Big Littles

Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Oregon has a long-standing tradition of cultivating strong and caring friendships through careful matching of “Bigs” and “Littles” in the community. We recently received a letter from Danny Frank about his experience. He tells us:

During our match, we had some wonderful adventures together including skiing at Mt. Bachelor, hiking in the Cascades, watching movies, riding bikes, bowling, and playing video games. I also had a blast watching Will play goalie on the Bend Senior High soccer team. We had deep conversations about school, relationships, parents, and other important life issues. When I left Bend for Minnesota, leaving Will was one of the more difficult aspects of the move.

Years later, I still consider Will a part of my family. He’s all grown up, a sponsored skier, professional photographer and filmmaker, bartender, guitar player and singer for the band Dusty Bones, and all-around avid adventurer. Truly a stand-up guy. I am so proud of the man Will is today, and I like to think that our friendship played some small part in who he has become. Even though we live thousands of miles away, our friendship remains a strong and important part of my life.

Trevor was an amazingly impactful Big to Nick in Jefferson County for over 8 years.  Eventually, Nick followed in the footsteps of his Big Brother and became a firefighter himself.

Introducing Music Therapy

girl playing guitar outside

We’ve all felt the impact of music on our bodies and emotions. Its powerful effect can calm us, ease pain, and give us strength: it touches something inside us beyond words. Research shows music therapy to be effective even in those who are resistive to other approaches. The aim of music therapy is to help individuals develop relationships and address issues they may not be able to explore using words alone.

Our music therapist at Academy at Sisters, Shannon Loveland, MT-BC & Oregon Licensed Music Therapist, shared with us what she and the girls have been working on. A couple of excerpts:

Group Singing – Learning Efficient Breathing Technique
This skill can translate directly as a coping skill, as it helps the body relax and absorb the most amount of oxygen possible, which immediately improves brain and body function. This technique is also used to teach body awareness and esteem; while when singing, we need to stand tall and let our bodies and bellies expand comfortably in order to sing our best. 

Music Listening
We have been learning about “Process Songs,” a type of song that an artist creates in order to process a difficult emotion or situation using the melody, rhythm, and instrumentation as means of communicating emotionally beyond  only what the words say. Each student has had the opportunity to share an example of a process song that has meaning to them, and I facilitate a supportive environment for them to share their song with the group, discuss its meaning, and hear how others experienced the same song. 

Instrumental Improvisation
Improvisation is a difficult but healthy skill to practice. It involves freeing the anxious mind and allowing it to explore its creative potential free from judgement. There is no plan for how to play; there are few rules, if any; there is no right or wrong. This can be very challenging for anyone, but more so for students who are stuck in patterns of behavior. It confronts perfectionism, social anxiety, self-image, and really any rigid belief system. 

These three examples offer a quick glimpse into music therapy. We are excited to see the progress this program helps the girls at the academy make.

Delayed Gift Arrives at Grandma’s House

Last holiday season, Car Stickers, Inc. participated in Giving Tuesday by donating 25% of the day’s sales to Grandma’s House. Learning that the biggest need was new furniture for the resident’s living room, they sponsored a large smart TV and sectional.  The furniture was manufactured by an Oregon company and was delayed for several months due to COVID, but to the delight of the Moms, the sectional arrived  this week! A comfortable space to gather gives the residents a sense of community, gifts like this help them feel valued.

Teen moms live at Grandma’s House before giving birth and then with their babies while they finish school, work, and prepare for living independently. Car Stickers, Inc., is a Bend based printing company that specializes in custom stickers, signs, banners and other marketing solutions. We thank them sincerely for their generous gift!

Jumping Toward Normal

Kimry with her painting of Capilano, along with the 2007 poster by Marta Batha that first inspired her to paint for the Oregon High Desert Classics. This year’s poster pays tribute both the multi year champion and Marta’s artwork.

We are planning the Oregon High Desert Classics this year, and while some things will return to normal, others will look different. Following US Equestrian Foundation and governmental guidelines, the event will be a competition only and spectators will not be allowed. We will all miss the Grand Prix dinners and wandering through the vendor village. We are all hopeful that next year will be a return to traditions, where we can again welcome the community to this annual event.

Happily, one tradition will be a part of this year’s event: Kimry Jelen’s artwork will provide a centerpiece for the Oregon High Desert Classics. 2021’s poster will feature Capilano, who, along with his owner and trainer Lindsey Garner, has won the Grand Prix four years in a row. The artwork also pays tribute to the poster that inspired her to paint for OHDC, painted by Marta Batha in 2007.

On First Friday in July (7/2) stop by Cascade Sotheby’s downtown office on Bond Street to see Kimry’s current art, including the work for this year’s poster. Her artwork will remain available for viewing there throughout July. Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty is a Champion Sponsor of the OHDC, presenting the Classic I Grand Prix.

Be a Host Home Hero!

Are you looking for meaningful, rewarding part-time work?  If so then we want you! Cascade Youth & Family Center (CYFC) is looking for some Host Home Heroes. You can make a difference in the life of an at-risk teen by opening up your home to provide temporary shelter. We’ll supply the “Hero” training; you supply the time and flexibility. A background check is required. Grab your cape (spandex bodysuit and spidey sense not necessary) and contact us for more information. We’ll get back to you faster than a speeding bullet! (