Letter from the Executive Director - Kim Humphrey
Dear Friends,

2019 is in full swing! If January is an indicator of things to come, PAL is in for an amazing year! We have trained many new facilitators and have about 20 new meetings starting so far this year.  PAL has about 250 active facilitators now and our office is working to respond to the ever growing needs to start new meetings and take care of our existing meetings.  We are excited to have a new grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield that will allow us to provide better volunteer services. The grant will help with personnel costs, new software to assist our volunteers with more training, updates for meetings and much more.

We are also thrilled with an amazing group of volunteers in the Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana area that are working tirelessly to put together our first Midwest Conference and Banquet.  Did you know we have more meetings in that area than any other area in the country?  We are hoping those in the surrounding states will take advantage of this great opportunity to attend the event. Myself and Mike Speakman, the founder of PAL, will be there and would love to meet as many of you as possible.

As we move into our fifth year as a non-profit, we will be working to develop a sustainable funding plan to help keep PAL available for as long as it is needed.  We are so grateful for all our supporters who have made PAL a priority and helped us meet our financial goals last year.  We look forward to sharing the blessings that you are responsible for as more and more people are reached with the help of PAL meetings. 

Of course, please don’t forget how important our volunteer facilitators are! They are the backbone of PAL and their efforts each week are what makes a difference in the lives of others.  Please consider starting a meeting if there is not one near you.  We will be there to help you along the way and it will reach so many more families!  It will also give you an opportunity to learn and grow with your own group!

Occasionally, as you know, we lose loved ones to this disease. In the past, families have asked for people to send a donation to PAL in honor of their loved one. We recently had this happen and our staff was moved by the touching comments we received. We took time to pray for that family. We don’t want to forget the beautiful lives cut short or the amazing gifts of support for PAL from families who want to give back and honor their loved ones. We are working on how we can best remember those we have lost and celebrate the hope that PAL brings.

Finally, our blogs are back, including a guest blog from PAL’s board chair, Jim Kreitler. Our regular blogger Ron Paterik is off this month due to moving his practice. He will be back next issue. Also, don’t forget to get your tickets to the Midwest Conference and Banquet. You can read about it in this newsletter.

As always, we do appreciate your prayers of support in this new year.

God Bless,
Kim Humphrey
Executive Director, PAL  
PAL Guest Blog: Jim Kreitler
On Being Mindful
Now that the Holidays are receding in my consciousness, I looked back to see how I handled them this year. It’s my favorite time of year, but for some it can be stressful, hectic, sad, or lonely. My wife and I had a quieter than normal Holiday as our adult children and their families were not able to visit. We decided to have a gift-free Christmas and focus on the reason for the season and found that our stress was reduced enormously.

Life in general can be difficult throughout the year. Financial pressure, the loved one who is struggling and our relationships and responsibilities can cause us to emotionally burn out. This can result in actions and responses that we regret and can make things worse.

One technique for managing the hectic and emotional aspects of life is developing a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is an exercise in non-judgmental self-awareness and emotional self-regulation. It involves taking take time out of our busy day to slow down, sit quietly and practice being in the present and observing ourselves and our world.

Mindfulness is being used by many counselors in diverse therapeutic situations and interventions. Research has shown it reduces stress, improves physical/emotional health and increases attention span. Closely associated with meditation and yoga, it requires no formal training and has very simple instructions.
Read More
Fry's Food/ Kroger Benefit PAL
Fry's Foods / Kroger are helping PAL!

It's easy and again, it's free. 

If you live in Arizona, Indiana or Ohio - please connect your Fry's Foods/Kroger rewards to our account. It’s easy- and again it’s free.

Please share with all of your family and friends to help PAL every time you shop!  You do need to re-enroll each year, if you didn’t re-enroll in August please do so for January – August for 2019.

Note: the following link will take you to an instruction sheet to sign up, if you are from Indiana / Ohio, look for PAL in your state.

Click here for instructions on signing up for Fry's Foods Community Rewards Program.
A PAL Parent's Story:
If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

“Oh, thank God I found the next of kin!” exclaimed the voice on my cell phone.  My heart dropped - or did it stop?  The frightening words I heard were my worst nightmare.  We were traveling cross-country in our motorhome when the call came in.

Our journey with our son began more than 20 years ago, though we didn't realize we were even on the journey for many of those early years.  It was just “normal” kid stuff.  It was just another “phase.”  What is “normal” anyway when it comes to kids?  Defiance?  Skipping school?  Drugs?  Drinking?  Any of these things in moderation I suppose would be considered “normal” kid behavior.  At what point do we begin to be concerned?

How about a 6 pack (or more) for breakfast?  What about draining every drop of liquor in the cabinet?  Our daughter finding her brother drooling and near death after huffing chemicals in the garage?  I’m not really sure when it progressed to such a degree.  It seemed to be years, yet it felt as though it was just overnight.

When he was 17 things had gotten extreme and he was continuing to spiral out of control.  We feared for his life, and felt we were running out of time.  Soon he would be 18 and we would no longer have any leverage (we thought), so we opted to trick him into treatment.  On the premise of a temporary job out of state he flew to Utah where he was taken basically screaming and fighting into a treatment facility.

He stayed there for 10 months and seemed to have an amazing recovery experience.  We were invited to visit a couple of times, but the program did not include support or education for the families and loved ones.  He graduated from the program and returned home.  We enrolled him in his old high school so he could finish his senior year.  We were thrilled — he was cured! (Or rather, we were naive enough at the time to believe that.)

Read More
Tickets are on Sale! - April 13, 2019

Blog: Living YOUR Best Life
Fear driven thinking and reactionary behaviors are an unfortunate facet of the human condition. Ingrained in our DNA is an animal like chemical reaction that begets a loop of anxiety in the modern age. Initially these types of reactions were vital for survival, and to some degree, they still are fight or flight mechanisms in dangerous situations. But for most of us, especially those living with mental health/addictive disorders, or those of us living with someone suffering from these diseases, this intricate biological system went awry. How many times have we sat and suffered in a panicked state, worried that someone we love would be lost if we didn’t step in immediately and “fix” the situation? How often do we ruminate endlessly on our own shortcomings, or the dire situations of our friends and family? More often than not it seems.
Anxiety is the plague of the 21st century. Sociologically, psychologically, culturally, these types of ailments are commonplace in our modern times, and with a sigh of tired resignation, many people have accepted the normalcy of these types of issues on a personal level. Don’t get me wrong; it is normal, to some degree, to experience these emotions and feelings. But what I am interested in, for myself and humanity at large, is practical solutions or remedies to this type of thinking. Instead of expending our vital life energy worrying our days away, agonizing over fruitless mental loops of darkness, we can, together, truly live free with some simple implementation of disciplined steps toward better mental health. And, when we can walk through these struggles, and come out on the other side with a newfound freedom, this then allows us to better support others in our lives who are struggling. Put simply, you can’t save a drowning man if you yourself are drowning.
How often, looking back on this past year, did we engage in enabling or codependent behaviors with our loved ones who were struggling? Oftentimes these types of endeavors come at the cost of our own emotional and physical health. Fruitlessly attempting to cajole, bribe, or beg someone to get the help they so desperately need just leaves us more broken and disappointed. Through my own life experiences in recovery over the past few years, I’ve learned (the hard way) that the best way to help others is to first help yourself. There is a vast network of support and various tools at our disposal, often free of any charge, that enable us to begin this journey of empowerment.
Read More
Mark Your Calendar - April 2, 2019

Arizona Gives Day Returns April 2

Join us for 24 hours of giving to benefit Arizona nonprofits, specifically PAL!
On April 2nd, during one day of online giving, donors will open their hearts 
and wallets to support their favorite Arizona non-profit, PAL!

It’s a whirlwind of just 24 hours,
but the impact of Arizona Gives Day can be long-lasting!

And, you don't have to be an Arizona resident to give!

Please mark your calendars and watch for more information.
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