Friday, November 1, 2013

Munchkin March keeps growing!

Thanks to the over 800 attendees who made our 5th Anniversary March a purposeful success. The venue change to Meadow Park was well received, and the kids enjoyed the addition of the gymnastics Fun Zone, the Bucket Busters, and the Curious George outdoor movie. Parents were happy for the photo booth and the food trucks.

Most of all, we were excited about your contributions to the Food Bank - 15,671 pounds of food to be donated to our neighbors in need. 

Thanks to all our Sponsors and Supporters who donated in so many wonderful ways. Special thanks to local pediatrician Rene Bravo for wearing the first ever Grand Marshall hat to lead the parade! Next year we’ll refine again and hope to have another banner year of marching in support of the Food Bank. Thanks for helping us teach our kids that giving back can be a blast!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Munchkin March Photo Booth Photos are up!


Thank you to Sonrisa Photography for doing such amazing work! All of the photos are amazing!

To view your photos: Go to www.sonrisaphotography.com 
Click on "View My Photos" 
Find gallery "Munchkin March 2013" 
Enter password given at the event 
(If you misplaced the information, email us by clicking the envelope to the right --> ) 

 There is a free digital download, or the option to purchase prints. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Munchkin March FAQ's


  1. When/where is the Munchkin March?
  2. Who hosts the Munchkin March?
  3. Who is Mindful Mothers?
  4. Can I download a copy of the Munchkin March flier?
  5. Why does Mindful Mothers support the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County?
  6. What type of donation should I bring for the Food Bank?
  7. What is there to do at the Munchkin March?
  8. What movie will you be showing? At what time?
  9. Who are the Munchkin March Partners?
  10. What is the schedule of events?
  11. What items are being sold at the Silent Auction?



1. When/where is the Munchkin March?


2. Who hosts the Munchkin March?
  • The Munchkin March was hosted exclusively by Mindful Mothers the first three years. Beginning in 2012 (year 4) we joined in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department, who have made the Munchkin March their signature fall event. 


3. Who is Mindful Mothers?
  • We are families committed to raising children who are mindful of the culture, environment and community in which we live. We actively seek opportunities to engage in volunteerism with our families, partnering in service with other local groups. We aim to bond with like minded-families, committed to improving our world, starting at home. We want to cultivate an awareness in our kids of the joy of giving back. (click here to view our mission, or more about us)
  • If you are interested in finding out more about our monthly Playdate With A Purpose, sign up for our newsletter. It includes what we are up to, in addition to other volunteering opportunities and free & fun events throughout the county. 


4. Can I download a copy of the Munchkin March flier?


5. Why does Mindful Mothers support the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County?
  • For the past 5 years, the Munchkin March Parade has benefited the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County; we look forward to working with them again this year. Why the Food Bank? They work really really hard providing members of our community with food. Did you know that 1 in 6 people in our county reached out for help last year? That is 44,000 of our friends, neighbors, and coworkers. The Food Bank Coalition keeps a very low overhead- less than 5%- which allows them to turn every $1 donated into 7 nutritious meals. 
  •  Children are even more vulnerable to food insecurity*- 40% of those that are food insecure in our county are children. Mindful Mothers actively seeks opportunities to improve the lives of those in our community by engaging ourselves and our children in volunteerism. Our partnership with the Food Bank Coalition creates an opportunity to engage with our children, and teach them the importance of giving back within our community. We encourage you to talk to your children about how participating in the Munchkin March benefits their community. (*food insecurity is defined as not having access to enough food to meet ones nutritional needs on a regular basis) 
  • For every $1 donated the Food Bank Coalition can provide $10 worth of food!


6. What type of donation should I bring for the Food Bank?
  • The simple answer: what ever you can! The long answer: while bringing a non-perishable food item is always appreciated, the food bank has considerable buying power with their suppliers, so they are able to turn $1 into 10 pounds of food when they buy it themselves. But, donating food is still a great way to support the Food Bank Coalition. When families and organizations contribute fresh and non-perishable food, it puts more variety on the shelves and in the freezers. Here are some suggestions for nonperishable items to help provide a well-balanced, nutritious set of foods to those who do not have enough to eat. Click here to see a list of current needs. 


7. What is there to do at the Munchkin March?
  • Due to the amazing attendance of years past,  the parade moved in 2013 from Downtown SLO to Meadow Park on South Street. It was wonderful- we had lots of room to spread out! Again, this year there will be live music, a photo booth, food trucks, a gymnastics Fun Zone, the PARADE, and an outdoor movie! 
  • Bring a blanket, and either grab dinner from the food trucks or pack a picnic dinner, and stay to enjoy the outdoor movie!


8. What movie will you be showing? At what time?

  • The movie, "Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest" will begin at approximately 7:00 pm (it is 54 minutes long). 
  • Synopsis: It's George's first Halloween in the country, and Bill tells him about the Legend of No Noggin -- a headless scarecrow that kicks off peoples hats while roaming the countryside on Halloween. But is the legend really real? George and Allie are determined to find out by taking a picture of No Noggin in hat-kicking action. But first George needs to figure out what he's going to be for Halloween so he can win the costume contest at the town Boo Festival. Will George's quest for the perfect costume interfere with his quest for the truth? Only the curious will find out!


9. Who are the Munchkin March Partners?
  • We have got some great partners this year!! Check them all out below:
Entertainment Provided By:

Food Vendors:
Gusto on the Go Bistro
The Pairing Knife
SLO Coast Cofee

Services Provided by:
Sonrisa Photography
Harvey's Honeyhuts


Plus a great big thank you to our Sponsors and Supporters!

Movie Sponsor:

REC Solar



10. What is the Schedule of Events?
  • 5:00 pm:  Music ~ Food  ~ Gymnastic Fun Zone ~ Photo Booth 
  • 6:00 pm:  Line Up for Parade at south end of the park 
  • 6:15 pm: Munchkin March Parade! 
  • 6:45 pm: Grab snacks and a spot for the movie 
  • 7:00 pm: Movie “Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest"

11. What items are being sold at the Silent Auction? 
  • There will not be a silent auction this year. Please send all donations to the Food Bank Coalition!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Silent Auction: It's Incredible!

We feel blessed and honored to have what might possibly be the
BEST SILENT AUCTION ITEMS EVER. 
I really don't think I am exaggerating. Not even a little bit! Here a quick run down:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________




One Night's Stay at the 
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa!
($275 Value)  
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Hand Fabricated Sterling Silver and Diamond Pendant, made by SiblingStudio at The Gold Concept 
($227 Value)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Avila Bay Athletic Club & Spa
2-week Full Privilege Family Membership
($280 value) 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________




SHIFT HAIR SALON
(2) Haircut & Color Certificates ($150 value each)
(3) Haircut Certificate ($60 value each)
(3) Gift Baskets ($80-110 value each)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________



SLO Wellness Center
- Initial Chiropractic Assessment and Adjustment
- Initial Acupuncture Assessment and Treatment
- One-Hour Massage


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________



(2) Gift Bags, each with a T-Shirt and 4-class Pass 
($125 value each)



___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Plus wonderful selections from the following:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And gift certificates to:
 


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And So Much More! 
Click here to see the complete list auction items!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thank you to our Volunteers!

We were lucky enough to get FOUR (count them! four!) groups volunteering to help out with the Munchkin March this year. WooHoo! Thank you!

The Cal Poly Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
A university-sponsored Service Learning Project, the LITC was created to provide undergraduate and graduate accounting students the opportunity to work with underserved communities while enhancing their professional skills. Under the direct supervision of Orfalea College of Business faculty, students represent low-income clients involved in tax controversies before the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court. Students also provide education and outreach services on the rights and responsibilities of U.S. taxpayers to the community. The LITC is able to provide all services in English and Spanish at no charge.

Student Community Services (SCS)
An organization designed to provide opportunities for community involvement that meet a broad range of student interests while providing meaningful service to the off-campus community. SCS provides the opportunity for students to act as vital members of the community, share their resources with others and develop skills and leadership abilities while creating meaningful social change.

SCS: Youth Programs
Youth Programs is a program of Student Community Services that provides opportunities for local youth to enjoy the companionship of Cal Poly students. As a college student, you have the opportunity to be a positive role model. Enhance a child's life through local afterschool tutoring programs, cultural craft fairs and recreational activities for low income youth. Be a friend and role model by playing games and hanging out with local foster youth.

Alpha Phi Omega- Zeta Omicron
Alpha Phi Omega is a national coeducational service fraternity founded on the cardinal principles of leadership, friendship and service. It provides its members the opportunity to develop leadership skills as they provide service to their campus, to youth and the community, to the nation, and to members of the Fraternity.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Food Bank Donations: What Should I bring?

Great Question!

The simple answer: what ever you can! The long answer: while bringing a non-perishable food item is always appreciated, the food bank has considerable buying power with their suppliers, so they are able to turn $1 into 10 pounds of food when they buy it themselves.

But, donating food is still a great way to support the Food Bank Coalition. When families and organizations contribute fresh and non-perishable food, it puts more variety on the shelves and in the freezers. Here are some suggestions for nonperishable items to help provide a well-balanced, nutritious set of foods to those who do not have enough to eat.

Fruits & Vegetables Group
  • Canned or dry fruits and vegetables in an array of colors will help ensure consumption of many vitamins and minerals.
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit 
  • Canned tomatoes (juice & sauce)
  • Dried fruit & vegetables 
Grain Group
  • Whole grains provide maximum nutrition value and long-lasting energy.
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Low sugar/high fiber cereals
  • All pasta types
  • Whole grain rice
Protein Group
  • Lean meats and canned or dry beans provide the necessary fuel for muscles.
  • Canned tuna, salmon or chicken
  • Bean soups
  • Baked beans
  • Dried and canned beans and peas
  • Chili Beef stew
  • Peanut Butter 

They especially enjoy the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in San Luis Obispo County. The Food Bank is committed to providing healthy, nutritious food to the community.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Outdoor Movie: Curious George's Halloween Boo Fest

This year at the Munchkin March we will have our first ever outdoor movie! We would like to say great big THANK YOU to our Movie Sponsor, REC Solar.

Synopsis: Halloween's almost here! Hang onto your hats! It's George's first Halloween in the country, and Bill tells him about the Legend of No Noggin -- a headless scarecrow that kicks off peoples hats while roaming the countryside on Halloween. But is the legend really real? George and Allie are determined to find out by taking a picture of No Noggin in hat-kicking action. But first George needs to figure out what he's going to be for Halloween so he can win the costume contest at the town Boo Festival. Will George's quest for the perfect costume interfere with his quest for the truth? Only the curious will find out!

Movie Sponsor


Monday, October 14, 2013

Tonight, 6pm at Luna Red in SLO



Once again we are meeting at the lovely Luna Red for our bi-monthly Mom’s Night Out! Come enjoy dinner/snacks/drinks, chat with other moms, and hear about this year’s Munchkin March!



The first two bottles of wine are complementary, courtesy of Luna Red!




Check out the dinner Menu here: http://www.lunaredslo.com/dinner/



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Munchkin March is Coming!


Friday, October 25th, 5-8pm at Meadow Park in San Luis Obispo

costume parade, outdoor movie, food trucks, live music & entertainment, silent auction, photo booths, and free goodie bags!

a benefit for the Food Bank Coalition
(all participants are asked to bring a donation)

Last year was our first Street Parade and first start at The Mission, both of which proved to be enormously crowded. We loved the support, but our March was busting at the seams! This year we've got something better up our sleeves....

We'll meet, eat, mingle at Meadow Park, then March on the wide, meandering park path. There will be awesome musicians, a "Fun Zone" by Central Coast Gymnastics, Food Trucks, Photo Booths, Silent Auction, and a kid-friendly OUTDOOR MOVIE!!

So get ready to don your costumes, bring a can for the Food Bank, and join the fun!

**CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR MUNCHKIN MARCH PAGE FOR THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION**



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September PWAP - This Thursday!



September PWAP – Kidical Mass Bike Ride

Bring your kids and bicycles and ride with us! 

THIS THURSDAY, Sept 5th @ 6pm

Mitchell Park, SLO


We’re partnering with the SLO County Bicycle Coalition to promote the last summer “Kidical Mass.”  Families gather at the Mitchell Park Gazebo between 530-6pm. Ride leaves the park at 6pm and proceeds on city streets to The Mission. The focus is to get kids familiar with road rules and to expose them to safe riding, but in a group setting. Kids can ride their own bikes/trikes or ride along on your bike’s child seat.  Theme is UNICORNS, and costumes are encouraged.

The Bike Coalition operates a free Bike Valet on Morro Street every Thursday, so you can leave your bikes after the short ride and enjoy Farmer’s and downtown!

The Coalition is an advocacy group for bicycling in our county. They operate the Bike Kitchen were you can learn how to repair your bike or buy a used bicycle. They conduct bike education assemblies at schools. And they ROCK at pushing for more bike lanes and dedicated bike paths countywide. See http://connectslocounty.org/.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MINDFUL MOTHERS MOM'S NIGHT OUT!



MINDFUL MOTHERS MOM'S NIGHT OUT!
We'd love to see you this Thursday evening!

Thursday, August 29
6:00-7:30pm

Luna Red
1023 Chorro Street, SLO
Meet us in the Red Room


We'd like our Member Meetings to be fun and mom-friendly.  We'll meet at local restaurants every month, to get a little child-free time away to socialize, eat/drink, and talk!





We'd love your good ideas for 2014 Playdates with a Purpose and our annual Munchkin March.  This year's March will be more of a festival, parade, and hopefully outdoor movie!  We'd like your input.   Mostly we'd just love to see you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Upcoming Event: 2nd Annual Clothing Swap!

August 19th, 2013
10:30 am - Noon
Meadow Park, San Luis Obispo

Mindful Mothers is excited to host another "back to school" clothing and book swap! We had a GREAT turn out last year, so start gathering up your donation items (both kids AND women's clothes) and swap them with other moms!

Need some new clothes for soon-to-be-here cooler weather? Or the upcoming school year? Want to help "Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle"? Bring your gently used clothing and books for kids and moms and swap them out for some fresh new digs. Feel free to bring what you can and take all you need! All leftover items will be donated to Alpha Pregnancy Support Center (0-24 months, and maternity items), county homeless shelters (books) & the new SLO Classical Academy Thrift Store (all remaining items).

The swap will take place in the Meadow Park Pavillion, adjacent to the playground. Remember to bring snacks and drinks for your kids. There is a nice playground area and trees for shade.

See you there!


Click here to RSVP on our FaceBook Event page.
Click here for directions. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Beach Cleanup in the News!

We made the front page of our Local News section!
A cleanup was held Saturday to collect debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan at MontaƱa de Oro. Cindy Johnson and her son Axel, 4, left, watch as Paige Bartel and Hank, 4, talk about a manta ray they found with Amie Richie and daughter Clover, 5, right. The women are part of Mindful Mothers, who volunteer with their children. LAURA DICKINSON — ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/06/04/2532772/scenes-of-slo-county-june-2013.html#storylink=cpy
Here are a few more photos we took: 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Members: Meeting & Mom's Night Out


Thursday, June 20                
6:00 - 7:30 pm

For our next Member Meeting, we are changing our format a bit.  We hope to make these meetings more of a Mom’s Night Out. We will socialize, eat, drink, and plan upcoming Mindful Mothers events.  For June, we will meet upstairs at Pappy McGregor’s in SLO.
Everyone is welcome.  We’d love to see you!
Pappy McGregor’s
1865 Monterey Street, SLO
Meet in the Upstairs Room

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spolight: Hunger Awareness Day

This Friday, June 7 2013 


In one day on June 7, the Food Bank is hoping to encourage enough $1 donations to feed 44,000 hungry people in SLO County. They will have donation sites set up throughout the county, including at all Rabobank locations. A portion of the donations collected will go to the GleanSLO program which we love! We are long time supporters of The Food Bank Coalition, so we wanted to let you know about this special day.

Learn more (including flier & collection sites): visit the Food Bank Coalition's Hunger Awareness Day Website.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Playdate With A Purpose May 2013: Yoga, Music, & Mindfulness

Our afternoon of yoga and mindfulness went well! Amie Richie with Amie’s Song Garden started us off with fun songs, stickers, and musical instruments. Tawny Sterios of m.Body Studios then led the kids in a yoga lesson, including her marathon bridge pose for the kids to crawl under! To finish out, Amie got the kids dancing and singing again in the studio, while most of the moms sat on the sunny front patio to hear some ideas about practicing mindfulness as a family from Tawny and Lea Payne. One of my favorite suggestions was to carve out a moment during busy mornings to just breath together as a family, helping to center and focus in the misdst of chaos.

Thank you to Tawny, Amy, and Lea for a relaxing afternoon!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Special Event April 2013: Miracle Miles for Kids


This was one of our favorite Mindful Mothers events yet!


We had 6 families join the Mindful Mothers team at the midway water stations for the 10th annual Miracle Miles for Kids Run. The kids got to be "official volunteers" (complete with t-shirts!) and had a blast handing out water to the runners and picking up the discarded cups. What kid doesn't love running up and down the beach?! It was also a great opportunity to talk with our kids about being part of a greater community, and what it means to give back. Knowing that our efforts were directly impacting other children in our community really hit home.



Family Care Network would also like to thank all the participants and volunteers who participated in this years MM4K. FCNI broke their previous records with over 2,500 participants and over $175,000 raised to help to meet needs of over 900 children in foster care in SLO and Santa Barbara counties. The funds help provide housing, clothing, mentoring, life skills development, extra-curricular activities and therapeutic services.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Members: Gleaning & Giving


A Mindful Mother read about the GleanSLO program in one of our recent newsletters. She called GleanSLO, and they arranged to pick the excess fruit from her orange trees, with the help of her children.

This lead to an idea for Mindful Mothers: canvasing our neighborhoods looking for full fruit trees, and passing out fliers about GleanSLO.   As luck would have it, GleanSLO was planning it’s first ever "Neighborhood Citrus Collection Day" for Saturday, March 2!  Three Mindful Moms walked their neighborhoods with their kids, passing out fliers about this special day.

We met some very nice neighbors, and the kids enjoyed being out on a beautiful day, for a cause they could understand and believe in. In all, 1,463 pounds of citrus were collected!! Thanks to Molly Trapp and Erin Augustine for getting this ball rolling!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spotlight: Family Care Network & MM4K


The Family Care Network is a private, nonprofit children and families services provider established in 1987 with the sole purpose of creating family-based treatment programs as an alternative to group home or institutional care for children and youth. In it’s 25+ year history, the agency has grown to serve over 1,400 children, youth and families annually in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties through 17 distinct programs designed to strengthen and preserve families and individuals.


At any given time, there are over 900 children in foster care in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties who need support and services.  Basic program funding sources are often limited in scope and do not allow FCNI to fully meet the many needs of the children, youth and families we serve. Miracle Miles for Kids is a fundraiser created to provide private funding to allow FCNI to fully support the crucial needs of children, youth and families affected by trauma. Last year, over 2,500 people participated in Miracle Miles for Kids, all working to make a difference in the lives of the children, youth and families served by the Family Care Network.

Your participation in Miracle Miles for Kids helps FCNI make a difference in the lives of those it serves. The funds earned through registration and pledging help to meet needs such as: housing, clothing, mentoring, life skills development, extra-curricular activities and therapeutic services, of the over 1,400 children, youth and families served by FCNI annually.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seeds to Grow: Spring Fundraiser


It all starts with a seed...

Mindful Mothers is happy to promote home gardening with our kids by offering these unique heirloom seeds from The Seed Savers Exchange. Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to “preserving our diverse but endangered garden heritage for future generations.” In other words, they collect, sell and propagate seed varieties that could be lost because they are not the (very limited) ones that are grown commercially on a large scale and thus found in supermarkets.

For every $10 collection of seeds purchased, $4.00 is donated to Mindful Mothers! The other $6.00 goes to the ongoing preservation work at Heritage Farm.

"The SEEDS TO GROW fundraising program benefits [Mindful Mothers] and the gardening public by promoting heirloom gardening and healthy eating.

"The market for heirloom seed has expanded as millions of gardeners break ground every year. The topic of food - how its grown and prepared, who grows it, and its connections to wellness - is foremost in many peoples minds.

"Selling heirloom seeds can cultivate curiosity in gardening, history, nutrition, biodiversity, organics, and the culinary arts. The education possibilities are endless."



Online Garden Planning Tool


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A few reasons why we love SSE:
- All of their seeds are heirloom, non-GMO, open pollinated, and many are certified organic.
- At the heart of Seed Savers Exchange are dedicated members who have distributed hundreds of thousands of heirloom and open pollinated garden seeds. 
- Seed Savers Exchange collection started when the founders terminally-ill grandfather gave them the seeds of two garden plants, Grandpa Ott's morning glory and German Pink tomato. Grandpa Ott's parents brought the seeds from Bavaria when they immigrated 1870s.


- In addition to preserving seeds, they preserve stories thereby preserving our cultural and historic roots as well. Here are a few great examples from their catalog:
  • “Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon: Has enchanted melon fanciers for centuries; gives off an unforgettable perfume. Victorian women carried these tiny melons in their pockets in the days before aerosol deodorants."
  • “Cheyenne Bush Pumpkins: Very early pumpkin adapted to the Great Plains. Developed from a cross of Cocozelle and New England Pie by the USDA Field Station in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1943.”
  • “Spinning Gourd: Sent to SSE by member Junior Gardener from Hickman County in Tennessee. Years ago children would carry these gourds in their pockets to play with at school where they would spin them on their desks. Hard shelled when dried, great ornamental.”
  • "Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Bean: Given to SSE in 1977 by the late Dr. John Wyche, SSE member from Hugo, Oklahoma. Dr. Wyche’s Cherokee ancestors carried this bean over the Trail of Tears, the infamous winter death march from the Smoky Mountains to Oklahoma (1838-1839), leaving a trail of 4,000 graves. Green 6 inch pods with purple overlay, shiny jet-black seeds."
To see the six seed collections available, or to place an order, go to our Support Page by clicking here!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Special Event March 2013: Bowl-a-Thon



Five Mindful Munchkins and their Mothers raised $2135 for Transitions Mental Health Association and participated in the 33rd Annual Bowl-athon on March 8. This is the second year that this group of kids and moms bowled and raised money for mental health. The kids were issued mini bowling shoes and matching shirts with their names on back, and they pretty much stole the show at Pismo Bowl! They had a great time “bumper” bowling, watching the pins fall, racing to the magic ball return, and cheering each other on.

Transitions-Mental Health Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services.  TMHA operates 27 programs, and the Bowl-athon primarily funds the “SLO Hotline” program, the County’s only 24/7 crisis line.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Playdate with a Purpose March 2013: Woods Humane Society


We had a really fun time at El Chorro Regional Park on Monday, March 4!  The weather was lovely, the playground was perfect, and many families toured the Botanical Garden as well.  One child told me why we had gathered together:  “We gotta go to the shelter to give the doggies everything they need to sleep on.”  Priceless!




The kids tired themselves out by the time the Woods group came to visit, so they were happy to sit quietly and listen to the talk.  Steve and Kiersten from Woods brought a gentle shelter dog, Talua to meet us.  Steve gave a wonderful presentation to the kids on how to greet a strange dog:  Don’t offer the palm, as this gives the smell of things you’ve touched and food you’ve eaten.  Don’t hold your fingers out, as they might smell like something tasty.   Make a fist and offer the back of your hand so the dog can learn your true smell.  Unlike humans, a dog's sense of smell comes before sight and hearing when they meet something unfamiliar.  The kids took turns approaching Talua slowly, one at a time, offerring their fists.  One boy approached trying to pull his hand out of his pocket.  He struggled then plucked out five dollar bills to donate to the shelter.  His Save Spend Share bank is being put to good use.  What an awesome teaching moment for us!

Thank you to all who came and for all the great animal donations.  There are some dogs and cats sleeping more cozily this month, thanks to us.  And sweet doggie Talua was adopted two days after the playdate!!  

Woods is open for tours and always accepting donations.  They host dog training classes and  train volunteers to work with the dogs and cats.  They are currently working on a plan to offer kids' birthday parties at the shelter.  Visit the Woods Humane Society website for more information about all they do.




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Playdate with a Purpose Feb 2013: Senior Serenade

Our February PWAP was spread over two days and three senior homes throughout the county.  On Monday, February 4 we met at Erin's house to make Valentines.   We had a little production line with moms cutting heart cards, kids decorating, and then Moms writing little messages.  It was all going well until the kids found the backyard chickens were more interesting than gluing and coloring.  We walked to the Judson Terrace Homes where a room full of seniors were sitting at big round tables, waiting for us.  The kids walked around passing out Valentine's then cookies and muffins.   We all split up and sat at the various tables so we could talk to the residents and let them swoon over the cute kiddies!  We performed a few songs then said goodbye.  On Friday, February 8, there was a second visit to Emeritus senior home in Paso Robles and a third visit to the Arroyo Grande Care Home.  






In Arroyo Grande our Valentine's, sweets, and songs were followed by a visit to "The Farm:  Therapy with Purpose."  The residents and staff of this care home have created the most amazing farm for rehabilitation.    The kids first walked through their huge chicken coop, feeding chickens and harvesting eggs.  Then we walked through the greenhouse, the raised beds, and the peace garden.  The kids picked flowers for the moms and we chatted with some of the seniors who were out tending the crops.  The Farm is bordered on one side by the "Teen Closet," another amazing program at AGCC.  Seniors work at this store, providing shopping opportunities for low-income and homeless teens and their families.  For more information or to donate gently used clothing and accessories, visit the Teen Closet parent site.

  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Playdate with a Purpose Jan 2013: Mindful with Money

On Monday, January 7 we held our 2013 Kick-off Playdate with a Purpose. Our hope was to teach kids about money with a "Save Spend Share" bank. At the end of this year, we hope to hold a Year-end Party where the kids can open their "Share" banks and choose to make donations to a few local charities.

SESLOC Credit Union generously donated some “Moonjar” three-part cardboard banks with "Save," "Spend," and "Share" sections. There are similar ideas online including those below.

We were also blessed with a musical performance from Heidi Harmon of Boo Boo Records fame!! Thank you Ms. Heidi!

If you weren't able make our Playdate, but you'd like to participate in this all-year-long lesson about money, there are a couple ideas about allowances, saving, and multi-compartment banks linked below. The most important step is to just talk to your kids about money. Give a lesson in how money is used to buy things by talking up prices at the grocery store: “This milk costs four dollars,” or “Your favorite cereal is five dollars.”

A "Love and Logic" teacher once suggested that young kids be given an allowance at an early age, as soon as kids can understand the concept of saving, spending, and sharing. There are many thoughts on how to structure allowances, and we encourage you to find a system that works for your family.

Links:
Spend-Save-Give Banks
Money Savy Pig