January Newsletter

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This holiday season I had a “staycation” since we enjoyed a family wedding the week before in Toronto. One of the blessings of being in New York City over the holidays was the opportunity to catch up on life’s simple pleasures like leisurely reading the paper in my bathrobe instead of being in the gym at 7:30 each morning before dashing to the office. I also got to spend lots of time with friends. This week, Alex Shear, a dear friend and loyal Soaringwords volunteer died suddenly. He represented the best of everything that Soaringwords stands for: he had a great love of life, especially sharing high quality connections with other people. This newsletter is dedicated to his legacy and all of the joy that he brought to his family and friends.
(Photo of my son Josh, Alex Shear and me)

In a couple of weeks we’ll celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday when we will be sharing SoaringDreamCatchers activities with hospitalized children and school children to inspire them to dream big.

Wishing you and your family a new year filled with abundant health, joy, gratitude and well-being, Lisa

Soaringwords News

Recent cool Soaringwords events.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson Consumer IT team came together at a Town Hall meeting to decorate SoaringQuilts and SoaringPillows with inspirational messages and artwork to donate to hospitalized children at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Throughout 2014, J&J employees in this group will participate in hands-on Soaringwords initiatives at quarterly Divisional meetings and monthly initiatives to mentor opportunity youth at Franklin Park Elementary School. MORE PHOTOS

New Soaringwords Curricula Based on Positive Psychology

Soaringwords shared a fun and creative activity: My Best Future Self with patients at Cohen Children’s Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center. This activity motivated patients to envision themselves in powerful, expansive and positive ways.

Richard Tedeschi Video

When bad things happen, people often feel like it will break them — a serious illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job or an unfortunate event. However, scientific studies show most people recover from major life crises transformed AND even stronger than before. This phenomenon is called Posttraumatic Growth. In this new Soaringwords video, Lisa chats with Dr. Tedeschi, a leading expert in the field, who discusses how PTG is a process people go through and a place they get to when they come to recognize that they have been transformed. PTG refers to a positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event. Posttraumatic Growth is not simply a return to baseline, the way your life was before the traumatic event. Instead it is an experience of IMPROVEMENT after the traumatic event that may be extremely profound, even life changing. This video will be shared with patients, their families, and healthcare professionals in hospitals to help them experience more Posttraumatic Growth in their lives. WATCH VIDEO

Educational Outreach

Each week, JCC volunteers and Soaringwords team leaders have the joy of working with second graders to create fun and meaningful projects to donate to patients and families at Harlem Hospital.  All of these projects are infused with Character Strengths and Virtues to allow students to strengthen their self-perceptions, bolster core skills to deepen knowledge and experience the process of meta-cognition. Photo on the left: SoaringOrigami for hospitalized kids. Photo on the right: Soaringwords Character Strengths spotting exercise where students identify strengths in each other and then make unique messages and artwork based on their very own signature strengths.


It is with great sadness that we said goodbye to Alex Shear, our dear friend and loyal volunteer. Alex was tragically killed by a bus earlier this week. A quintessential New Yorker, he brought his effervescent creativity and love of life to all of the Soaringwords programs. His first event was volunteering for three days at Kennedy Airport, where he invited hundred of travelers to decorate SoaringQuilts and SoaringPillows for hospitalized children for the holidays. We fell in love with each other and he’s been part of Soaringwords’ family ever since. Alex had amassed a large collection of Americana and we plan on launching SoaringInventors in his memory, in order to inspire hospitalized children and school children to make wacky inventions inspired by pieces in his collection in order to cheer ill kids.
SoaringHealth & Wellness Soaringwords is proud to introduce a 9 part Soaringwords Book Club video series based on DIGGING DEEP A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges written by Rose Offner & Sheri Brisson. Journaling is proven to enhance a patient’s sense of well-being as writing about the narratives of our lives is one of the most powerful means available for moving toward greater happiness (Tomasulo and Pawelski, 2012).  Three author interview videos share personal stories and pointers to using the journal. We created a special video for patients, a separate video for parents, and a third video for healthcare providers.  The authors combined their talents and experience — Rose is a successful author and Sheri is a brain-tumor survivor and successful businesswoman. Soaringwords filmed six Digging Deep activity videos with patients and families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California and Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.  These creative hands-on activity videos include Life Awards You where patients give themselves an award for being courageous, kind, or resilient; 100 Dreams and Desires; Good Fortunes where patients write their own fortune cookie messages; and Taking Out the Trash. When patients engage in these projects it enhances their well-being. WATCH VIDEOS

Touch Points

Winter and Summer internship applications are open. Soaringwords has mentored more than 110 interns and we are looking for people who are intelligent, full of zest and curiosity, creative and want to make meaningful contributions. For internship information and applicationhere. Please contact us if you are interested in launching a team-building employee volunteer program, off-site, inspirational speaker or community event. Share Soaringwords for Take Your Child to Work Day on Thursday, April 24. Kindly contact lisa@soaringwords.org or call Greta at 646-674-7105 to set up a time to speak with us.