than anything Mother Nature could create, we may find ourselves blasting gallons of weed killer onto our lawns throughout the summer. Instead of filling our lawns — and our lungs — with noxious chemicals, give these natural weed-eliminating methods a chance.

Crowd them out. Over-seed your grass to not only create a thick, luscious landscape, but also to ensure there’s no room for unwanted, weedy invaders.

Smother them. While not practical for weeds scattered throughout your lawn, mulch is a must for keeping weeds at bay around your flowers and vegetable beds. Keep the mulch about two inches deep to eliminate the light and air that weeds need to thrive.

Scald them. If you can boil water, you can kill weeds. For an economical and effective weed killer, carefully pour boiling water onto young weeds popping out of cracks on sidewalks and driveways.

Try vinegar and soap. Mix four cups vinegar with two teaspoons of dish soap in a spray bottle and spray weeds only (avoid grass).

Use elbow grease. Weed the garden regularly, pulling up weeds manually before they go to seed.

And if you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em! Your next plate of nutritious greens can be as close as your backyard. Young, tender dandelion and chicory leaves can be enjoyed raw, in a salad, or steamed or stir-fried as a cooked side dish. Some people even make tea with the leaves and roots. Those pesky weeds include impressive amounts of nutrients and vitamins — just be sure you know what you’re picking and that you wash them well!

The Psychology of Clean

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Does mess equal stress? An article in Psychology Today* says “yes!” But the good news is, clutter is one of the easiest life stressors to fix.

Clutter both at home and at work can stress us out on a number of different levels, making it difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. It signals to our brains that our work is never done, and creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment. Clutter also creates a feeling of frustration by preventing us from quickly locating things we need, from keys to paperwork. There’s simply nothing good about mess, so here are some tips to help you tackle it.

    • Address one area at a time, and finish de-cluttering and cleaning that one area before moving onto the next. This creates a sense of accomplishment as you fully complete one task or one room at a time.
    • When it comes to getting organized, setting up more shelves and storage areas isn’t always the answer. Downsize your belongings first by getting rid of things you don’t use or need – donate or toss as necessary, then create designated areas for the rest, ideally in closed spaces such as drawers and cabinets. Simply re-organizing things on open shelves doesn’t take care of “mess stress” as your clutter is still in sight, creating visual stimuli that your mind continuously has to process.
  • Once you get your clutter under control, keep it that way by getting in the habit — making a resolute effort every time — of putting things back where you got them. It sounds simple, but it’s a repetitive process that needs to be continuously reinforced before it becomes routine.

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octanewomen/ 201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8- reasons-8-remedies

 

Stay Connected to Your Priorities

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The expression “cutting the cord” was, in the past, used to describe a young person’s departure from their parental home to the world of independence and self-sufficiency. In today’s households, cutting the cord now more often refers to the practice of canceling cable TV subscriptions and replacing them with low-cost Internet video streaming subscription services or other free video platforms. Because of that and the widespread reliance on smartphones, good wireless coverage has now rocketed to the top of the list of necessities for home-hunters.

A recent survey reveals that when moving to a new community, today’s home buyer puts more of a premium on reliable at-home wireless service than they do on home prices and decent commute times*. In fact, the survey showed that while having good hospitals in the community was key for 77 percent of respondents, reliable wireless service followed right after that on a homeowner’s list of new home priorities.

Breaking it down, 67 percent of survey respondents ranked reliable wireless service as a “must have” when considering a home, followed by good schools at 65 percent, reasonable home prices at 60 percent and good commuting times at 41 percent. It’s important to note the value of wireless service in today’s homes, with half of today’s households now wireless-only and the number of people who access the Internet using only their smartphones continuing to rise.

Good connections have never been as important as in today’s home-hunting market! That’s why it important to be connected with TheMashTeam.

Green Cleaning Tip: A Greener Cleaner!

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Why spend money on commercial cleaning products when equally effective, more natural cleaning supplies are probably already in your kitchen cupboard?

1. For a multi-purpose, everyday spray cleaner that’s effective, economical and safe around kids and pets, simply mix one part white vinegar with nine parts water in a spray bottle or bucket.

2. Create a streak-free shine with your own window cleaner. Pour one cup rubbing alcohol plus one tablespoon white vinegar into a spray bottle, spray on windows and wipe away with paper towels or yesterday’s newspaper.

3. A box of baking soda goes far in the cleaning world. Some suggestions: Use it on a damp sponge to clean sinks and scrub BBQ grates, freshen upholstered furniture and carpets by sprinkling it all over before vacuuming, and add a cup to your laundry to brighten clothes.

 and to make your home healthier try these tips. Contact me for the recipes. 

4. Use woolen Balls in your dryer instead of dryer sheets.

5. Make your own Non-Toxic Powder Laundry Detergent. All you need is baking soda, washing soda, Borax, Epsom Salts, Sunlight Bar Soap, Oxi-Clean and essential oils such as lavender or lemon.

6. Make your own deodorant.

7. Make your own face cream.

8. Make Your Own Lip Balm.

 

 

Is Your Home Affecting Your Health?

Your home is a safe haven. But, there are ways your home can damage your health.

A healthy home is a happy home. What do we mean? Well, did you know about these seven home hazards that could be affecting your health? Not to worry, our friends at Home Advisor tackle how to identify them as well as how to fix them.

#1 Mold, fungus and mildew

Aside from their smell and unsightly nature, mold, fungus and mildew can pose a serious threat to your health. If you notice any signs of these hazards (especially mold and mildew), have them removed immediately.

#2 Water-borne pollutants

Public water supplies are generally kept to a very high standard. But, it’s impossible to eliminate all water contaminants. If there is a failure in any part of your purification system, your water supply could contain dangerous pollutants. Replace your purification system to ensure your water is clean.

#3 Carbon monoxide

In sufficient quantities, carbon monoxide can kill. Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect because of its odorless and colorless nature. Address any carbon monoxide problems by ventilating your impacted space. For a long-term solution, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector.

#4 Lead

Lead causes memory loss, muscular issues and dementia. Make sure to check your paint and plumbing for lead if your home was built before 1975. If you find lead in your home, have it removed immediately.

#5 Home chemicals

Most of us have potentially harmful chemicals in our homes. These include:

  • Detergents
  • Cleaning agents
  • Bleach
  • Nail polish
  • Pesticides

Most of these substances can be replaced by safer, organic products. If not, keep your toxic chemicals out of reach of children and pets.

#6 Dust

Dust can irritate your respiratory tract. Clean any obvious dust using a damp cloth or an electrostatic wipe. Regularly vacuum curtains, upholstery and carpets. Make sure you use a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner. Less efficient filters allow too much dust to escape back into a room.

#7 Dampness and leaks

Moisture encourages the growth of molds and other harmful microorganisms. Eliminate any leaks in your plumbing or roofing to avoid mildew and mold problems.

Conclusion

If you feel unwell in your home, you may be suffering from a home hazard. Tackle any health problems in your home to stay healthy.

The Smartest Home Improvements for 2017

Why not add home improvements to your 2017 resolutions?

Here are a few tasks to kick off in 2017.

Replace Your Garage Door
Your garage door is one of the first things visitors and potential buyers will notice about your home. That’s why it’s important to ensure that yours is in great shape. Consider installing a new garage door if yours is damaged or showing its age.

Insulated garage doors will boost the energy savings of your home. Your garage is an open pocket of air attached to your home. As it gets colder outside, an uninsulated garage will trap cold air against your home, forcing you to spend more on energy bills. Insulated models will keep cold air out and help you eliminate extra spending on utilities.

Install Smart Locks
Smart locks allow you to control and monitor the security of your home through your smart phone. The price of smart locks will vary depending on the features. Most models come with Bluetooth connectivity and remote access.

Get a Nest Thermostat
Learning thermostats will improve the environment in your home and save you money. Smart thermostats learn your heating and cooling habits and automatically adjust your HVAC to meet your needs. You can install a smart thermostat yourself or with the help of a pro.

Complete a Minor Kitchen Remodel
Your kitchen is a busy place. Everyone loves to gather around food and enjoy good conversation while keeping the host or hostess company. If you’re dealing with a cramped kitchen, consider a minor kitchen remodel to help open up your space.

Worried about the cost of a remodel? A kitchen remodel will return 83 percent of its cost at the time of resale, making it one of the better ways to spend your money in 2017.

Update Your Bathroom
Your bathrooms are another great location for home improvements. You don’t have to overhaul the entire room to recoup the cost of your upgrades. Head to your local home improvement store and pick up any of the following items to boost the appearance of your bathrooms:

● New faucet and handles
● Modern mirrors
● New towel racks
● Floating shelves

Channel Your Inner Handyman
You can also tackle some home improvements yourself. It’s as simple as focusing on what’s already in your home rather than what it lacks. Go through your home and check for the following:

● Leaks in the shower
● Leaks in the sink
● Knicks in the drywall

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+

The Sweetest Way to Kick Off Valentine’s Day at Home

We found the best recipes for breakfast on Valentine’s Day

In case you haven’t noticed yet, Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year. Yuck, a Tuesday. If you are anything like me then going out for a nice dinner (or worse cooking one) after a long day at work sounds anything but romantic. That’s why this year I am flipping the script and focusing on kicking the day off with something sweet and what better way to do than with breakfast at my favorite place in the world…my home.

Last year, 11 Sweet Breakfast in Bed Ideas was one of our most popular posts in February so I decided to write a version 2.0. This year’s theme is all about Red Velvet and these recipes are sure to make breakfast on Valentine’s Day, or any other day for that matter, extra sweet. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Waffles | Go Eat & Repeat | Recipe Here

3 Words… Cream Cheese Glaze (mmmm)

Red Velvet French Toast | Cafe Delites | Recipe Here

What I love most about this picture is the fact that Karina added a few raspberries to the plate. In humble my opinion the fruit on this dish basically cancels out the rest of the calories.

red velvet pancakes valentines day breakfast

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls | No. 2 Pencil | Recipe Here

Dessert for breakfast…yes please!
red velvet breakfast cinnamon rolls

Red Velvet Crepes | Six Sister’s Stuff | Recipe Here

Close your eyes, take a bite and imagine yourself vacationing in Paris.

Red velvet crepe

Red Velvet Pancakes | DAN 330 | Recipe Here

Short stack or full…whichever you choose will  be a delight!

red velvet pancakes

Red Velvet Donuts | Homemade Hooplah | Recipe Here

While most donuts are fried these are actually baked, so don’t feel bad when you reach for seconds.

red velvet donuts

Red Velvet Nutella Hearts | I Love to Cook | Recipe Here

N U T E L L A!!! Need I say more?!

Red Velvet “Skinny” Shake | Mom on Time Out | Recipe Here

You and your honey can satisfy your sweet tooth with this recipe for 2!