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What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, we tend to get caught up in the preparations of the meal, watching of parades and sporting events and spending time with family and friends. For some, the planning and strategizing for shopping the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday consume our thoughts. Have we forgotten the real reason we celebrate Thanksgiving?

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated as a way for the Pilgrims to give thanks for the opportunity to begin a life in the New World. To get to this day, many survived illness and the restriction of freedoms that we now take for granted.

Thanksgiving is the one day a year set aside to give thanks. So what are you thankful for? This is a question that for many can bring about a storm of emotion. This question means something different to everyone.

In recent years, I made a choice to include my closest friends at my family table because close friends are as important to me as family. I am thankful for the opportunity to make this possible.

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for me. I think of those no longer with me to celebrate the holidays and the memories of years gone by. I am thankful for my husband whose love and support I could not live without, my children who teach me what the meaning of love is every day, my family that remind me of where I started and how far we have come, my friends who support me in good times and difficult times and for the opportunities that I have been afforded to make this life one that I am proud of and happy to share with the people I care about.

However you decide to celebrate this year, I urge you to take time to remember why it is that we celebrate this day and to make thankfulness a part of each day not just Thanksgiving. In this fast paced world that we live in, it is too easy to forget to take time to slow down and remember just how we got here.

The Management and Staff of C.H. Edwards, Inc. would like to extend our best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with the opportunity to make memories with those you cherish the most!

Written by: Denise Visco

National America Recycles Day

National America Recycles Day

National America Recycles Day

November 15th is National America Recycles Day. This day is dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products. The America Recycles movement was started in 1997 and since then has helped people everywhere learn the importance of recycling. In honor of today, here are some helpful tips to follow when going green and helping the environment.

Save energy to save money:

 – Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.

-Unplug appliances when you are not using them. Even if they are plugged in and not in use, energy is still being drawn to them.

Save water to save money:

-Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will also lower your water and heating bills.

-Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. 85% of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating your water.

Less Gas = more money:

-If you are traveling a short distance, consider walking or riding your bike instead of driving. Not only will this help the environment but it is better for your health also.

Recycle all plastic/glass bottles and papers:

-It may be a pain but be sure to recycle all of your used bottles and newspapers. Set up a separate recycle can outside by your garbage pails to help make sorting your trash easier.

Help make the earth a better place to live in today! Don’t forget to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Candy Corn Fun Facts

Candy Corn Fun Facts

Although everyone might seem pumpkin spice crazy at the moment, there is always one Halloween classic treat that will never be forgotten. And that is, candy corn. This sweet treat is a Halloween staple and often overlooked. We are going to give you some Halloween fun facts that you might not have known. And after reading our facts, let us know your favorite! And don’t forget to enjoy this classic treat on October 30th because that is National Candy Corn day!

• The original name for candy corn was “Chick Feed” and was marketed toward farmers.

• Candy corn has been around for over 130 years when George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderlee Candy Company, stumbled upon the perfect mixture of corn syrup, sugar and marshmallow flavoring, which invented the tri-color candy in 1880.

• Americans have debated on the style of how the kernels should be consumed. According to a survey, 46.8% of people think that the whole kernel should be eaten at once, compared to 42.7% that start at the white, narrow end. While the remaining 10.6% of people start at the wider yellow end.

• A recent CNN Facebook survey found that older people tend to like candy corn more than younger ones do. The study also found that 86% of females love candy corn compared to 14% of males.

• According to Google Insights, candy corn is the most searched for candy term in Google. Alabama has the highest about of candy corn searches out of all 50 states. The only thing sweeter than “Sweet Home Alabama” is the candy corn itself.

Written by: Sandra Costanzo

April is Autism Awareness Month or should it be renamed Autism Acceptance Month?

April is Autism Awareness Month or should it be renamed Autism Acceptance Month?

Wellness Wednesday

April is Autism Awareness Month or should it be renamed Autism Acceptance Month?

April has been slated to share two acknowledgments to Autism, World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month but what does this really mean. With 1 in 36 children being diagnosed with Autism, is there really anyone left who is not aware? With 1 in 36 is there a person who has not been affected by autism? A family member, a friend, someone who bags your groceries at the supermarket, the person who refills your drinks or cleans your table at your favorite restaurant. Everyone is aware, but have we accepted that this is the future?

Research dollars are raised and spent every year and we are no closer to an explanation for the annual rise in the autism rate. Why does this sound so personal to me? Because it is!

My family recognizes Autism Awareness/Acceptance Day every day. My amazing 24-year-old son Steven is an adult living with autism. Autism took away his ability to have a “normal” life, but he has a happy life surrounded by family and friends that love him for the incredible person he is and together we have supported him while creating a life that re-defines “normal”. Steven is a talented musician, he plays baseball, basketball, golf and he is on a bowling league. He volunteers at Save A Pet, works at his parent’s insurance agency when appropriate projects are presented, is in a book club, takes nature classes, loves classic cartoons, enjoys social activities with friends and loves his family. Most recently, Steven had the opportunity to attend the Campus Experience at Stony Brook University College.  He works hard learning to express himself like others around him through Speech Therapy and continues to make strides although the reality is he will never be able to have a conversation.  That has not stopped him from participating in the activities he loves, making his intentions clear to all or to express love to the many people he cares so much about.  Steven teaches everyone around him that autism means he is differently abled but not less. He approaches every challenge presented to him and gives it his all.  Steven has a happy life and is rarely sad. He has been an active part of creating a life that is perfect for him.  Steven may not ever be a full-time college student or get married but that is not what he was meant to do. I believe he is here to teach acceptance and for that, I am extremely proud!  Steven starts each day with his three words, handsome, smart and strong.  Saying these words give his life meaning and purpose and he carries his purpose in all that he does. That is Autism Acceptance and this is what the world needs more of.

So the next time someone asks you if you’re going to wear blue or “Light it up Blue for autism, make the choice instead to share Steven’s Story. It is a story of acceptance and not awareness. People are aware but that doesn’t stop the finger pointing, judgment, and unrealistic expectations. It’s harder to learn to accept and be part of the much-needed change, a movement toward Autism Acceptance!

by Denise Visco
Steven’s Mom

#WellnessWednesday #AutismAwareness #AutismAcceptance#ILoveSomeonewithAutism #AprilisAutismAwarenessMonth#DifferentNotLess #challenges #hope #dreams #recognition #StevenVisco #StevenMVisco #AcceptallofUs #DeniseVisco#LongIslandInsurance #CHEdwardsInsurance

The History and Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day

The History and Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day

Have you ever wondered who the real St. Patrick was?  Why do we celebrate with parades and big celebrations?  Each year millions of people around the world celebrate this patron saint of Ireland without any knowledge if his life or why he is so important to the Emerald Isle.

St. Patrick was not Irish.  He was born in Wales, a Roman territory at the time in 385 AD and was raised in a wealthy family.  His given name was Maewyn, though some say it was Succat, a Celtic word meaning “warlike”.  His father was a Roman official so Maewyn was also known as Patricus.  When he was 16 he was captured by a clan of Irish marauders and taken to Ireland as a slave.  Once in Ireland, he was sent to County Antrim to be a shepherd.  During this time, he worked outdoors away from people.  Lonely and afraid he turned to religion for solace becoming a devout Christian.

After six years as a slave, Patrick escaped and made his way back to his family.  He began studying in a monastery and there he heard the voice of God telling him to return to Ireland to convert the Pagans to Christianity.  This he did as Bishop to Ireland in 432.  His first church was in Saul in Northern Ireland. Patrick brought many monasteries to Ireland and was thought to have single-handedly responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland.  Patrick explained that the shamrock with its stalk and three separate leaves represented the father, son and holy ghost, the three aspects of the Christian God.

March 17, 481 is considered to be the day St. Patrick died.  St. Patrick’s Day celebrations began in Ireland as a holy day.  The first parade was held in Boston in 1737 and in NYC in 1762 as a response to the prejudice against the Irish-Catholic people.  In an effort to promote cultural pride and acceptance, the Irish community banded together.

Today the Irish and the Irish-for-a-day around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  From wearing green, green beer, green bagels, and the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, St. Patrick’s Day has come far from the recognition of the patron saint of the Emerald Isle.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and make safety a priority for your celebration.

What is a Notary Public?

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public (sometimes called a Notary or a Public Notary) is an individual authorized by the state or local government to officially witness signatures on legal documents, collect sworn statements and administer oaths.  A notary public uses an embossing tool to verify his or her presence at the time the documents were signed.  Most states issue a unique identifying number to each notary public in order to prevent fraudulent use of the embosser.

An attorney or other public figures can be granted notary public status, but no legal training is required to apply for the position.  Certain legal documents are required to be “notarized” in order to be recognized in court, so a notary public spends most of his or her time observing routine signatures.  Due to the fact that identities are so critical, a notary public may also spend some time verifying the names of the parties involved in the signing.  Generally, all parties provide some form of official identification (Driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, etc.) in order for the notary public to feel comfortable about certifying the signatures.

A qualified notary public should have a high level of integrity and respect for the legal process.  Several organizations offer courses on the legal and social aspects of becoming a notary public.  Notaries can not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, creed or religion.

C.H. Edwards, Inc. has a licensed notary on staff and we offer this service to our clients Free of Charge.  This is just an added benefit of choosing an Independent Insurance Agent.

Do not hesitate to come in and take advantage of the opportunity should the need arise.

Antique Jewelry and Fine Jewelry as gifts.  Did you remember Insurance?

Antique Jewelry and Fine Jewelry as gifts. Did you remember Insurance?

Unfortunately, many people who have antique and fine jewelry do not insure it properly and a large segment of this uninsured jewelry is given as gifts. It can often be overlooked insurance until the item is lost or stolen. Here are four simple steps to help you make sure your fine jewelry, antique jewelry and jewelry gifts are protected.

  1. Gather together all the valuables you would like insured. Don’t forget any fine jewelry that household family members have and any heirloom and antique jewelry. Once gathered, take a photo of each piece and it is also a good idea to get an appraisal on any piece that would be difficult to value in a picture alone. Make a list of these pieces and the photos and place them in a safe deposit box along with any jewelry that you won’t’ be wearing on a regular basis.
  2. Review your current insurance for the coverage you already have. You may have some jewelry coverage currently on your homeowner’s or Renters insurance. Check with your insurance agent and ask how much coverage you have for your fine jewelry. Have specifics from your list on what types of jewelry you have and the approximate value.
  3. Get Quotes on Jewelry Insurance. If you need to purchase additional insurance above and beyond what your homeowners or renters policy limits, get a quote from your current agent first. They may be able to give you the best deal since you are an existing customer with other policies in force. If you decide to comparison quote, keep in mind the deductible and don’t forget to ask for discounts if the jewelry is being stored in a safe deposit box.
  4. After you have a good Insurance Policy, Don’t forget about storage and reassessments. Always keep your jewelry in a safe, preferably locked place, such as a safe deposit box. As mentioned above, this may make your insurance lower and of course will reduce the risk of your jewelry being lost, damaged or stolen. Also, remember to get your jewelry coverage reassessed when you get new jewelry or on a regular annual basis, especially on pieces that you feel may go up in value.

By Steven Visco

Driving Safely in Snow and Ice

Driving Safely in Snow and Ice

Winter weather is here and so is the task of driving in snow and ice.  Of course,  the best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all if it can be avoided. This is not always an option so try not to go out until snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work.  Make sure and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for driving safely on icy roads 

  1.  Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop.  You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding.  If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads which will freeze first.  Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks.  The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind them.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions.  Even four-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

Try to incorporate some of these tips into your winter driving experience and have a safe winter weather driving season.

For more information on Auto, Home, Business, Life, and Flood insurance, visit our website at www.chedwards.net.

For more helpful insurance tips and information visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chedwardsinsurance

by Denise Visco

Warm Holiday Wishes and Reflections

Warm Holiday Wishes and Reflections

Warm Holiday Wishes and Reflections

The holidays are just one week away and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued staff, customers and my family for the support that allows me to continue the legacy my father, Gerard Visco handed down to me.

Times are changing and the way we do business must change too.  By choice, our agency has undergone some changes this year in preparation for what will be an exciting, new model of our vision.  I have been at work to prepare for these changes and look forward to unveiling them shortly.

As you celebrate the holidays this year, please know that we appreciate the trust you put in us to protect the people and possessions you value the most. C.H. Edwards, Inc. will continue to improve on the quality of customer service that you have come to rely on and is the main focus of my planning.

From the C.H. Edwards, Inc. family to yours, we wish you Happy Holidays and our warmest wishes for a prosperous New Year!

For more information on C.H. Edwards, Inc. visit our website at www,chedwards.net

by Steven Visco

Decorating Safely for the Holidays

Decorating Safely for the Holidays

Don’t let fire or accident spoil your holiday season.  Use these tips to keep your family safe while celebrating all winter long!

The winter holidays are a time for fun, family, and festivities.  That often means more cooking, decorating, entertaining and shortcuts.  Christmas trees, candles, and holiday lights are responsible for hundreds of fires and accidents each year.  Before you deck your halls, make sure you’re following these safety tips.

-Inspect your holiday decorations carefully to make sure there are no loose or frayed wires.  Choose those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.

-Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate your Christmas tree.

-Purchase only lights and electrical decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance

-Do not overload extension cords.

-Always unplug lights before replacing light bulbs or fuses.

-Don’t use clips or nails that puncture your light cords wire insulation.

-Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations

-Turn off all lights and decorations when you head out for the day or go to bed at night.

-Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working properly as a backup

-If you have a real tree, keep it moist by watering frequently.

-Candle fires in the home are reported to a U.S. Fire Department every 34 minutes during the holidays.  If you are decorating with candles, make sure they are far away from any item that can burn such as furniture, bedding, curtains or other decorations.

Follow these safety tips to ensure Happy Holidays for all!

These tips are designed as general information that may apply to many situations.  Please take them and apply them to your specific information.

For more information on Home, Auto, Business, Life or Flood Insurance, contact the specialists at C.H. Edwards, Inc.  We are happy to provide you with the information that will best protect your family.  www.chedwards.net