Giving Back

Community Service Deanna Marie Mason

“No matter how much one may love the world as a whole, one can live fully in it only by living responsibly in some small part of it. Where we live and who we live there with define the terms of our relationship to the world and to humanity.

- Wendell Berry *

When I read this quote by Wendell Berry, it resonated in my heart – he had captured my feelings and put them into words. I had always been passionate about improving the lives of others through education but I felt small in my efforts. At times it felt like the work I was doing was not significant enough. Yet, here was the brilliant mind of Wendell Berry telling me that I was doing good work. By taking care of needs I saw in my own backyard, I was improving the world.

Just think what could happen if we all took care of those in our backyard? A big movement. Health education and access to reliable health-related information should not be a luxury. I believe that everyone has the right to access information that is truthful and unbiased.

In this vein, I created a philanthropic branch to my company that focuses on giving health education and information to non-documented immigrants. The health education is specifically designed for low-literacy and low-numeracy consumers. The topics are basic, such as hand washing, nutrition, oral care, or infant care. This information gives families new ways to improve their situation through the power of knowledge.

Here are some examples of the power of education:

  • Lower rates of food related illness after learning to wash hands before meals and after using the bathroom
  • Lower intake of simple sugars when amounts of sugar in soft drinks are visually demonstrated
  • Few new cavities when proper tooth brushing and flossing is demonstrated
  • Fewer ear infections in infants when bottle propping is explained as a cause of ear infections and new infant calming strategies are demonstrated

These health promotion activities immediately improve the lives of the learners and their families. This is my passion – to give the gift of health education. Making the world a little bit better, person-by-person, by sharing tools that can change their lives. This power of transformation grows and multiplies as each learner shares the information with his or her family and friends. So, generation after generation, the family learns healthier lifestyle habits that positively affect their futures.

*Berry, W. (2002). The body and the earth. In N. Wirzba (Ed.), The art of the commonplace: The agrarian essays of Wendell Berry (p. 118). Berkley, CA: Counterpoint.

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Deanna Marie Mason Proactive Parenting

Dr. Deanna Marie Mason, PhD RN CPNP

Deanna Marie Mason Proactive Parenting

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