Working together for wellness

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

I want to share with everyone about a group, filled with lifetimes of experience and education that gathered at Longwood University to have conversations about the education system, educators, students, how best to serve those learning and teaching, the relationships of technology and economic development.

Allison Crews

The College of Education & Human Services Advisory Board is concerned with education of all levels and (at) my first meeting as a member we learned about the early childhood development offerings, the various degrees of education with the newest being a Master’s of Science in Education, Concentration in Educational Leadership, a new grant utilizing technology for teachers and a change in a degree offered by the Health & Physical Education Graduate Program. I enjoyed listening and learning more about the world of education.

I also had the opportunity to attend the Centra Health Needs Assessment partnership meeting. I came to the group by way of the Piedmont Community Health Coalition which launched in 2012 and with which I’ve been associated since the beginning. The mission of the coalition is to promote healthy lifestyles for individuals, families and communities through collaborative efforts.

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Many representatives from throughout the community attended to advocate for the priorities that deserved narrowed focus for the next several years. Coming in at No. 10 on our local survey was poor eating habits. I feel each need is deserving, but it always comes back to food for me. If we are well-fed with nutritious food, many other issues in our communities would fall away. Often health projects result as nutrient deficiencies. With healthier habits we’ll have fewer cases of diabetes, less obesity, less substance abuse and improved mental health. The common factor is food, but a really great ripple effect is more self-care, which raises quality into our quantity of life. Health is our greatest wealth.

The common thread for me between these opportunities to learn from others is to understand even more deeply how we are all learners, we are all teachers, we are all in this together on this planet we all call home. Earth is the most common denominator we have.

As humans, caring for one another will save the planet. Let’s remember our breath binds us to our bodies and this life. And mindful breath is the easiest access to healing. To heal ourselves, we heal the planet. We are each our own universe. The macrocosm is the microcosm. By healing the lands, the waters, the air we heal our bodies, our minds and our spirits. Everything is connected. Together we are wellness. And with our hearts in the right place we are unstoppable; love is our greatest renewable resource.

ALLISON CREWS is the creator of Natural pHuel – “a space dedicated to feeding ourselves,” in Farmville. She can be reached via email at