Serving Veterans in Our Community

Serving Veterans in Our Community

Special Feature

Are you a veteran or know someone who is? The Alabama based non-profit Still Serving Veterans (SSV) was founded in 2006 to specifically assist veterans, at no charge, with securing employment.

SSV offers in person employment counseling to Veterans, transitioning military and members of the Guard and Reserves at its offices in Birmingham, Huntsville and Phenix City. SSV also has a virtual employment team that assists clients across the United States. Last year, SSV conducted over 10,000 one-on-one free counseling sessions and through SSV, 737 Veteran clients were hired resulting in 34.9 million in new salaries and benefits to clients. “Our approach to employment counseling is holistic: we help our clients not just during military-to civilian transitions but during life transitions, engaging one-on-one and person-to-person, not via webinars or chat rooms,” explains Al Wood, the Regional Director of SSV, Birmingham.

“My work with SSV helped me translate my military skills into civilian competencies which boosted by confidence.” said U.S. Army Veteran Jurann H. “Being unemployed for two months, I began to lose faith and doubt my abilities, but I am grateful for the SSV team which was proactive in following up with me even on unsuccessful interviews and helped me identify how to be better prepared for the next opportunity.” Another Still Serving Veterans client, Janice T, U.S. Air Force, adds, “Finding a job is a full-time endeavor. Many of the same jobs and companies that I applied to previously were opportunities that SSV sent me on a daily basis. The key difference this time was that I had an advocate on my side that was able to connect me with a recruiter; a real person. It was a game changer when SSV connected me to a real person, not only did I get an interview, I was offered the job.”

To learn more visit www.ssv.org or call 1-866-778-4645. †

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The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic

The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic

Special Feature

Presented by Alabama Teen Challenge Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

Phil Cook in 1977 after completing the Alabama Teen Challenge program and today serving as Senior Pastor at Rich Valley Church, Valrico, Fla.

1977 Alabama Teen Challenge graduate, Phil Cook, came to Alabama Teen Challenge as a teenager and now 40 years later he is sharing the life-saving message that saved him. A supporter of Teen Challenge and senior pastor of Rich Valley Church, Valrico, Fla., Cook testifies to the longevity and continued success of Alabama Teen Challenge:

“In 1977, at the age of 15, living in NYC, doing drugs and rebellious- I got deep into trouble and I was interviewed for Teen Challenge at the Brooklyn NYC Teen Challenge on Clinton Ave. –My parents didn’t know what to do with me, my dad was from Alabama and I had family there, so I ended up going to B’ham Alabama Teen Challenge-within two weeks I asked Christ into my heart and was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. I stayed at the induction center for the whole year- the director even moved me into his own home for the last 6 months. I went on to Southeastern University, met my wife, have 3 children, 3 grandchildren and even went to grad school. I was ordained and in 1986 we started the South Florida Teen Challenge- I have also started two churches -Calvary Church & Rich Valley Church- these ministries are all thriving! None of this would have been possible without the beautiful mercy and grace of God…….and the ministry of Teen Challenge!” Pastor Phil Cook, ’77 Alabama Teen Challenge Graduate

 

Alabama Teen Challenge, Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

205-763-0909, P.O. Box 270, Lincoln, AL 35096, www.alatc.org 

“Too many young people have already lost their lives, and too many others have suffered serious injury for us to ignore the problems. Programs such as Teen Challenge work to change people’s lives by changing their hearts. Let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be you.”  President George W. Bush

 

“I saw the humble beginnings of Dave’s ministry in New York City and it was a dangerous setting with all the violence in the gangs. It’s beyond calculation, the lives that have been touched and changed, who in turn have touched and changed many more. The impact is enormous. Really, it’s God’s work.” Pat Robertson/Pres. The 700 Club 

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Paws-itively Training & Puppy Kindergarten!

Paws-itively Training & Puppy Kindergarten!

Two by 2

Well-socialized and well-trained pets are happy pets and happy pets mean happy owners! Helping your pet learn proper behaviors and reactions to certain events helps them become a successful member of your family.

Spending time training, exercising and socializing your dog or cat is one of the most important gifts you can give to your furry family member and will help you form a strong bond together. Using positive reinforcement like praising, giving treats and positive attention will help your pet learn the good behavior and discourage undesired behavior. Starting early as a puppy or kitten or soon after you adopt is best, but training can be applied to pets of all ages. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

Valleydale Animal Clinic offers ongoing personal dog training sessions and hosts group classes with our American Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer. Starting Sunday, October 1 through Sunday, October 22, you and your dog (over 5 months) can participate in our Paws-itively Training Course. In this 4-week class, you and your dogs will learn the foundations of basic obedience including “sit/down/stay/come” and proper leash walking, as well as “drop it”, “leave it” and “take it” and other ways to help your dog become a successful member of your family.

Have a puppy? On Thursday, October 5 through Thursday, October 26, bring your dog 5 months and younger to our “Puppy Kindergarten”!  It’s an opportunity for you and your puppy to learn proper socialization with other pets, crate training and house training, how to discourage puppy biting and recommendations on nail trims, baths and an introduction to grooming.

Both courses are $100 each and include materials. They are based on a positive method of training using a clicker and reward system. All dogs must be up to date on age appropriate vaccinations. Registration is required. Call 991-5416.  For more information visit www.valleydaleanimalclinic.com.

Jeff Falone, DVM 

Valleydale Animal Clinic

205-991-5416

www.valleydaleanimalclinic.com

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Financial Advice for Grieving Widows

Money Matters

I recently heard award-winning author Kathleen Rehl speak on the grief stages of widowhood and how to relate to this growing segment of our population. She shared that 70% of women will be widowed and the median age of widows in America is 59.  Widows make up 3.5% of our population with over 1 million added each year. Rehl explained that financial advisors often try to solve all problems widows face immediately with charts, graphs and analysis; but many recent widows need time and space to grieve before making important financial decisions. Also, each situation is different depending on the circumstances of the loss. Here are some steps taken directly from Rehl’s website (www.KathleenRehl.com) that could help you as a family member, friend or financial advisor of a recent widow.

Communicate with Empathy. Don’t use clichés like: “You have my deepest sympathy; I’m sorry about all this; At least you have your children.” Rather, say: “When I heard about [spouse’s name]’s sudden death, I was shocked. I don’t know what to say to ease your pain. I’m here for you. There’s nothing you have to do immediately. Just take care of yourself, and let your family and friends step up. They love you. How about if I call you on [set a date] and we’ll talk more then?”

Focus on the Financial Triage. A new widow in the first stage of widowhood is highly stressed. Often, she’ll say she “feels numb,” “in a fog,” or like she’s “going crazy.” As a grieving spouse, she needs to be heard and understood. She wants to feel safe.

  • Don’t encourage a new widow to make major, irrevocable decisions like moving to a new home.
  • Do check on her cash flow. Be sure bills are paid and insurance is in force.
  • Do assist in applying for death benefits, but don’t invest new money immediately. Park life insurance proceeds in a safe account until new goals are set. Help her guard against well-meaning friends with hot investment tips.

Be Her Thinking Partner. You’re not there to tell her what to do. Help her make decisions that are right for her and the family. She used to do that with her husband, but now she needs some wise assistance in moving forward. It may be up to a year or so before a widow transitions through the various stages of grief, so plan accordingly. The later stages of grief, will be the time for general planning such as repositioning investment portfolios, making career or postretirement decisions, education planning, and housing issues.

GO SLOW…  Any suggested transitions or change will be an opportunity for grief to manifest itself.  Grieving is not only for the loss of the loved one but often it is also over the death of the financial dreams they shared together. For more resources visit www.kathleenrehl.com.

-R. Heath Morris, CFP®

Vision Financial Group 

4505 Pine Tree Circle, Birmingham, AL 35243

205-970-4909, www.visionfinancialgroup.com

Investment Advisory services offered through Investment Advisors, a division of ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through ProEquities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA & SIPC.  Vision Financial Group, Inc. and West Alabama Bank are independent of ProEquities, Inc. Securities and insurance products offered are not bank deposits, have no bank guarantee, are not FDIC insured, and may lose value.

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A Halloween Trick?  An Unexpected Slip & Fall

A Halloween Trick? An Unexpected Slip & Fall

Legal Matters

presented by: Frank S. Buck, P.C., Personal Injury

Imagine you are with your kids at a business trick or treating when suddenly your shoe gets caught on a broken tile on the floor and you fall breaking your ankle, what do you do? Alabama law requires businesses to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition, free of defects, dangers and hazardous conditions. Businesses are also required to warn the public if there is a hazardous condition which could cause injury to customers and visitors who enter their premises. If a slip and fall occurs which causes you injury, it is important to let a manager or other employee of the store know so that an incident report can be made at the time of the fall. Furthermore, you should seek medical treatment immediately so that a doctor can assess your injuries. In the example of the broken tile, the store should have repaired the broken tile which was obviously dangerous to customers and was a defect on the premises. On the other hand, it is important that you use care and pay attention to where you are walking when you are at a business. Alabama law protects businesses from slip and falls if you are simply clumsy or fall over something that you should have noticed. In this case, the business could not have prevented the fall and did nothing wrong.

When a restaurant, grocery store, spa, gym, convenience store, bank or any other business where a customer would enter looking for a product or service where they intend to spend money causes an injury to a customer because they left a spill on the floor or failed to repair a dangerous area on their property, they can be held responsible under the law to compensate the injured person for their injuries, pain and suffering. If a person slips on a puddle of coffee that has been on the floor and the manager had prior notice of the spill but failed to clean it up, there is legal liability on the part of the business. It is the duty and responsibility of the owners or managers to extend utmost care and diligence to keep visitors from harm. If you have an injury that was caused by someone else, whether it be a wreck, a wrongful death, wrongful prescription, slip and fall or any other injury please do not hesitate to contact us. We have made it our life work to help injured people.

Frank S. Buck, P.C., Attorneys at Law have been offering professional legal services and serving Alabama citizens for over 40 years.  We have experienced trial attorneys who have over 89 years of combined trial experience.  You can reach us 24 hours a day at (205) 933-7533.  Please call us for a free consultation.

Read more from Frank Buck at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Family/Legal Matters.

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Estate Planning for Individuals with Disabilities

Estate Planning for Individuals with Disabilities

Legal Matters

presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning

Why Everyone Should Have a Special Needs Trust in Their Plan

Estate plans should include planning for a loved one’s financial and physical protection in the event of a disability. This is often overlooked by individuals that do not currently have disabled loved ones because they do not see such planning as applicable to their situation. Family members that have disabled loved ones are often so consumed with living day-to-day that they never get around to planning. If they do make plans, it often is in response to incorrect information received from non-legal sources.

Why Should I Include Disability Planning in my Estate Plan when no one in my Immediate Family is Disabled? The simple answer is that you never know when something will happen in the future to a loved one that will require disability planning. Having provisions in your Will or Revocable Living Trust that provide instructions on what happens if someone becomes disabled allows you to protect family members in the event of tragic accidents or illnesses that are unforeseen.

What do you mean by a “Disability Plan?” Individuals with disabilities may need someone to manage their newly inherited assets so no one takes advantage of them and squanders the assets. Financially eligible individuals with disabilities may qualify for government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. To protect your beneficiaries, your estate plan must include provisions that address the oversight of the assets and the government regulations surrounding these benefits.

How do I Prevent a Beneficiary from being Ineligible or Losing Benefits? Your Will or Revocable Living Trust should have provisions for a “supplemental needs trust,” also called a “special needs trust” in the event a loved one is disabled at the time you pass away. The language used in this type of trust is compliant with specific federal and state requirements that allow the assets to be used for the beneficiary’s benefit without being counted as assets that can cause the beneficiary to lose benefits or otherwise be ineligible.

Your attorney should help you determine the type of plan you need and prepare the supplemental needs trust for you.

Melanie Bradford Holliman 

Partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC

Practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust.

2491 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Ala. 35124

205-663-0281, www.bradfordholliman.com

This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice.

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Native American Experience: Authentic, Educational & Fun!

Native American Experience: Authentic, Educational & Fun!

City Scene 

For the 8th year in a row, Aldridge Gardens in Hoover will host Whispers of the Past, Sunday October 8. Poarch Creeks from Atmore, Ala. will demonstrate authentic Pow Wow dancing.

Bring the family to Aldridge Gardens in Hoover on October 8 to experience a day discovering the culture and contributions of Native Alabamians. From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Whispers From the Past – A Native American Experience, offers demonstrations, activities, and presentations authentic to American Indians of the Southeast. Demonstrations include authentic Pow Wow Dancing with Medicine Tail Dancers and Singers provided by the Poarch Creeks of Atmore, Ala., flintknapping/observing how real stone arrowheads were made, American Indians creating baskets from long-leaf pine needles and dolls from corn husks, and Porch Creek Indians playing Stick Ball (Modern Day Lacrosse). Hands on activities include fishing with cane poles and worms in the Aldridge Gardens Lake, beading on looms, creating a clay coil pot to take home, leaf pounding, corn grinding, artifact hunting and gourd crafting. Cherokee Indians will also be telling stories with rattles, flutes, and drums and visitors will be able to purchase unique items including projectile points and arrowheads, Choctaw foods and crafts, jewelry and beadwork, and woven baskets. The event is endorsed by the Administration at the State Department of Education and local school districts. Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for students and free for children three and under. Off-site parking and shuttle are available at nearby Bed Bath & Beyond on Lorna Road. For more event details visit www.aldridgegardens.com or call 682-8019. †

 

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5 Ways to Build a Strong Foundation of Faith

5 Ways to Build a Strong Foundation of Faith

Bringing Out the Winner

I read an article recently that stated that 24% of young adults under 30 years old have zero religious affiliation. The article also said that the Christian faith is on the decline, dropping down to a little over 40% of the population in America. Is this true? Not sure what the article’s percentages were based on – but it does make you step back and think…

Will my child be part of these percentages one day?

Passing on to our children the faith we share in Jesus Christ doesn’t just happen. This is especially true in today’s society where many would argue that the Christian faith is under attack.  Being persecuted for our biblical beliefs has become the norm rather than the exception. Our children will not have a strong faith within their own hearts without guidance and instruction from their parents. Here are just a few ideas of how to build a solid foundation of faith in our children:

1) Pray with your children DAILY.

2) Do short devotions (not sermons) with your children to help engrain biblical truths.

3) Admit your own mistakes instead of covering them up – this builds trust.

4) Show your children a truly giving heart that loves unconditionally.

5) Exemplify Christ, and they will watch – children listen with their eyes.

We all have estate plans to pass along our earthly possessions to our children. Why not set up a plan to pass along the most important thing in the world? Faith in Christ and a heavenly eternal destination that is secured in Him!

It’s our call.

John Croyle, Founder, Big Oak Ranch 

Author, Who You Are/Defying the Circumstances that Define Us, Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child, The Two Minute Drill to Manhood and Raising a Princess, www.bigoak.org

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New Christian Brothers Automotive Now Serving Trussville

New Christian Brothers Automotive Now Serving Trussville

Special Feature

The Christian Brothers Automotive Trussville team includes Luke Younger/Owner, Javar Fields/Technician, Michael Mercer/Technician, Keith Calhoun/Technician and Rusty Quinn/Service Manager. Visit them at 5635 Chalkville Mountain Road, www.cbac.rom/Trussville.

Christian Brothers Automotive was founded more than 30 years ago with one simple idea in mind: provide customers with auto repair services they could trust. The brand quickly found a following that is hungry for honest, genuine service, and has enjoyed impressive growth ever since. The Trussville location opened September 11 at 5635 Chalkville Mountain Road and the team is focused on helping vehicle owners experience the Christian Brothers Automotive nice difference.

Luke and Kendall, along with their two children Eli and Evie Kate, moved from Dallas to spearhead the new location. Kendall is originally from Alabama and the couple is extremely excited to be a part of the community and to serve its residents. The Youngers chose Christian Brothers Automotive because of its honesty and transparency, and they hope to show customers that they are not just about a transaction, but they are about making friends and being a fresh, trusted resource to the Trussville community. “We love the city and the people we have met thus far,” said Luke Younger. “We cannot wait to get to know and gain the trust of many more Trussville residents.”

Kendall, Evie Kate, Luke and Eli Younger welcome customers to the new Christian Brothers Automotive in Trussville.

Mark Carr, president and CEO of Christian Brothers Automotive, expressed his excitement at welcoming the Youngers to the family. “Our customers know what to expect when they walk into a Christian Brothers Automotive, including a clean and comfortable waiting area, a friendly and attentive staff that is willing to go above the call of duty, and automotive technicians who understand our customers are the boss,” Carr said. “Christian Brothers Automotive has succeeded because we’ve transformed how people view the auto repair experience, and we know Luke and Kendall Younger will carry on our commitment to superior service.”

 

 

-Visit Christian Brothers Automotive Trussville 

5635 Chalkville Mountain Rd, 35235

205-508-0816

www.cbac.com/Trussville

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