After living in a rural Paraguayan community of 500 for two years, Crofton resident Kelley Matney said she's come back to the states with more confidence and life lessons.
"Even though the Paraguayans are different in some ways, they are very similar to Americans," said Matney in an interview. She just returned to Crofton last week. "Everyone has that basic love of family and desire to better their situation in life."
During her Peace Corps stint, 26-year-old Matney worked in the primary schools, teaching nutrition, dental health, and hygiene standards. She also led cooking classes to encourage healthier family meals as Paraguayan meals tend to include fried foods.
"One of our bigger projects was a boys' sports camp that taught values, planning for the future and gender equality," Matney said.
A graduate of Salisbury University, Matney said she's still deciding her next career move.
"I'm so excited to go back to the United States, a place I haven't been in almost 30 months, to be with my family and friends, to eat all of the food I missed and to move onto the next step in life. But, going home means leaving behind the tranquil life I've grown to love, the friends I've made," Matney wrote in her blog, Move by Yourself, just before returning.
"I've never had a big problem with change, I think its actually something that excites me, hence joining the Peace Corps and moving to a different country, but, this time I want to be able to have it both ways, to keep the new and the old," Matney wrote.
Michael Drummond, executive director of Arundel Lodge, handles a considerable share of distressed phone calls and conversations with friends and family members of patients suffering from mental health disorders.
"Just this morning I had a call about a patient who had an outpatient appointment with Arundel Lodge but at the last moment decided they did not want to come," Drummond told members of the Kiwanis Club and Foundation of Crofton at its latest member meeting. The local Kiwanis club typically features community organizations or activities at its monthly meeting.
Drummond looked to the recent death of actor Robin Williams, who reportedly had severe depression issues before his suicide, in discussing the importance of mental health disorder patients having a support system with the caller. "They came but that advice doesn't work every time," he said.
Drummond, who heads up the Edgewater-based nonprofit group that helps people with behavioral health disorders, discussed Arundel Lodge's growth in services and demand from the community.
In fiscal year 2009, the organization's outpatient mental health clinic saw 365 people. By fiscal year 2014, that number is expected to reach 1,446 patients. Part of that growth has been fueled by offering same-day access to therapists and mental health professionals, which increases the likelihood that those with mental health illnesses will actually be treated.
"In being able to get these people access to the medical treatments they need, we've seen some remarkable results," Drummond told Kiwanis members. He noted a young man with schizophrenia, who lives at one of Arundel Lodge's 32 residential homes for its residential rehabilitation program, has improved enough to be more engaged in his everyday routine.
The Arundel Lodge's next big project is building a children and adolescents behavioral health center that would help youth with disorders like anxiety, depression, eating issues, and drug addiction. The group already has received $70,000 in grants but they expect the total endeavor will require $340,000 more in funding.
Learn more about the organization at http://www.arundellodge.org.
New pastor at Faith
The Rev. Ed Regensburg, who helped found the Faith Community Church of Gambrills back in 1978, has recently retired after being on medical leave, the church announced. Regensburg, who is remaining in the area, has ongoing symptoms from a rare form of Lyme disease.
With a congregation of 750, the church will welcome the new leading pastor, the Rev. Kevin Cassidy, on Sept. 14. Cassidy, who has been in pastoral ministry for 30 years, helped create a church in Syracuse, N.Y., and also served as a senior pastor in central Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Karen, have been married for 31 years.
Learn more about the church at faithcommunity.net.
Coming Up in Crofton
Friday — The Mid-Atlantic Community Church will celebrate the end of summer with a 5K Color Run and 1K walk at 6:30 p.m. The Color Run, which includes color bombs on runners, will be at the church's new campus at 2485 Davidsonville Road. Proceeds go to helping children in need to go back to school and other church missions. Registration is $8 and runners are encouraged to wear white shirts. Learn more and register online at at http://www.themacc.org/macc-color- or call 410-721-1400.
Send your Crofton news to email@example.com.