Author Archives: lilberkienov20

Thank You to Adobe!

FamilyWorks extends a huge thank you to Adobe, a long-time FamilyWorks supporter! Adobe employees like Roberta Lord, who have been volunteering in the FamilyWorks food bank once or twice a week for years, have witnessed first-hand the changing face of hunger. Roberta was so moved by the growing need in our community that she approached FamilyWorks Food Bank Manager Ava Dowell about organizing a major Adobe food drive to benefit FamilyWorks.

Together, Roberta, Ava, and Adobe’s Seattle Action Committee planned a competitive food drive with specific areas of need: no-cook bags, baby items, gas and transportation, and general food bank items. Roberta designed shopping lists and donation sheets, Molly Ruf and Todd Heckle (other Adobe employees) designed posters, and the Adobe Site Council lent their support by promoting a specific area of need each week.

Most impressively, Tim Roth and the second floor of the Adobe building had a three-way competition to see who could raise the most money and collect the most food. All three groups did an amazing job – one team raised $2000!

Adobe as a corporation chose to match donations 2:1 for the month of November, and even did the matching paperwork themselves! Adobe also inspired other community partnerships: The Watermark Café allowed people to donate at the register using their credit and debit cards.

All in all, Adobe employees donated over $4000 in cash, which was matched twice by Adobe, and they collected over 1000 pounds of food and baby supplies for FamilyWorks in a record-breaking food drive! We and our clients would like to extend a generous thank you for Adobe’s continued support!

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Filed under FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Fundraisers

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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Filed under FamilyWorks News, FamilyWorks Staff & Volunteers, FamilyWorks' Community

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

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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U.S. Kids’ Well-Being Lags

Last week’s article showcases key points that suggest that while some trends are improving, other measures of kids’ well-being are worsening as compared to the 2000 census, e.g. teen births, which are dramatically increasing. Interestingly, one of t he key measurements the article points to as showing a decline in well-being is an increase in the number of children living in single-parent households. This seems more judgemental as a measurement tool than, say, low-birth-weight, which has specific medical conditions associated with it. We at FamilyWorks value single parents and have seen many a wonderful family headed by one parent instead of two. What do you think of the government’s use of the controversial statistic in this way? What do you think about the other statistics the study uses to measure child well-being, and the assumptions behind them?

Full Article (click below):

U.S. Kids’ Well-Being Lags in Key Areas – CBS News.

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Filed under Advocacy, Parenting, Single Parent, Teen and Young Parents

Capa de Cuentos

According to the library’s online description, “Los Nietos presents a bilingual series of short Latin American stories, along with live music, ancient history, shadow puppets and traditional costumes. For ages 3-adult.” That brief description does not do justice to the animated songs, tales, poignancy, and audience participation that took place in the meeting room of the High Point Branch of the Seattle Public Library today.

Starring FamilyWorks’ very own Mayra Castanos, cast as a child who is sad because she misses her deceased grandfather, and is looking for his soul, a cast of three acted, danced, sang, and fielded questions and interruptions from the most demanding of audiences: children. A small row of seats lined the back of the room, and the rest of the space was filled with carpet squares for little ones of all ages. As Mayra worked her way through tales with morals like our hearts can see things that our eyes cannot, she was greeted by two wizards and three people wearing capes, each of whom had a story to tell. Layers upon layers of stories included marionettes (the horse was a crowd favorite), shadow puppets (including a multicolored, jointed lizard), and music. There were songs, there was dance, and there were questions asked. The children excitedly help Mayra find each of the people wearing capes, informed her that they spoke English, and told stories of their own great-grandparents.

Unlike so many children’s plays, even those of us who were there to support friends rather than bring our own small children learned from the play. Immersed in a society in which talk of death and dying are almost taboo, we were reminded of the importance of remembering the dead while celebrating life, of remembering that we know the sun is there even on days when we can’t see it, and of keeping the memories of those we love alive. While the children mostly wanted to share their own experiences during the question and answer session following the play, more than a few adults had questions about Day of the Dead, about altars, and about remembrance.

Admittedly, this particular show occurred on one of the hottest days of Seattle’s latest heat waves, in the overly-air-conditioned Seattle Public Library, but even if it’s a gorgeous and not oppressively-warm day, this play is a great way to spend an hour of your afternoon, and to provoke thought and discussion about death, dying, and life. There are plenty more dates at various branches of the library in which to see Capa de Cuentos. Congratulations to Mayra and Los Nietos for bringing such an important topic to life, and for inspiring the children, who all rushed to help move a table on the set and find boxes for the altar!

We highly recommend checking out the Seattle Public Library and its Summer Reading Program (for both kids and adults). For all the photos and even a VIDEO from the event, please check out our Facebook Page!

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Filed under FamilyWorks Staff & Volunteers, FamilyWorks' Community, Parenting, Parents of School-Aged Children (5-12), Parents of Young Children (Ages 0-5), Single Parent