But have you ever thought about the best gift you ever gave? A gift that you put a great deal of careful thought into, not only the gift itself, but also the person receiving it. Perhaps this gift required more time, effort and money than you had planned. But when you gave it, you could sense immediately that you had touched the receiver deeply and that person realized just how much you had put into the gift. Your gift may have even changed or transformed the life of that person. Perhaps, you felt more joy over giving that gift than had you received the gift yourself.
Such an attitude of giving is not only the true spirit of Christmas but also the essence of the gospel call to love one another as God has loved us. This love is the rock on which Jesus calls us to build our lives: love that finds its joy in bringing joy to another; love that helps us struggle through the storms that batter us every day; love that sees and welcomes God into every heart.
May we each find the true spirit of love and giving this Christmas and each day of our lives.
THE DENTAL CORNER
Why does everything taste bad after you brush your teeth?
If you wonder why I am asking such a question, go brush your teeth and grab something to drink (anything…a soda, coffee, orange juice, anything but water). Pretty bad, isn’t it?
There are two chemicals in toothpaste that ruin the taste of your food and drinks. The first is sodium laureth sulfate (or SLES) and the other is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Both of these chemicals are considered to be wetting agents-they are added to toothpastes to create foam and make the paste easier to spread around in your mouth. Interestingly enough, they are also important ingredients in detergents, fabric softeners, paints, surfboard waxes, laxatives, and insecticides.
These two components certainly make brushing our teeth a lot easier, but they do more than just help make foam. Both ingredients alter our taste buds in two ways. First, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, which inhibits our ability to taste the ‘sweetness’ in foods and drinks. They also break up phospholipids on our tongue. These are fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they are broken down by the chemicals in toothpaste, the bitter taste in foods is enhanced.
So, the result is that anything you eat or drink after you brush is going to have less sweetness and more bitterness than it normally would.
Is there a solution? Yes…..there are toothpastes that are free of SLES/SES if you are able to find them on the shelves at your local supermarket. Your teeth will be equally as clean, just without the foam. Otherwise, continue to use your standard toothpaste and remember, your first sip of coffee may taste a little strange!
Dr. Kristi Collins
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.
In September, residents and staff enjoyed adventures to the Gaffney outlets, shopping at Wal-Mart, and local businesses, and going out to eat at KFC, Wendy’s, and the Golden Corral. They also went to a Clinton High football game, Carolina Fine Foods, Wade’s Southern Cooking, Pine Street Park, and Rose’s. Some were able to go on a special trip to Columbia to see the Special Olympics Truck Convoy rolling down I-77. They were able to see a lot of the trucks and meet the drivers at the State Farmers Market. The Bocce Team and the Disc Golf Team competed in Rock Hill in the Area 11 Annual Invitational, and did very well, bringing home 6 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 4 bronze medals. The Bowling Team and Disc Golf Team started practices in preparation for the upcoming Special Olympics Fall Games in Greenville in November.
October started off with a bang. Residents, staff, and the public were able to see our annual fireworks show this year. Approximately 160 residents and staff enjoyed a trip to the State Fair again this year. Other fun outings were trips to football games, Blue Ocean, shopping at Belk and other local businesses, Golden Corral, and KFC. The Bowling and Disc Golf Teams continued with their practices. Several residents and staff attended the Buddy Walk for Downs Syndrome in Greenville, where they played games and walked as part of a local young lady’s buddy team and carried her banner. A small group went to Greenwood to a Pumpkin Patch, bought pumpkins, and returned to Whitten Center to paint them, after a supper at Trotter’s. Several other residents and staff were able to go uptown to the square to represent Whitten Center at the Bub Lollis Fall Ride. They enjoyed looking at all of the motorcycles, talking with the bikers, and listening to music. All returned to Whitten Center in time to see all of the bikers come through Whitten to say hello. The month ended with Spook Fest - the annual Halloween Carnival and Costume Contest. This year, we added a Halloween parade to the fun, with a Best Entry prize. Unit 106 won the parade contest hands down with their Trolls van and costumes. Costume contest winners were as follows: Bobby B. – Funniest Costume (Clown); Unit 107 – Scariest Costumes (Star Wars); Unit 106 – Most Original Costumes (Trolls); Unit 110 – Best Overall Costumes (Smurfs). Congratulations to all who won awards, and thank you to all staff who assisted in making it a perfect Halloween for our residents.
November started off with the last bowling practices of the year. The 2nd weekend of the month, the athletes attended Special Olympics Fall Games in Greenville. Our athletes competed in Bowling and Disc Golf, bringing home 2 gold medals, 10 silver medal, and 4 bronze medals. They were able to spend the night this year, something they absolutely love to do! Everyone was excited about the hotel, and enjoyed all of the festivities and competition that is Special Olympics Fall Games. Leisure Services thanks all staff who accompanied the residents so that they could participate in this awesome event.
All residents spent an afternoon working on Christmas crafts, with the assistance of staff. They were excited to be able to make their own ornaments. The ladies of Unit 106 enjoyed a pizza party, compliments of the Parents Club, for their Parade Entry win.
Several residents and staff will be travelling to Greenville soon to watch the Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey team play the Florida Everblades. I hope they can report a win when they get home that night!
Leisure Services has begun to get the float ready for the upcoming parades. It will be entered into 4 parades this year. Our residents always look forward to being able to ride on it. We will also be taking several buses to the Piedmont Parade, where our residents will enjoy watching the parade, with lunch and Santa afterward.
FROM THE WHITTEN CENTER
Christmas Good Wishes from the Parents’ Club! We have been busy helping with events around campus. First, I would like to say that Dr. Beverly Buscemi, the State Director for DDSN, has resigned her position and is moving on to other career opportunities. We wish her the best and thank her for her extended efforts on behalf of all disabled residents in our state. She will be missed, but we look forward to working with the newly appointed interim director, Mr. Pat Maley. We wish him the best as he continues to move our agency forward.
We hope everyone enjoyed the fireworks exhibition in September! The movement of this event to the fall seems to have been received well, and we look forward to continuing it in the future. The pyrotechnic company from Columbia provided an awesome performance. Although this is expensive, we believe it is important for all of residents, staff, and community to come together and enjoy the spectacular display. Thanks to all the staff who make extra efforts for the residents to share in this awesome event.
The Parents’ Club continues to provide each unit with monies for birthday celebrations each month. This is arranged by Marlene Woods. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this offering. The celebrations may be in the line of parties, crafts, movie DVDs, or music CDs. The options are many, but you must follow the guidelines that have been sent to each unit.
October was special with the traveling of over 90 residents plus many staff to the South Carolina State Fair. We are always thrilled to charter the buses and make this trip an enjoyment for so many! This is a tremendous undertaking, but well worth the efforts. Thanks to all who make this annual trip a possibility.
Food workers were also recognized with a meal in October. Where would everyone be without these wonderful people who keep the food prepared for our loved ones every day? We were happy to help with this.
The Bub Lollis ride was a large success. Even with the cool weather, we had approximately 170 motorcycles come through campus. Donations from this group help with many extras throughout the year. Thanks to all who brought residents out to greet the riders. This is so important. First, the residents enjoy the excitement, and second, the riders like to see who benefits from their efforts.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Halloween parade and party. Congratulations to the Unit who won the pizza party for their parade contribution.
We were thrilled to help the group who attended Area 5 Special Olympics. A special thanks to staff who carried our participants and helped them enjoy this special time. We are glad you were able to celebrate their accomplishments.
Thanks to Dickey’s Barbecue for catering our employee appreciation dinner this year. The Parents’ Club wants our staff to know how much we appreciate you, so we planned a Special Thanksgiving dinner. We hope you all enjoyed it, and we would like to add a BIG SPECIAL THANK YOU TO EVERYONE OF YOU WHO LOVE AND CARE FOR OUR FAMILY MEMBERS AT WHITTEN CENTER!!!!!! We know many of you are working extended hours and sacrifice time with your own families to care for the residents at Whitten. We appreciate you, thank you, and continue seeking ways to bring more workers in to lighten your load.
The Christmas Parade will be Saturday, December 2nd at 1 pm. It is our hope all units will either participate or get out to enjoy the parade. Please also take note of the other events in December. They will be fun ways to enjoy the season change routines.
Bailey Manor in Clinton has a Parade of Trees during the month of December. This year, the Parents’ Club is helping Whitten Center enter a special tree “Focus on the Abilities”. It is free to tour this event, so we look forward to hearing about residents from all buildings taking outings to Bailey Manor throughout the month. Small groups can easily go and enjoy this Festival of Trees. It is a sight to behold and since it is inside, we don’t have to worry about the weather.
Each building will be planning their own Christmas parties in their units throughout the month. As usual, the Parents’ Club is always willing to help with special events to make the residents’ lives fun. Thanks to the staff in each building for carrying these out.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Linda Lee, President, Whitten Center Parents’ Club