Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Storehouse: Summer Lunch Program

Every year, more children are added to the National School Lunch Program for the free or reduced price. This program provides lunches, and sometimes breakfast, to students throughout the school year. In 2010, over sixty-five percent of students using the NSLP are under the free or reduced price program. This percent is steadily increasing every year, as more families are coming under the national poverty level and simply cannot afford to pay for their children's lunches.

What happens, however, during the summer? If parents cannot afford healthy lunches for their children during the school year, and most schools have no way to provide for the students over summer, how are the children to be helped?

This year, the Storehouse has partnered with Catholic Charities and the Compassion and Justice Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church to help some of these children. From July 5 through July 29, they will be providing lunches for youth and children from ages 1 to 18.

This is an amazing ministry that will not only give to those children who need the help with nutrition, but will also provide invaluable opportunities to share God's love to them!

If you would like to donate to help this cause, please check out the Storehouse website and their Facebook page for more information. As of right now, the refrigeration unit at the host school is needing repairs, so unexpected costs have arisen for large coolers and large amounts of ice. Any donations are welcome!

Want another way to give? Donate to the Storehouse and also receive a handmade blanket through my Etsy shop.
Or give your time...volunteers are always welcome! If you are in the Chicago area and would like to help, email me or write on the Storehouse's Facebook wall to find out when you are most needed!

The details:

For children ages 1 to 18 years old
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 through Friday, July 29, 2011
(Monday through Friday only)
Pershing Elementary School
3113 South Rhodes Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
11:30am - 12:30pm

The goal is to serve 1000 meals during the month of July!
Spread the word about this great program!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seeking Inspiration: Simple Solutions

Every so often there seems to be a day that you just can't get through. It's like a giant brick wall, as black as darkness, blocking every way you try to turn. Nothing seems to go right, no one understands what you are trying to say and, by the end of the day, you just want to fall into your bed and hope it was all just a bad dream.

Have you ever had a day like that? I'm sure you have, at least to some degree.

The amazing part is this: no matter how long or bad the day seems to be, somehow it always ends and you are eventually able to move forward.

Some people are fortunate and able to find their own patterns, to figure out a portion of the workings of their minds, to help themselves make that black brick wall simply disappear out of existence.

For myself, there are days where I simply need to stop, take a nap and listen to a happy song. It's amazing how such simple steps can turn your day around!

Sadly, there are times where I forget these steps. I continue to feel stuck until my wonderful fiance gives me a hug and smile, looks me in the eye and says, 'You'll feel better after you sleep.' What a simple yet important reminder!

How do you help yourself out of life's little dramas and into some peace? What ways do you remind yourself to simply take a break?

Some people prefer to be inspired when they are feeling down. For some that would mean taking a walk in the park, smelling a flower or looking at a beautiful photograph. You can find some beautiful nature photography here.

What inspires you?

And how can you inspire others?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Etsy: Ups and Downs

Last Wednesday was a very interesting day for me.

To start, I wanted to make chicken in the crockpot ... but couldn't seem to manage to get the frozen chicken out of its packaging. (My fiance saved the day!)

Then, I made pasta for my fiance and I for lunch. While straining the pasta, I managed to pour half of it down the drain. (We really need one of those sink strainers...)

So, the entire time I was making my delicious chicken-and-stuffing dish, I was really nervous I would somehow ruin the whole thing. (It turned out delicious! I was very thankful, considering my day)

Earlier, however, I managed to do something absolutely wonderful. I made this beautiful crochet piece for my very first Etsy customer, and got it shipped out one day ahead of schedule! It looks absolutely beautiful, if I do say so myself.

Check out the listing here, and let me know if you want to order one of your own!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Etsy: More Options

Let me introduce you to my newest super-soft blanket: Chocolate Raspberry Twist!

This beautifully delicious blanket is made of Caron Simply Soft yarn, in the colors Chocolate brown and Autumn Red. Delectable to the eye, it is an incredibly comfortable and very warm blanket!

Not only is this blanket comfortable and beautiful, it also comes in a new size! Measuring as a 4-foot square, this afghan is the perfect size to sit on your lap and help keep you warm and cozy!

This blanket is not yet listed, but I wanted to give my awesome blog friends a preview of what is to come! Be sure to check out HelpfulBlankets on Etsy. Look at the other colors available, request a blanket to fit your style, or patiently wait to snatch this blanket when it becomes available!*

Enjoy dreaming of a hand-made, super-soft blanket to curl up in!

*The Chocolate Raspberry Twist lap blanket will be available by Friday, June 10, 2011.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Storehouse: Resource Fair

Today, the Storehouse held a resource fair for low-income and homeless individuals in the Chicago area. This resource fair sought to help in a number of ways.

Held in the Quinn Chapel of AME Church (who also provided food baskets and clothing), this Resource Fair provided:
  • Housing assistance
  • Employment possibilities
  • Health and Mental Health assistance
  • Veteran's Benefits assistance
  • Social Security Benefits assistance
  • Domestic Abuse assistance
These are only some of the ways that the Storehouse is wanting to help the struggling of Chicago. It's absolutely wonderful to see the efforts being taken to provide aide to those in need.

Would you like to help the Storehouse continue to provide for Chicago in these ways? My Etsy shop donates all profits directly to the Storehouse!

What other ways do you think the Storehouse can continue helping the low-income and homeless of Chicago?

How might you make a positive impact on those around you? People don't need to be homeless to be in need of help. Take a moment today to pay attention to the needs of those around you -- be of help!

Please leave your thoughts and comments below. If you know of a community service project that you would like to appear on this blog, please email me through my Profile page.