Claire’s Front Porch

A place to rest, be nurtured and take a break from your daily cares. A gathering place for those seeking solace, laughter and social support.

Claire’s Front Porch provides programs for people affected by life’s challenges. All programs are provided at no cost to participants.

Donations of time, talents or contributions of any kind are always welcome.

The mission of the Claire’s Front Porch is to provide a place of hope, encouragement and kindness, where people can find emotional support, information and friendship.

Please note that the location and contact information on the brochure below has changed. Claire’s Front Porch is on hiatus as we seek a new location to host the programs.  Contact Patricia via email: theangelpinlady@gmail.com

Continue reading Claire’s Front Porch

Storytelling for Seniors

You are never too old or too sick to enjoy a good story!

Over the past five years, I have been going to visit a group of wonderful WWII Vets and seniors living in nursing home facilities. I give each resident a warm, cozy lap blanket, bouquet of fresh flowers or a stuffed animal. Most of the Seniors are in wheelchairs, with big wheels, metal sides and brakes, far removed from the way they used to get around.

To learn more about this project, please contact me or visit the full site, where you can read some of these amazing stories.

Happy Flower Day

Since I began the Happy Flower Day Project in May of 2013, thousands of residents of senior living facilities have been surprised by the gorgeous flowers donated by a specialty food market.  I am so grateful to them for sharing so many beautiful bouquets. It has been so much fun for me!

 

Thousands of bouquets of fresh flowers have been delivered to surprise people in need of a smile! Please read how the Happy Flower Day Project began and also my daily blog about where flowers are taken each day.

Moral of the story: Never underestimate the power of a bouquet of flowers for someone in a nursing home or even on the street! The heavenly fragrance, the beauty and the surprise of a gift of flowers has shown me that little things mean a lot.

Please stay posted for two books about the Happy Flower Day Project. December 1, 2017 publication date.

 

Christmas on Lindbergh Mountain

An Enchanting Family Christmas Story

Christmas on Lindbergh MountainOnce upon a time, in a small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania… in the community of Richboro, PA, the Gallagher family wrote a book, Christmas on Lindbergh Mountain. For years, they just read it on Christmas Eve… from 1996 until this year…
Now they want to share the heartwarming story with families all over the world.This website includes lots of sure-fire ways to have fun: party ideas, recipes, fun things to do, downloads of photos like Santa feeding his reindeer, a map from the North Pole… Christmas Eve will never be the same!

Visit the site

Speaking About Depression Project

Truth: A Way Back for a Man and His Family

Our family was profoundly impacted by the devastating effects of depression, but by opening up about it, we have created positive possibilities in our lives. And we have become much closer because of it. This experience inspired our family to write the book No More Secrets: A Family Speaks About Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide. As a family we have been featured in the press and have been guests on television and radio programs. We welcome the opportunity to share our story to help other families. Click the link below to read article.

John Gallagher’s story in Guideposts Magazine

Our website is  www.speakingaboutdepression.com and community blog  – for people who have suffered with depression and their families. Speaking openly about depression helped our family. We hope that this site will help your family too.

 

Link to my Amazon Author Page with all titles listed

20 Wonderful Things

What is the “20 Wonderful Things” Program?

This refers to the engaging and interactive program that I offer for seniors. I bring in a vintage apple basket and an old suitcase filled with lots of colorful items and we have a wonderful discussion. When I take an item out of the basket, I hear lots of “ooh’s and ahh’s.” Each item reminds the residents of a story, or a a good time in their life. We all share what comes to mind when something is held up to view.

The program is cognitive, tactile, and inspirational. Lots of discussion and laughter! I ask thought provoking and open-ended questions:

  • Who do you love the most?
  • Who loved you the most?
  • Were you ever a Scout?
  • What is your favorite pie?
  • Who was your first real love?

These simple questions slip into the minds of the participants and lots of memories come forth.

The conversation changes from the usual talk about what time is dinner or what staff is on tonight. An interesting discussion always ensues. Then I hold up a variety of props, the 20 Wonderful Things. Listed below are some of the questions and a variety of answers:

  1. Cooking Pot: What is your favorite thing to cook? Tender roast turkey with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, fresh-made popcorn, macaroni and cheese, fish tacos, beef stroganoff, sweet potato pie, collard greens (Talking about all of those good meals lures them back to another time, back to a dining room with heavenly smells, dinner with their grandparents and family. We almost smell the food cooking.)
  2. Ice-cream bowl: Tell me about your favorite ice-cream parlor. What do you like to put on your banana split? Chocolate chips, peanuts, chocolate syrup. Remember Magic Shell? Hot fudge. Whipped cream. Blueberries and strawberries. Chips of dark chocolate. Anything gooey or crunchy. Wheat germ. Caramel sauce and almonds.
  3. Tell me about your favorite playground and what you liked to do? The one with the wooden tractor. The one with the Merry-Go- Round. I liked amusement parks like Woodside Park and Willow Grove Park. I still like the swings and trying to swing your feet to the sky. Flying a kite. Playing King of the Hill. Hanging upside down on the monkey bars. Using chalk to make pictures on the sidewalk. Blowing bubbles.
  4. A cookbook titled Things to Make in Your New Blender. (copyright 1957) What do you like to make in a blender? Eggnog. Milkshakes. Icing for cakes. Margaritas. I used to mix the ingredients for fragrant soaps in my blender. Banana smoothees. Salad dressing. Blind Date Pudding.

We talk about chores, good meals around the table, the flaky crust on a pie they used to make, the hard work they used to do, and the old company they used to keep. One lady said, ” I really like this because you are really talking to us.”

Every resident gets a gift, every time! They can select from our large sack of stuffed animals – a reminder that they are loved! (And then, we ask why they selected the particular animal. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!)

Excellent references available. We will gladly provide you with the names of other care facilities where we have offered our program.

To learn more, please contact me or go to the full site http://20wonderfulthings.wordpress.com, which includes some of the story ideas we’ve covered with participants and feedback from the seniors.

“The Send a Team of Angels to Help Movement”

How did the Send a Team of Angels to Help Movement Begin?

Some people say that I tried to pin the world together, one angel pin at a time. What I was really trying to do was pin my own family back together, one prayer at a time. A “Team of Angels?” Where did the thought even come from?

I began the “Send a Team of Angels to Help Movement” quite by accident, or was it divine Providence? During the months prior to my husband’s accident, I wrote poems. I sat in a church or in my living room scribbling my poems on napkins and scraps of paper.

I also kept a notebook in my car, in case I was inspired while driving.

I jotted my thoughts and worries down and rhymed the words into verses, sometimes while watching my kids at sporting events, or sitting in a doctor’s office.

That year, I filled several Dollar Store notebooks. I didn’t know much about the computer, so everything was done the old-fashioned way, by longhand. I called them Team of Angels poems.

I crafted little angel pins from materials I purchased at the craft store. I attached the homemade-on-the kitchen-table angel pins to pieces of cardboard, bearing my poem. Writing the poems and making hundreds of the little pins was my way of coping, with the uncertainty of my own life.

The pins were later made into gold lapel pins. Please contact me directly if you would like to purchase the actual Team of Angels  gold lapel pin attached to a glossy bookmark bearing select poems. You will receive 1 Team of Angels pin and 5 bookmarks.  The cost is $12 which includes postage. (Limited number of pins and bookmarks available.) 

 

 

The verses of the poems were little prayers. The first poem was titled A Team of Angels for the Overwhelmed which aptly described my feelings. I then added hundreds of other poems to my sort of daily diary of my feelings.

They expressed the confusion and despair in my own life, the anguish of a frightened wife and mother, dealing with a husband suffering with depression. I never had any intention of “Mom’s little angel pins” becoming a ministry or business. Over 125, 000 of my Team of Angels pins have traveled worldwide.

I authored three books about my “Team of Angels” adventures.
Patricia’s Amazon Author Page for 14 books

I welcome interviews and speaking engagements.

Please click this link to see Patricia Gallagher sharing her story about  The Send a Team of Angels to Help project.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djD9zEUozxU

 

Raising Happy Kids

Just how do you raise happy kids?

I guess this is one of the age-old questions – how do you raise happy kids? What advice would you give to help other parents? We can all learn from each others’ experiences.
So use a “fake name” if you want to remain anonymous. I just would love to hear your “two cents of wisdom.”

Visit the site

My four children and me……back in the day.