Christmas Gift LiftSince 1951, MHA of North Central Indiana has provided holiday gifts for residents of Howard County who are challenged with intellectual and/or mental disabilities. The Gift Lift has expanded to include residents of group homes and nursing home facilities, including those administered by Bona Vista, Howard Haven County Home, Community Howard, Howard county state hospital residents, local nursing homes, and members of Social Club. Bags are filled with gifts for each individual. Last year, the Gift Lift provided gifts for more than 420 people. These are the only gifts many recipients receive for Christmas. Gift donations and cash donations are taken all year to help us fulfill this enormous task.
Lunch on a Leash
MHA is collaborating with the Kokomo Humane Society in this pilot program designed to promote Mental Health in our community by offering workers the opportunity to get out of the office on their lunch and socialize with animals awaiting adoption at the Kokomo Humane Society. This program aligns with our national initiative to be #fitforthefuture, to enroll call (765) 459-0309. This program will kick off on September 7th.
Our community garden and urban learning center located at 1215 W. Jackson St, Kokomo, IN is a space for individuals to practice pro-active mental health activities that serve to beautify the community and provide organic vegetables to individuals who may not have access to fresh produce.
The act of growing something from a seed through careful planting, watering, tending and eventually harvesting is a natural cycle of life that can be experienced as a volunteer. Cortisol (the stress hormone) is proven to decrease while gardening, while dopamine receptors such as serotonin increase.
Our garden provides opportunities for individuals of all ages to donate their time and talents to a community that; ranks lowest in median income in Howard County boasts the highest number of vehicle-free households in Howard County and struggles with health and nutrition which leads to higher numbers of diabetes.
To date we have donated over 1,600 pounds of fresh produce to Bona Vista, Social Club members and The Crossing School.