NAMI Fights Stigma of Mental Illness, Hosts Support Groups

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nonprofit support, education and advocacy organization made up of more than 200,000 members seeking services for people living with severe mental illnesses. NAMI of PA, Bucks County Chapter, in Warminster, and NAMI of PA, Montgomery County Chapter, in Lansdale, are focused on the local level, with the mission of improving the lives of area residents affected by mental illness.

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Local Organization Interrupts Conflict, Promotes Peace

The Peace Center, in Langhorne, is a nonprofit organization staffed by educators and volunteers dedicated to furthering peace in the local community, the nation and around the world. It is the only organization in Bucks County whose sole focus is peace education to address, interrupt and transform conflict and violence.

Founded in 1982, The Peace Center’s roots began as B.A.N.D. (Bucks Alliance for Nuclear Disarmament). After the Berlin Wall fell, the international movement toward disarmament inspired The Peace Center to work on the prevention of violence on the local level.

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Interfaith Community Unites Across Differences

The Interfaith Community of Lower Bucks (ICLB) is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that fosters communication between different religious communities within Lower Bucks County. Its mission is to bring together people of all faiths to build harmony, community and understanding by hosting and participating in community work, play, worship and education.

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Sanctuary and Holistic Care for Ravens Nest Rescues

by Carrie Jackson

RavensNest-3_0417Forgotten animals can get a second chance to thrive at the Ravens Nest Rescue Farm and Sanctuary. The farm, located on just under one acre in Feasterville, offers a safe haven to animals that have been abused, abandoned, neglected or are otherwise unwanted. The farm takes a wide range of animals that include chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, dogs, ferrets and other small, farm favorites.

Lisa Rogers is the director of the farm, which is a nonprofit organization entirely staffed by volunteers. “We are more than just a rescue farm. We are a network of people who provide foster care and love to seemingly unadoptable animals, and a sanctuary to those we can’t adopt or place into the community,” she says. The animals are cared for with essential oils, energy work and other holistic therapies.

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Logan’s Heroes Brings Vets and Pets to Heal

by Grace Antonini

LogansHeroesLogo_0417It’s a uniquely beautiful kind of healing that takes place when two beings, weakened by a traumatic past or disability, find support, strength and love in one another. At Logan’s Heroes Animal Rescue, in Lehigh County, healing is forged by the animal-human bond.

This nonprofit organization embodies the spirit of Logan, a young German Shepherd who was purchased at a pet shop and eventually returned by the family that bought him because of a congenital disability. By that time, sadly, it was too late for Logan to be saved. Inspired by this tragic experience, Logan’s Heroes was formed with the purpose of joining rescued animals from dire situations (such as puppy mills and commercial kennels) with people suffering from trauma and disabilities. Logan’s Heroes focuses on veterans that dedicated their lives to military service and are consequently living with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

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Flying for Life: Rescue Pilot Scott Messinger’s Mission Soars

by Nancy Bragin

ScottMessingerClark Kent doesn’t look like a superhero until he takes off and flies as Superman. It’s the same with Scott Messinger, whose day job is CEO of Eyeland Optical, a chain of 14 family-owned optical centers in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. To save travel time, Messinger learned to fly and began traveling to work in a small, single-engine airplane.

His transformation began in the fall of 2010. “I read an article written by a former animal control manager at a county animal shelter in the south, who said the job was ‘hurting his heart and killing his soul,’” says Messinger. Soon after, as a favor for a friend, he flew from Philadelphia to a shelter in Louisiana to rescue some dogs that were about to be euthanized.

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Therapy Dogs International: Spreading Benevolence Through Canine Companionship

by Lauren Johnson

TherapyDogsInternational-1_0417Nothing evokes a sense of ease quite like a soft, smiling, tail-wagging dog looking up for a bit of affection. While numerous dog lovers are familiar with this feeling, many may not know how it can bring greater therapeutic benefits to others.

Meet Therapy Dogs International (TDI), a non-profit organization based in Flanders, New Jersey, whose mission is to bring health and well-being through visits by four-legged friends to institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, memory care facilities and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.

“When people encounter a therapy dog, their mood immediately improves—they become more relaxed, and their blood pressure drops,” says Bob Wharton, director of TDI Bucks County Chapter #294.

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A Local Voice for People with Hearing Loss

30142537 - smiling deaf woman learning sign language

by Julie Vitto

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s foremost advocacy organization for individuals affected by hearing loss. Founded in 1979 in Bethesda, Maryland, by Howard E. “Rocky” Stone, who had a bilateral hearing loss, HLAA is an international, nonprofit organization for people with hearing loss, their relatives and their friends. Its mission is to open up the world of communication through information, education, support and advocacy.

In 2001, the HLAA-PA all-volunteer state office was established to provide information, education, support and advocacy for Pennsylvanians living with hearing loss. HLAA-PA publishes a free, quarterly newsletter that reaches more than 2,200 people and services 13 chapters throughout Pennsylvania, with new locations in development.

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