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Eight Ways to Cope with the Winter Blues

Do the chilly, gloomy days of winter make you want to curl up under the covers and stay there until the sun shines again? You’re not alone. During our dark and rainy Pacific Northwest winters, we get less of the mood-boosting help of sunlight, which may set the stage for the winter blues. What can you do to beat the blues when the short, dark days are getting you down?

Overcoming the winter blues
Here are eight ideas to get past the winter blues recommended by Kaiser Permanente physician Amado Daylo, MD (Assistant Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services).

1. Exercise
Bundle up for a walk, swim indoors, or head to the gym. Exercise can work as well as antidepressants (drugs to control a person’s mood) in fighting mild-to-moderate depression.

2. Check your vitamin D levels
Sunlight is a source of vitamin D, a nutrient linked to sharper thinking and better emotional health. Check with your doctor about whether a vitamin D supplement is right for you.

3. Get some light therapy
Give yourself every opportunity for daylight, such as placing exercise equipment or your work area near a window. Lamps that simulate natural light can also help.

4. Eat a healthy diet
Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains can boost your energy and are vital year round. Fruits and veggies of deep green or orange, like broccoli, kale, and carrots, have nutrients that promote better mood and total health.

5. Stimulate your senses
Some people find that painting their walls a bright color — or even their nails — can improve their outlook. Scents can add to your feeling of well-being; try peppermint essential oil or some other energizing scent.

6. Nurture your spirit
Slow down and curl up in a cozy chair with a good book or write in your journal.

7. Head to a sunnier climate
If time and budget allow, plan a midwinter visit to a warmer, sunnier climate.

8. See a therapist
A therapist can help you train your brain to think more positively, which can also make you feel better physically.

Feeling extra depressed during winter?
If you feel more than just a little down each winter, with symptoms such as missing work or struggling with even simple day-to-day tasks, you may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression. For some people, the lack of sunlight upsets the body’s ability to keep its complex chemistry and biological rhythms in sync; the body doesn’t know when to be active and when to rest anymore. If you’re trying to help yourself feel better but it isn’t working, you might want to see your doctor who could recommend other treatments.

Kansas News

Dear Foster Parent(s),

The 2020 Census surveys will be arriving soon for your household. In 2010, the most uncounted population in the state was children under 4 years of age. We are sending this letter as an educational tool to assist you in completing the 2020 Census survey.

This year for the first time a household can complete the census survey online. You will receive a geocode/CensusID on your census invitation. Simply go online and enter your code and enter your household information for everyone who is living in your household (including foster children). The code/ID only works one time, please make sure you are ready to input all the information for everyone in your household when you use your code. If you do not use the code, a mail in survey will be sent to you later. You may also use the phone to complete the census survey.

Census data is used to determine the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to determine the amount of funding states receive each year for the next 10 years.

We appreciate you taking the time to complete your census survey and ensuring you count everyone in your household. Everyone counts!


Jane Meschberger, PPS Director
Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF)

Kansas Care Provider of the Month

Kansas Care Provider of the MonthCongratulations to Ryan and Carla Butler for being the Kansas Care Provider of the month! When thinking of how to describe these wonderful foster parents three words come to mind, “whatever it takes!” Ryan and Carla have continuously done whatever it takes in order to meet the medical and case requirements for a medically fragile child placed in their foster family. The Butler family has also done whatever it takes to ensure their foster child’s case plan goals are followed and met, transported and attended every visit, and partnered with their foster child’s biological parents, case team and GAL! The Butler family has also done whatever it takes to ensure their foster child is able to attend and partake in community activities, despite their foster child being medically fragile! The Butler family is truly an extraordinary example of what foster care is all about! Thank you, Ryan and Carla, for all you have done and continue to do for children and families!

Oklahoma News


2020 Foster Family Retreat
Saturday, April 4
Council Road Baptist Church,
2900 North Council Road
Bethany, Oklahoma 73008

TFI will provide hotel rooms on Friday, April 3, for families who are traveling more than 50 miles.
Families MUST register by March 13. To register, please visit
The event is NOT mandatory.

Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month

Oklahoma Care Provider of the MonthShon and Rachel Villars are wonderful foster parents. They decided to become foster parents after meeting a foster child in their local area that needed placement. They have accepted three boys into their home. Two of the boys are siblings and the day they were placed into the home they exhibited concerning behaviors. The behaviors displayed may have caused some foster parents to give up on these children and disrupt placement, but the Villars family continued to be consistent and structured. They work to understand the children’s loss and trauma and how it affects the children. The Villars help bridge the gap between the children and their biological family as they understand the importance of this. The Villars’ 13-year-old foster child is now enrolled in a DHS pilot program for enhanced foster care and the foster parents continue to be supportive and understanding of the child’s needs. After being in the home for six months, the boys have made great strides with their behavior, social interactions and education. The Villars family has not given up on these children and have helped them find stability and a loving environment to help them grow. TFI is proud to have Shon and Rachel Villars as TFI foster parents and appreciate their family and all they do for children in care.

Texas Care Provider of the Month

Texas Care Provider of the MonthKalynda Hair has been an amazing asset to Texas Family Initiative since the day she became licensed. Ms. Hair goes out of her way to make sure all her placements feel at home and like part of the family. Ms. Hair is not afraid to advocate for what she feels is in the best interest of the children who come to her home, and she goes above and beyond to make sure all children’s needs are being met. Ms. Hair is super quick to offer a helping hand in emergency situations and is an all-around good-hearted foster mother who fosters for the right reasons. Texas Family Initiative is so lucky to have Ms. Hair as a family – Thank you Ms. Hair for all you do for TFI and the children you love and care for!

Training Corner

What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia affects the area of the brain that processes languages. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning and how they relate to letters and words. Children who have Dyslexia typically have normal intelligence and normal vision.

Continue reading this article and take the quiz for credit by clicking the link below.

Click here to read article & take quiz

Fund Development

The fund development team is hard at work planning events and working with our community partners! Here is one thing you can help us with:

  • Tell us about folks you know that might be interested in helping our families (individuals, corporations, or foundations). Our earnest desire is to “strengthen the family” and we want to do a better and better job of that.

Speaking of families, as the newest member of the Fund Development team, I wanted to introduce you to mine! My name is Steven Mandeville and I’m a native Oklahoman. I have two business degrees from Oklahoma State University (go Pokes!) and I’ve spent most of my professional career in financial services solving problems and relating to individuals and companies. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma with my wife and two-year-old twins. At any given time, you can find us at The Gathering Place, our church, or reading books when the kiddos take a nap.

Whether you’re in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, or Nebraska, don’t hesitate to reach out to me (, 918.728.3378) with any ideas for needs or folks that would be good for me to talk with!

Save the Date!

We finalized a couple of fund development events over the last month that we’re excited to share with you.

Thursday, May 14 – Tee Off Fore Children Golf Tournament
Firekeeper Golf Course in Mayetta, Kansas

Saturday, June 13 to Sunday, June 14 – Cowboys Who Care Ranch Rodeo
Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma

TFI AnniversaryThank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.

16 Years
James “Doug” & Dorothy Clopton

14 Years
Marvin “Craig” & Carylon Allen

10 Years
Jeffery and Meadow Piepho
Betty Cockhearn

5 Years
Brent & Ashli Campbell
Lucretia Henderson

1 Year
Robert & Susan Drake
Christopher & Kelsey Rumbley
Robert “Dustin” & Rebekah “Bekah” Morris
Danny and Tonya Williams
Robin Atkins & Denisha Walker
Glenn & Jill Sulanka
Michael “Mike” & Debra “Debbie” Bauer
Sarah Calhoon
Keith & Cami Conley
Fernando & Marisol Restrepo
Marty & Martha Allen
Francisco & Crystal Herrera
Tracy and Teressa Schumacher
Matthew & Johni Phelan
Jerry & Renae Springer
Sean O’Neill
Levi & Britni Adams


Every time you make a purchase on Amazon, TFI can earn money and participating does NOT increase the price you pay for your purchases. Visit or click the picture above and select TFI to support youth in foster care.


Every time you make a purchase at Dillons, TFI can earn money. Please visit or click the picture above and select TFI as your nonprofit to support youth in foster care.