THE CHAPLAIN’S CORNER
One day a woman was walking down the street when she spied a beggar sitting
on the corner. The man was elderly, unshaven and ragged. As he sat there,
pedestrians walked by him giving him dirty looks. Clearly, they wanted nothing to
do with a dirty homeless man. But when she saw him, the woman was moved to
It was cold that day and the man nothing but a tattered old coal for warmth. The
woman stopped and said “Sir, are you all right?”
The man slowly looked up. Here was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer
things of life. Her clothes were new and she looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. She must want to make fun of me the old man thought, just like so many before had done. “Leave me alone” he growled.
To his amazement, the woman continued to stand there. She was smiling, her even white teeth displayed in rows. “Are you hungry?” she asked. “No” he answered sarcastically, “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.” The woman’s smile broadened; suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. “What are you doing lady?” the man asked angrily. “I said to leave me alone.” Just then a policeman came up. “Is there a problem?” he asked. “No problem here officer,” the woman answered. “I am just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?” The officer scratched his head. “That’s old jack. He’s been around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?” See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for a while.” “Are you crazy lady?” the homeless man resisted. “I don’t want to go in there!” he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. “Let me go officer. I didn’t do anything!” “This is a good deal for you, Jack.” The officer answered, “Don’t blow it.” Finally and with some difficulty, the woman and policeman got the man into the cafeteria and sat him in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by the table. “What is going on here officer?” he asked. “What is all this? Is this man in trouble?” “This lady brought this man in to be fed,” the officer answered. “Not in here!” the manager said angrily. “Having a person like that in here is bad for business.” Old Jack smiled a toothless grin, “See lady. I told you so. Now let me go. I did not want to come in here in the first place!” The woman turned to the manager and smiled. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?” “Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.” “And do you make a good profit from providing food at that weekly meeting?” she asked. “What business is that of your?” the manager asked. “I sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.” “Oh” the manager replied. The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the policeman who was busy stifling a giggle. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal officer?” “No thanks ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.” “Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?” “Yes ma’am. That would be very nice.” The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. “I’ll get your coffee right away officer.” The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said. “Believe it or not,” she said, “that was not my intent for all of this.” She sat at the table and looked at her guest. She stared at him intently and said, “Jack, do you remember me?” Old Jack searched her face with his old tired eyes “I think so – I mean you do look familiar.” “I am a little older,” she said. “Maybe I have filled out more than in my younger days when you used to work here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.” “Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out lady could have ever been hungry.
“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance I could find something to eat.”
Jack lit up with a smile. “Now I remember,” he said. “I was working behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.” “I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then I saw you take money from your pocket and put it in the cash register. I knew then, that everything would be alright.” “So you started your own business?” Old Jack said. “I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up and I eventually started my own business and, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. “When you are finished here, I want you to visit a Mr. Lyons. He’s the personnel director of my company. I will go talk to him now and I’m sure he will find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think that he might even find some funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. And if you ever need anything, my door is always open to you.” There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you.” he said. “Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you.” Outside the cafeteria, the officer and woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. “Thank you for all of your help officer,” she said. “On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you! I saw a miracle today, something I will never forget. And … And thank you for the coffee.” She frowned. “I forgot to ask you if you used cream or sugar. The coffee is black.” The officer looked at his steaming cup of coffee. “Yes I take cream and sugar – perhaps too much sugar than is good for me.” He patted his ample stomach. “I’m sorry,” She said. “I don’t need it now,” he replied smiling. “I’ve got the feeling that this coffee you bought me is going to taste as sweet as sugar.” Remember, your words and actions will eventually return to you. Even a small act of kindness can provide a tremendous blessing. Therefore, strive to practice kindness with everyone you come in contact with. Actions and words are what each of us sows, and how we sow those actions and words is what gives to us character and prestige. Seeds of kindness, goodwill and human understanding, planted in fertile soil, spring up into lasting friendships, deeds of worth, memories, and love that will not fade. We are all sowers of seeds, either kind or unkind, let us never forget it.
THE DENTAL CORNER
Does Chewing Gum Make You Smarter?
Kristi Collins, DMD
Whitten Center Dental Clinic
Chomping on gum may not make you look smart, but it actually boosts brain power, according to new research. People have been chewing gum for around 9,000 years, seen in the Ancient Greeks, Mayans, and Native Americans, who would chew on tree sap or resin to freshen their breath. Not only can chewing gum freshen your breath, it is now believed to increase mental sharpness.
A study in 2011 tested the effects of chewing gum on a group of graduate students. Half of the students chewed gum prior to and during a series of difficult mental tests (such as repeating a list of random numbers and solving puzzles). The other half of the group was not given gum. The group who chewed gum five minutes before the test greatly outperformed those who didn’t chew gum (on 5 out of the 6 tests). The benefits were only seen for the first 15-20 minutes of the test and chewing gum during the tests was not helpful. The sugar content of the gum had no effect on test performance.
Another study of a group of 8th graders showed that students who chewed gum during math tests-and while doing math homework- had a 3% increase in standardized math scores and had higher final grades, compared to those not chewing gum.
Another study in the UK involved volunteers completing demanding mental tests, with and without chewing gum. To make the tests more difficult, the volunteers were forced to listen to a stress-inducing noise about the equivalent to standing next to a lawn mower, while trying to concentrate on the test. The rest of the group was tested in a quiet room. Volunteers rated their mood before and after the testing sessions and had their heart rate monitored. Their levels of Cortisol (stress related hormone that also measures alertness) were also checked through saliva samples. The results showed that chewing gum was linked to greater alertness, faster reaction times on the tests, with performance actually improving as the task became harder, and enhanced attention. Also, those who chewed gum were in a ‘better mood’ at the completion of the tests. They were smarter, less stressed, and happier.
Mint chewing gum has also been proven to dramatically reduce daytime sleepiness, without the jitters often brought on by coffee. In another study in the UK, volunteers were divided into three groups. The first group was chewing gum, the second was ‘pretending’ to chew gum (but had no actual gum in their mouths), and the last group was not chewing. They were given a ‘sleepiness’ test (the pupils of their eyes were measured while sitting in a darkened room). The researchers showed that the higher alertness of the gum chewers was possibly due to the arousing effects of the mint flavor, as well as the physical act of chewing.
The thought behind all of these studies is this: The physical act of chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain, a theory that some call ‘mastication-induced arousal’. Increased brain activity is seen during chewing gum. The researchers believe that chewing perks up attention, but since the effect has been shown to be temporary, it may be best to chew gum immediately before tackling tough test questions.
News from the Parents’ Club
Whistler News from the Whitten Center Parents’ Club
So much has been going on with the Whitten Center Parents’ Club. First, we would like to welcome Randy Davis on board as our Whitten Center Director. I would also like to thank all of those who attended the Spring Annual Parents’ Club Meeting. It was so nice to see everyone there especially as we honored our Employee of the Year and our Beyond the Call workers. Although we have so many workers who go “beyond the call” every day, it is an honor to be able to recognize special workers each year. The everyday care you give to our loved ones gives the family members peace and comfort.
The Parents’ Club was so thrilled to honor the memory of Glenn Bledsoe with our annual golf tournament. Thanks to everyone who made this a success. It was so nice to have Glenn’s family there to see how many people came together as a tribute to Glenn. Funds from this tournament help with many activities and projects the Parents’ Club supports throughout the year.
Speaking of projects, we are in the process of having the tram refurbished. At last report, the project is over ¾ of the way complete. We are excited to know that tram outings will soon be available again for all to enjoy.
The spring dance was a huge success. Congratulations to our King and Queen. Thanks to everyone who helped with this event. It was a joy to see so many employees who came in on their time off to ensure our residents were able to attend the dance. Many family members love attending the dance with their loved ones and all enjoyed this evening of music and fun!
The Parents’ Club is pleased to support our residents who will be participating in the Special Olympics in Washington State this summer! We wish you much fun and success. We know you will represent Whitten Center well!
So many good things are happening on campus. We were pleased to hear the job fair went well. We are hopeful that the support and positive attitude will bring many new employees to Whitten Center. With that said, the best way to get new workers (and relieve the 12 and 16-hour shifts) is for everyone to encourage friends to come work at Whitten. Let them know it is hard work but share good experiences. Explain the rewards that no one can understand until they spend time with these special residents. Also, remember if someone puts you down as referring them to work here, and they stay on for a specified time, you get a referral bonus. Win, win!!! A little extra bonus and some extra workers for relief.
With that said, The Parents’ Club hopes all enjoyed the ice cream social and wish you a happy summer! Thanks for all you do to help our loved ones at Whitten! We look forward to supporting many fun events in the future.
Linda Lee, WCPC president
As always, Leisure staff would like to say thank you to everyone who has assisted in all of our activities. We appreciate all of the support we are given to make these activities happen. Ideas are always welcome to help us add to our fun.
In March, Whitten was on the go. Residents and staff enjoyed a Swamp Rabbits hockey game, trips to the Presbyterian College Duck Pond, Golden Corral, movies, and the zoo. 34 athletes participated in the Area 5 Special Olympics Spring Games at Presbyterian College. They did very well, bringing home 23 1st place ribbons, 19 2nd place ribbons, 18 3rd place ribbons, 4 4th place ribbons, and 6 5th place ribbons. All units enjoyed parties this month, compliments of the Parents’ Club. Everyone also enjoyed a St. Patrick’s Kickball Game. Classrooms made banners for the game, cheering on their favorite teams. We ended the month with Easter fun day. The Easter bunny made an appearance, visiting all residents and taking lots of photos.
April started with another trip to see the Greenville Swamp Rabbits play hockey. Several residents went uptown to meet the bikers participating in the Bub Lollis Motorcycle Ride for Whitten. All residents were able to see and hear the bikers when they rode through Whitten Center. Residents and staff participated in the Dance Club fun, as well as the Special Olympics Club meetings. Several residents and staff went to the Newberry Golf Club to greet the golfers who were playing in the Glenn Bledsoe Memorial Golf Tournament. A volleyball game was a huge hit among staff and residents. Residents has pompoms and signs to cheer on their peers in the game. I’m not sure who won in the long run, but there was a lot of trash talk being thrown around! All units again enjoyed parties this month, compliments of the Parents’ Club. The highlight of the month was the annual fishing trip in Newberry. The residents and staff caught a lot of big catfish. It was a lot of fun to see the expressions on their faces when they caught a fish.
The Special Olympics USA Games teams from Whitten was announced at the annual Parents’’ Club meeting. They are Kathy (106) and Ann (Leisure) – Bowling; Donnie (105) and Valerie (Leisure) – Bocce; Jason (107) and Tawanna (Leisure) – Bocce; and Shelby (Leisure) – Bocce Coach. They will be traveling to Seattle on June 30th to compete in their sports, and will return on July 7th. They will have a lot of other activities to participate in while in Seattle.
In May, there was a center-wide retirement party for Mary. All residents and staff were invited to party with her. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Spring Formal was, as always, a big night for many people. Residents dressed in their best attire and had pictures made, enjoyed refreshments, and danced with their friends. The Radio Band again played for us, and was wonderful, as always. The 2018 Spring Formal King & Queen were chosen, with Donnie (105) selected as King, and Joan (106) selected as Queen. Both were very excited. Residents participated in a talent show, singing a variety of songs, from country to rock to Christian music. All did a wonderful job. Who knew we had so much talent here! The USA Games team traveled to Columbia for a Celebration day. They were able to get more information about the trip, and received their uniforms.
Also this month, residents were able to go out to the Golden Corral, PC Duck Pond, Haywood Mall, West Gate Mall, the zoo, and other favorites. All units had parties this month. 11 residents and staff will traveling to Summerton to attend Camp REACH from May 28 – June 1.
Friday June 8 – Molly’s Rock trip
Thursday June 14 – Flag Day
Tuesday June 12 – Greenville Drive Trip
Sunday June 17 – Father’s Day
Tuesday June 19 – Discovery Island
Wednesday June 20 – Hymn Sing
Friday June 22 – Fashion Show
Friday June 29 – 4th of July Fun Day
Wednesday July 4 – 4th of July Holiday
Thursday July 12 – Discovery Island
Tuesday July 17 – Greenville Drive Trip