Monthly Archives: August 2009

Fridays at FamilyWorks

After working as the Tutoring & Family Programs Coordinator at FamilyWorks for almost a year, I’d never seen it on a Friday. I’d heard rumors that the hallway, normally bustling with food bank users, resource center drop-ins, and community members hanging out, was completely empty on Fridays. I couldn’t imagine it.

To be fair, the Friday I chose to visit FamilyWorks a few weeks ago happened to be the day our record-breaking heatwave broke. The city in general seemed to express a collective sigh of relief. People slept in, children didn’t have to be shuffled around with parents on errands designed to spend maximum time in air conditioning, and it was safe to venture outside without a gallon of water.

Nonetheless, the Friday I visited was exactly as I’d heard: eerily quiet. The food bank line was short or nonexistant, playgroup participants normally packing the playroom to capacity were absent, and precisely no one used the chairs set up for lounging in the hallway. If you’re visiting the food bank or the resource center for the first time, I highly recommend choosing a Friday morning. Things move a little less frenetically for sure. For this Chicagoan-gone-Southern-then-estranged-to-Seattle, it’s a nice change of pace.

*check our calendar, available on our website, for specific happenings on Fridays or any other day. Also scroll down to your right to see upcoming events, but keep in mind that due to a WordPress issue, the times are all several hours off (no there are no playgroups at 2am!).

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Edible School Gardens

Speaking of Edible Gardens, here’s an article about what Australia’s Sunshine Coast is doing to teach children food security.

Edible School Gardens.

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Filed under Advocacy, Hunger & Food Security

Giving Garden

On a recent warm, breezy summer Monday night, I braved the strange crosswalks and lights over the bustling N. 45th St and followed Bagley a couple blocks north until it dead-ended into a park. In the wide open spaces, shade sheltered a woman throwing a ball for her small dog, children kicked around a soccer ball, and I could hear the clanking sounds of gardening tools from my right. Following my ears, I rounded the corner and entered the Good Shepherd P-Patch.

None of the gardeners could remember exactly how long the P-Patch has been sponsoring and cultivating a Giving Garden through Lettuce Link, but it’s been at least several years. As a result of these dedicated volunteers, not only can a casual passerby enjoy the quiet yet abundant sanctity of the garden, but one can learn about various sustainable gardening techniques: green roofs, pollination, succession planting, summer/winter rotation, cucurbit trellis, double-digging raised beds, floating row covers, interplanting, companion planting, broadcast sowing, tomato trellising, and more. Moreover, the volunteers tend a Giving Garden, an area in which the produce grown is donated to FamilyWorks Food Bank.

On this particular evening, the P-Patch volunteers dug in and harvested over 51 POUNDS of food for FamilyWorks! I’d highly recommend checking out this gorgeous P-Patch, honing your gardening skills with the information posts you can find throughout the garden, and enjoying the bounty of organic food mixed with the beauty of various flowers. Just be sure to take note of the yellow plum tree you’ll pass through as you enter the gate – or you’ll end up with an overripe plum splattering on your head! (No one will notice, luckily, if you proceed to lick your fingers after you clean your hair.)

Want to get involved? The waitlist for P-Patches is notoriously long (I’m currently waiting for a spot at any of them, hoping not to have to ditch my potted tomatoes and beans when I move), but you may be able to find a space and a new friend with this garden listing. For more photos, please visit FamilyWorks’ Facebook Page.

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Filed under FamilyWorks Staff & Volunteers, FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security

I also encourage teen and young parents to join us on saturdays for our support/fun group. We will be having a field trip to the aquarium on the 29th.

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Family Center is in need of diapers sizes 3-6 and bus tickets would be appreciated. Our elderly clients thank you.

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Seattle’s Bag Fee and the Poor

Thanks to CAMP for highlighting the affects on the poor of the proposed Seattle 20-cent bag fee.  Our clients will be affected the same way.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2009555408_danny29.html

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Filed under Advocacy, FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty

11 ways to show love for your child

Eleven ways to show love for your child – Corpus Christi, TX | KRISTV.COM

One NBC Affiliate suggests 11 ways to show your love for your child. What do you think of them? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have things you’d add?

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1. Start early. Before your child is born, avoid alcohol and drugs, limit or avoid caffeine and don’t smoke. Get good prenatal care so your child has the best chance at a healthy life.

2. Read to your child. Even babies like to be read to, and children of all ages benefit from a love of reading. When your child is old enough, take turns reading to each other.

3. Use positive words. Encourage your child with phrases such as “You can do it!” and “Great job!” Nurture self-confidence by praising efforts and accomplishments.

4. Provide structure. Set clear rules and stick to them. Limit the kind and amount of television your child watches. Have meals at regular times, and have a schedule for homework and bedtime.

5. Protect your child’s health. Make sure all immunizations are up to date. See the doctor for regular well-child visits. Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Encourage physical activity, and offer healthy foods and snacks.

6. Make your home safe. Keep medicines, cleaning supplies, sharp objects and other hazards locked up and out of reach. Keep small objects away from children 3 years old and younger to prevent choking.

7. Practice car safety. Put infants and children younger than 12 in the back seat of the car. Be sure your child’s safety seat is installed properly. Insist that your older child buckle up just like you do.

8. Monitor your child. Early on, take care to choose good child care providers. Later, know your child’s friends and teachers. Know where your child spends time and what he or she is doing.

9. Be a good role model. Set an example by using words like “I’m sorry,” “please” and “thank you.” Avoid name-calling or hurtful words, even when you’re angry or frustrated. Don’t hold grudges.

10. Spend time with your child. Your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Do fun things you both enjoy, like going to the park or playing games. Involve your child in household tasks you can do together, like cooking. Ask your child about his or her life and really listen.

11. Show and tell. Give plenty of hugs and kisses. And say “I love you” often.

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