June 5th our Rotary Club had 2 employee honorees as our guests. They were recognized by fellow Rotarians, Linda Pearson with the Corona Regional Medical Center nominated Pilar Triguero and Jeff Fraser with Master Stream ERP nominated Heidi Juarez. These folks were nominated for their outstanding work at these companies. Bill Steinkirchner owner of Stone Church, also nominated 2 employees who could not join us for our meeting. Well done everyone!
Our speakers for March 6th, were Diane McDonald, Ruth Olson and Jill Wakefield. These women along with fellow Rotarian, Elaine Harris, provide support groups at local Corona schools for adolescent grief and loss. Jill Wakefield spoke about how grieving causes some people to get depressed. And in turn can lead to drinking and drugs to deal with their depression. She helps students to process grief through art. She has her students draw a happy memory, or an object to remember their lost loved one in a happy way. She says boys tend to get angry, and girls turn inward. These sessions help them to cope with their grief. At the end of their therapy sessions, they have a party and everyone is asked to bring their loved ones favorite foods.
Ruth Olson is a counselor and works with Elaine Harris at Santiago High School. She says the kids in the therapy sessions feel connected to each other because they are all experiencing grief. They learn from one another. They try to get the students to focus on the positive. A grieving student tends to miss a lot of school. The number one reason is due to anxiety. Diane McDonald works at Corona Regional Medical Center hospice program. A typical session group are 8-10 students for 8 weeks of therapy. She asks the students at the end of the sessions if they are helped with the counseling. A lot of the kids only come to school on counseling days because they know they will be seeing their friends in therapy. They learn that their depression is part of the process. They know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Diane does a lot of grant writing to get funding for the program. Many thanks to all these women for the invaluable service they provide to our youth who are grieving.
This week’s speaker was Bob Huff a TIP volunteer. TIP stands for Trauma Intervention Program. “Citizens Helping Citizens in Crisis” is their motto. The TIP program is a team of specially trained citizen volunteers who are called to emergency scenes by hospital and public safety personnel to assist family members after a sudden death, victims of crime, witnesses to tragedy, children left alone after the death or injury of a parent, and anyone traumatized by a crisis event. TIP volunteers work 24/7 365 days a year. Our local volunteers are requested on site by the Corona Fire Department, Corona Police Department, or the Corona Regional Medical Center. They come to help fellow citizens in need in the worse situations of their lives. The volunteer never knows what type of tragedy they will be responding to. Training consists of classroom work and riding along with CPD and CFD. There are 31 active volunteers in the Corona area. They have served over a 1,000 residents. Not everyone is able to be a TIP volunteer. It is difficult not to internalize someone else’s tragedy. The program is always seeking more capable volunteers. Our fellow Rotarian, James, talked about how much the TIP volunteers assist the Corona Police Department. And he recalled how different times were before this program was implemented. We are all grateful to know that these wonderful volunteers live in our community and are ready to respond if we should ever find ourselves in a time of crisis.