by: Lee Karen, HOPE Sheds Light
At our January coalition meeting, we opened by asking each person to briefly describe what health means to them. The personal definitions were all unique and wonderful. Here are a few of those responses:
“Working continues to keep me healthy.”
“Nutrition is really where it starts.”
“Balance is incredibly important to the health and well-being of the community.”
“Working out gives me physical, mental and emotional help.”
“Health is family activity.”
For those who do not know me, I am presently the Acting Executive Director of HOPE Sheds Light and a member of the Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition leadership team. Our mission at HOPE Sheds Light, Inc. is to raise awareness and educate individuals, families and the community about the disease of addiction and to provide hope and resources towards recovery. As with any disease, the more information and support available to our community, the greater the opportunity for individuals in our community and their families to experience success.
The mission of the Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition is to mobilize a network that will engage every resident and provide them with the knowledge of, and the access to, healthy resources.
Take a moment and think about the word – HEALTH. What does it mean to you? What do you perceive it to mean to your family members, neighbors, friends and colleagues? Do you think their vision of HEALTH is the same as yours? Do they face any particular health challenges such as addiction, food insecurity or social isolation? Can they find the resources they need to face their health challenges? As a community, to what extent are we aware of what is going on around us?
The Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition is working hard to help answer these questions and is determined to make Toms River the HEALTHiest community in New Jersey! We are working on prioritizing health issues such as obesity, hunger, homelessness, addiction, and isolated seniors. Our goal is to reach out to create a more positive and healthy community – addressing areas that you might not have considered when you first read the word HEALTH.
President John F. Kennedy once asked…“If not us, who? If not now, when?” I reflect upon this quote as my own personal call to action, and I hope the quote and this work resonates with all of us.
Delve deeper into the mission of HOPE Sheds Light on our website and join the Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition in making Toms River and Ocean County the beacon of a healthy community at the coalition’s website.