Kristen

Here’s to Backpacks & Fresh Starts

Susquehanna volunteers join Center for Family Services representatives for Operation Backpack.

Susquehanna volunteers join Center for Family Services representatives for Operation Backpack.

I was always one of those strange children who couldn’t wait to go back to school.

I’d know exactly where my classroom was, who was in my class and would have my school supplies packed and ready to go weeks in advance. Some of my fondest back-to-school memories include shopping with my mom for my brand-new backpack.

As corny as it sounds, my new backpack was the symbol of fresh beginnings for the year. A few of the standouts through the years included the one strap backpack, backpack on wheels and the infamous plastic, see-through backpack (Mom, why didn’t you talk me out of that one?). I always thought having a new backpack was necessary and a rite of passage. Continue reading »

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Lauren

Brown Bag Blues: The Return of School Lunch

Kindergarten children eating lunchBack to school has arrived in the Bergman household as we send our little man off to kindergarten. I’m feeling the stress of new schedules, catching the school bus, switching after-school providers and most surprisingly, the dread of packing lunch every day. I’m about 25 years out of practice on that last one!

Is it me, or was packing a lunch 25 years ago so much simpler? With less focus on nutrition, I could joyfully relish my ham and cheese loaf sandwich on white bread, juice box and Zebra Cake with no worries from mom and no complaints from me. As a parent today, I feel the weight of the ’must be organic, whole grain, non-GMO, non-nitrate, non-hormone’ pressure guiding each decision as I reach for items on the grocery shelf. How can I pack a nutritionally sound meal that is still appealing to a picky 5-year-old – all in the fog of the early morning ’get-out-the-door’ dance? Continue reading »

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Posted in Financial Education, Health and Fitness | | 1 Comment
guest

Susquehanna, ice cream parlors and Make-A-Wish chapters partner in Stellar effort to help make wishes come true

Reese on her trip to Hawaii.

Reese on her trip to Hawaii.

Six-year-old Reese loved everything about the water, and dreamed of the beach as she battled leukemia.

When she learned she would be granted a wish, Reese knew exactly what she wanted – to go to Hawaii! On her wish trip, she went swimming, paddle boarding, snorkeling and enjoyed plenty of fun in the sun.

“It was the perfect tropical getaway”, said Megan of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, the organization that helped make Reese’s dream come true.

That’s what Stellar Ice Cream is about – helping grant wishes for children like Reese – through partnerships with local ice cream parlors and chapters of Make-A-Wish, a national nonprofit that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Continue reading »

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Kristen

I do or I don’t. Being a bridesmaid can come with a hefty pricetag

iStock_000007502831SmallThe phone rings, and all I can hear through the speaker is “I said yes…”

In typical situations, you might ask, said yes to what? Ordering a grilled cheese for lunch? Doing someone’s laundry?

However, I’ve reached the age where engagements are being announced on a seemingly daily basis and taffeta will soon become a consistent part of my wardrobe, so I know exactly what’s coming. My best friend is getting married and I’m officially a bridesmaid!

Becoming a bridesmaid is an amazing opportunity. I’ll get to participate in all of the activities surrounding a wedding from the engagement party all the way up until the final “I do.” Memories will be made that I will hold with me for the rest of my life. As wonderful as this sounds, I can’t get rid of the nagging feeling in the back of my mind asking, “Can I really afford to do this?” (I blame this on being in the banking industry for the past six years).

As any good banker would do— it’s time to crunch the numbers.  Continue reading »

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guest

‘The best gift I have ever received’ Emily and her service dog, Dash

Emily with her service dog, Dash.

Emily with her service dog, Dash.

When Emily Cikra got the call inviting her to Team Training at the North Central Regional facility, her initial reaction wasn’t one of joy.

“The embarrassing thought that came into my mind was that having a service dog would be another accessory to add to my arsenal of things that make me stand out,” she explains. “I already have a wheelchair, trach with occasional ventilator and sometimes a brace on my hand. It felt like a lot for people to take in as is and adding a dog to this mix felt over the top.”

But Emily chose to ignore those feelings and she is so thankful she did. Emily explains, “My service dog, Dash, from Canine Companions for Independence, has done the exact opposite of what I feared. He has not added to my ‘disability accessories,’ he has actually detracted from them!” Continue reading »

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guest

Pals For Life: Nonprofit brings pet love to those who need it most.

Lucy provides love as part of the Pals for Life program.

Lucy provides love as part of the Pals For Life organization.

The following blog post is written in the style of a journal by Paula Kielich, President & Founder of Pals for Life in the greater Philadelphia area. Pals For Life is one of the four organizations benefiting from Susquehanna’s Dog Days of Summer campaign.

Every day I bring pets to visit the residents of nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and mental health facilities.

Yesterday’s visit was to the Veteran’s Administration Nursing Home, where I brought our small white resident therapy rabbit, Bubbles. Volunteers came with their setter mix, Golden Doodle and Yellow Lab.  A resident who doesn’t speak walked alongside the lab, and quietly talked about the dog he used to have.

At a previous visit there, I brought Muttley, a 12 year old Shepherd/Husky mix to visit the residents.

In one of the bedrooms a man was laying in bed.  I asked him if he liked dogs.  He didn’t say anything, but sat up in bed.  We went in, and Muttley knew just what to do – he put his paws right up on his bed.  The man still didn’t say anything, but wrapped his arms around the big dog’s body, and buried his head in Muttley’s neck.

A few minutes later, he looked up at me.  Tears were streaming down his face.  He said, “I never thought I’d see a dog again.”

Pals For Life also offers a Read to Pet Pals program to libraries and schools.  In addition, we go to colleges during exam time and help students with stress reduction.

PFL pets can help and heal when no one else can.  They make a difference in the lives so many.

For more information, visit www.palsforlife.org.

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Lori R

Melissa’s story highlights healing benefits of therapy dog from KPETS

Melissa and Chester on their Easter egg hunt.

Melissa and Chester on their Easter egg hunt.

If you have been following Susquehanna Bank’s Dog Days of Summer campaign, you have seen the smiling face of a young lady who knows first-hand how a therapy dog can add fun and motivation to even the most challenging therapy sessions.

Sixteen-year-old Melissa was born with cerebral palsy, and began receiving therapy when she was only four months old. At the age of eight, after undergoing leg muscle surgery, Melissa was attending therapy three days a week at the Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center. Continue reading »

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Kim

Workplace safety: Don’t take it for granted

workplace safety photoThese days when you think about workplace safety, you think security cameras; locked entrances that are accessed by coded ID badges; and training courses that deal with anything from dealing with a dissatisfied customer to protecting confidential information by thinking before opening unusual email.  For many of us, workplace safety is something we simply expect and honestly, take for granted.

Recently, and quite by chance, I saw workplace safety from a very different perspective – one that made me appreciate how far we’ve come, and how much I appreciate the laws and practices that are in place. Continue reading »

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Claudia

Technology has made it easier to track your fitness goals – if you use it

Technology has replaced this method of tracking your workouts and fitness goals.

Technology has replaced this method of tracking your workouts and fitness goals.

It’s June. New Year’s resolutions are a thing of the past, yet bathing suit season hovers on the horizon like a mirage on hot blacktop. You may be looking in your closet wondering how this happened, yet again, and wishing there was something to keep you motivated through the winter doldrums.

Because one of the biggest challenges to any fitness regimen is staying motivated, wearable fitness devices have become increasingly popular. There are many varieties, but in general, they all track your biometric data and keep you honest about the miles you’re logging and the calories you’re consuming and burning. These little gadgets (and most of them are quite diminutive) are becoming more advanced all the time.

Gone are the days of the portable tape or CD player, that one- trick pony that played back music and nothing more. Today we have mp3 players that sync to your sneakers to track your miles and your pace, and bracelets that treat your activity tracking like a real-life video game, with indicator lights flashing as you progress toward your daily goals. Continue reading »

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Brendan

Fruits and Vegetables: An investment in your health

fruit and vegetablesWhat did you eat for breakfast this morning – an egg white omelet with tomato and spinach or an iced cinnamon bun? If you binged on the latter, you should probably keep reading.

In honor of June being ’Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month,’ I thought I’d get you excited about the incredible health and wellness benefits of these food groups, as well as how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your everyday meals – easily!

I think people can sometimes be hesitant to commit to eating healthier and incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diets due to the cost associated with purchasing them. Continue reading »

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Posted in Financial Education, Health and Fitness, Unique holidays | | 7 Comments