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“I Have A Friend” A unique family bond

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April 2017

Virginia Organizing

April Cover artist

by christina ferber

By Laurie Black

Perhaps the greatest gift we can give others is our time. Senior Visitors volunteer, Nancy Wright, has been giving her time to seniors in our community since 2008. The time Nancy and other volunteers give to seniors has a wonderful ripple effect, having a positive impact on the senior, the senior’s family, the volunteer, and the whole community. Nancy has been visiting Josephine for over a year. Josephine lives with her granddaughter, Phyllis, and her family. Phyllis glowingly reports that having Nancy visit her grandmother is so helpful and “a real joy.” With a busy household, kids in school and different schedules, Phyllis explains, “It is so nice that my grandmother has a special someone to visit with. Nancy is so encouraging and kind, and is there to focus on her.” Phyllis goes on to say that Josephine is quiet and reserved, but visits with Nancy are a great stimulation for her mind and a distraction from her chronic back pain. Nancy speaks just as highly of Josephine and her family. “Josephine’s family is very kind and accepting. I always feel welcome in their home. Josephine and I are both from Pennsylvania, so we can talk about our Pennsylvania roots. Sometimes Josephine shares family pictures and memories with me. We look at magazines, put puzzles together, and I read to Josephine every time I visit.” Nancy says that they also enjoy looking at recipes and talking about food they both enjoy. Once Nancy purchased all the ingredients and Josephine directed Nancy on how to make meat balls “the old fashioned way.” Then Phyllis cooked them and they all enjoyed them over pasta! When asked how often she visits, Nancy replies, “The Senior Visitors Program asks that volunteers give an hour a week, but I sometimes extend my visits.

Pete Morelewicz

Giving Us a Voice

I am not a care provider, but I feel comfortable sitting with Josephine while Phyllis goes for a walk or runs an errand.” Phyllis agrees, “Nancy is so flexible. I never know when something will come up, so I appreciate that Nancy is willing to come at different times when we need to reschedule. And I’m comfortable if I need to go out, knowing that my grandmother will be here having quality time with Nancy.” Nancy went on to explain, “Volunteering fills a need in my life. We have developed a unique family bond. Josephine’s family is like an extension of my family.” Phyllis and Josephine also feel like Nancy is family. Sometimes the three of them will have lunch together or celebrate a holiday or birthday together. Phyllis affirms that the Senior Visitors Program has been a wonderful experience for their family. They are so grateful for Nancy’s cheerful friendship and the connections they have made in the community through the Senior Visitors Program. April is a fitting time to pay tribute to Nancy, the many volunteers who serve in the Senior Visitors Program, and all the volunteers who serve in any April is capacity in our community. National Volunteer Month - a time to recognize and celebrate the time, talents, and support volunteers contribute – bringing strength and unity to our community. Thank someone you know who volunteers or become a volunteer this month! For more information call Mental Health America of Fredericksburg at (540) 371-2704 or visit their website at mhafred.org to download volunteer or senior applications. Laurie Black is the Administrative Ass’t for the Senior Visitor’s Program

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Do you want to take a more active part in your community, but wonder how to really make a difference? Virginia Organizing was created for just that reason: to empower us with tools to take action and create lasting change. Virginia Organizing is a non-profit, grass-roots group that offers opportunities for community members to speak up and address issues that affect their quality of life. This non-partisan organization’s mission states that it strives to get people to work together toward change in a nonviolent, democratic way. “I started with Virginia Organizing because it really is about making change,” says August Donahue, a Virginia Organizing leader. “As we put our agenda forward each year, we look at stakeholders, as well as the likelihood of success, in order to make the change the community asks for.” Virginia Organizing works on national and statewide issues, but each chapter looks at community needs and addresses those local issues as the main part of their yearly agenda. The local Fredericksburg area chapter has addressed issues such as disparities in disciplinary action within our schools, which resulted in the recent memorandum of understanding between the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Department and Spotsylvania County Schools. They have also worked to have a mural changed in order to better represent community diversity. “There is a wide gamut of things that we do. Through workshops and marches, as well as voter registration days, we work to help the community speak up for themselves,” says Eunice Haigler, another leader in the organization. “We welcome members of the community to come to us with concerns that are important to them, because one of our main goals is to give people a voice.” Workshops that Virginia Organizing holds range from topics such as dismantling racism to restoration of rights, and they also teach members how to lobby and write letters to the editor to advocate for change. Nationwide and statewide issues such as immigration, social security, healthcare and voter’s rights are also addressed within the organization. “One of the reasons I love Virginia Organizing is that people have the freedom to choose an issue that they are passionate about, and we give them tools

By A.E. Bayne

to effect change,” says Donahue. “If there is something you want addressed, we are happy to listen and decide if it is something we truly can work toward.” Meetings are held on the 3rd

Pete Morelewicz is a new face on the Fredericksburg arts scene. After twenty years of working as a graphic designer in Washington, D.C., Morelewicz and his wife, Christine Henry, recently moved to Fredericksburg so that Henry could be closer to her job at UMW and so Morelewicz might pursue something he felt he couldn't in D.C., a career as an

Wednesday of each month at the headquarters branch of the Rappahannock Regional Library. You can learn more about the organization at . w w w . v i r g i n i a organizing.org/category/chapters/frederi cksburg/ or on their Facebook page: Fredericksburg Virginia Organizing. The next big event for the Fredericksburg chapter is an Adult Easter Egg Hunt at Kenmore Park on April 22 nd from 1 to 3 pm. It is open to those 18 and over and will be an opportunity to feel like a kid again, and maybe even win some great prizes in the process. Purchased tickets will help them continue their mission of empowering others. To find out more about the event or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/adulteaster-egg-hunt-tickets-32931750753.

From Morelewicz Postage Stamp Series of

artist. His cover image represents that new direction.

Morelewicz says his work is traditionally everevolving and represents whatever catches his eye. He describes the cover piece, a screen print that he made on his laptop, as inspired by his background and love of architecture. Creating the image allowed Morelewicz to discover his neighborhood and the architectural treasures that surround him in his new home. He says, "The best inspiration is local. I have an architecture degree, so I have a fascination with buildings and built environments. The buildings in the image are those in our neighborhood that stand out. The foreground is the river, behind which are the streets that move away from it. The last image in is the”Purina Tower, w” which is fairly imposing and super iconic. I've drawn it oversized and out of scale, the only 3D thing in the piece, tilted off axis, in shadow, because that's how dominant it is. It feels like it's watching over us." Morelewicz's work covers a wide variety of blank note cards mediums, including graphics, photography, mixed media and paint arts. He has a mild obsession with Bob Ross, whom he credits with his early forays into painting.

Discover more of Morelewicz's designs at www.printjazz.com. Welcome to the neighborhood, Pete!

A.E. Bayne is a writer, artists, and educator who lives in Fredericksburg. She publishes Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review and is a partner in the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival.

Morelewicz found what he calls the perfect foil to his graphic design work in Washington, D.C. when he began delving into letterpress arts. He says, "While sitting in front of a computer all day, I missed the tactility of design. I started collecting letterpress equipment, as well as the lead and wood type and accoutrements that go with it. I would escape to the basement of our house in D.C. and mess around with letterpress. You have so much control with the computer; you can shrink the text or change the kerning slightly to make it fit, but you really don't have that using a piece of metal. Letterpress forces me to change design ideas. The letterpress, with its physical limitations, becomes part of the design. It allows me to use a different piece of the creative brain."

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April 2017

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Front Porch Fredericksburg - April 2017  
Front Porch Fredericksburg - April 2017  
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