Archive for July, 2013

Fresh Update

The Greatest of These is Love, Part 2Faith Hope and Love logo
Written by Heather Lojeski

In the short three months since our last article; Faith, Hope, & Love has grown immensely. Our goal has been to make sure that no child is handed a trash bag for their personal belongings when they are displaced from their home due to abuse, neglect, or tragic event.  We are well on our way to making this goal a reality.

We have been working with Racine County Human Services to provide duffel bags to every child entering foster care.  Recently, it was brought to our attention, there is no plan in place to provide duffel bags to children in short term, crisis treatment.  Read More…Together, with Racine County Human Services, we made a plan to provide two bags to every crisis treatment foster home that may receive children during: evening hours, weekends, and holidays.  This is just one of the ways we are making sure that no child has to move their personal belongings with a trash bag, and we are able to provide personal care and comfort items to children who may have nothing.

Another way we are impacting the needs of hurting children in Racine County; is through Wheaton Franciscan’s Fresh Start; an alternative-classroom program that provides support to at-risk students as part of a collaboration with the Racine Unified School District.  To date, we have delivered 20 bags to Fresh Start and already are hearing stories of success.

The next large step that we have taken, is to provide law enforcement officers of the Racine County Sheriff Department with duffel bags.  Each squad car is now equipped with a minimum of one duffel bag and soon each car will have two bags.  According to Racine County Investigator Tracy Hintz, “When children need to be removed from a home for situations such as abuse, local authorities work with them to meet their needs.”  Until we delivered those bags though, they had nothing to physically hand the child.  “This makes a difference.  This is going to be something a child is going to remember,” Hintz said.

By the end of August, we will have duffel bags in each squad car in Racine County, including: Sturtevant Police, Mount Pleasant Police, Racine Police, and Caledonia Police departments.  We will continue to work hard to fulfill our goal of making sure each child receives a duffel bag in crisis situations.

About:

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.

Faith, Hope, & Love – a ministry of Living Light Christian Church
740 College Ave
Racine, WI 53403
262-902-0556

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Well Done!

We Have Done It!
By JAK’s guest mom blogger from Sturtevant, Leann Pomeroy

The Schulte Elementary School PTA has raised $36,000 and the equipment has been ordered for the new playground at the school. Yay!

One fall day the rescue squad had to be called to Schulte Elementary School in Sturtevant because a child had gotten his finger caught in the old, rusted unsafe playground equipment.  Thankfully he was okay.  That is when we knew we were on the right track with our plan to replace the old equipment. Read More…

schulte playground 1b schulte playground 1c

The old equipment

The old equipment

As a school we have raised the funds through many fundraisers including eat out nights, Skatetown parties, vendor fair, Market Day, yearbook sales, t-shirt sales, holiday gifts from teachers and students. You name it, we did it!  We also applied for many many grants and were awarded a few, but far more were not.  One of our best fundraisers was our Silent Auction/Ice Cream Social this year.  We raised over $5,000 in one night.  We are thankful for all that donated to that fun night.

We had many ups and downs: days we knew we were going to reach our goal and then days that we did not think we would.  In the end we did.  One of the greatest ups was the help of the South Shore Professional Firefighters Local 2939; they chose us as their first ever cause to raise money for.  The firefighters planned a pancake breakfast and bake sale that raised well over $3,000.  We could not have done this without their help and their help does not stop there.  Many of the firefighters also plan on being at the building of the playground.  It has been a great deal of work by all involved but it is definitely something that needed to be done.

demolition day!

demolition day!

Just when we had reached our goal and thought we could relax and enjoy our accomplishment; we had to start planning the building of the playground.  We are doing a community build on Saturday July 27th 2013, rain date Saturday August 3rd, 2013.  We will have many members of the community at the build day to help build, serve food, and play with the kids.  This is something that could not be done without the help of the community.  So many people have reached out to help and it has been truly amazing to see this.

schulte playground 3b

The new equipment

The new equipment

We would like to thank the South Shore Professional Firefighters Local 2939, William and Yoland Naleid Fund, Kiwanis of Greater Racine, Jim Lousier, Vranak Cement, Racine Kiwanis and Kids First Fund for your generous donations.  We also want to thank all the Schulte staff, students, parents and friends that have helped make this possible.  We could not have done this without the help of all.

To keep up with all that is being done please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/480321748706116/ or search Schulte playground on Facebook.

You can also visit us at http://ourdreamplayground.kaboom.org/projects/9513-schulte-elementary-s.

Leann is a married mom of 2 kids ages 5 and 8, teacher of ACT Prep course, and playground project leader.

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I Scream. You Scream.

We All Scream.
The “Silent” Scream

Written by Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann

Just Add Kids is excited to be sponsoring, by far, the “coolest” SCAN Cones for Kids widesky ad 2013fundraiser in town…SCAN’s Cones for Kids.  Brought to you by Lutheran Social Services’ the Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) program, this unique, family-friendly event will be held next week Wednesday, July 17th from 6-8pm at the Racine Masonic Center, located at 1012 Main Street.

Here’s the scoop…come sample mini-cones from Racine’s best ice cream/gelato/custard shops. Guests taste and vote for their favorite to win the SCAN’s Golden Scoop Award.

Entertainment will be provided by Read More…the Big Balloon Tycoon and kids craft with Home Depot. And please take the time to read through a dynamic line up of silent auction items, including donations from Six Flags,  Chicago Skydeck, TimberRidge Waterpark and Resort, Green Meadows Petting Farm, and Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, to name a FEW!

Event tickets are on sale now:  $5 for advance tickets, $6 for tickets purchased at the door, and children under 3 are free.  For more details, including a complete list of the amazing auction prizes, please visit http://www.conesforkids.blogspot.com/

Let’s talk more about the “why”…

The SCAN program provides child abuse awareness programs to preschool, kindergarten, 2nd, 4th and 6th grade students throughout Racine County in public, private, and parochial schools. All programs aim to teach children to identify abusive situations, to disclose abuse when it occurs, and to identify sources of support. SCAN also discusses stranger safety with younger children and older students get information about cyber-safety including email scams, cyber-bullying, internet predators, and sexting. Above all, we want children to realize that abuse is never the fault of the child. SCAN programs have been in the Racine community for almost 30 years. Chances are your children or grandchildren have participated in SCAN programs at their schools. We need to continue to provide funding for this program. And I can’t think of a “cooler” way to do it than this event.

Related, and I’d be remiss if this post didn’t share with you the tragic ending of a 3 year old boy who recently lost his life at the hand of his caregiver, his mother’s boyfriend. On Friday May 10, 2013 three year old Hunter J. Wise died tragically due to child abuse. You can read more of the disturbing, yet very real details of the sad, senseless end to an innocent child’s life in this Journal Times article. Here’s the invitation…

Hunter Wise

Let’s keep this dialog going, in honor of this child and countless others whose screams need to be heard. With your help, we CAN continue to SCAN.

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The Patriot Act

Tradition Transition
by Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann

Patriot (def): A person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

I can identify with that definition.  And boy oh boy, along with many members of my family, community, and country, do we ramp up our patriotism with displaying the red, white, and blue (in our clothing, accessories, etc.) and that of Old Glory…today especially, Independence Day. While I say I can identify with being a patriot, I can also say there are many more who put their money where their mouth is and are fighting and/or have fought the good fight. To those, I applaud you for your service and I am pleased to be personally celebrating side by side with a few of these good men today.

Today, unlike many many (this is the 19th celebration of such) years of parade going, Herrmann family party and fireworks, marks the first year of noticeable difference.

I didn’t go to the parade. Say what? Read More…Yup, I know. The weather is absolutely perfect. And it’s tradition, after all. I have work to do. Yikes! And it’s a holiday for goodness sakes. My oldest daughter is working, too. And tomorrow, I’ve got another bash to prepare for…said daughter’s graduation party. In addition to my eldest’s absence is the absence of my niece…the producer of years of Herrmann family 4th of July productions. Work has sucked her up today, as well. In year’s past, the kids, and some star adult actors and actresses, have brought to life renditions of The Sound of Music, The Phantom of the Opera, and (speaking of “tradition”)The Fiddler on the Roof. Today, it was spontaneous adlibbed singing, jokes at the mic, and a roast for my wonderful mother-in-law. Still all good, yet, it’s a break away from tradition. Attendees were much lighter this year in comparison to past years. Not all of the relatives made the trek from Arizona and Texas to Racine, though we are excited that seven of our Florida peeps are here. For those that are missing, wouldn’t you know, we’d have this perfect weather day!

kilties
My vantage point of today’s parade.
(In front of my TV making a dessert for today’s festivities.)

July 4 2011 Picnic & Show 037
(Herrmann Family Productions presents “The Fiddler on the Roof” 2011)

As I wrap up today’s entry. My plan is to head down to the fireworks at the lakefront, heavily burdened with the thought of all of the party prep work in store for me tomorrow. I guess I’ll be setting a precedent as I’ve got three more to graduate after number one. This, may very well become our graduation celebration tradition. Tying it in with our 4th festivities and taking advantage of the family members who come to town.

Cheers! Happy Birthday America! Congrats Grad!

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