Community Matters: May 2022
Welcome to NECC's Community Matters Newsletter. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This month's edition includes information on how to strengthen your social and emotional well-being, the NECC Lobby Art Installation celebrating The Community Fund, volunteer opportunities, and news about a former NECC basketball instructor. Check it out!
Upcoming Community Events and Resources

Mental Health Awareness Month
May is mental health awareness month – globally, 80% of people report that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health. As we continue to weather the ups and downs of this virus and its affects, you can strengthen your resilience, your mental & physical health, and your feelings of well-being by being an active part of a connected community.
According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity and exercise have both physical and psychological benefits, and “can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.” A Stanford Medicine Project cites strong social connections as having positive effects. These connections help strengthen your immune system, recover from disease faster, and lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Another benefit is that people who feel connected to others have “higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. In other words, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.”

If you or someone you know struggles with mental health, please don't hesitate to reach out to the resources linked above.
Best Wishes to Coach Earl Chaney

We want to extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery to “Coach” Earl Chaney who suffered a heart attack last month.
Starting in 2010, Coach Earl was a regular fixture on the NECC basketball court working with neighborhood youth. Coach Earl is more than a coach or basketball buff – he is an educator and mentor who makes every child feel valued and included. While Coach Earl now works at Matt Dishman Community Center, he continues to support the physical, social, and emotional development of youth through his approach to teaching basketball skills.
Coach Earl has already returned to the court, but his journey to full recovery continues. Supportive families have created a GoFundMe page to alleviate his overwhelming medical costs.
Share Your Skills, Passions.... and Recyclables!
The NECC is seeking volunteers who want to share their skills and passions with their community. Do you want to lead a Book Group or Learning Group on Racial Equity? Walking group for Wellness? Love to play MahJong? Chess? Want to Line Dance? Square Dance? Folk Dance or Swing? If you have a skill or passion to share to strengthen opportunities for social connection and improved mental health, email Executive Director, Kim Montagriff at [email protected].

Share Your Recyclables. NECC campers will be making fun and unique creations, and they need your reusable trash! If you have toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, shoe boxes, beads, colored paper, or other craft supplies in good condition, please bring them to the NECC Front Desk.
Gary Gibbs, Volunteer Extraordinaire
NECC Community Lobby Art Installation
Thank you to all 150+ of you who showed off those dazzling smiles! Stop on by the NECC Lobby from now until the end of June to check out the installation and remember what we look like behind those masks!

The event also served as a kick-off to the NECC’s spring appeal to raise funds to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in programs and activities that support health and wellness through The Community Fund.
The NECC has long provided financial assistance to individuals, families, and other community organizations, and we know that we have left some people out. One goal of the NECC’s Strategic Plan is to champion and embed equity in every aspect of our organization. One action we are taking is expanding The Community Fund to improve access to wellness and recreational activities for BIPOC participants, to low-income communities, and to others who have been disproportionately impacted by racial and social injustice, COVID-19, and other inequities. 

This spring we are reaching out to local businesses and individuals to share this story and invite their participation in providing financial resources so all our neighbors can participating in NECC programs, including fitness classes, wellness workshops, swim lessons, camps, and more.
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Northeast Community Center
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