Sunday Fundae

It was a beautiful (read, HOT AS ALL GET OUT) day in Pittsburgh. Perfect for a trip to the Zoo to enjoy the Pressley Ridge Ice Cream Fundae. And ever since, the big kids have been recalling the fun they had at what they are calling Sunday Fundae.

We arrived right as the gates were opening and took our time showing Grammie around our favorite exhibits. So much time that we only got to three of the six ice cream stations before they either ran out or closed early.

Even the @steelers #SteelyMcBeam is getting in on the #icecreamfundae fun! @pghzoo @PressleyRidge #lilburghers

The kids even got to meet Mr. McFeely (from Mister Rogers) – he’s on the board of Pressley Ridge and the Zoo, so this event is super important to him.

Speedy Delivery! #icecreamfundae @PressleyRidge @pghzoo #lilburghers

Since we didn’t make it to the voting station before the zoo closed (we REALLY took our time and enjoyed), our votes for favorites were the Moose Tracks and Black Raspberry.

The #lilburghers are ready! #icecreamfundae @pghzoo @PressleyRidge

If you love the zoo, giving back, and ice cream (or any of the three), you should watch for next year’s Ice Cream Fundae dates. Evan and I have gone two years in a row now, and we are counting down to the next one already.

Pressley Ridge is dedicated to families being healthy and happy together – you know, something I advocate big time. You can read more about this non-profit here: pressleyridge.org. // I was invited to attend this event in exchange for blog posts to promote it. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.

For the Love of Diapers

Disclosure: I’ve teamed up with Diary of a First Time Mom and this information and images are used with her permission. Questions regarding this project can be directed via email to Heather Hopson at dearmomdiary@gmail.com. 

 

Used with Permission from http://diaryofafirsttimemom.com/
Used with Permission from http://diaryofafirsttimemom.com/

Originally, when I told Heather of diaryofafirsttimemom.com I’d team up with her efforts to gather support for drive to get diapers for families in need, I told her I’d just toss up a guest post and some tweets. I’m busy creating two babies that need diapers, you know. Selfish me was also too busy searching for diaper fluff (the cloth that’s on the right up there) because I could. But if you remember one of the reasons why I am choosing to cloth diaper…it’s because diapers are EXPENSIVE. It’s time to shut up the selfish “I don’t have time to really help” voice and give you some info.

According to the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank:

  • Babies need 6-10 diapers a day. They cost $18 per week on average per child
  • 1 in 3 families in America struggles to afford diapers for their children

Because of this, some parents leave their kids in soiled diapers for longer than they should, which leads to health risks. Did you know WIC funds can’t be used for diaper purchases, either? This really puts a strain on families trying to make ends meet.

Even as a middle-class mom, I’m faced with how the heck am I going to do this. How am I going to keep two in diapers? And I think back to when I was a single mom on a teacher’s salary. Thank goodness for friends and family who gifted me diapers. Arianna went through a lot with her allergies and I would’ve been drowning even further in debt today if I didn’t have that help. But not everyone has that, and not everyone can go cloth (because there are other costs and needs associated with that choice), so there has to be an answer.

Places like the Diaper Bank exist to help out, but they can’t do it alone. They need supporters who will give back to our smallest citizens. There are a few ways you can help:

  • Have your own Diaper Drive by either collecting diapers (any size accepted, but greatest need is for sizes 3 and up) or cash to purchase the diapers. Gather up your network and help out the babies.
  • Donate to the drive that Diary of a First Time Mom put together with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank now through February 28. The goal is to gather 50,000 diapers. You can help by dropping off at sites listed here or donating to the cause by clicking this button:

 

 

  • On social media? Retweet this or share this post with your friends.

A ‘lil bit can go a long way. Let’s see what good we can do together.

Ice Cream Fundae

*articles may contain affiliate links*

I might be all into eating healthy, but that doesn’t mean I won’t take a break and enjoy some ice cream this summer. That’s why you will find Evan and I tasting and voting on our favorite flavors at the Pittsburgh Zoo on Sunday, August 17 for Pressley Ridge’s Ice Cream Fundae.

source: Pressley Ridge

 

In its 20th year, this event brings Pittsburghers to the Zoo for ice cream tasting and family activities. Attendees will vote on their favorite flavors, and funds raised will go to help Pressley Ridge continue to serve their mission to give families support when it’s needed most.

We’ll be learning more at the event (and sharing with you later), but would love to say hi to anyone who attends that night. Tickets are available for purchase through the Pressley Ridge website. There is a VIP option as well as general admission starting at FREE for kids ages 3 and under, $10 for 4 and up, and $25 for over 12. Tickets include all-you-can-eat ice cream, face painting, zoo admission, and more.

Fun Fore All to End Childhood Hunger

Think of five children you know. Mine can be two of them, why not.

Of those five children, it’s likely that one of the five is affected by Childhood Hunger (based on a stat that I was given for this post).

Now think about you as an adult. How does it feel when you are hungry? Not so good, right? Likely, you’re able to get yourself something to satisfy that hunger (and if you’re not, head on over to www.pittsburghfoodbank.org to get some assistance – it’s a judge free zone). But that feeling of hunger is not so fun. When I am hungry, I am mean and unstable. I can’t think. I can’t do anything but crave food NOW.

Go back to those kiddos you thought of. If one of them is lacking proper nutrition because their family does not have the resources to feed them, they are likely going to suffer in school, have short and long term health issues, or have behavioral problems.

Hopefully I am  not the only one whose heart gets heavy when they hear this information. Actually, I know I am not. The Kids Campaign to End Hunger (through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank) makes sure that kids get enough to eat. They also educate children about how to help, organize fundraisers, and provides volunteer opportunities to raise awareness and support.

That’s where the Fun Fore All comes in. Fun Fore All is a miniature golf event that will be held on Saturday, May 31 at Fun Fore All in Cranberry Township. The cost to participate is $25 per person which includes 18 holes of miniature golf, a swag bag with goodies, lunch, and a Putting an End to Hunger t-shirt. You can enter a foursome, or attend as a single, double, or triple group and be paired up with other awesome ‘Burghers who are there to help with the cause, too.

Greg and I will be there, and we’d love to have you join us, too. Tickets are available for purchase through this link and proceeds from the event will go toward Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s Kids Campaign to End Hunger.

Let’s do one ‘lil thing to help in a big way, Pittsburgh. Hearts.

Fun Fore All

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Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank facts from 2012-2013:
  • Distributed 27,014,117 pounds of food and other essential items to low-income individuals and families
  • Completed 186 Produce to People distributions, serving 16 distressed neighborhoods and 198,399 people and distributing nearly 3.7 million pounds of food and non-food products
  • Expanded the Summer Food Service Outreach Program to Somerset and Butler Counties and are continuing outreach in Fayette, Beaver, Lawrence, and Greene Counties, serving nearly 10,000 children
  • Collected 475,040 pounds of food and non-food products, valued at $802,817, through community food drives
  • Harvested 114,903 pounds of produce (that otherwise would have gone to waste) from local farms during 47 gleaning sessions
  • Purchased forklifts, freezers, and other essential equipment to help our member agencies better accommodate the families they serve
  • Engaged 13,333 volunteers (including 4,280 new volunteers) for a total of 70,043 service hours, helping them repackage and distribute food to people in need
  • Increased distribution of healthy produce by more than 900,000 pounds, distributing 5,972,903 pounds
  • Conducted 260 Speaker’s Bureau presentations in the region, reaching 18,694 people

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Disclaimer: I was asked to share the above information as part of a campaign with The Motherhood. That means I was compensated to be a Blogger Ambassador, but all opinions are my own.

Project Prom

Allegheny County High School students and parents – this post is for you!  I was sent information about Project Prom and Project Prom for Gentlemen, and knew it was worth sharing with my readers.

You see, when I was in High School, I put my parents through having to buy two prom dresses. If memory serves me correctly, we were able to get them both from a bridal shop at a decent price, but I know it wasn’t the easiest spend for them to justify. That’s why hearing about this program from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services hit home.

Source: Allegheny County DHS

Project Prom and Project Prom for Gentlemen has been around since 2003 and helps students make their prom dreams come true. The program includes a free gown giveaway (for teens that financially qualify), a public discount sale, and etiquette lessons. The guys (through Project Prom for Gentlemen) will learn about how to teach others with dignity and respect as well as get a free Tuxedo Rental.

More information on the Project can be found here: http://www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/projectprom.aspx

The program relies on sponsors, volunteers, and donors. Perhaps you don’t have or know a teen who could benefit, but you have a way to lend a hand. The link above tells you how you can help, or you can email eventanddonationsteam@alleghenycounty.us 

Oh! And runners – this one is for you. Consider registering for the Project Prom 5k on April 5 to raise funds for this program.

Source: Allegheny County DHS

Thanks to the Allegheny County Department of Human Services for sharing this information with me for this post. 

Stuff a Bus and Christmas Crazy

I’d like to take a minute to thank everyone who helped us make our donation to Kiss FM’s Stuff a Bus and Burgh Baby’s Christmas Crazy 2013 possible. Stuff-a-Bus brought in 42 buses worth of toys in total. Christmas Crazy hit over $5,000 worth of toys given to The Center for Victims and Alle-Kiski HOPE Center. Much love to the amazing people of Pittsburgh (I am in tears writing this!).

Many of the toys and books we were able to donate came from review opportunities here on the blog. Some of you gave the kids money to shop for the kids who don’t have the blessings ours do (HUGE thank you to Unca Jack). These things are big to our kids. I can’t explain it. They get it. Arianna has been a giver from the start, and she tears up just like me when we talk about people who have less than we do. If you’re able to read this on a phone, laptop, or tablet from the comfort of your own home, I am sure you know what I’m saying.

Thank you for giving us blessings to be able to pay forward to others. We wish all of you a very happy holiday season, full of blessings and love.

xoxo,

The ‘lil Burghers

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Education Tree

Just yesterday I complained on my personal Twitter account that I wished I could do more at Christmastime. We give a lot here in the ‘lil Burghers family; however, I never feel like it is enough. And truth be told, it never will be. That’s because there is always going to be someone out there who has less than they need to make the holidays bright. 

While there are so many things you can do to make a difference at the holidays (and all year long), I wanted to share with you a simple way you can help not only give a gift but a practical element to help a student in need have success in the classroom – something more important than any toy or game.

Throughout the month of December, The Education Partnership, a local Pittsburgh non-profit will have an “Education Tree” in the Grand Court at the Mall at Robinson. The tree will encourage donations through Christmas, and upon visiting the tree and donating $15, shoppers will receive an acknowledgement card and an ornament, handmade by students. The $15 donation will provide a local student with a holiday kit – which can include crayons, pencils, hygiene items, and other essentials. For many students, this is the only gift they’ll receive during the holidays.

As you are out and about doing your holiday shopping, consider stopping by the Mall at Robinson and donating to this cause. I guarantee as you put the handmade ornament on your tree each year you will remember how you helped make a difference in a child’s holiday…and in turn…education. If you aren’t local or won’t be heading out to Robinson this year, you can also make a donation online by visiting http://educationtree.org/.

Education Tree
Source: EducationTree.org

Greg and I volunteered at The Education Partnership a few years ago, and we learned that almost 30,000 students in the Pittsburgh area qualify for the services and supplies they provide. They are a privately funded orgnaization that counts on product donations and financial contributions from foundations, corporations and individuals. To learn more about The Education Partnership, visit TheEducationPartnership.org.

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Disclosure: I was contacted to share this opportunity with you and a local business is donating to the Education Tree on my behalf in exchange for sharing with you.