Monday, May 16, 2011

Help Support Courtney’s SandCastle Want to Paint A Tile That Will Be Installed in The Playground?

Courtney’s SandCastle Universally Accessible Playground

Courtney’s SandCastle is a universal playground which will be developed as a part of the Vista Hermosa/La Pata Community Park. It will serve both special need children and adults as well as able bodied children.

Courtney's SandCastle
The Parks Foundation, the City of San Clemente, and the Junior Woman’s Club came together in 2004 to build the playground, originally planned for Steed Park.
Courtney’s SandCastle is named for Courtney Faye Smith who has been confined to a wheelchair because of a rare muscular degenerative disease – Spinal Muscular Atrophy. When Courtney and her friends visit local parks together, she is unable to participate because of her disabilities as are some 18,000 other children in Orange County with disabilities. Special recreational equipment will also be available to handicapped Marine veterans and other disabled adults.
The playground was designed by Richard Fisher (who built many of the West’s premier universally accessible and traditional parks), and Summers/Murphy & Partners Inc.  The playground, along with baseball, soccer, and football fields, and an aquatic center, is expected to open in December 2011.

An exciting “Paint a Tile” fundraiser was recently launched. Sponsoring organizations and individuals can support Courtney’s SandCastle by purchasing personalized colorful, glazed tiles. These tiles will be placed on a special wall within the playground and serve as a timeless reminder of our faithful community. Following your $100 (per tile) tax-deductible donation, you will receive a voucher that can be taken to Fired Up of San Clemente to design your own tiles or choose from one of the design templates.
See Website

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Children and Hearling Loss

Having a hearing loss at any age can be very frustrating.  Not only  for the person with the hearing loss, but also for those around them that get frustrating when they hear "what?" all the time.

When I was in elementary school, Jr high and high school I had a hard time comprehending with certain teachers.  I had no idea I had a hearing problem.  I remember my 3rd grade teacher saying to me and my dad that the reason I can't understand at school was because my parents were divorced.   They had me meet with a tutor for reading to help me comprehend more.  It did not help.  When I was in high school and some teachers let you pick your own seats, I did better in those classes.  I always sat to the left of the teacher in front of the room.  When I sat other places I  had a hard time.  It was not until I got my hearing aids as an adult did all this make sense.  I just thought I was quirky because I liked sitting in a certain place in class.  I had no idea that it was because I could hear better.

When I had my hearing tested I had hearing loss for different tones in each ear.  My results came back that the beginning of the word I was not hearing.  Someone could say look at the "door" and I may hear "floor".   So, you can see clearly how this can make a child feel like they are not smart in school.  The  doctor actually asked me if I was in a band or if I shot guns because my hearing loss was extreme. I said nope.  Then we talked about school when I was younger and he said, I have had this my whole life. 

Get a good hearing test done on your child if they are having a hard time in school.  Teachers mean well, but to tell a kid they have issues learning because their parents got divorced was not right.  In many cases home life of course effects a child's ability to concentrate, but in my case no.   I could not hear right.   The old tests they used to do in school when I was young to test our hearing , was not a complete hearing test. 

Children learn to communicate by imitating the sounds they hear. If they have a hearing loss that is undetected and untreated, they can miss much of the speech and language around them. This results in delayed speech/language development, social problems and academic difficulties. 

I am very thankful to have my  hearing aids.  I did not want to get them at first because I thought they would be big and ugly, but they have ones that you can't even see.  No one knows I have them on unless I tell them.  So, don't let the fear of everyone seeing them make you not get them at any age.

Hearing loss, in varying degrees, affects two in every 100 children under the age of 18. Fortunately, there are very few hearing losses that cannot be helped with modern technology. The most effective treatment is achieved through early intervention. Early diagnosis, early fitting of hearing aids, and an early start on special education programs can help maximize a child's hearing. This will give your child the best chances for successful speech and language development.

Here are some websites that  can help with hearing loss with children and helping to get hearing aids.  
List of Websites for Hearing Loss

Monday, May 9, 2011

Privacy Settings on Facebook, MySpace & Xanga. Good For Adults & Kids

Here is a great page on getting your privacy settings strong on some of the Social Networks.  We all need this knowledge for ourselves and especially to protect your kids.

Privacy Settings on Facebook, MySpace & Xanga HERE Good for Adults & Kids

Here is another Link with Several top websites to educate parents, teachers and kids about internet safety.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mothers Day is hard and lonley for many adults and kids around the world!

Mother's Day, for some people is like Valentines Day to the singles.   Myself personally, I did not grow up with a mother. It was hard.  She is still alive, but she never really wanted much to do with her kids.  It bothered me from time to time.  When I see my friend's mothers love them and give them things, I'm very happy for them.  But it does brake my heart that I never can feel that or have those experiences.  At different ages it hurt differently.

I was raised with  my dad and brothers with no mother or mother figure in my home.  I thought I was okay. But as I gotten older and realizing what things I missed out on and it can be devastating for me at times.  What also hurt is how people just judge and assume it's my fault.  Really?  A child has a parent that does not care, does not know how to care.. or they just can't, it is NEVER the child's fault.  Someone came to me a few years ago and said out of the blue. "you should forgive your  mom" I asked for what.  This person did not know anything about me except that I was not close to my mother. 

I find many people don't understand or care to try too. They go on with their lives and leave the hurt ones alone on special days.  Not real fun.

I know my pain can be so sad sometimes but I get through it.  I know what it feels like at any age to have others kids and adults treat you like you are different or have the plague or something just because you home life was different.  It's not right and it's not fair. 

But there are kids with no homes in foster care and in shelters and waiting to be loved and adopted who I imagine their pain is way more painful then the pain I have had.   I wish I could go help them all.

Here are a few ways you can reach out and help.
BBBS Big Brother & Big Sisters

When Holidays and special days are coming like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Mother's & Father's Day
contact your local shelters and care places where children are at in these situations and find out how you can bring special gifts to them or just one of them...Reach out... a little something from us can make a BIG SOMETHING for them.  Trust me, I know it personally....

Here are some more links to help children in pain
For the Child
Child Advocates

Remember these kids grow up to be adults and even though they do the best they can as adults and be the kindest and are good people, they can be more lonely and sad sometimes.  Know your friends and know their past hurts, listen to them.  Don't judge....give love.  Know a holiday can be a time to reach out to even adults who had childhood losses and even as adults.  As an adult I had a baby's heart beat stop inside of me and I had to have surgery to remove it, it was hard, I figured it was meant to be, but I'm not a mother and it can be sad at times.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What is a Charity? How can I help others?

What is a Charity?  The word Charity in the dictionary says:  generous 
actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless, something given to a 
person or persons in need.  A charity is a particular type of voluntary 
organization that takes a distinctive legal form to raise money to provide 
help, support, relief and assistance of particular need.
What is a Foundation?  The word Foundation in the dictionary says:  an 
institution financed by a donation or legacy to aid in research, education, 
arts etc.  A foundation is a legal categorization of nonprofit organizations 
(NPO) that will donate funds and support to other organizations or 
provide the source of funding for its own charitable purposes.
What is a Private Foundation? It is a legal entity set up by and 
individual, family or group, for purpose such as philanthropy.
What is Philanthropy? It is the effort or inclination to increase the 
well being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations to orphanage 
and others who need help. website is a fun directory of charities and 
foundations that help, support, bring aid, lend a hand and bring comfort 
by charitable contributions and donations to fund and aid in relief to 
animals, families and children.  Children can help other children online.  
You can support, feed and donate to animals, rescue animals and assist 
people in need from your computer or cell phones.  It is easy. You can help 
by donating to websites for  the dogs, cats, whales, birds, eagles, 
penguins, koalas, sea horses, seals, monkeys, gorillas,horses, elephants, 
lemurs, dolphins, lions, kangaroos, butterflies, tigers, sea turtles, sea 
lions, whales and bears. We have listed charities & foundations that 
donate time and money to support and feed hungry kids, hungry families 
and teenagers with needs.  We list organizations that help fire, burn 
victims, tsunamis, earthquake, floods and more natural disaster victims 
and their losses.  You will easily find links to foundations & charities for 
Epilepsy, M.S., Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Muscular 
Atrophy and websites for children with autism, children with diabetes 
and children with food allergies.  We added websites the help kids and 
teens with bullying.  We list websites that help sick and hurt kids along 
with websites for parent education. We have a page for Internet Safety 
for kids, where we list the most updated Internet safety and cell phone 
safety websites for parents, teachers & kids.   Great for schools and 

If you wish to help but cannot donate money you can make donations at 
one click donation websites.  We have a one (1) click donation websites 
page.  All you have to do is click 1 time with your mouse.  A donation is 
made by another person or company for each mouse click received on 
their website.

We do not take any money we are strictly a listing of charity and 
foundation websites to help others.

Enjoy helping others and animals on our site by yourself or with your 
children.  It’s a great way to teach kids to help others in need.    

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 8th-14th is Food Allergy Awareness Week & May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

    May 8th to May 14th, 2011 is Food Allergy Awareness Week. 

                 May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

Allergies can be Serious. 
Food allergies are more common than many know and can be very serious and lead to death. 
Below is a link to a page with Great Websites to educate Parents, Teaches and Kids about food allergies.
Here is another great site with Food Allergies Clothing & Bracelets

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Great List of Websites to Help Anti-Bullying with Kids

Collin Farrel Said......."Bullying is torture, it is another betrayal of basic human decency and its scars reach way into the future of its survivors, The saddest truth is that not all children survive it. It is a potentially fatal societal illness and must be respected and not feared.  Respected and dealt with as a very real problem and as an adversary of a potentially harmonious world, that should have no place for bullies or bullying."
Here is a link with a list of great websites to help parents, kids and teachers with bullying situations.