Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kids Get Active With Generation On

                I was watching television this morning and there was a commercial for kids to raise food for pantries.  They referred the viewer to  So, being in the mind of service, I looked it up.  This website has great ideas for kids to participate in to raise money or collect donations of food for the pantries. 
                If you remember Animal House, you will appreciate the clever play on words for the activity named, “Pantry Raid.”  (I’m easily amused.)  They also encourage kids to make friendship bracelets to raise money.  These are just a couple of ideas that they have.  I encourage you to visit the website and see more.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Building Communities Through Charity

                I recently attended a baby shower that our church put on to support a charity.  It was wonderful to see those who intended enjoying coffee, cake, punch and great conversation.  Everyone enjoyed themselves.  Everyone had a chance to open a gift and “ooh” and “ahh” the gift.  The generosity of our parishioners amazes me, but the boon of the baby shower was how the parishioners came together as a community.  Charity does not have to be writing a check and forgetting about it.  Charity can be so much more.
                Whether it is your family, church, work, or the community you live in, when people get together for an event such as this, there is a bonus.  When you do something good together, you become closer.  You are working together for a goal which you believe in.  It’s hard to put in words, but trust me, if you try it, you will want to find more opportunities to have fun while helping others.  In my posts, I’ve given two examples, Dodge ball for Diapers and the Baby Shower.  What creative things can you come up with?  As always, if you would like to share your ideas, please email me at

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time to Plan Your Garden

                As spring rolls around, gardeners are planning their crops.  We always plant beans because they have a good return and they put Nitrogen back in the soil.  Of course there are the tomatoes and peppers.  My daughter loves peas and will eat them straight off the vine.  Every year, we try carrots, beets and potatoes, but our root vegetables don’t do very well.  The cabbage family on the other hand does great.  Fall will be spent making stuffed cabbages to freeze.  My husband likes summer squash, but we don’t usually plant them because they are too bountiful and don’t freeze well; at least not that I know of.  
There are a lot of crops that turn out more than the average gardener can handle.  Their coworkers run and hide when they see them come in with a bag full of cucumbers.  You can only eat so many of them.  But instead of not planting certain vegetables out of respect for your friends, here is something to consider.  Plant what you like and give the extras to the food pantry.  Fresh vegetables are always welcome and you will be giving to people who will appreciate the fruits of your labor. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity (PHD)

                “I wondered why somebody didn’t do something.  Then I realized that I am somebody,” is a saying that is decoupaged on a rock on my desk.  Marion Stocker, the founder of the Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity (PHD) put this saying into action when she felt empathetic toward unmarried women who felt that abortion was their only option.  In 1971 she started a hotline in her home.  It was the first pregnancy help center in Illinois.
                Today PHD provides counseling and support services to over 700 clients and their immediate families.  Their counseling services include: pregnancy support, 0-3 parenting skills, crisis intervention, grief and loss of a child/pregnancy, pregnancy decision making, post adoption, post abortion and postpartum depression.  They support their clients through services such as pregnancy planning, pregnancy testing, childbirth preparation, community linkage and referral, baby and maternity closet, mom and tot classes and educational opportunities through their library and classes. 
                PHD also has a prevention arm called, “Motivate.”  It includes a program which focuses on healthy sexuality and relationships for adolescents and learning the power of abstinence, one program which teaches parents how to talk to their children about sex, another program for parents of toddlers and preschoolers and an anti-bullying character education program for grade school students.   
                Finally, PHD offers a Baby Closet which distributes baby food, clothing, formula, diapers, winter coats and layettes.   Each layette provides a baby’s needs throughout their first 9 months of life.  More than 80% of PHD’S clients are at or below the poverty level and receive items from the Baby Closet for free.  But this could not be possible without donors.  PHD is one example of an organization that would benefit from a baby shower.  For more information about this organization please visit their website at

Monday, April 8, 2013

April Showers

                With a forecast for rain all week, I consider it fitting to talk about showers.  Who doesn’t like a baby shower?  It’s a good way to share in the excitement of a bundle of joy coming into this world.  Those who have grown children are always amazed at the new-fangled gadgets that have come out since they were knee deep in diapers.  This leads to the stories of the struggles that they went through before someone invented the backpack that held babies close to their mothers.  One shower that I attended had a diaper raffle.  Those who brought in a package of diapers got a ticket and a chance to win a prize.  It was one of the few times in my life that I won a raffle. 
                But before the shower, there is the excitement of picking out the presents.  Yes, diapers are a necessity, but that outfit with the pink frills is adorable.  And who can’t resist the jammies with the footies?  In some ways the shopping is more fun than the shower.  But alas, babies tend to be spread out over the years and showers are scarce.  You and your friends are finished having kids and your children are busily working on careers.  What is a woman to do?  Throw a shower!  Yes, I said it.  Throw a shower.  The goods bought for the shower can be donated to hospitals or an organization which helps those who are expecting, but hit hard by the economy.  So go out and have some fun.  Play “Name that Baby Animal,” and help someone bring their child into a world full of love.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Walking Season

                April marks the beginning of the “Walk” season as I like to call it.  Walks for charity begin now.  One that I have been known to participate in is the “March for Babies,” mostly because both of my daughters were preemie.  My first daughter was only five weeks early, but by going through that experience I was prepared mentally for my second daughter who was twelve weeks early.  I was blessed that both of my girls were born healthy and strong.  But, I know the pain of waiting and hoping and not feeling completely sure until you get the green light to go home.  I know the roller coaster of emotions that one goes through in that situation. 
                Most people who walk for a cause have in some way been affected by the cause they walk for.  When they attend the walk, they have a chance to be around people who know their pain, who don’t just idly nod their heads and say that they understand.  These people really understand because they were there.  They got the phone call in the middle of the night telling them their infant had to go through a procedure immediately.   They held their relative when they received the news that their body was riddled with cancer.  Those that walk, know. 
                So, when your friend or colleague asks you to donate to their cause, think about this.  Yes, your money is going to a cause, and the majority of it is probably going to overhead, but by donating you are telling your friend/colleague that you support them.  Although you can’t completely understand what they are going through or have gone through, you are there for them.  I believe with my whole heart that this is the main purpose of walking and supporting walkers and I hope this sheds some light on the subject for you.