Gina S, Pottsgrove Middle School Parent - Kathy Opperman and your entire group- thank you so much for visiting Pottsgrove Middle School today. You empowered the students with your passionate speech. It was interactive and very informative. The entire 90 minute assembly was very well planned and honed in on what matters most, to "be kind", "do you", it's not ok, and "it's ok not to be ok"..all catch phrases that I hope and pray stay with each listening ear. Sitting in the audience made me empowered myself as a grown woman, I can only imagine what it did to the young listening ears!
From Nina Aniskevich, Therapist, who leads the monthly Support Group for Parents who have lost a child to an overdose.
The parents and family members who attend the Families Who Lost a Loved on to Overdose group have been attending faithfully for the last two years. The participants have bonded with each other, finding comfort in knowing they are not being judged. Most were not able to find another small intimate grief group that was free of charge. Through the group they received support and felt safe sharing their emotions around guilt and shame. They have all expressed gratitude for the center providing this group and came to trust my clinical judgement. The participants look forward to seeing each other monthly and providing updated on their progress. We have been there for them through every holiday, anniversary and life milestone where they didn't always get the support from their family. It's an honor to help them process the loss while providing educational around addiction.
Lisa C. "I began working with Nina when I joined a grief group in February of 2019 after the loss of my son. Nina has been so supportive during my grief journey. I credit Nina, my fellow grieving moms and the specialized group for getting me through this very difficult time. Nina guides us through, while letting us do the work and share our pain in our group setting. I am so grateful to have met and worked with Nina over the past few years." -
Sarah R. - For more than two years I have been a caregiver for my Mother who has Alzheimer's, while working part-time. I applied for assistance through Pillars of Light and Love and I was awarded a free month of yoga, two 60-minute massages, and 3 one-hour life coaching sessions. These free services, which I could not have afforded on my own, were a tremendous relief to me. The yoga classes taught me better meditation practices and basics of yoga to continue on my own. The therapeutic massage helped relieve my physical and emotional stress. Also I benefitted tremendously from the coaching sessions, which helped encourage me to manage my Mom's care more effectively, while making time for my own needs. With Deb Tray's guidance I re-evaluated my situation and found what changes would pay off to make me happier and give me more financial freedom. I found a better-paying job because of it, and I am grateful for all the advice she provided. These services, as a whole, were a godsend to me at a time when I needed it most; when I was so focused on my Mom's care that I was neglecting my own. I can't thank Pillars of Light and Love enough!
Kathy Opperman and Pillars of Light and Love have had a tremendous impact on me and my family. My grandchildren began attending the Courageous Kids and Be Me children's programs when they began 5 years ago. I have attended dozens of workshops, programs and community kindness projects at Pillars. My family has learned tips for handling stress from Kathy and the other instructors. But most importantly, we have felt supported by Kathy and the other instructors throughout the years and especially when I had to struggle with a serious accident and the post-traumatic stress from that. Most recently, Kathy organized a Go Fund Me page for me when I lost everything in Hurricane Ida. She raised over $3,000 to help me replace some of what I lot. I have been a volunteer at Pillars for every fundraiser Kathy has had and I give of my time freely to give back to an amazing person, and an organization who does so much for the community.
Bonnie B. - Pillars of Light and Love at the Empowering U Center does just that – Empowers you! I have been attending both workshops and groups since early 2nd quarter of 2016 and their programs have had both an educational, and an inspirational impact on my life. They have become a second family for my son and me, with excellent life coaches and people to turn to in times of private need. I highly recommend their services and encourage everyone to donate to their awesome program! Thank-you so much for all that you do to help Empower ME!
I truly do not think that I can convey the immense effect that Pillars of Light and Love has had on my life. At age 11, I sold scarves at their first fundraising craft fair. At age 13, I auditioned for, and won, the first Julia's Joy Voice Idol Program. Being a part of the competition truly changed my life, and perspective on approaching life with a positive and resilient mindset. We received free voice and stage performance coaching. The following 2 years, I volunteered to help coach the 2018 and 2019 competition, and then I began to work for the organization in the youth empowerment programs. Throughout this time period, I also attended the Julia's Joy Teen Talk program. This program provided such a safe place for me to lean on when I needed to communicate with others about struggles as a teen. It taught me that my feelings are valid, and that taking action for your overall mental wellness is more than ok!! In 2020, I created a teen group at Pillars called, Inspiring U where I lead teens, and peers my age, in volunteer service projects, and we provide tips on the importance of maintaining good mental wellness.
I love how Kathy Opperman, and the organization have taught me about the intangible satisfaction of being able to do good for the community, because to be frank, every community should have an organization like Pillars of Light and Love that offers free resources and support groups to match the needs of the struggling community members. Pillars unifies the community as a whole, and makes the world a 10 times better place!
Cheri S. - I have been having my eight-year-old daughter attend various workshops at Pillars of Light and Love. I know how many challenges there are for young girls her age to face such as self-esteem and bullying. My daughter has always been extremely shy and quiet. After a few classes with great teachers, I have seen her open up to other children with more confidence. The messages taught to children and teenagers are messages of love and acceptance, which are necessary for everyone to hear! We need as many children and adults as possible to hear the messages offered at Pillars of Light and Love. They are helping to end the pain and depression experienced by people who find it difficult to always fit in. Bless everyone involved in this great organization!
Christine M. - What I learned from Kathy Opperman and her workshops at Pillars of Light and Love literally saved my life! I was so unhappy in the circumstances of my life at that time, let alone a list of past baggage to get rid of as well as a list of things I wanted to be for my future self. The power of thinking, and realizing I have had it all along (just didn't know how to use it) helped me make some major steps toward a better mindset- which in turn continues to bring forth more positive (though sometimes disguised!) experiences to me. I could go on and on- but I will forever be grateful that you took to this calling to teach other people how to be their best selves and gain what they want in life by adjusting the way they think about themselves and life. It helped me to make some major changes in my life that opened the door to many amazing things- the best being a great new job and new life in Chicago. I can't believe I've been here for one year now! You truly are a gift from God and I'm so thankful that you were put in my path...
Linda Paugh, Director of Human Resources, Linton's Food Service Management -
Kathy gave a presentation to our leadership team on two occasions on Time and Stress Management. The information and material Kathy presented was not only useful in the workplace but for home and personal life as well. Kathy is engaging, clear speaking and inspiring. Our entire team enjoyed the presentation and had many takeaways!
Pillar of Light is a valuable access in our community. I have had occasion to need services there and the staff is very professional and setting is warm and welcoming.
Susan S: In a world of unbalanced, pillars of light and love has many programs and classes that keep me grounded and positive to make it through all the daily challenges in life.
Biofeedback testimonial from client of the Empowering U Center:
"After trying several different forms of Talk Therapy and self-help modalities over the years, I really hadn't found what I truly needed and that was for someone to help me to help myself. I turned to Biofeedback with Al in January of this year, and the results have been nothing short of amazing. After years of thinking that most of my problems were in my head, it was quite surprising to discover they were literally hiding throughout my entire body! I never considered how my personal nutrition, as well as exposures to stress and environmental toxins were affecting not only my physical health, but emotional and spiritual health as well. Now that I have learned what my body actually needs, and wants from me, I can make the best choices with regard to not only my diet, but also the types of products I use on my body and in my home, and because of this, I find my emotional well-being is at an all time high. Biofeedback has helped me rediscover the most important person in my life-me! And if I don't take care of me, how can I possibly care for anyone else? While we are all the same in many ways, we are just as different, so if you are tired of the many "one size fits all " treatments out there, I encourage you to try this very personalized approach to health and wellness." Learn more about Diane Nolan and Al Rieth and Biofeedback at http://www.empoweringucenter.com/practitioners-and-services.htm
I took my 11 year old daughter for a empowerment kids group it was her 1st time there and Kathy Opperman who runs the Pillars of Light is super kind and have a special gift helping empowering kids they really went above and beyond to making it a very comfortable experience there is a real sense of caring and the woman are so genuine .I'm looking forward to going again .My daughter loved so much she didn't want to take the t-shirt off that they had given her she really had a positive spark after one empowerment group
YOUTH ANXIETY MANAGEMENT TESTIMONIAL:
For some time, our 10 year daughter had been struggling with anxiety and obsessive / compulsive thoughts and behaviors. My wife and I were taking her to a cognitive therapist and we were seeing mixed results. As you can imagine, all we wanted to do was to help our daughter so we continued looking for additional treatment options for her. This is when my wife happened to find a free talk on the benefits of biofeedback therapy at "The Empowering U Center" in Trappe. Following the talk, my wife and I did some additional research of our own and then decided to give the therapy a try. We went in with an open mind and decided from the start that we are committed to ensuring we follow treatment plan.
COURAGEOUS KIDS PROGRAM FEEDBACK
When the children, ages 5-11, made "Feelings Thermometers" in Courageous Kids, we asked the parents to let us know how the children explained the purpose of the Feelings Thermometer at home. Here are a few of their responses:
* You can go into a room by yourself and take a minute to breathe and think about how you are feeling. Then use the thermometer to where I'm feeling.
* I can use the feelings thermometer to let my family know what I am feeling
* You can take a deep breath and count to 10. You can tell others, "I'm not feeling so good right now, please leave me alone."
"Last night after dinner my daughter was upset. She ran upstairs to get the Feelings Thermometer she made at Courageous Kids to show what she was feeling. She has a very hard time expressing her emotions so this tool was very effective in helping her communicate in the moment."
Vision Board Workshop:
Amazing program! would love to do this again really made me think about setting goals and a great way to get your brain organized.
Building a Bridge to Your Future by Overcoming Your Past:
I came as a guest of someone else and I didn’t expect to gain so much as I did. I feel grateful I plan to return.
Teaching Your Child to Create an Abundant Life:
Christie was excellent, gave many practical examples on what to do. I am going to do all the things she suggested. I know that this has totally made a difference in my life.
BE ME Kids Program:
"My daughter looks forward to each BE ME Kids event. She enjoys the crafts and activities and conversations about kindness and how to handle bullies. This is a much needed program for our youth!"
Julia's Joy Teen Talk:
"Thank you for telling me and inviting me to Julia's Joy teen talk. I don't think I've ever felt more comfortable talking about things from depression and suicide to just laughing at jokes than with Carter. He's so so easy to talk to and is understanding about anything and everything. Julia's Joy is truly making the difference in my life that I needed and I'm forever grateful for the Empowering U Center"~ 18 year old Teen
"Beautiful people doing beautiful things."~ Jeannette S.
I started attending the Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse support group 2 years ago; being in a safe community of women that share a bond with me, emotionally validate me and provide tools for coping has helped me to learn more about myself, and the group offers hope for my future. It is an opportunity to talk and/or listen because we are worth it. The group helped me so much that I wanted to pass on this knowledge, support and hope to others so that they can have a fulfilling future. I started leading the group monthly, in the beginning of this year. ~Cindi
Pillars of Light and Love has quickly become my second home. There are so many programs and workshops for so many different needs and goals to be met. Kathy is one of the nicest people I’ve met and I recommend the Julia’s Joy Teen and Tween Talk programs 100% to anyone 12-17 who just needs somewhere to go and talk about anything with somebody who listens. The people and volunteers there are so incredibly nice and they really do know what to say when the time comes! There are so many kids and teens who don’t have someone to talk to or someone who will just listen and Pillars of Light and Love has become that place for me. When you want to do something as a family and volunteer for the community, Pillars of Light and Love is the place to go ~ Keisha
"So many amazing things to do here for all ages. There are countless free Empowerment groups for kids and support groups from kids to adults. Check out their calendar and you’ll see it’s full of fun and support in many capacities. We are lucky to have this place." ~ Julie
"I was there when it started and there have been so many good programs throughout the years which I enjoy and have learned so much and have felt so much love there. Keep up the good work." Sue M
'"These programs give back to the community in a myriad of ways, all with compassion and care." Vicki P