Boston, MA (PRWEB) April 18, 2008
One of the tragic consequences of tough economic times is an increase in family breakdowns. That means more abandoned, neglected and abused children. April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, a time to bring attention to the 7,000 children who are dropped off somewhere, or forgotten, or left on a street corner every year in the United States. Their parents are drug addicts, criminals, prostitutes, mentally ill, or just destitute. Many thousands more children are abused, or neglected to the point that the local child protective services agency steps in and puts them in foster care or, if they’re in Texas and Nevada, sends them to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.
St. Jude’s Ranch provides therapeutic healing and nurturing to these children that society has abandoned, and, unlike almost every other child care organization, has the ability to keeps siblings together. For example, most foster homes do not. “We believe it’s the right thing to do, the family thing to do” says Christine J. Spadafor, CEO of St Jude’s Ranch. “When these children come to us, often the only things they have left are brothers and sisters. Keeping them together gives them a place to start from, something to build on after all the trauma they have experienced together in their short lives.”
“We are bringing more children into our safe haven, including a family of 7 kids,” says Spadafor. “We always take in more children when times are tough, like now, because families can fall apart under economic pressure.”
The family of 7 children again sets St. Jude’s Ranch apart – it is the only therapeutic children’s program in the area that can keep so many brothers and sisters together as a family. Before living at the Ranch, they all lived in different homes, or were constantly on the move. “We gave them their own home on the Nevada campus, the first one they have ever had together,” says Spadafor. “It was absolutely the right thing to do. Given where they came from, it took some time for them to adjust and realize this is their home where it now feels safe and stable enough for them to stop living out of their suitcases, which is all they have known, and put their clothes in the drawers.”
Fundraising is more difficult when the economy is bad, and St. Jude’s Ranch must raise $ 1 for every $ 1 the state gives the not-for-profit. These tough economic conditions mean additional pressure on the organization at a time when it is taking in more children. “We’re finding it more challenging to raise money this year,” says Spadafor, “Giving is down just when we need it most.”
Like most families in America, St Jude’s Ranch must find creative ways to make ends meet. For example, one of their corporate sponsors, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, turned an employee conference in Las Vegas into a socially-responsible endeavor. Instead of hitting the tables, they enlisted staff teams to honor ‘wish lists’ and provided a truck full of boxes containing individualized clothes, shoes, toys and essentials for each of the children in both Nevada and Texas.
Helen, the mail room supervisor, goes once a week to the casinos and collects unclaimed lost and found items. She sorts through the astonishing range of things that people leave behind and sets aside shirts, trousers, dresses and jackets used to clothe the children, as they typically arrive at the Ranch with only the clothes they are wearing. Whatever Helen decides the children cannot use goes to the Ranch’s gift shop – now a shopping destination for people who pass it on their commute from Boulder City to Las Vegas or on their way to Boulder Dam and Lake Mead.
As well as taking care of the every-day expenses, larger donors are also vital to St. Jude’s Ranch as they aim to expand their services to other children in need. “We’re desperate to open our facility for pregnant and parenting teens; we are only in the planning stages and are already getting requests to place pregnant girls, the youngest being 10 years old,” says Spadafor. “Not to mention new programs that will provide homes for the many children who are bounced around the system, in and out of foster care. Some are sent to prison because they have no home and there’s nowhere else for them to go.”
“We need America to keep giving,” says Spadafor, “especially when times are tough. It’s not for lack of caring,” she continues, “It’s just that people don’t always know we’re here. That’s why having a month dedicated to National Child Abuse Awareness is so important to organizations like ours and to our children.”
For more information about St Jude’s Ranch for Children, or to make a donation, visit http://www.stjudesranch.org.
For press enquiries, please call Jennifer Becker, Community Relations Coordinator, at 1.702.294.7102.
Asheville, NC (PRWEB) October 30, 2008
One of the most essential action steps toward financial protection is to create an emergency fund consisting of three to six months living expenses in a liquid FDIC insured banking account, such as a checking, savings, or money market. Jeff Palmer, ChFC Financial Planner, of The Palmer Group also recommends debt elimination as the very best step to weather a financial storm. Many families will find it difficult to eliminate debt and increase immediate cash flow in their current situation and Palmer offers various ways this can be achieved.
“Create a household budget to examine spending for non-essentials. By creating a list of expenses each month, one can see where s/he is spending money and where adjustments may be made,” Palmer explains. After taking inventory of spending habits, sensible ways to decrease spending can be found.
Palmer’s 9 essential steps for surviving the economic downturn are to create a budget, establish an emergency fund, reduce credit card spending, pay off debts, shop smart, sell unwanted items, explore second incomes, plan ahead and invest in the future. These 9 steps are clearly explained in the current newsletter edition of Sixty Second Parent.
One way to reduce lifestyle spending is to become a savvy consumer. Groceries are an expensive necessity. When creating a grocery list for the household, collecting and using coupons, and selecting items on sale can be a tremendous savings to the family budget. Palmer warns, “Do not rely heavily on credit cards or lines of credit to cover emergencies. Banks are freezing lines of credit and credit card companies are lowering available lines of credit. You do not want to go deeper into debt for emergency expenses.” Even paying off a little each week will help to reduce debt.
According to Palmer, there is a real possibility of inflation in the economy due to the credit crisis. Inflation occurs when too much money follows to too few goods and services. It is based on the supply and demand principle. The effects of inflation impacts on prices at grocery stores, retail outlets, gas stations and beyond.
Nationally acclaimed pediatrician Dr. Olson Huff MD, of Sixty Second Parent, helps parents to develop healthier and more affordable eating habits for their children and reducing grocery costs at the same time. “Finding creative ways to encourage fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet can be fun for the entire family,” said Huff.
By offering more fruits and vegetables in combination with old favorites, parents can improve the health of their children and improve their budget. Implementing these simple steps may put you in a better financial position in good times or bad times. These steps will not come easily. They require changes in habits for the entire household. It is therefore important to set realistic goals and stick to them.
About Sixty Second Parent:
Sixty Second Parent is a website that offers a unique and fresh approach to obtaining practical parenting tips and information. Sixty Second Parent understands that the expectations and pressures put on parents today are more complex than ever before and recognizes the need for a simpler support system for parents and families.
As part of the solution, Sixty Second Parent has brought together the world’s leading experts in child development, child health and parenting to provide sound practical parenting information within an online community network.
Sixty Second Parent provides parents-to-be, young parents and grandparents with information, enjoyment, and connection into a like-minded community via a user-friendly web platform. This community gives parents the information they need, as well as reassurance in their actions, and guidance in interactions with their children.
The online support network is designed to link parents and families with industry specialists and other parents along with an online parenting store offering the best in early childcare resources.
San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) November 19, 2012