Category Archives: Central Florida

Help for the Hopeless: Recovery Options for Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Addiction Is A Disease

There are hundreds of individuals each year in Florida that may be facing a very serious disease that often goes unchecked and many times unnoticed by those living around the ones who suffer with it. This unrelenting and tragic disease is called addiction. The sad truth is this scary and often lonely disease can overcome anyone who falls into its grasp. It affects men, women and teens all over the state. In the Jacksonville area alone, there have been statistics calculated since 2015 showing that over 3800 people have sadly lost their lives to just one of these deadly addictions – Opioids.


Opioid Use Is Rising

Drug and alcohol abuse is a difficult subject for some people to discuss and one of the reasons behind it is because for them – it hits home. Yes, there are families all over the state that are dealing with a  teen, college student, parent, or even grandparent who is affected and hooked on one of the many different substances that people abuse and get addicted with every year. Opioids is a hot topic across our country lately and has to be dealt with soon or the number of deaths that are tragically lost will increase greatly. Some types of substances that individuals tend to become addicted to are: alcohol, club drugs, cocaine, Fentanyl, hallucinogens, inhalants, Heroin, Marijuana, MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly), Methamphetamine.


Why Aren’t We Doing More To Help Stop It?

If thousands of people are losing their lives to this horrible addiction of drug or alcohol abuse, why aren’t we doing more to stop it? Maybe there is a lack of awareness on this subject? It’s possible the majority of people out there in Florida are just not informed well enough about the seriousness of the disease and what it does to literally handicap the mind of those who are battling with it day to day. Addiction of this magnitude can literally plaque the mind and body so much that it makes the sufferer feel trapped and stuck in their addiction of drug or alcohol abuse believing that there is no way out. Unfortunately this feeling of hopelessness inside can prevent someone from truly getting the help and assistance they need to break their addiction and fight this deadly disease.


How To Find Help For The Hopeless

Why aren’t the families of those who have these addictions trying harder to get them the help they need? Maybe their loved ones are avoiding the issue and choosing to turn a blind eye because they just aren’t sure what to do to help them.  If this is the case, it’s time to put an end to that feeling of hopelessness for all parties involved. Let’s stop the sleepless nights wondering if your loved one is going to be alive in the morning. No more worrying how you are going to get them the help they need. There are solutions out there. Rehab and recovery centers exist to eliminate that feeling of being trapped and bring help to the hopeless. Find real support for drug detox in Jacksonville Florida and get answers to your biggest questions today. Isn’t it worth it to act now and choose to help prevent another unnecessary and tragic death in Florida?


If you need added encouragement to help you while you and your loved one are facing the reality of conquering this scary disease of addiction together, feel free to check out some of my favorite verses for calming the soul and bringing peace.


Discover Safari Wilderness – 1 of the Top 10 Safaris in the US!

Time to add another exciting adventure in Central Florida to our list! Check out this amazing opportunity to take your family or friends to visit Safari Wilderness today! Read about all the fun ways to view, photograph, learn more about, and interact with the animals at Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, FL!

Our family is going to be visiting TODAY for a sneaky surprise for my daughter’s 11th birthday! You won’t want to miss the delightful pics and stories of our adventure coming up tomorrow!

Feel worlds away at Safari Wilderness, no passport or long-haul flights required

LAKELAND, FL (November 6, 2017) – Rivaling the African savanna, the dramatic, 260-acre landscape of Safari Wilderness sets the scene for an unforgettable, family adventure. Located halfway between Tampa and Orlando in scenic Lakeland, Polk County, Florida, this family-owned, working game ranch offers an up-close encounter with herds of roaming exotic animals—without the crowds and lines found at theme parks and zoos.

During the signature vehicle safari, an experienced guide leads a small group of adventurers in a custom safari vehicle through the open vista of grazing animals surrounded by cypress domes and bay trees. Under the truck’s shaded canopy, guests are safe, cool and comfortable year-round, and everyone has the perfect view. Safari highlights include close-up encounters with Eland, Red Lechwe, Sitatunga, Waterbuck, Grant’s Zebra, Greater Kudu, Watusi Cattle, Barasingha, Axis Deer, Fallow Deer, Water Buffalo, Scimitar-Horned Oryx and Nilgai. Guests may also take part in hands-on interactions with many species that feed from the vehicle. Pricing is $90 per guest. All ages are welcome.

Other tour options include a 90-minute camelback expedition in which guests can join the ranch’s roaming animals by becoming a part of the herd. Two experienced tour guides and handlers lead camels through the pristine wilderness. This is the only full-on camel-backed game-viewing safari outside of Africa. Pricing is $180 per guest. Children ages three to five must ride with an adult. Children under age three are not permitted.

Another option, game viewing by kayak, offers a unique perspective that is active, adventurous and educational. During this tour, guides lead small groups to easily navigate freshwater areas and encounter wetland species such as common and Defassa Waterbuck and Red Lechwe. Kayakers will also spot a variety of common local Waterfowl and upland birds such as Killdeer, Egrets, Herons, Ibis, Spoonbills, Cormorants, Wood Duck, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Kestrel, Red-shouldered Hawk, Meadowlark, Black and Turkey Vulture. Pricing is $180 per person. Children ages five to eight must ride with an adult. Children under age five are not permitted.

Any of the above safari experiences can be extended with the following add-on activities:

  • Lemur feeding – Enter the Ring-tailed Lemur habitat with a guide and hand feed grapes to a troop of playful and polite Prosimians. This “guest favorite” is in high demand and limited to a few participants per day.
  • Budgie feeding – Enter an outdoor aviary with a guide and feed up to 200 beautiful Budgie Parakeets. These colorful, sweet and playful creatures will land to eat seed straight out of a willing hand.
  • Guinea pig feeding – Guinea pigs live in colonies, which are fascinating to experience. The whole colony greets guests with excited whistling in anticipation of being fed.

Available by reservation only, tours are strictly limited in size to ensure a high-quality experience for every guest. Each guided safari lasts approximately one and a half to two hours. For online reservations visit or call (813) 382-2120.

In addition to tours, Safari Wilderness offers facility rentals—including the option of a full buyout—to host weddings, field trips, birthday parties, company holiday parties and corporate groups. For rental information visit

Follow Safari Wilderness on Facebook and Instagram at @SafariWilderness and on Twitter at @SafariWild.

Let me know if you get to go visit Safari Wilderness! I can’t wait to hear how you liked it! It’s now on our top ten list of family friendly experiences in Central Florida! Lots of beautiful pics coming soon from our visit!

Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou

Florida Beach Vacation Within A Budget


Carrying around heavy beach equipment such as beach chairs, umbrella, and cooler while dealing with whiny, tired kids in wet bathing suits on an hour or more car ride home has never been my idea of relaxing family entertainment. I prefer to choose a Florida beach vacation within a budget with an overnight stay in an affordable hotel and enjoy making a full weekend of it! You would probably agree that getting spoiled enjoying a walk-on style beach hotel, refreshing pool, maybe an air-conditioned arcade, restaurant dining for meals, and other amenities such as mini-golf, shuffle board, playgrounds, and more would be much more relaxing and suitable for positive family memories that the scenario I mentioned earlier.


Family Friendly Florida Beach Vacation

Where does one go to enjoy a family friendly Florida beach vacation that doesn’t break the bank? One of these affordable hotel gems we recently learned about from my brother and his wife while they were visiting in Florida and stayed in St. Pete’s Beach at the Dolphin Beach Resort. Their hotel room was attractively decorated, pleasantly air-conditioned, and the back sliding door to the room opened right up onto the beach on the Gulf side of Florida.  They had two teenage children with them and my mother also came along. The family as a whole greatly appreciated the first floor accommodations and easy access to the beach and Gulf anytime they wished. Overall my brother and his wife shared they had a marvelous experience and were delighted it was convenient short drive to visit Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL as well both on their way to and from staying at the Dolphin Beach Resort.

Dolphin Beach Resort

Great For Special Occasions

It was both timely and helpful to have their input as my husband and I were approaching our 24th Wedding Anniversary and were hoping to find something special within our limited budget that would still have the allure of the beach nearby and a relaxing pool to cool off in when we didn’t want to go in the ocean. Both the reasonable price and convenient beach access seemed perfect for a weekend getaway with or without the kids. Knowing our summer is drawing to a close soon, we decided bringing the kids along was probably the best bet even if it ends up having to wait until September for hubby’s birthday. A weekend stay at the Dolphin Hotel is something to consider for your next special occasion!

I’m hoping to bring you some new updates and breath-taking pictures very soon after we enjoy our romantic and family oriented mini stay at the Dolphin Beach Resort in St. Pete’s beach, FL. Keep living life to the fullest and check back with us often on ways to make memories with your family while on a budget.

Meet Legendary NASA Astronaut Story Musgrave at MOSI


Calling all parents, educators, and homeschoolers! This is it, my friends! Your chance to take the kids on the ultimate field trip for Earth Science  or Space Technology, and Meet NASA’s only five-shuttle astronaut at MOSI during World Space Week!

Legendary NASA Astronaut Story Musgrave will share tales from his space missions before special screenings of the IMAX® film Hubble on Oct. 8.

Tampa, Florida – Get up close with Story Musgrave, who repaired the Hubble Space Telescope and became the only astronaut to fly on all five space shuttles, during An Afternoon with an Astronaut at the Museum of Science & Industry on October 8, 2016.


Musgrave will answer questions and share tales from his 53 days in space – including 27 hours working outside the space shuttle on spacewalks – before special showings of the award-winning film Hubble on the five-story screen of MOSI’s Florida Hospital IMAX® DOME Theatre.

During An Afternoon with An Astronaut on Oct. 8, guests will have two opportunities to hear Musgrave, at 12 pm or 3 pm. Musgrave will give a talk about saving the Hubble Space Telescope and take questions from the audience, followed by a showing of the IMAX® film Hubble. Tickets for this two-hour event are $15, or $10 for MOSI members.


Something else to consider during your exciting field trip adventure: You can choose an Add-On Astronaut Experience option if you wish. Come enjoy an intimate meet-and-greet while munching on light snacks and drinks. You’ll have the opportunity to talk one-on-one and bring home a special keepsake photo with Story Musgrave to give you and your kids the ultimate astronaut experience! Don’t miss adding this meet-and-greet experience onto your Afternoon with an Astronaut ticket for just $15.

If you are going to be vacationing in the Central Florida area the week of Oct 8, this is a great way to highlight your special trip to Florida and make some incredible memories!

“There’s always something new and exciting happening at MOSI, and we’ll be celebrating World Space Week with one of the most celebrated astronauts in American history,” said MOSI President & CEO Molly Demeulenaere. “When Story Musgrave tells a tale, it’s so captivating because he has seen and done more than most of us can imagine. And he loves answering people’s questions about living and working in space.”

Seating for An Afternoon with an Astronaut is limited; tickets are available now at World Space Week is a global celebration of space exploration, commemorated each year from October 4 – 10.

About Story Musgrave

Story Musgrave is the only astronaut to have flown on all five space shuttles and, with six different college degrees, he is the most formally educated astronaut in American history.

Known especially for his work repairing and saving the Hubble Space Telescope, Musgrave has logged more than 53 days in space and has spent a total of more than 27 hours outside the space shuttle on spacewalks.

Beyond his out-of-this-world work as an astronaut, Musgrave has served as a U.S. Marine; worked as a professional mathematician; and become an accomplished pilot, flight instructor, and expert parachutist who used freefalls to study the workings of the human body.

As a medical doctor and surgeon, Musgrave has written or co-authored 25 scientific papers on aerospace medicine, surgery techniques, and other topics.

Many of the vital tools used by astronauts in orbit over the past 35 years were developed with guidance from Musgrave, including spacesuits, airlocks, and other key equipment. Musgrave performed the first spacewalk in the history of the space shuttle program to test the devices he had helped design.

Musgrave’s spaceflight career includes two flights on space shuttle Challenger and one each on Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour – where Musgrave’s spacewalks added corrective lenses to the flawed Hubble Space Telescope – and Columbia.

Musgrave came from an abusive family that was devastated by alcoholism, and Musgrave left high school without his diploma. But during his time in the Marine Corps, Musgrave earned his GED, and he went on after his military career to earn two bachelor’s degrees, three master’s degrees, and become a medical doctor.

Speaking about his work to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, one of the greatest tools in the history of science, Musgrave said, “When you’re looking that far out, you’re giving people their place in the universe, it touches people. Science is often visual, so it doesn’t need translation. It’s like poetry, it touches you.”


Read Story’s official NASA bio:


Reserve your ticket for An Afternoon with an Astronaut:

Pokemon Go App: What are Poke Stops and Where to Find Them


Pokemon Go App: What are Poke Stops and Where to Find Them

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a terrific time the last day or so taking my children out on walks, bike rides or even driving adventures in the car all for the sake of playing the FREE Pokemon Go App with them. It’s been crazy fun! This new app is very addicting and yet can also be frustrating at times when their servers go down temporarily working out the bugs and improving their server strength (I think they underestimated the popularity of this new app!). Overall though, the new Pokemon Go App is the bomb! My kids ages range from 5 yrs, 9 yrs, and 18 yrs (boys and a girl), and we have all loved the interaction together as a family as we help each other discover new Pokemon for our Pokedex, grab rare items, and learn to navigate the map in our local neighborhoods. Have you ever imagined your kids waking up early (on purpose!) and begging you to take them on walks or bike rides outside early in the morning? I needed someone to pinch me! I was in disbelief, but that is exactly how children all over America and around the world are acting after the release of this new app yesterday.

I, for one, am counting my blessings as I have been dying to find a way to get the kids interested in more fresh air, sunshine and exercise – I just never imagined that would be combined with use of an electronic device in the process. If you are ready to make your kid’s day and wish to surprise them with the best Poke Stops around – check out these tips and enjoy the spoils during your Pokemon Go adventuring!


Where To Find Poke Stops?

When it comes to making the most of your Pokemon Go excursions, planning ahead is key. You can determine which areas of your neighborhood have non profit or monument type locations that will register as Poke Stops or Pokemon Gyms within the game’s map through Google Maps GPS. If you want to drive rather than walk (which in some areas of Florida in the 110 degree heat index I would recommend), you can simply assign a driver, map your course to head towards a mall, theme park, college campus, public library or post office, or a block with several churches or thrift stores on it. These are a few of the potential landmarks that the Pokemon Go App may view as suitable for a Poke Stop or Gym. College campuses and theme parks alone will have anywhere from three to as many as ten Poke Stops and one or two Gyms on the premises!


What is a Poke Stop and What Can You Get There?

What can you find at each of these Poke Stops you ask? Each Poke Stop is in a sense a treasure chest just waiting to be discovered! They give you free items (sometimes rare ones) – anything from potions and revives to pokeballs and Pokemon eggs for hatching baby Pokemon! Use your map feature to locate the 3D icons on the map and click on them as they get closer. You’ll see the image of the company on the center of the circular shape (looks blue or lavendar) and usually the name of the location so you can recognize it and get to it more quickly. Poke Stops tend to be places to find from 3 to ten items – all pokeballs sometimes, and other times a little bit of everything spits out! You just spin the circle image when you arrive at the Poke Stop destination and as it spins these objects/items will come spitting out in little bubbles that begin floating away. Quickly pop each bubble to claim your treasures! Check your items section of your app to see what you ended up with. If you received a Pokemon egg, go to your Pokemon section of the app Pokedex and scroll to the bottom and then swipe to the right – there you’ll see any eggs you acquired since technically they are baby Pokemon waiting to hatch.

Hatching Eggs With Baby Pokemon

Your inventory already includes one incubator, so if you are lucky enough to find an egg at one of your Poke Stops while adventuring, you will want to place it in your incubator right away. This allows it to be utilizing all your traveling (walking, biking, driving – anywhere you move on the GPS) for the purpose of helping to hatch your egg faster. Some Pokemon eggs take 2 miles, some take 5 miles to hatch. You can actually be trying to hatch more than one Pokemon at a time by using multiple incubators at once. You get one infinity use incubator with the start of the app. You can earn other temporary use incubators with certain level ups throughout the game.

If you enjoyed this article, try Pokemon Go: Evolving and Powering Up Your Pokemon

*Check out this local sponsor for any Florida Home Buying or Selling Needs:



Great Wet Summer Fun Ways To Make Kids Smile


Great Wet Summer Fun Ways To Make Kids Smile

Have you ever started the summer with the high hopes that the kids will be happy to be out of school with a long break and will occupy themselves? Not going to happen. “School’s Out” simply means more work for mom or guardian in most cases. I am here to share with you the fun and fabulous ways to occupy your kids or grandkids with wet and water-filled excitement!


Squirt Gun Battles

There’s nothing quite like the imagination of a child. Seeing my son and daughter cleverly imagining they are on an island with pirates surrounding them as they use their squirt guns to battle the invading pirates is quite an entertaining sight. I’m sure your children will be happy to endure some sunshine and fresh air for a chance to battle it out against siblings, friends, cousins, or mom, dad, and uncles for a wet version of the game “capture the flag”!


Water Balloon Toss

Get ready to get drenched on this exciting summer must do! Kids and adults of all ages never seem to turn down a chance for the great age-old game of water balloon toss! Find some type of bucket to hold the water bombs (what my kids like to call them) and fill it with as many as you can.


Keep this outside of course, and invite neighbors kids to come over for an afternoon of snacks and good, clean, wet and wild fun! A referee is usually needed to keep the kids lined up in teams of two with one on each side to toss the water balloons back and forth to. Whichever team lasts the longest with tossing their balloon and not busting it gets a point. Keep score for each team and once the bucket is empty, let the kids know which team won. Give them all an ice cream or popsicle party afterwards to enjoy while drying off.



It’s time to consider taking the plunge in your private swimming pool, purchasing a little kiddie pool, or buying passes to the local community pool. Having the freedom to go take the kids swimming whenever you want to is such a blessing. Beware though – your family pooch may just jump in with you to cool off too!


My little ones love going to swim at both the local Legoland waterpark as well as in their own personal kiddie pool out back. It helps to pick up some pool toys for use in the kiddie pool like a water table too for added activities and enjoyment. Kids will love to use their imaginations scooping and pouring water into cups or little plastic teapots.

So whether you are in the mood for public diving performances, backyard splashes, or a game of hide and sneak with the squirt guns, you can be sure to please your kids and grandkids this summer by using the simple wet and water-filled suggestions found here. Enjoy your summer and may it be a cool one!

Family Vacation Planning Made Simple


Are you celebrating a special occasion this summer? Have you been tasked with arranging a break away with your extended family? If so, you’re probably feeling both excited and stressed. It can be tough to please everyone and logistics for group travel can be a nightmare. If you’re looking for a hassle-free guide to organizing a trip, look no further. These simple steps will hopefully make the planning process a piece of cake.


Choosing a date and location

Perhaps the first things you need to do are choose the date and location. Send a message around everyone who is invited and see when people are available. You can use apps and software programs to show dates that suit everyone. Once you’ve got a date in mind, you should also have numbers. You can then start talking about possible destinations. Encourage everyone to share ideas and see which options appeal to most people. If there isn’t a clear winner, hold a vote and go with the majority.

Transport and getting around

Getting a large group of people from A to B can be tricky. But not if you plan ahead. If you’re traveling to a resort, campsite or holiday park, you can book a transfer for everyone. If you’re going to a city for the weekend, you could charter a bus. Check out for ideas and prices. If you can book group travel beforehand, you can usually save money. It’s also much easier to organize private travel than to hire a series of taxis or get everyone on the same local bus or train.



Wherever you’re going, there’s likely to be options when it comes to accommodation. Have a look online and weigh up the pros and cons of different types of lodgings. If you’re staying in the city, you may find that apartments work out cheaper than hotels. If you’re going for an outdoor adventure, you could consider camping or renting out some log cabins. You may be able to take advantage of group saver rates, so enquire before you book. Booking online can often save money.


Cost is a priority for most people when it comes to planning a vacation. Try and make sure that you give people a clear idea of cost as soon as possible. If you can, pay a deposit and then the rest closer to your departure date. This will enable your party to spread the cost of the trip. It’s usually easier to ask everyone to transfer money to your account and make a single payment. This way, you don’t have to collect cash from everyone and then pay into your account before making the payment.

Family vacations are all about making memories and enjoying quality time together. The last thing you want is to be stressing out about finding hotels or getting everyone to the destination at the same time. Plan ahead, do some research and take advantage of group perks. Weigh up your accommodation options and look for deals online. Consider your travel options and think about booking a group transfer or hiring a bus. Get the main things sorted as a priority. Then you can relax and look forward to a memorable break.

Disclosure: I’m excited to share that Love2EncourageYou is bringing you this content as a collaborative effort with other parties to contribute high quality content and fun topics to bring you a smile! Lots of great topics and themes coming in the days ahead on a variety of helpful subjects. Please note: I only share articles that I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

Annoying Skin Complaints And How You Can Combat Them


You may not know it, but your skin is medically classed as an organ. In fact, it is the largest organ in our bodies. And, like our other organs, it can suffer from some serious illnesses. But the only way in which our skin differs from vital organs is that it can suffer from everyday skin complaints. As it is on the outside of our body, it has a lot more external factors to battle against than other organs. Skin complaints can be annoying, but they aren’t completely untreatable. Here are some of the most common and how you can deal with them.



Acne is caused by excess oils in our skin cells. It results in lots of spots, red patches, and frequent breakouts. More often than not, it occurs in teenagers. However, quite a few people suffer from adult acne. The best way to beat acne is to regularly cleanse your skin. There are also over-the-counter creams you can buy to reduce spots and soreness. If things get really bad, some dermatologists offer effective skin treatments. You can see the various treatments on sites like



Generally speaking, moles on the skin are nothing to worry about. They are growths that naturally occur and are usually harmless. However, if someone has a lot of dark moles in one area or one very large mole on their face, they normally have them removed. This is a simple procedure that your doctor can carry out. It is important to keep an eye on your moles in case they become abnormal. If a mole looks different to your others, it may be an early sign of skin cancer. You can see pictures of abnormal moles online


Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes the skin to go blotchy and flaky. Sufferers regularly complain about dry, itchy skin. The condition occurs most often on the knees, elbows, and lower back. Sometimes, it can also be found on the scalp. There is currently no treatment for psoriasis, though there are many things sufferers can do to relieve the pain and itching. If you think you may be suffering from it, speak to your doctor. He or she will be able to prescribe you with creams and lotions to relieve symptoms.



If you stay out in the sun for too long, your skin will burn from all the UV rays in the sunshine. Once you are sunburnt, you can expect the affected area of skin to be red and sore for a few days. To prevent getting burnt, make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen to your exposed skin before going outside. If you do get burnt, cover the red skin with after sun lotion. Make sure you are very careful when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun. Otherwise, you may end up with skin cancer.
If you follow this guide, you shouldn’t have too many issues with the above skin complaints.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou is sharing this content as I  collaborate with others to contribute and bring you the best possible content filled with value and interest! I hope you’ve been enjoying all the new and varied topics and contributors lately!  Lots of great themes and topics on a variety of helpful subjects coming soon. Please note: I only share articles that I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

22 Helpful Ways to Give Hope in a Crisis


Our Thoughts Are With Orlando

There are times like these when I wish I had unlimited resources to be a shining bright light or blessing in the lives of those I don’t even know. The world is going through so many tragic and horrible circumstances and trials – even in my own backyard of Orlando. In this week alone,  we’ve felt the unbelievable sadness that continues to unfold for all these families as the world mourns the loss of 50+ individuals who were murdered by a terrorist or hate crime act at an Orlando night club and left 50+ others injured fighting for their lives as well. Then just a few days ago we’ve seen the devastating horror story of a 2 yr old boy killed by an alligator attack at a local resort theme park. These nightmares are very real for these families and it pains me to not have the means or opportunity to help them.

Have You Ever Wished You Could Help Others In A Crisis?

It got me thinking though. How often do people feel helpless when sincerely wanting to assist and comfort those going through a difficult trial or tragic crisis? I’m sure we all feel that way! I prayed about all the ways I know  of and have used in the past to help others and bring hope and a blessing to their lives during difficult circumstances. You’ll find a bunch of them here today in the list below. May they guide you to giving HOPE to someone in need.


Maybe you know someone locally going through a serious crisis like this, trauma, health issues, job loss, or loss of a loved one? Know that you have the ability to help get involved in one of these families lives and encourage, support, and comfort them in a critical moment in their lives. As Christians, we have the blessing of hope that comes from knowing Christ as Savior and Lord. Be that light of hope to others today and find a way to share God’s love in a real way in someone’s life who isn’t going to reach out to you – you have to recognize their need and reach out to them.


22 Helpful Ways to Give Hope in a Crisis

Here are 22 practical ways to give hope and help to someone in need during difficult or tragic circumstances:

  1. Pray for them
  2. Be a listening ear and let them talk through what’s happened
  3. Text, call, or email them and let them know you are praying for them and are available to help in any way. Don’t expect them to respond. Sometimes just knowing others are thinking of them is enough and they may not have time to respond to hundreds of messages right away
  4. Bring them a meal or dessert
  5. Bring paper products (the basics) such as toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, paper/plastic cups, plastic cutlery
  6. Send a card or deliver in person and put your phone number and email offering them to contact you if they need ANYTHING
  7. Offer to babysit their kids so the adults can get a nap, mental break, run errands etc. without kids in tow, or go on a much needed date with their spouse or partner
  8. Offer to treat them to lunch or a movie with you to get out of the house and take their mind off things and unwind for a short breather
  9. Donate funds to any Go Fund Me account set up to help support the family during a tragic event or health crisis
  10. Offer to help create a Go Fund Me account on their behalf if they have not made one already
  11. Send an encouraging devotional or Christian book, Christian DVD, or Christian music CD from your local Christian book store or online store. Attach a note or tell them to specifically read a certain chapter you liked, or particular song from the CD that will personalize it for them and encourage them to take the time to watch/listen/or read the item. This can help give hope straight from God’s word through the book/DVD/CD without quoting them scripture directly yourself if that is something that makes them uncomfortable (which may happen with someone who is a non-believer or if they are angry with God at the moment from misdirected anger due to the circumstances surrounding them.)
  12. Send flowers, or deliver a home-made gift of baked goods to bring a smile
  13. Offer to come over for a cup of coffee and a chat, but show up with cleaning supplies prepared to clean their house for them, lawn care equipment prepared to mow their lawn and trim hedges or edge, bring groceries and offer to cook them a meal
  14. Bring already prepared meals marked with labels and instructions for heating to put in their fridge or freezer to get them through a couple of days
  15. Deliver in person or send gift cards by mail for gas stations, and also for fast food restaurants located inside the hospital or near where they live
  16. Send gift cards for a hair cut/color/highlights, a spa experience or massage, a mani/pedi, or other pampering gift/service that could lift their spirits, but they may not normally spend the money on themselves
  17. Give them a Bible if they don’t already have one and a note suggesting where to start reading first
  18. Bible promises books with lists of topical themes and the verses from the Bible that correspond to those topics are a great mini book to carry in a purse or briefcase. These are something  someone could have at their bedside in the hospital to bring hope and encouragement
  19. Invite them to join you for church and offer to take them to lunch afterwards or over to your home for lunch. Let them spend time sharing about the experience they’re going through and really listen for ways you can truly help
  20. Offer to go to their home and feed or walk their pets
  21. Offer to help with clerical services for their home business or assist on their farm if they need it temporarily during this difficult time
  22. When the pain has passed and they are in the time period of healing: Find an appropriate way to make them laugh. Laughter heals – but there is a time for it.  Wait until you know they are ready to receive a welcome distraction from their grief.


“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

In Luke 6:31, it shares a great rule to keep in mind with all things. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Think about placing yourself in their shoes. What would you wish someone could come do for you to be a blessing and help you breathe a little easier and comfort you through this terrible time of crisis? If you can relate to what they are going through, I’m sure God will inspire you to come up with many more wonderful ways to be a blessing and give hope and help to the people in your life going through a crisis or trial too. Please share with us in the comments any suggestions you have for people to try in being a blessing to someone during trials. Thanks in advance for your great advice!


Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou

4 Parks of Fun: Disney Kids Preschool Playdate Party


Disclosure: A huge thank you to Walt Disney World Resort and MomSelect for the free products received through our celebration kit in order to host the Disney Kids Preschool Playdate Party. The opinions expressed here are my own.

It was a tremendous pleasure to receive the opportunity to be a blessing to several homeschool families by getting to host a very special Disney Kids Preschool Playdate Party this week! In a whirlwind of fun, giggles, and high-pitched screams of delight, the kids who attended our party were all ears and eager to participate in the many exciting activities that Disney stirred up for our enjoyment.


In order to fully appreciate the magic of Disney, you have to get a glimpse of what the imagination and thrills are all about from each of the four Disney theme parks. We tried to incorporate the generous gifts in our celebration kit Disney provided in order bring a spark of that excitement into our home for our 4 Parks of Fun: Disney Kids Preschool Playdate Party! First on the agenda, we explored a sneak peek into the jungle adventures of Animal Kingdom by watching a few clips from The Lion Guard show from Disney Junior.  While sporting binoculars and cameras, we proceeded to journey on the wild safari as the kids hunted for official Animal Kingdom toy safari animal figures and played with our jungle playsets. The boys were ready for the next park introducing Captain Jake!



Testing their KION growls along the way, we moved on to play a new game visiting our Hollywood Studios room and passed out party hats for team Captain Jake or team Sophia the First. The kids played in a Sophia the First tent and enjoyed roll playing a charades game of Disney Park characters. Learning to take turns and having fun playing together is part of what being a preschooler is all about and the kids had a blast trying to guess who each other’s character was.



Off to our Epcot park indoor visit, we played a game with the mommies while their children chose a specific hat of their choice from our nations/characters hat table. The child would place the hat on the mommies head and then tell their mom who they had to pretend to be or where they were pretending to be from. The moms were all wonderfully good sports about this whole thing that I sprung on them, and the kids giggled as their mommies all played along.



Next, we passed out some great rewards for participation in today’s events such as Lion Guard posters and tattoos, Park Preschool maps, and Disney Junior drawstring bags compliments of Disney and MomSelect to help keep things extra special for our guests as they experience a taste of the magic of Disney.


My daughter volunteered to read the special storybook called My Very, Very, Smelly Breath which was provided by Bansfield Pet Hospital. This awesome scratch and sniff book was both cute and interactive with the kids jumping up to take their turns sniffing all the interesting and sometimes foul smells from the book.

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At our Magic Kingdom stop, the kids were delighted to play a few cute games involving loads of figures to dance with at Cinderella’s castle, a game of ring toss over the tower of Rapunzel’s castle, and a bean bag toss onto a giant Mickey Mouse head. As a special surprise guest, my teen son shared his skills teaching the kids how to play Disney Infinity 3.0 on the WiiU and drew a ton of oohs and aahs. They loved having fun naming the different Disney Parks characters from Disney Infinity and discussed who had the best skills or talents to take on the villians.


Of course nothing beats the tasty visit to the snacks table decorated in a fun-loving Mickey Mouse Club House theme! The table was filled with Nestle Nesquik chocolate milk, Glad snack baggies in a Frozen theme offering Nemo’s gold fish crackers, Minnie’s Chex mix, Zootopia fruit snacks and other goodies.  We finally topped things off with Frozen themed frozen Go Gurt for dessert in cotton candy and strawberry banana flavors!


Our party concluded with colorful Frozen themed balloons waiting to be played with and tossed in the air as they said their goodbyes to their friends and ended their magical day at the Four Parks of Fun: Disney Kids Preschool Playdate Party. We printed some very cool HP photo strips compliments of @MyPrintly using the HP Photo Booth App to send off with our friends to end their special time.

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host the Disney Kids Preschool Playdate Party. The opinions expressed here are my own.