Teens need your love (and gifts) too! (November, 2009)

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WCCC Spotlight November 24,2009
A frequent reminder that our kids and families matter!

You can talk to
the President about childhood hunger

   The USDA Food and Nutrition Service is using webinars and email to hear your ideas to end childhood hunger.
   The agency invites com- ments from state governments, local program offices, private industry and advocacy groups, as well as social service program participants via email and webinars.
   USDA says it is welcoming suggestions as it develops a comprehensive work plan to accomplish President Obama's goal of to ending childhood hunger in the U.S. by 2015.
   The next webinar
"listening session" is:

Thursday, December 3
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
   You must register first.
   You can also email your ideas.           
    USDA is offering a comprehensive website that will update information it receives.
unemployed family

Unemployment taking serious toll on kids

   The November 11 edition of The New York Times summarized several studies warning about the prolonged effect of parents' unemploy- ment on their children.
   From the newspaper:
   "A recent study at the University of California, Davis, found that children in families where the head of the household had lost a job were 15 percent more likely to repeat a grade. Ariel Kalil, a University of Chicago professor of public policy, and Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, of the Institute for Children and Poverty in New York, found in an earlier study that adolescent children of low-income single mothers who endured unemployment had an increased chance of dropping out of school and showed declines in emotional well-being.
   "In the long term, children whose parents were laid off have been found to have lower annual earnings as adults than those whose parents remained employed, a phenomenon Peter R. Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, mentioned in a speech last week at New York University.
   "A variety of studies have tied drops in family income to negative effects on children's development. But Dr. Kalil, a developmental psychologist and director of the university's Center for Human Potential and Public Policy, said the more important factor, especially in middle-class households, appeared to be changes in family dynamics from job loss.
   "'The extent that job losers are stressed and emotionally disengaged or withdrawn, this really matters for kids,' she said."

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Teens need your love (and gifts) too!
For 6th straight year, Casey's Grill & Bar sponsors
holiday gift drive for Washington County's teens

Bring a gift to Casey's Sunday, December 13

between 4-6 p.m. and have some fun and food
casey logoFor the sixth consecutive year, Casey's Grill & Bar in Wakefield is sponsoring a holiday gift drive for Washington County's  teens in need.  People who drop off an unwrapped gift on Sunday, December 13 between 4-6 pm will be treated to Santa, caroling, eggnog, cider and a complimentary buffet.
    "The gift drive has become an important tradition for us at Casey's," says General Manager Noelle Brousseau. "Every year has been more more fun. It's a wonderful way to serve a group of kids who are often forgotten at a time when they should feel closest to their communities."
    Brousseau reports that local businesses, charitable organizations, and community members, including many URI students and faculty members, collected almost $4,000 worth of gifts, gift certificates, and cash donations last December.
    The Washington County Coalition for Children (WCCC) distributes the gifts to local human services agencies who serve families with teens.
    "Casey's has been a fantastic and generous partner," notes WCCC Coordinator Susan Orban. "With just one part-time staffperson, we depend on area sponsors and volunteers to help us take care of those left behind. Casey's always steps up."
Lots of gift possibilities
   Orban suggests that ideas for teen gifts include: T-shirts, pajamas, slippers, hooded sweatshirts, caps, socks, Red Sox jersey/cap, watches, skateboards, sports equipment, MP3 music players, board games, or arts and craft supplies.
    "You can also think 'stocking stuffers," she adds, "such as nail polish, lip gloss, toiletries, body lotion, perfume/cologne, hair clips, jewelry, stationery, address books, disposable cameras, or CDs."
    She also proposes gift certificates from area merchants and restaurants for meals, bike supplies, music, DVDs, books, clothing, sporting goods, manicures, hair salon, movie passes, sports events, bowling, skating, ice cream, pizza, or fast-food.
    "We also accept cash donations," Orban points out.
If you can't make it to Casey's
on December 13, call the Coalition

    People who would like to donate but can't make it to Casey's on December 13 can contact Orban at wccc@washcokids.org or (401) 788-2061 to make other arrangements. 
    "Everyone on
our staff contributes in some way to make the gift drive successful each year," says Brousseau. "The joy and holiday spirit can truly be felt throughout the restaurant. I hope donors will stay and celebrate the season with us."

Holiday resources for families in need
Your neighbors are delivering food baskets and gifts
over Thanksgiving and Christmas in the coming weeks.
Churches, social services agencies, food pantries, and health centers in nearly every town in South County are delivering food and gifts this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    If you know a family a need, want to make a donation, or might want to volunteer, click here for a location and a contact person near you to call today.

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What you need to know about the WCCC

The Washington County Coalition for Children brings together everyone in Washington County who cares about children.
The Coalition is known for: 

  • Tracking and publishing the trends in children's issues, and convening public meetings around the needs.
  • Convening monthly meetings that bring together more than 40 organizations
    to tackle the most compelling problems facing children and their families.
  • Establishing a website to help parents of children with mental health and substance abuse problems connect with local treatment providers
  • Sponsoring an annual "How Are the Children?" Forum, a must-attend event
    for anyone working on children's issues: community leaders, advocates, and elected officials.
  • Holding monthly workshops to help doctors and mental health professionals care for children with behavioral health problems and  developmental disabilities.
  • Organizing a holiday gift drive for teens in conjunction with Casey's Grill & Bar in Wakefield.
     The Coalition achieves astounding results, with just one part-time staff person, dedicated volunteers, and administrative support from VNS Home Health Services.
We cover all Coalition costs through voluntary contributions
of Coalition members, grants, and your generous donations.

     For more information about the Washington County Coalition for Children,
go to www.washcokids.org or contact Coalition Coordinator Susan Orban at wccc@washcokids.org or
(401) 788-2061.