Friday, July 28, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Deluxe Corporation Visit

Ten students from Unicorn Village Academy's Pre-Employment Training Summer Program visited Deluxe Corporation yesterday. Deluxe is a business management consultation company in Boca Raton. The students had a tour of the building and met many employees. There was a presentation on resume writing, after which, Deluxe staff reviewed each student's resume with them. The students then participated in mock interviews with Deluxe staff and had professional head shots taken. It was an ideal way to continue our journey into career exploration. We thank everyone at Deluxe for sharing their time and knowledge with us.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Here's why you should #GetCaughtBeingKind

By David R. Hamilton, Ph.D.
“If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”
—Bob Hope
When we think of side effects, the first thing that springs to mind are the side effects of drugs. But who’d have thought that kindness could have side effects, too?
Well, it does! And positive ones at that.
Of course, we should never do an act of kindness to gain from it. We should always be kind because it’s the right thing to do. But when we are kind, the following are some side effects that come with it:
1) Kindness makes us happier.
When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside us that says, “This is who I am.”
On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, so we get a natural high, often referred to as “Helper’s High.”
2) Kindness gives us healthier hearts.
Acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth. Emotional warmth produces the hormone oxytocin in the brain and throughout the body. Of much recent interest is its significant role in the cardiovascular system.
Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which dilates (expands) the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure, and therefore oxytocin is known as a “cardio-protective” hormone because it protects the heart (by lowering blood pressure). The key is that acts kindness can produce oxytocin, and therefore kindness can be said to be cardio-protective.
3) Kindness slows aging.
Aging on a biochemical level is a combination of many things, but two culprits that speed the process are free radicals and inflammation, both of which result from making unhealthy lifestyle choices.
But remarkable research now shows that oxytocin (which we produce through emotional warmth) reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system and thus slows aging at its source. Incidentally these two culprits also play a major role in heart disease, so this is also another reason why kindness is good for the heart.
There have also been suggestions in the scientific journals of the strong link between compassion and the activity of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve, in addition to regulating heart rate, also controls inflammation levels in the body in what is known as the inflammatory reflexOne study that used the Tibetan Buddhist lovingkindness meditation found that kindness and compassion did, in fact, reduce inflammation in the body, mostly likely due to its effects on the vagus nerve.
4) Kindness makes for better relationships.
This is one of the most obvious points. We all know that we like people who show us kindness. This is because kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people, so we feel more “bonded.” It’s something that is so strong in us that it’s actually a genetic thing. We are wired for kindness.
Our evolutionary ancestors had to learn to cooperate with one another. The stronger the emotional bonds within groups, the greater the chances of survival, so “kindness genes” were etched into the human genome.
Today, when we are kind to each other, we feel a connection, and new relationships are forged, or existing ones strengthened.
5) Kindness is contagious.
When we’re kind, we inspire others to be kind, and it actually creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards to our friends’ friends’ friends — to three degrees of separation. Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, so acts of kindness ripple outwards, touching others’ lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes.
A recent scientific study reported than an anonymous 28-year-old person walked into a clinic and donated a kidney. It set off a “pay it forward” type ripple effect where the spouses or other family members of recipients of a kidney donated one of theirs to someone else in need. The “domino effect,” as it was called in the New England Journal of Medicine report, spanned the length and breadth of the United States of America, where 10 people received a new kidney as a consequence of that anonymous donor.
References:
The information on the effects of kindness on the heart and the aging process can be found in my book, “Why Kindness Is Good for You” (Hay House, 2010).
The link between compassion and the vagus nerve is explored in the book “Born to Be Good,” by Dacher Keltner (W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2009).
For more information on the health benefits of compassion and kindness, and to read about contagious kindness, visit my website, drdavidhamilton.com.

Friday, July 21, 2017

July Monthly Meeting

What a wonderful Monthly Meeting yesterday! Our guest speakers were Corine Farguson & Jayson Babel of Mobility Management Facilitation Program - Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Ann Storck Center, Inc.

















Thursday, July 20, 2017

Child First Presentation

Our Vice-President, Melissa Burkhardt, presented to Child First yesterday on the ESDM Parent Coaching Scholarship and shared strategies for Child First to use to promote child parent interactions.


Proud to Support the UM-NSU CARD Mobile Screening Clinic

Unicorn Children’s Foundation is proud to continue support of the UM-NSU CARD mobile screening clinic which provides free developmental screenings to families in underserved areas of the community in Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Broward County.  This support is possible through the generosity of supporters who attended our Mad Hatter’s Luncheon at Indian Creek Country Club.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Congratulations Carlos!

From our 20th Anniversary Luncheon to our Angel Ball to the stage of America's Got Talent!! We are so proud of you Carlos De Antonis!!!


Gearing Up for our 4th Annual Bartender's Battle!

We are gearing up for our 4th Annual Bartender's Battle! Save the date for Friday, September 15, 2017 at Farmer's Table Boca!! Stay tuned for more information.... Take a look back at all the fun last year:


Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Motivation

"My goal is to show so many people in this world that it doesn't matter if they have a disability or anything else hindering them. It should NEVER stop them from achieving their dreams. In the end, everyone in the world has to walk a different path, but our hearts are the same, and that's all we need." - Rachel Barcellona, Miss Southeast International 2017 and Unicorn Children's Foundation's Youth in Service Ambassador


Friday, July 14, 2017

2017 Character Camp

Unicorn Children's Foundation's CEO Sharon Alexander and Vice-President Melissa Burkhardt presented the Creating Compassionate Toolkit today at the 2017 Character Camp at The University of Tampa!!




















www.TBNWeekly.com

We are so proud of our outstanding Youth in Service Ambassador, Rachel Barcellona for making the FRONT PAGE of www.TBNweekly.com!!! Thank you for the mention and representing us so well!!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unicorn Children's Foundation Announces 2017-2018 Board of Directors



[Boca Raton, FL - July 12, 2017] -- Unicorn Children’s Foundation, a leader in the field of special needs and neurodiversity, has announced this year’s Board of Directors, including 11 incumbents and 9 renewed/newly ratified members.  This group of individuals bring a wealth of business savviness and commitment to community that will help the organization expand its impact and ensure that children and young adults with special needs excel in their communities. 

President Gregory Fried, Gregory’s Fine Jewelry
Vice-President Melissa Burkhardt, M.S. Ed, BCBA, Early Start Autism
Secretary Rafael Cabrera, M.D., Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton
Treasurer Tabitha LeTourneau Meyerer, CFP, United Capital
Alisa Bachana Jaffe, UBS Financial Services
Marilyn Blanco-Corey, Inner Circle Executive Club
Lori Cabrera, President of Unicorn Village Academy
Michael Church, Rooster Local
Claude DuBois, Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort
Joseph Eppy, The Eppy Group
Angela Fisher, DLD Management Corporation
Barry Halperin, Halperin Family Foundation
Madeline Hillsberg, The Hillsberg Foundation
William Kruegel, Sunshine Health
Jeannette Stark, Miami SunPost
Gwendoline Taylor, Philanthropist
Gail Wasserman, Philanthropist
Gale Wechsler, Wechsler Foundation
Michelle Yellin, Philanthropist
Adam Ziffer, CPA, Morrison, Brown, Argiz, & Farra, LLC


Unicorn’s Executive Director, Sharon Alexander expresses, “Board members play a very crucial role in the growth and direction of our organization.  1 of 6 children are labelled as damaged because 1 of 6 children are diagnosed with autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other neurodiversities.  This dynamic group will allow Unicorn Children’s Foundation to create an understanding in the community that differences can be a good thing and we are all more alike than different.” 

President Gregory Fried, elected for a 2nd term, adds, “The past year was amazing as we implemented the special needs system transformation plan, developed new relationships and cultivated long-term friendships.  I truly believe that the talent assembled for this upcoming year will continue to bring those in our community together and allow us to support great programs that will give these wonderful and amazing children an opportunity to have a voice in this world.”

Make sure to stay tuned for Unicorn Children’s Foundation’s upcoming events… The Best Is Yet To Come! Visit the www.UnicornChildrensFoundation.org or call 561.620.9377 for more information and to learn how you can get involved.

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Unicorn Children's Foundation is a 22-year-old international non-profit organization dedicated to building communities of acceptance, support and opportunity for individuals and families challenged by special needs and neurodiversity.  We connect families to resources, advocate for inclusive opportunities, respect differences, empower individuals, and support success by providing education, awareness and funding opportunities to organizations for special needs children in an effort to help them excel in their community.  We all can create a positive environment for children with ADHD, autism, bipolar, dyslexia, and other learning disorders while they learn.  To learn more about the Unicorn Children's Foundation visit http://www.unicornchildrensfoundation.org. Also available on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank You Indian Creek!

Thank you to Indian Creek Country Club for your incredible generosity in donating all of these Pillow Chums!!!



Monday, July 10, 2017

Support Us on Prime Day

When you #StartWithaSmile on #PrimeDay, Amazon Smile​ donates to Unicorn Children's Foundation! Shop for great deals at smile.amazon.com/ch/57-1168205

Deals start at 9:00 pm ET tonight, July 10 and runs through July 11.