Being prepared for a medical emergency


Here is an article I wrote for FAWCO on being prepared in a medical emergency.

Note: Adrianne is not a medical professional; this article offers some resources where you can train to be more prepared for a medical emergency. 

During our weekly call the other day, my cousin asked me if I remembered one of our classmates at university who had watched her mother die because she didn’t know how to perform CPR. I didn’t remember, but immediately thought, “how tragic!”

She went on to recall a recent conversation she had with a former colleague who saved her mother’s life because she performed CPR on her after watching her drop the drinking glass she was holding with a strange look on her face.

Right then and there, we decided to learn CPR online. What would you do if a member of your household became stricken or collapsed? We’ve been asked not to stress our healthcare systems during the COVID 19 pandemic and to call before going to the hospital. It is up to each of us to do our part for the community during these stressful days, weeks and months.

Would you be poised to act quickly and save your loved one’s life? Now that there is a high likelihood that entire nuclear families are saying home together, it is a good idea to prepare for medical emergencies.

Here is a list of skills you can learn free of charge at home along with your household. The life you save may be your own if you all learn this together.  


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest. It is recommended in those who are unresponsive with no breathing or abnormal breathing.  

Learn how to perform CPR online for free.

(Photo credit: Bangkok Hospital PhuketCreative Commons license 3.0)





FOR PETS ‒ They are family too!



CPR for Cats

II. Abdominal Thrusts or the Heimlich Maneuver


My mother, sister and I don’t talk about it, but I saved my sister’s life this winter. I spend half of the year in the bosom of my family in the US, and during one protracted visit, sitting on the recliner in my bedroom my mother purchased for my grandfather so he’d be comfortable during his visits, I heard a bit of a ruckus downstairs. I muted the television and it became clear that I needed to go see what was happening. I saw my mother distressed as she watched her firstborn gasping for air. My sister was unable to breathe, choking on something.

It was clearly not a joke, and I ordered my mother to dial 911 while I performed the Heimlich maneuver. How I managed to do it and get my sister breathing again remains a mystery. I only repeated what I’ve seen on television. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was determined to save my sister’s life. We don’t talk about it perhaps because it was so scary, so traumatizing. We were so lucky. The 911 operator was told everything was OK. I came to the phone and assured her we were OK. I think I went back to my room and cried. 

Don’t be like me. Learn the correct way to perform abdominal thrusts. The Heimlich maneuver, (also called abdominal thrusts) is a first aid procedure used to treat upper airway obstructions (or choking) by foreign objects. The term Heimlich maneuver is named after Dr. Henry Heimlich, who first described it in 1974. Performing the Heimlich maneuver involves a rescuer standing behind a patient and using his or her hands to exert pressure on the bottom of the diaphragm. This compresses the lungs and exerts pressure on any object lodged in the trachea, hopefully expelling it.










Home First Aid Kit


Here is an article I wrote for FAWCO on how to put together.

Note: Adrianne is not a medical professional; these are ideas for you to consider in researching and putting together your own kit. The American Red Cross has a useful list.

Not all medical needs are big emergencies. Having your own first aid kit at home can keep you prepared to treat cuts, stings, scrapes and bites as well as bigger emergencies. Please note that no matter what size your first aid kit is, there may still be situations that require professional medical assistance.  

red and white x logo

You have probably seen a first aid kit at some point in your life. Did you know that Robert Wood Johnson of Johnson & Johnson fame is credited with inventing the first aid kit? Johnson boarded a Colorado-bound Denver & Rio Grande Railway train for a vacation in 1888 and learned during a conversation with the chief surgeon for the railroad how difficult it was to get injured workers to a doctor quickly. This gave Johnson the idea to pack essential items, such as bandages, gauze and dressings, in protective metal boxes that the railroad company could store close to where injuries occurred (Source). 

If you don’t have a first aid kit at home, consider putting one together yourself. Here are some ideas you can adapt to your family size and needs. If you can’t purchase one online, look around to see what you have on hand and substitute where possible. Here is a guide to using a first aid kit.

5 items:

  1. Bandages and dressings – a few adhesive bandages and gauze dressings to cover wounds
    (substitute:  Scotch tape, tissue or an old t-shirt, sock, etc.
    and optional antiseptic cream)
  2. Antibiotic cream – check the expiration date
    (substitute:  non-antibiotic cream: white petrolatum)
  3. Scissors to cut dressings, clothing, etc.
  4. Needle-nose tweezers to pull out splinters, ticks, glass, etc.
  5. Gloves to protect yourself from blood and other body fluids  

10 items:

  1. First aid manual – The manual will help you know how to treat wounds, sprains, bites and other common health issues. The guide should be studied before a crisis arises, and everyone with access to the kit should know the basics of first aid.
  2. Tweezers (see above)
  3. Alcohol swabs – Alcohol swabs are used to clean the infected or wounded area before antibiotic ointment or bandages are placed on the area. Alcohol swabs may also be used in conjunction with anesthetic swabs and can be used to sterilize tweezers if needed.
    (Substitute: hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar)
  4. Antibiotic ointment  (see above)
  5. Bandages (see above)
  6. Gauze pads – Adhesive bandages aren’t always large enough to cover a wound, which is why it’s crucial to have gauze pads in a first aid kit.
    (Substitute: panty liners)
  7. Medical tape – Medical tape is used to secure gauze pads or wraps when they are being used as a bandage. 
  8. Elastic bandages – Elastic bandages help keep a sprained joint immobile and reduce swelling.
    (Substitute: t-shirt strips)
  9. Pain relievers – Aspirin-based and non-aspirin pain relievers should be included in the kit at all times. 
  10. Instant cold pack – Can be used to prevent swelling.
    (Substitute: frozen towel, frozen wet sponge, frozen bag of peas)

Our first aid kit is in a huge storage box and stored in the upstairs bathroom. Where will you keep yours? There is little doubt that empowerment through education will ease some of the stress that comes along with social isolation and staying indoors all day with loved ones who usually have outside activities. Remember you can use this time for the family to learn and prepare for medical emergencies that could arise at any time.

Stay safe and healthy!

RedCross Online Classes


Revere Health

Heart2Heart CPR – First Aid 4 Real (YouTube channel)


Resources for Students and Parents Learning and Teaching from Home, Part 2 of 6: Science & Crafts


The second in a series of articles on homeschooling for FAWCO.

Remember the days when you might have thought homeschooling was a concept only hippies or recluses could embrace? When you thought, “no way would I keep my kids home all day”? Does it seem like a long time ago that you thought, “I’m no educator, I’m just a parent”? For many of us, those days are over. They are a thing of the past. Our new reality means our children are home with us during the day, all day. Their schools are closed. Their teachers are now faces on a computer screen, and you are the teacher’s assistant. 

Welcome to the new reality the coronavirus pandemic has created. The good news is that the world has answered those who questioned their ability to homeschool. The universe has provided tools for the newly initiated teachers’ assistants otherwise known as mom, dad, auntie, uncle, grandma and grandpa. It has even provided an opportunity for godmothers like me to strengthen the bond that busy schedules and distance threaten to weaken.

I have started a weekly English conversation session for my 12-year-old goddaughter and her 14-year-old sister in Berlin. Their younger sisters hang out occasionally, and I am having the time of my life listening to their little voices in their German/Danish accents wrap their young minds around expressing themselves to me in English while deciphering my American accent. For me, this is a dream come true.

What joy will you discover during this time? In this series of articles, we’ll highlight a list of resources and tools for homeschooling covering Art, Books, Cooking, Crafts, Exercise, Math, Mindfulness, Music, Science, Sports, Virtual field trips and Yoga that you may want to embrace even on the other side of the pandemic.This week we’re focusing on Science & Crafts

Want to skip the specifics and just have a list of general resources at hand? Click HERE for a list of 47 helpful websites from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, TCDSB (K–8th grade) and/or check out The Khan Academy for teaching/learning resources (preschool–12th grade), as well as how to create a daily schedule.  Also NEW this week is the Emergency Curriculum Packet created by the Charlotte Mason Institute. 

science clip art edteam article april 2020


Looking for a fun science experiment or want to Skype with a real scientist? Get ready to get messy and click HERE to tap into those amazing resources and so much more to help your child explore the world through the eyes of science!

rainbow clipart edteam April 2020


Do you have glue, scissors, crayons and you’re looking to nurture your kids’ creativity? Click HERE for a list of crafts to fit any age, including coloring pages for tweens and teens, as well as how to upcycle your juice and tissue boxes to make boats and trucks!


 BONUS: Disney (and more) Virtual Field Trips!! Can’t get to Disney? Let Disney come to you and enjoy these rides. Thank you! (Tip: Click through to tour CInderella’s Castle.)


LET’S DO US! Workshops: Black Women in Europe (®) Blog Series

Black Women in Europe Blog

Our multi-award winning brand is reaching out to the community in a new way with a free online workshop series.

I asked and you answered the call!

Be a part of our solution for surviving and thriving in these uncertain COVID-19 days, weeks, and months. You can participate in 4 ways.
(1) Gift your services and products as resources for women and families on lockdown and/or social distancing.
(2) Be an expert panelist on a series of online workshops tailored to our unique needs.
(3) List your online business in our exclusive directory of black women retailers in Europe.
(4) Share this opportunity with other black women in Europe you know who may be interested.

2020 will be hard but together we will survive and thrive.

Adrianne George

Coming up in May we invite you to join our 8 free webinars created with you in mind.

The Power of a Morning Routine
Kids Acting Workshop
Black Women Meditate Workshop
Producer’s Talk Workshop for Adults
Work-/Life-Balance when (suddenly) Working from Home
How to use communication in these times of crisis
How to Start an Online Business During A Pandemic
Black Women Meditate Workshop
Schedule subject to change. Let’s be gracious during these difficult times.

More details including presenter bios, dates, times, and registration information available by clicking on the workshop title.

For June, we have these amazing free workshops lined up so far, with more coming.

Soprano vocal workshop
Start Writing Your Life Story in Just 15 Minutes a Day
Mental Health in a Time of Social Distancing
Developing resilience workshop
SocaFit class
Natural Hair Workshop
Bellydance class
Introduction to music production for beginners
Monthly Meditation
Subject to change. Let’s be gracious during these difficult times.

More details including presenter bios, dates, times, and registration information coming soon!


FAWCO Global Issues Digest Contribution – Art & Math

FAWCO Global Issues

My writing is featured this month on the FAWCO website.

This month we highlight students’ and parents’ thoughts on the current state of education. We also are introducing a 6-week series that features resources to support learning and teaching from home. This week’s focus: Math and Art (next week: Science and Crafts). Or skip the specifics and go straight to a list of 47 helpful resources from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, TCDSB (K‒8) and/or check out The Khan Academy for teaching/learning resources (preschool‒12), as well as how to create a daily schedule.

VP Global Issues Mary Dobrian

FAWCO announces the 2020 Resolutions and Recommendations Chair


I am proud to be a part of this FAWCO team.

Adrianne George

As anyone knows who has tried to describe FAWCO in a few brief sentences, our four pillars of Club Support, Philanthropy, Global Issues and US Issues encompass a world of issues.  Through examining our efforts every two years, we ask our Resolutions and Recommendations Committee to articulate the issues most important right now to the FAWCO Membership and help us focus our energies around our shared core values. We are not a political organization, but there are many issues where agreement can be found amongst our membership. The R&Rs are voted on by our FAWCO clubs at our Biennial Conference, and they are referenced regularly by the board and all our volunteers.  Christine Rigby Hall (AWC Amsterdam)has agreed to serve as FAWCO’s Resolutions and Recommendations Chair.  Christine impressed greatly as the Chair of the 12-member Target Selection Committee, leading the group through a comprehensive review of fifteen excellent project proposals and eventually selecting the top three for consideration of the FAWCO Clubs.

She studied Psychology and received a BA from the University of Kentucky and an MS from Springfield College.  Christine developed professional experience in the fields of Talent Acquisition, Development and Management and has a great track record of leading teams through complicated analysis and transitions.  She will be working with a R&R team to include Deanna Brittain (AWC Basel), Karen Castellon (AWC Berlin), and Adrianne George (AWC Gothenberg, AWC Malmö, AWC Stockholm). 


The Circle of Community: Scratch of Sweden and Halland Regional Hospital

Scratch of Sweden
No Dry Hands Lotion

Nurses are on the front lines each and every day and these days they are in the spotlight. Communities are appreciating their value and as we all are washing our hands and using hand sanitizer like never before, our nurses hands surely must be raw.

Scratch of Sweden has been helping solve nail and hand problems for over 30 years. Today they hoped to help soothe the hands of those who care for us by making a donation to the Halland Regional Hospital. Their products are manufactured in Halmstad where the regional hospital is located, and today a representative from the Region came by.

What a lovely person he is! He brightened my day.

He’s promised to deliver the Scratch of Sweden No Dry Hands moisturizer to the nurses who care for us every day. Community!


(Some of the Amazing) Women Who Changed American Politics

As Americans around the world prepare to go to the polls in person or via absentee ballot to elect the President of the United States in November, it is impossible to ignore the role women have played in American politics. Some names you must surely know, while others may be unfamiliar.

Who are these women and why do they matter? They all share something in common. They were the first. The first in the nation. The first in their state. First. And we know firsts matter because without those there can be no seconds, or thirds or changing of norms.

Read the full article I wrote on the FAWCO website.