Friday, October 31, 2008

Get your vote on!!!!!

If you don't know the location of your polling site, you can do one of the following:
  • Search with the
  • Call the Voter Phone Bank at 1.866.VOTE.NYC
  • E-mail your complete home address to and you'll be e-mailed your polling location. (Please put in the subject line the borough in which you reside.)
Polling sites are open 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
--EXPECT LONG LINES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Polling places are located throughout the city. You can vote ONLY at your designated polling place. Make sure you are at the correct polling site and Election District/Assembly District (ED/AD) for your address.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Article: Mental Health in Iraq

This is an interesting story on the state of mental health services in Iraq:

Doctors work to rescue patients in Iraq's mental health system

  • Patients crowd filthy rooms at Iraq's sole facility for treating severe mental disorders
  • Doctor says the mentally ill men and women have nowhere else to go
  • But health workers hope change for the better will come

By Phil Black

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The man sits gently rocking on the bed, one hand clutching a cloth, the other hiding his face from view.

Few patients ever leave Al Rashad hospital, doctors say.

Few patients ever leave Al Rashad hospital, doctors say.

He doesn't look up and he doesn't want to talk. His body language screams despair.

Across the tiled room, other men are sitting on thin, filthy mattresses atop metal bed frames.

"Our life is miserable. It is dirty. The food is bad. Life is very bad here," says one of them, Abu Ismaeil. "I'm always hungry. I do not want to lie. Shame on me if I lie."

Yet, in Iraq, these are some of the luckier ones, and even Abu Ismaeil agrees. Without the hospital. "I would commit suicide," he said.

Their clothes and surroundings may be drab, but these mentally ill people are fortunate to be in Al Rashad Hospital, Iraq's only treatment facility for severe psychiatric disorders.

More than 1,000 patients, most of them suffering chronic schizophrenia, call the bleak buildings home.

Through their individual stories, there is one overwhelmingly common theme -- abandonment. In a country where life is difficult for the healthy, the mentally ill are seen to bring shame and greater hardship to families.

Dr. Raghad Issa Sarsam, a psychiatrist, says most of his patients have been rejected by their loved ones. Without the hospital, they would be wandering outside, begging, he said.

"They have no place else to stay but here," he said. "Otherwise, they would be on the streets, and I think that would be inhuman."

But once in the hospital, few ever go home again.

Former English teacher Um Ibrahim has not seen her husband and children in three years, since being admitted.

"I want to go to my family," she said in the women's ward.

But they don't want her, and that is common among the patients, Sarsam said.

"They are already rejected by their families because of their chronic illness. They don't want them anymore, even if they become a bit better."

Doctors at Al Rashad Hospital say the numbers of people needing help will continue to grow because of the nationwide trauma suffered during and since the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Some hope that Iraq's health minister, Salih al-Hasnawi, himself a psychiatrist, might begin to effect change.

The doctors are right to have some cause for optimism, according to Dr. Mohammed Al-Uzri, an Iraqi-born psychiatrist now based in Leicester, England, who was recently with al-Hasnawi in Baghdad for Iraq's third National Conference on Mental Health that agreed on five themes to make improvements.

"There is so much need, you can make a huge difference without much of a budget. We have huge human resources [in Iraq] and a huge amount of resilience," said Al-Uzri, who chairs a subcommittee on Iraq for Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Al-Uzri acknowledged the huge challenges that lie ahead for the mental health service and broader health system, which suffered through decades of neglect in the Hussein era and continues to do so amid the war. While he said Iraq did not have to start from scratch, as it had a history of good health care, he agreed that organizing care for the mentally ill remains rare right now.

"Mental health services are providing for a small part of the population. [Most needs] are being met -- or unmet -- by whatever else is available. Families are taking the burden of that."

But there is the will to change things, said Al-Uzri, who was able to meet health workers at this month's conference, which was held for the first time inside Iraq -- itself a visible sign of progress.

And the need for mental health care is likely just to grow and grow, even as Iraq becomes more peaceful, Al-Uzri said.

"We are beginning to see, with the security improving, all kinds of services are needed, " he said.

"A year ago, all people worried about was staying alive and having something to eat. Now, it's becoming more and more involved."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Loan Consolidation

Hey everyone,

Not sure if anyone still needs this kind of information, but in case you are interested in consolidating your student loans you can go to this website: You can fill out an application online or you can call (800) 557-7392 to have an application mailed to you (I also called and asked some questions).

I hadn't realized it, but apparently no other lenders are consolidating loans due to some legislation that went into place last October I believe.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Style tips from Seniors

One of the things I most loved about working with seniors was their style! They have seen numerous fashion trends come and go, they are not afraid to take fashion risks, they dress in what pleases them, and they love to accessorize.

If your having a hard-time coming up with new and fantastic outfits to wear, take a tip or two from some of the seniors featured in Advanced Style. From dapper three-piece suit, gobs of funky jewelery, vividly colored and patterned fabrics to monochromatic dressing, these seniors will become your fashion muses.

California Voter Info

For Californians living outside the state, here are some handy links to keep you in the loop. Voter registration deadlines are approaching fast!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Free theater tix!

Another tip to be cool and enjoy a night out.
Sign up for free tickets for fun shows.
I have tickets for October 23rd. If anyone's interested, let me know.

Free/Cheap Software for Non-profits offers donated or super cheap software to non-profits:)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Useful Computer Tips

We spend bulk of our time in front of the computer and thought these tips might be helpful!
Especially when your boss is popping behind your back and you have to switch from the gchat to a excel spreadsheet..

TECHNOLOGY October 2, 2008 Pogue's Posts: Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User David Pogue Last week, I wrote an entry on my blog that began like this: “One of these days, I’m going to write a book called, ‘The Basics.’ It’s going to be a compendium of the essential tech bits that you just assume everyone knows–but you’re wrong. “(I’ll never forget watching a book editor at a publishing house painstakingly [...]

Friday, October 3, 2008

Good Personal Finance Website keeps track of everything you spend for you... good for making a budget;)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

YNPN(Young Nonprofit Professionals Network)

Their email list is quite resourseful with job posts, events, q&a...You can advertise your event too! This is where I got the infomation about fitness for nonprofit.

Their website is and you can sign up for the email list there!

*Courtney, do I get any prize for being an active blogger? ;P

Seeing the Show Without Breaking the Bank

Yes, this is how I saw Rent(4times), AvenueQ, Wicked, In the heights(2times) in the front row for $25 or something.