Category Archives: PSA

You have a baby! In a BASKET!

This has nothing to do with Moses, although I can understand why you would thing that from the title. No, it’s about making your kids wear bike helmets. You have to do it. You have to. Every time. Even short rides can pose danger, but mostly it’s just easier to make them get used to it so there is no struggle. My husband has really been the driving force in our family for bike safety, but I am not without my own good reason for wanting to make sure those little heads are protected.

When I was not quite two, my parents borrowed my grandparents’ tandem bike.  The bike had a basket in the front which, apparently, was the perfect size for a not quite two year old girl.  Mom hopped on, Dad hopped on, I was in the basket, and away we went! A cute little family on a bike, tooling around the town of Warren, Michigan.  I picture lots of smiling, warm sunshine, and a nice breeze, although I really have no idea. Then:   WHAM. They hit a bump. I flew out of the basket and – this is the part that makes me laugh so hard I can’t talk – my parents ran over me.

My family gets mad at me when we talk about it because I go into hysterics and those who can remember insist that IT’S NOT FUNNY. No, no it’s not. It’s hilarious.

It was the 70’s.

But this is now, and it’s no longer OK to put babies in baskets. My husband wouldn’t even put our kids in the Burley until they were two, and even then it was with little toddler helmets that made them look like bobble-heads.  It’s OK though, because this is where what we need to do and what we want to do converge. You know we love us some Griffins Hockey around here. One of the reasons we can afford to see so many games is the Put A Lid On It program. 

If your child promises to wear a helmet EVERY TIME, the Grand Rapids Griffins will send them a voucher for two free tickets to use during the upcoming season.  It’s a great way to talk to your kids about bike safety, and a reassurance to ours at least that yes, hockey season will come back someday.

While you’re at it, hop over to the Active Kids page to see if there are any bike races your kids can participate in.  It’s being updated all the time, so check back as the summer goes on.

So to recap: no babies in baskets, make your kids wear helmets, and score some Griffins tickets. Good stuff, I tell you.

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Free Whitecaps Tickets

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Grace Hunger Walk

A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided to forfeit our grocery budget for a week and make do with what we had.  We donated the difference to the Grace Hunger Walk, and while we didn’t eat the way we were used to it was a humbling lesson and very meaningful to us to be able to contribute and participate in that way.

I’ve decided to walk it again this year, and to raise additional funds.  I contacted the walk organizer who agreed to let me use an online fundraising page.  I explained to her that I had a blog and in addition to hitting up everyone I have an email address for, I would put a link on Big Binder.

I’m excited about this for a few reasons. 

  • First, because the cause is awesome.  It raises funds for local and international hunger organizations.
  • Second, because there are exactly two fundraising pages for this event, and mine is one of them.
  • Third, because I think social media can completely revolutionize charitable giving. 

Remember the Text to Haiti? Non profit organizations were blown away.  They are really trying to adapt to the way people seem to now prefer giving.  I’m thrilled that the Hunger Walk is investigating this way of reaching people.

And here I am, at the intersection of hunger assistance and social media.  My heart literally beats faster when I re-read that sentence – and knowing that I get to participate fully is a tremendous honor. 

So now I come to you, and unapologetically ask you for money.  It’s not for me.  It’s not for the success of my blog.  It’s to prove that it can be done.  I haven’t done any advertising on Big Binder, and I try and score good and fun giveaways.  I keep it real; and try and help you find awesome things to do with your kids.  Please keep these things in mind, and donate what you can.  I would be thrilled to death with $5 from everyone who is a regular reader.  Thank you so very much.  Click here to go to my fundraising page . Will you help?

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More MIChild

Knowing that so many people were struggling financially last year, I wrote a post about a children’s insurance program and our experiences with it.  I’m thrilled to hear that there is another way to access this program because unfortunately, a year later many people are still in need of health insurance the other resources I wrote about before.  It’s really an amazing program, and it covers pretty much everything – including dental. A family of four may qualify for the program if their average household income is $3,675 a month ($44,100 annually) or under. 

There are a lot of people out there who don’t know that they are eligible, so the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids has received grant funding to reach out and help people gain access to MIChild and Healthy Kids.  Just email childrenshealth@grymca.org or call the main branch (the big, fancy one downtown) at 616.855.9686 and schedule an appointment, or even apply over the phone. This is in addition to the other ways to apply; not instead of.  If you are in Michigan, but not Grand Rapids you can still fill out a form online, or send in a paper application.   If you are outside of Michigan, check with your state’s health department to see if there is a similar program.

I’m happy to help spread the word about this program.  Please get in contact with the YMCA if you need help.  Don’t be embarassed – they are nice 🙂 and there are thousands of people going through this right now.  I know you will be thankful that you did.

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What’s Your Art?

The Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids has launched a new website with different opportunities to find out “What’s Your Art?”  It includes museums, theater, music, dance  – all of that artsy stuff.  There is a section just for kids with some events listed.  It’s still adding content, but definitely worth a bookmark to check out from time to time.

Maybelle is a very creative, artistic little girl.  She is also extremely prolific.  I take any chance I get to allow her to create without having to decide:  “keep or toss”.  LaFontsee Galleries is holding an “Art Making Event” to make art for the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.   It’s similar to the event they held at Celebration on the Grand, if you attended that. If not, click on that link to check out art in action.

There are several sessions to choose from:  

Tuesday, March 9: 3 pm to 6 pm

Tuesday, March 16: 3 pm to 6 pm

Tuesday, March 23: 3 pm to 6 pm

Saturday, March 27: 11 am to 3 pm

There will be more openings in April.  You can email heidi@lafontsee.us or call 616-451-9820. I called and signed my kids up today, and apparently will get an email with a specific time slot for the day I selected.  I love this idea, because my kids can be part of something amazing and will always know that they contributed.  It’s entirely free. And, I don’t have to sneak anything out to the recycling.

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