Archive for April, 2013

The Greatest of These is Love

Faith, Hope and Love – Duffel Bags for Children in Crisis Faith Hope and Love logo (2)
Written by Heather Lojeski

We have hurting children in Racine County.  Some of these children may have been victims of abuse, abandonment, and neglect or were unable to be cared for by their family.  These children desperately need to experience unconditional love, a sense of hope, and faith in for the future.

Did you know that in the United States approximately 500,000 children are in foster care on any given day? Read More…For approximately 125,000 of these children, there is no plan for reunification with their parents and little prospect for adoption. Three out of four children are separated from at least one sibling when placed in foster care. Children often change foster homes.

When neglected, abandoned and abused children enter the foster care system; unfortunately most come with very little belongings besides the clothes on their backs. If they have a few items, they are typically transported in a trash bag. What ever these children have left of their self-worth should not be carried in a garbage bag. They deserve better.

As a child that grew up in an abusive home, a former foster parent, and worker in a camp for abused and neglected children; I have experienced first hand, just how important providing love, hope, and faith to the hurting children of Racine County.  Faith, Hope, and Love will be providing duffel bags/backpacks filled with items to help in providing comfort to children in crisis situations.  We believe these items will provide a sense of security in the midst of turmoil.

Each child, given a bag from Faith, Hope, and Love; will receive: fleece blanket, stuffed animal, storybook, and personal hygiene items.  In the future, we will be also placing two days of clothing and shoes in the bags.  We also are preparing to provide a special bag for infants entering the foster care system that will contain: fleece blanket, small stuffed animal, board book, powder, baby lotion, baby wash, baby wipes, and diapers (in the future, this bag would also contain two days worth of clothing).

We can help create a sense of Faith, Hope, and Love for these children through the assembly of the duffel bags/backpacks.  Our goal for the first year, is to distribute 200 duffel bags, and each duffel bag costs us $34.  We are excited to announce that the lotion, shampoo, and conditioner for the 200 bags; has been donated by Paris Presents Incorporated.  Individuals and businesses are able to assist us reach our goals through both donation of items on our wish list below, and monetary donations.

Faith Hope and Love dufflesFaith Hope and Love duffles shelves

First 5 Duffle Bags filled and delivered.^
Stock room shelves ready store donations>

Wish List – We request that all items be new, thank you.

  • Duffel Bags
  • Backpacks
  • fleece blankets
  • stuffed animals
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • combs
  • brushes
  • storybooks – please none of the scary nature
  • flashlights
  • batteries
  • baby wipes
  • diapers
  • baby powder
  • baby lotion
  • baby wash

Please consider partnering with us as we reach towards the goal of 200 duffel bags to provide Faith, Hope, and Love for the hurting children of Racine County.


Faith, Hope, & Love – Living Light Christian Church
740 College Ave
Racine, WI 53403

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Faith, Hope, Love is a ministry of Living Light Christian Church and co-directed by husband and wife team, Mark and Heather Lojeski. Mark and Heather reside in Racine and have 10 children ages 7-23.


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The Edge

Take It To The Edge
Sponsored by Next Step Goals, LLC
Written by Julie O’Keeffe Henzey
Next Step Goals logo brown letters orange circles 200 wide (2)

We’ve all seen the movies where someone gets in a car and decides to see how fast it can go. Or you may recall Chuck Yeager boldly breaking the sound barrier by flying faster than the speed of sound. Some people with the need for speed even get their fix at the Bonneville Speedway on the salt flats of Utah during Speed Week, where world land speed records are made and broken.

I’m not sure whether it’s the speed itself or the desire to go to the edge that captivates people. Many of us love to live vicariously through others as they risk life and limb to reach a goal. There’s simply a pure thrill in going to the limit. Just think Olympics. To win, you have to be on the razor-sharp edge of your ability. We love watching it all unfold.

Normal people like you and me typically play it safe in most areas of our life. We don’t take unnecessary chances that could result in injury, physical or otherwise. We choose not to invest resources and effort into something that has little chance of paying off.

But I say, Go ahead! Do it. Get started. Test your limits and find your edge.

What we don’t see in Chuck Yeager is the years that he spent behind the scenes, learning his craft. He didn’t go from his 4-cylinder Toyota to a mock speed jet in one day.  That would be foolish and possibly fatal.  He built up his confidence and comfort level over time, going just a bit faster, then a bit faster, in a variety of aircraft. While doing this, he recalibrated his comfort level. The OMG breathless wonder experienced in a more powerful machine eventually turns into just another hour in the cockpit when something new becomes normal to us.

Think back in your own life to something that seemed scary at first but eventually became routine. Was it the high diving board at the community pool? Most of us start on the low board and graduate to the high board. We use the low board to recalibrate what is normal and comfortable to us. Low board? No big deal. High board? Wobbly knees! And then we climb the long steps, jump off feet first, and splash, we’ve broken our own personal sound barrier.

My friends, we can all recalibrate. We can take something scary and work up to it, bit by bit, until it doesn’t seem like a big deal at all. We can start with training wheels and graduate up. Who doesn’t love watching a five-year-old ride away from his parent on the sidewalk for the first time?! What freedom! It’s life on the edge.

Where’s your edge and what are you doing to get there?

Start in your Toyota, on the low board, or in the YMCA’s Beginners Class for Adult Swimmers. It’s never too late. Just ask a Senior Olympics athlete!

I’ll see you on the edge!

Post Script: I’m taking a group of clients over the edge of the Grand Canyon starting Saturday. We’ll camp and hike for four days below the rim. We have lots of edges to explore!

Julie helps women and seniors successfully take action and navigate challenges through her two businesses Next Step Goals LLC and Peace of Mind Transitions LLC. She herself has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and completed 60 sprint triathlons while divorced with two kids.

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Hello, My Name is

gratitude image
Well, the big JAK gig came and went this past weekend. I hope you were one of the 2K+ that made it to the Just Add Kids EXPO! that took place on Saturday, April 6th at Case High School. Maybe you were and are recieving our weekly e-newsletter JAK Happenings for the first time. A warm JAK (Just Add Kids) welcome to you.

In case you weren’t able to go, here’s a brief wrap up of the fun that ensued…

Read More…

First of all, I must pay homage to our sponsors Racine Unified School District, Daniels Chiropractic Office, Dental Associates, and Merchants Moving & Storage Company. Each of these organizations individually contributed to success of the event in different ways, whether it was financial support, marketing support…thank you so much!

We had an awesome line up of exhibitors….organizations that have a service, a product, or activiies that families need to JAK EXPO 2013 pic Monkey Joe's wild gangknow about.  Please see a list of the exhibitors below and along with our sponsors, I’d ask that you’d check them out, patronize them, and let them know you came to them via Just Add Kids and the Just Add Kids EXPO.

Our Just Add Kids Main Stage was brought up several notches with The Party Company handling the sound, the mc’ing, activities and prizes.  Thank you to Charlie who introduced and beautifully coordinated the following performance groups:  Starbuck Spartan Singers,  Girls Inc. of Racine Dream Steppers, Gilmore Pom Pons, Wadewitz Cheer Squad, Wadewitz Dance Team, Walden Cheer Squad, Magician Jason Love, Mitchell Lords & Ladies Drill Team, Racine Wrestling Club, and Fine Arts Dance Troupe.

Thank you Mayor John Dickert for welcoming guests and mingling with the exhibitors and crowd.  JAK EXPO 2013 pic Jason Love

We also hosted a few RUSD organizations: Schulte Elementary
School PTA, Case High School Theater Booster Club, and Horlick Theater Arts representatives.

We had an amazing Balloon Twister…HalfTwisted-HalfKnot and Face Painter Tiffany of Suzy Sparkles in the Just Add Kids Fun Hub. I have never seen such large balloon creations than what the kids at EXPO had hanging on their backs and holding onto with excitement and awe.

Kohl’s Wild Theater twice performed their show “The Reach of the Rain Forest” and entertained with music, dance, and puppeteering.
JAK EXPO 2013 pic Madeline interviewing Mrs. Racine Small World Montessori School
You can get a glimpse of the fun caught in photos and comments on our Just Add Kids EXPO! Facebook page.  And please read the Journal Times Sunday front page article about EXPO! Our JAK reporters, Madeline and Carmen were on the beat covering the event and filming for our new Just Add Kids EXPO! 2014 promotional video.
Thank you to the attendees that came, had a great time, and let Just Add Kids know about it!
Here is a list of participating organizations:
Monkey Joe’s
Mother’s Day Out Preschool
Minute to Wish It
Mt. Pleasant Chiropractic & Rehab
Origami Owl
Plaza Bowling Center/Tommy’s Chicago Dogs
Next Generation Now
Racine Area Wrestling Club
Racine Art Museum/RAM’s Wustum Museum
Racine Christian School
Racine Community Tennis Association
Racine County Sheriff’s Office
Racine Gymnastics Center/Peppermint Gym
Racine Family YMCA
Racine Heritage Museum
Racine PTA Council
Racine Unified School District
Scentsy Independent Consultant
Simply Said Designs LLC
Small World Montessori School
Spotlight Youth Theater
St. Catherine’s High School
St. Edwards Child Development Center
Suzy Sparkles
The City of Racine Parks and Recreation
The Party Company, LLC
Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark
Volunteer Center of Racine
Wild Root Market & Eat Right Racine
Windows in Time Photography

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Let’s Go…

EXPO! JAK EXPO exclamation point logo orange

Moms, dads, grandparents and kids from across Southeastern Wisconsin are  invited to attend the “go to” family event, brought to you by your’s truly…Just Add Kids, Racine, Kenosha and the surrounding area’s resource for family fun. Read More…
The event is being held at the large, accessible, convenient Case High School fieldhouse, located at 7345 Washington Avenue (Highway 20) in Racine. The Just Add Kids EXPO! will offer information, services and products from over 60 area businesses and organizations, all in a fun, hands-on, learning environment. There will be roving characters, face painting, balloon twisting, stage performances and presentations scheduled throughout the day including Kohl’s Wild Theater which will be presenting their show “The Reach of the Rain Forest” at 10:30am and 12noon. Jason Love will perform a magic show from the main stage of the event at 11:15am. Exhibitors will provide several kid’s games and activities, as well as giveaways. Event is FREE to attend. Refreshments will be available for purchase from Tommy’s Chicago Dogs, Kona Ice of Kenosha, and Health-E Vend, LLC.
Expo pic 2012 Patch sponsor
Just Add Kids EXPO 2012 Harmonious Beginnings pic
Check the Just Add Kids website for a list of  participating businesses, organizations, performances, and other highlights:

Just Add Kids EXPO 2012 mascot pics (2)

The Just Add Kid EXPO! is sponsored by Racine Unified School District, Dental Associates, Merchants Moving and Storage, and Daniels Chiropractic Office.

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