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News of interest to ARCRA members

  • 01/12/2021 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    With COVID-19 vaccines a reality in 2021, all of us are making plans to travel this year and in the future.  As you start making your plans make a commitment to traveling with a  conservation mindset.

    A conservation mindset means stepping off the beaten path and lingering longer, respecting cultural differences and investing in the communities we visit, reconnecting with nature in the wild spaces around us, supporting organizations that are protecting the planet, and finding ways to reduce our carbon footprints. Nat Geo Travel suggests that you can start by stargazing (and counteract light pollution), embrace diversity outdoors (and support parklands), embark on a heritage journey (and support historic landmarks, buildings, and districts), and help your grandkids become explorers (take them with you and share your adventures).  

    Click here to get more ideas from Nat Geo Travel.

  • 01/04/2021 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    Add your oral history from your Red Cross service during the Vietnam War to the Vietnam Oral History Project.  

    The Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University is the country’s largest center and archive devoted to the collection, preservation, and dissemination of the history of the Vietnam War. With nearly 30 million documents, hundreds of thousands of photographs, slides, manuscript collections, audio and video recordings, memorabilia of the war, etc., the VNCA is the nation’s preeminent place for Vietnam War studies. Founded by Vietnam veterans in 1989, the VNCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, as well as an academic unit of Texas Tech University. The Center is currently collecting Vietnam War-related materials, including oral history interviews with participants of the war. The Oral History Project is headed by Dr. Kelly E. Crager, a military historian who specializes in interviewing Vietnam veterans. You can reach Kelly at kelly.crager@ttu.edu or by phone at 806-834-4834.

    The Vietnam Oral History Project With Dr. Kelly Crager

    Dates offered: Thursday January 7 and January 14, 2021

    Time: 5 pm EST, 4 pm CST, 3 pm MST, 2 pm PST

     Here is the link to access:  VBC—ARCOA—TTU Vietnam Center & Archive Event
    Monday, January 7 & 14, 2021, 5:00pm (ET)

    Meeting ID: 640 261 8738 (no password)

    To learn more about the VNCA, visit the homepage: www.vietnam.ttu.edu. From this site you can access over 8 million documents in our collection, as well as the photographs, 1,400 oral history interviews, etc., in addition to learning more about conferences, educational initiatives, building campaign, and other activities.

  • 12/29/2020 2:15 PM | Anonymous

    Do you have time for a rewarding volunteer position helping Red Cross retirees? “Links” take week-long “shifts” once every six weeks and check for voice mails once each day. When there are messages from members, (an average of 4 per week), the Link will refer to a Program Guide and help the retiree with issues related their pension, medical benefits, Association business and other issues. So summarizing; four cases calls every six weeks!

    Retirees who worked disaster or SMF/SMI cases are excellent candidates, but anyone with an interest can handle the simple requirements. In addition to committing the time, Links need basic computer skills and a willingness to gradually learn more about benefits, ARCRA, and other challenges we’re facing as retirees.

    Former ARCRA President Michael Carroll is working as a Link and shared: “I hope that I made a difference when I was in ARCRA leadership, but after I’ve helped a retire resolve an issue as a Link, I know I have! It’s very rewarding and often the best part is just talking with someone who may be a little lonely.”

    If you’d like to learn more, email the Retiree Connection at Michael.Carroll@arcraretireeassoc.org

  • 12/28/2020 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    Get ready for 2021 by completing five simple tasks before January 1.

    1. Self-Review. Understanding that 2020 was unusual and unpredictable, assess whether or not you accomplished the goals that you set out for yourself at the beginning of 2020.  Reviewing what went well, needs improvement, or just did not get done at all, will help you prepare for a great 2021.
    2. Tie up Miscellaneous Ends.  Identify what you can quickly and easily knockoff of your list before the New Year.  End the year with a sense of accomplishment and a fresh to-do list.
    3. Re-Connect with Loved Ones and Friends.  COVID-19 restrictions left us all disconnected from family and friends.  The beginning of 2021 doesn't look to be much different with quarantine and social distancing restrictions still in place.  So set aside more time to text, call, email and virtually strengthen or rebuild those important connections.
    4. Declutter your Space.  Look around your bedroom, kitchen, office, closet, and  basement to declutter, the polite term for get rid of the junk you don't use, need or want.  A good place to start is by throwing out food products with expired dates.  I found cake mixes with pull dates of 2015. Research shows that people are happier in a clean and organized space.
    5. Set your 2021 Goals.  Go back to your Red Cross training and set SMART GOALS-specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. Click here for more tips
  • 12/17/2020 9:03 PM | Anonymous

    COVID-19 has changed how we live, work, and celebrate in 2020, and like everything else this year, the holiday season doesn’t look the same. Normally free Zoom accounts have a 40-minute limit. For the holiday season, Zoom is  removing the 40-minute limit on free Zoom accounts for all meetings globally for several upcoming special occasions.

    Whether coming together on the final day of Hanukkah, celebrating Christmas, ringing in the New Year, or marking the last days of Kwanzaa, those connecting with friends and family won’t get cut short.

    Here are the dates and times for unlimited meetings:

    • 10 a.m. ET Thursday, Dec. 17, to 6 a.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 19
    • 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, Dec. 23, to 6 a.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 26
    • 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 30, to 6 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 2

    What do you need to do?

    Follow these steps to get started and enjoy a wonderful virtual get-together with loved ones!

  • 12/17/2020 1:28 PM | Anonymous

    The blood supply in the US is critically low. As we face new surges of COVID-19 cases, AABBAmerica’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross are urging eligible individuals to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now. The statement noted, in part:

    Since the early stages of the pandemic, the blood community has experienced unprecedented fluctuations in both supply and the need for blood. A variety of events, including multiple disasters, have led to additional disruptions to the collection of blood more hospitals resume normal surgery schedules and more patients require blood. The impact of COVID-19 as flu season approaches could further compound challenges to maintaining a readily available blood supply. Blood donors are needed now to help maintain the adequacy of the blood supply and to ensure that blood is available.

    Please contact one of the following organizations to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment to donate:

    AABB: www.aabb.org; +1.301.907.6977
    America’s Blood Centers: 
    www.americasblood.org; +1.202.393.5725
    American Red Cross: 
    www.redcrossblood.org; +1.800.RED CROSS (+1.800.733.2767)

    COVID-19 antibody test results will be available to Red Cross donors within one to two weeks. Antibody testing may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual experienced COVID-19 symptoms. Between June 15 and September 12, the Red Cross tested more than 1.2 million donations in 44 states. Of the donations we tested approximately 2.0% showed positive for COVID-19 antibodies

  • 12/03/2020 5:02 PM | Anonymous

    Next Avenue's goal is to met the needs and unleashing the potential of older Americans through media. Produced by Twin Cities PBS (TPT) for a national audience, its journalists are based around the country and uncover stories in every state.  Over 70 million people have found information and resources on the website and through other platforms and partnerships.  Check out the topics on their website ...Health, Money & Policy, Work & Purpose, and Caregiving.  Sign up for the free newsletters 

  • 11/24/2020 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    If you’re caring for someone with memory problems, these tips may help. You may be able to help the person keep his or her confidence, independence, and dignity for as long as possible.

    • Be flexible, patient, and help the person try to remember what he or she can.

    • Make it easier for the person to remember new information. For instance, keep new information simple and repeat it often. Break down new activities into small steps.

    • Provide verbal cues rather than ask questions. For example, say: “This is Jane, your cousin, who has come to see you.” Don’t say: “This is Jane. Do you remember who she is?”

    • Establish a regular routine. This will help the person feel more secure and make it easier for him or her to remember what usually happens during the day. Too much variety and stimulation can be confusing.

    • Writing down important pieces of information can be helpful.

    • Learn what to expect. For example, managing irritation may be easier if you understand your husband can’t remember how to unload the dishwasher because of his disease. It is not because he doesn’t want to be helpful.

    • Seek help from family and friends.

    Click here for more information from INOVA Hospital

  • 11/13/2020 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    Friday, November 13th is World Kindness Day. Following all the recent election stress, the world could use more kindness than ever. Check out these 25 ideas on how to be kind to yourself, your family and others in your community. CNN provides 25 ways to spread goodwill 

  • 11/02/2020 3:12 PM | Anonymous

    In case you haven't been following every detail of this presidential election... only eight states think that they will be able to report 98 percent of their unofficial election results by noon on Wednesday.  So start destressing now:

    1. Plan to wait for final election results
    2. Chill out-practice yoga, deep breathing
    3. Have meaningful conversations with your family 
    4. Get more exercise-take a walk and enjoy nature
    5. Make a difference locally-teach English as a second language, tutor a student, join the garden club

    Learn how to destress during and following an election at the New York Times.

    A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease - heart attach and stroke - were 61 percent higher in the two days following the 2016 election than the same days in the preceding week.  Age, race or sex of the patient did not change the results-rate of heart attack increased by 67 percent and of stroke by 59 percent.  Read the full article in the New York Times.

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