Get Cooking With The Ark

Ark your kitchen items getting a little old? 

Do you need some new tools to help you be a culinary artist? 

We have a great opportunity for you to help The Ark stock its kitchen while getting yourself the latest gadgets and tools to make delectable cuisine:

The Ark is having a Pampered Chef Party!

Time:  7:oo PM    

Date:  February 7, 2012

Location:  Van Domelen Center (1441 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo MI 49008)

You can come to the party, enjoy delicious snacks and get great ideas to take home and use in your own kitchen.  Every order you place for your own amazing kitchen gadgets will also benefit The Ark as 20% of your total purchase will be credited to The Ark for staff to use to purchase supplies for The Ark’s kitchen. 

If you are able to attend the Pampered Chef Party, staff will have a “Wish List” of needed items that you can select from and purchase for The Ark as well.

If you can’t attend the party, you can always order online before the event (see instructions below) and 20% of your purchase will still benefit The Ark.

If you have any questions, please call Melinda Andrews, Ark Senior Case Manager, at   269-720-3716.

To order online:

  • Go to
  • Click “shop online” in the upper right corner.
  • Enter “the ark” or “melinda andrews” in the fields under the first options (shop under a show/host).
  • Orders of $60.00-$99.99 will qualify for one free gift (from a choice of two).
  • Orders of $100.00 or more qualify for one free gift    (from a choice of four).
  • If you qualify for a free gift, click on “guest special” on the left of the shopping page for details and to select the gift.

Wisdom of The Ages

The new year is exactly that — still new — and there are dozens of opportunities to make positive and intentional changes in your life.  So what tried and true pieces of advice can help you navigate the new year?  While this list is far from comprehensive, we have some excellent tips that have survived the tests of time.  Gathered from diverse sources, these tips can help make you the kind of person you want to be:

  • Don’t be afraid of the phrase “I don’t know.”  If you don’t know the answer, don’t try to bluff.  If you’re at fault, take the blame.  If you’re wrong, apologize.  A wise person once said, “If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember anything.”
  • Never gossip.  If some wants to gossip with you, politely say that you’re not interested.  When someone gossips, two lives are hurt — the person being talked about and the person doing the talking.
  • No task is beneath you.  Don’t think you are above anything.  Be the good example and pitch in — especially if the job is one that nobody wants to do.
  • Share the credit whenever possible.  People who spread credit around look much stronger than those who take all the credit themselves.
  • Ask for help.  If you think you’re in over your head, you are.  Before it gets out of hand, ask someone for help.  Most people enjoy giving a hand.  Besides saving yourself from embarrassment, you’ll make a friend and an ally.
  • When you don’t like someone, don’t let it show.  Never burn bridges or offend others as you move through life.  What good does it do you to have them know you don’t like them?
  • Let it go.  What shouldn’t happen often does: you didn’t get what you wanted.  Be gracious and diplomatic and move on.  Harboring a grudge over something you can’t change will never get you anywhere.
  • When you’re right, don’t gloat.  The only time you should ever use the phrase “I told you so” is if someone says to you, “You were right.  I really could do that well.”

If you would like some personalized help — some one-on-one support as you commit to change — call our Bridges Outpatient Mental Health Program and schedule an appointment.   Our experienced staff can be the support you need to be the person you want to be.  We can be reached at 269-381-1234.

Starting Off the New Year Right: Building Awareness

You may or may not know it . . . but Catholic Family Services is an agency that provides diverse services to diverse people across a large (nine county) area.  We are a lot of difference things to a lot of different people, depending on how they interface with our agency.  Yet most would benefit from knowing all (or more) of the things we do and how they can become involved.  This is the perfect opportunity for a New Year’s Resolution — or a goal — for Catholic Family Services for 2012.

2012 will be our year of AWARENESS . . . seeking to reach out to our community — not just to tell them about us, but also to learn about you and how we can best meet your needs and partner with you for the good of the community.  Look for some innovative marketing strategies, using new tools to reach out to you in new ways.  We also realize that your feedback in this process is crucial to its success . . . and to that end, we are asking a few questions:

  • What do you know about Catholic Family Services and the work we do?

  • How do you “interact” with Catholic Family Services?  Do you follow us on Facebook?  Check out our website periodically?  Stop by or meet with our staff?

  • How would you LIKE to interact with us?  How can we provide you with information and resources in a better manner?  What would you like to see us do differently in this area in 2012?

Thanks so much for your time, thoughts, and responses and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you from Catholic Family Services.

New Year with New Opportunities — Young Ladies of Worth Groups

It’s new year and a time for positive changes.  We’re offering an opportunity tailor-made for young ladies who want to have help making important changes in their lives.  Check out this information and contact Jennie at the Van Domelen Center (269-381-1234) to learn more.  If you’d like individualized counseling or supports as you make plans for 2012, we can help you with personalized and goal-oriented counseling.  Give us a call and let us help you!  Happy New Year!