Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
By Bob Greene, CNN Contributor
November 22, 2009 8:12 a.m. EST
Bob Greene tells a story of need -- and of sharing -- in Central Missouri.
Central Missouri town of Moberly has program to help children fight hunger
Backpacks of food are placed in school hallways for kids to take home
Last year, 34 backpacks were needed; this year, need tripled, school staffer says
He says in some places, parents are too proud to admit their kids are hungry
Editor's note: CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a best-selling author whose new book is "Late Edition: A Love Story."
(CNN) -- Every Friday afternoon, the backpacks are placed carefully on the floors of the hallways in the elementary schools of Moberly, Missouri.
There are 106 of them: 106 backpacks, each of them with no child's name and with no individual owner.
The backpacks tell a story that can both break your heart and make your heart swell with admiration.
And if you ever had any doubt about what the financial mess in the United States is doing to families across the country ...
Well, those 106 backpacks in Moberly will erase those doubts pretty quickly.
"We're a rural community," said Mark Penny, the superintendent of the Moberly Public Schools. "We're pretty much in the middle of the state."
The backpacks are there because Penny and his staff know that without them, the children for whom they are intended might go hungry between the last bell of the day Friday and the first bell Monday morning.
The backpacks -- property of the school -- are filled with food.
The idea is that, when those 106 children leave class on Friday afternoons, they will pick up the backpacks, sling them over their shoulders and casually walk out of the school with their classmates.
The idea is that the children who need the food -- they range in age from kindergartners to fifth-graders -- will blend in with the hundreds of other boys and girls who get enough to eat at home and that the 106 children will feel no stigma.
"We serve breakfast at school, and we serve lunch," said Francine Nichols, the school staff member in charge of the backpack project. "But we began to realize that some of these children go home to houses where they literally may not eat over the weekend. And we couldn't just sit back and not do anything to help them."
So, three years ago, the backpack program started. When the school senses that a child is chronically hungry -- "A lot of times, they just tell their teacher," superintendent Penny said -- the parents are contacted. If the parents are willing to accept the help, the children are told privately that a backpack will be waiting in the hallway Friday afternoon.
"We'll fill each backpack with soup, with ravioli in a can, with canned fruit, with cereal bars, with juice," Francine Nichols said. "We make sure that the food is the kind that a young child can prepare himself or herself, if need be. Because some of these children live in single-parent homes, and when that parent works, not only does it mean that there may not be enough food in the house, but there may not be anyone to fix the meal for the boy or girl."
Moberly is far from the only school district in the country to have a program like this. Quietly, they exist all over the nation. The first one that is often cited was organized in the 1990s by a hunger-relief group known as the Arkansas Rice Depot.
The weekend-food programs are not run by the federal government but by local communities that simply can't stand the idea of children going without enough food.
And in Moberly, the need has increased in the past year, with the national recession and high unemployment.
"The economy has not exactly been a blessing to families lately," Nichols said. "Last November, we had 34 children for whom we prepared the backpacks every Friday. This November it is 106. So that tells you something."
There are some weeks, she said, when she goes to the school storeroom to fill the backpacks, "and I don't know how there will be enough food."
Much of it is provided by the Central Missouri Food Bank in Columbia, 30 miles away. That agency's executive director, Peggy Kirkpatrick, said that one year in one town -- not Moberly -- a 9-year-old boy took a backpack of food home each Friday but admitted to his teacher that he wasn't eating it all. When the teacher asked him why, the boy said:
"Because Christmas vacation is coming."
He was saving the food. He was hoarding it, because he wanted to make it last over the two weeks away from school.
Kirkpatrick said that in some cities, there have been cases where "the pride factor among some parents is so great that they would rather let the child go hungry than accept the backpack." She said, with a mixture of sadness and anger in her voice, that she is also aware, in some cities, of parents taking the food from their children and eating it themselves -- or selling it for drugs.
But in Moberly, Francine Nichols said, some parents whose children have been helped by the backpack program contact the school when they have found work again and say that because they are back on their feet, they no longer need the assistance. "And then they begin to provide food for the program; they bring food to school to help other children," Nichols said.
It's not difficult for a teacher to know when a child comes to school hungry, she said: "Sometimes a girl in kindergarten will take another child's lunchbox. Sometimes a child will go through the trash looking for food."
Superintendent Penny: "A third-grader can be bluntly honest and tell the teacher what is in the cupboard or icebox at home. And, more to the point, what's not there."
Central Missouri is in the breadbasket of the nation, part of a region that produces corn, wheat and soybeans -- seemingly a place of plenty. But there's a lesson in that, Penny said; he said that for anyone around the U.S. who is reading these words and is tempted to assume that this kind of hunger only happens somewhere else:
Nichols said: "If people think that children aren't hungry in their community, they're fooling themselves. You just want so badly for these children to go home for the weekend not worrying about whether there will be enough to eat, and to come to school on Monday morning ready to learn."
Meanwhile, with Thanksgiving coming up, next weekend will be a long one.
And so those 106 backpacks will be a little heavier this week.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bob Greene.
Monitor your heart daily to avoid wandering from God's wisdom!
The Moberly School District Back Pack Program is looking for back packs that can be used when providing kid friendly food to its students who may need food over weekends or holidays. If you have any back packs, duffle bags, etc... that you are not using and would like to donate, please let me know. They do not have to be new, they will be washed.
See this link for more info on the program.
Here is some more information about this program from the Central Mo Food Bank which supplies the food used in this program.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Thanks to everyone who posted comments and left little holiday tidbits!! I will probably use some of them in my blogging over the couple weeks!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I didn't realize it had been so many days since my last post! We spent the day with John's family as his Mom and Dad leave the day after to winter in Texas so Thanksgiving has become our holiday gathering time. Oh...the best part? John got to be home afterall...won't go into all the boring details...just the life of an over-the-road driver!
We finally lit the fireplace...the Christmas trees are up...and I rented the movie 'My Sister's Keeper' the other night and have yet to watch it so I think I'm gonna go curl up in my chair next to the fire, get some needlework and watch the movie!
Hope you are having a nice relaxing evening!!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I've got so many other things in the works...even getting up so early, intended or not, there just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes....I've still got body parts (dolls) and nekked dolls on my work table
waiting to be stitched together or waiting for clothes, as well as a couple little punch needle pieces to make into pillows. I still have a basket of doll parts to cut/turn/stuff! Will be a busy time in the sewing room this coming week!
Monday, November 2, 2009
I've also been working on a little punch needle project and that's about finished so I'd better get off here and get back to it....
Hope you have a wonderful week!!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Mom is home from the hospital (dismissed yesterday). Truck fixed and John back to work. I took him back yesterday and took a little detour thru Hannibal on the way home for a little fabric shop fix! I didn't really need or want anything...just wanted to look and be overwhelmed at all the fabrics and the possibilites. I did get a couple of cuts of wool felt...and it was on sale, like near 50% off! I like that! But that was it. It's been so gloomy here of late. Saturday was really nice and Sunday was beautiful until about an hour after the toy run then the sky opened up and it's been ugly out since. It doesn't look like it's goin' to be none too pretty a day today either!
I've got lots on my list of things to do today. I finished up another little x-stitch from Primitive Bettys plus the "thankful" one I finished the other day that I'd like to get completely finished. I found a couple of little snowman stitcheries by Twigs I'd started who knows how long ago that I'd like to finish the stitching on and work into pillows. I think I have a snowman punchneedle that needs to be finished into a pillow, too! And I have a snowman order to fill so I drew out the pattern for that this morning in hopes of at least getting them traced, sewn and cut today!
A cupboard full of goodies....fabrics, favorite magazines, old spools awaiting to be made into make-do's. See the little tin in the middle there on top? It's an old fruitcake tin...full of buttons that belonged to my Grandma Prewitt.... some people would of kept the buttons and pitched the old tin....nope...can't do it. I'll keep it forever! And yes, I do use buttons from it. It is so full of buttons, I'll never use them all!
And this is a little cubby box that I use for little bits of fabric that aren't so big they need to go in the cupboard. Much easier to keep track of in this!
Have a GREAT day...I hope the sun is shining in your world!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
As I work to put this work space together for myself yet again, I struggle on what to call this space exactly. Over the years when I've had a work room, I've always referred to it as "my sewing room"...for that was basically all I used it for. But now I incorporate so much more into my work than just sewing, not to mention the computer space being in this room as well. Sewing or work room sounds rather boring yet "studio" doesn't seem to fit either. I guess because I've always associated a studio as a space set apart or detached from the rest of the house where this space is a room in the house. Spare or guest room doesn't suit as it's not set up as such a room. What do you call the area in which you create?
Speaking of which.....I just received a copy of this magazine I'd been reading about for some time. I don't know why I put off checking it out or why I stopped at just ordering the current issue! Awesome magazine!
Where Women Create.....Inspiring work spaces of extraordinary women
...do you think I might have a floss addiction? All this plus what I have carded in my floss organizer and yet when I'm working on something I seem to run out of at least one of the colors I'm using! Anyways...I'd better get back at it...just a bit more to do. I want to get back to creating tomorrow!
Hope you are having a great week! Let me hear from you.....
What do you call your creative space?
Monday, October 19, 2009
And of course he wanted to sit on Uncle Johns motorcycle....
We waited til they all took off before we went on our way....
There is a huge antique store just a few miles from my house that I can rarely catch open when I have the time to stop....well we actually caught them open when on our way back home. I found a few treasures....I'll "remake" the basket and I've got a couple projects in mind for the mini-creamers and the keys.
The little cross-stitch is my little weekend project....I'll be finishing it into something this week! It's another little design by Primitive Betty!
So that was my weekend! I'd better get myself off this machine and get myself ready for work....I get to be a seamstress today!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Since it's so late, I took this to the mercantile rather than listing in my Etsy shoppe. As I mentioned in a previous post, the mercantile open house is right around the corner....
Randolph Mercantile Holiday Open House.....
Friday, November 6th, 9:30 am - 8 pm
Saturday, November 7th, 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday, November 8th, 10 am - 4 pm
Free gift with $30 purchase and free gift PLUS Randolph Mercantile sweatshirt with $100 purchase!
I'll take some pics in the next couple weeks.....
Have a GREAT evening!!!
Monday, October 12, 2009
It's just a few short weeks until Randolph Mercantile's winter open house!! I will post details on that very soon!
Have a GREAT day!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Many thought this looked like a Victoria's Secret bra.....
I do remember this one being called..."Abracadabra"
I love this one.... it's called "Simply Riveting" donated by Sheet Metal Workers (yes, it's metal).....
"She has nice.....eyes"....by Dr. Whitsons office.....
An assortment of "wonder woman" bras.....
MIZ-ZOU....black & gold bras.....
And some more....bottom row, 2nd from left is done with duct tape .....