Author Archive

Easy Way to Raise Money for Your Kid’s School

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Sometimes giving back feels like a chore, but it doesn’t have to.     I recently came across Kellogg’s Family Rewards Giving, which allows you to donate to schools and charities with nothing more than a computer and products you probably already have around the house.

Kellogg’s new loyalty program only requires that you peek inside the box of participating products (like Special K, Mini-Wheats, and Nutrigrain granola bars) and type in the code online. Kellogg’s then sends you a donation code you can use to give donations of $1 or $5 to the school or charity you care about. From a typical grocery order, you may be able to donate a couple of dollars a month.

Kellogg’s partners include Feeding America, Action for Healthy Kids, American Red Cross, Share Our Strength, United Way, Food Research and Action Center and more than 120,000 schools. If you don’t see your child’s school on the list, talk to the principal about getting your school involved.


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A Film That May Just Change Your Life

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Kevin Pearce

Every family faces trials and upheaval. For the Pearce family, this manifested itself in the serious brain injury of their snowboarding superstar son, Kevin.

The story of Kevin’s life-threatening injury and recovery plays out in a documentary that premiered on HBO last night called The Crash Reel. With graphic crash footage, language, and partying, it may not be suitable for children, but it certainly contains lessons from which every parent can benefit.

A Vermont native, Kevin Pearce crashed on New Years Eve, 2009, on a half pipe in Park City, Utah, while attempting a double cork, an extremely advanced snowboarding trick.  He was 22 years old and training for the Olympic trials at the time of the crash.

Though it’s about a 25-year-old, even parents of young children will get plenty out of this film, including the importance of wearing a helmet. Kevin now speaks to students, giving testimony on how he wouldn’t be alive today if he hadn’t been wearing his helmet at the time of his nearly fatal crash.

The Crash Reel shows the struggle between headstrong Kevin and his family when Kevin is adamant that he will snowboard again, regardless of the fact that he would almost certainly die or be wheelchair-bound if he were to hit his head once more. The push and pull among family members leads to many tension-filled dinner table discussions centered on complex issues like faith, trust, risk, and concern. Each family member’s feelings are articulated in a way that is sensitive to Kevin’s needs and expresses the deep desire to protect a brother and son they love.

Kevin’s brother David is especially effected by Kevin’s accident. David has Down syndrome (he prefers to call it Up syndrome, because he’s “an up kind of guy”) and faces his own struggle to accept his condition and appreciate where he is.

While Kevin and David both struggle with their individual situations, the family support system is central to each aspect of their progress, and is the backbone for the entire documentary. With each turn of the story line, the mood around the dinner table changes and some new feeling is unearthed.

The film is also informative on concussions and brain injuries, frequently emphasizing the impact that this kind of injury can have on individuals, as well as those who surround him or her. Kevin gives back to families and individuals who are in similar situations through The Kevin Pearce Fund, which supports organizations that help those affected by brain injury and Down syndrome. He also started a campaign called Love Your Brain.

While this may not be a movie to pop popcorn and snuggle in with the kids to watch, it shows viewers something relevant and essential. Acceptance and love can be borne in the direst of situations, and the very real, heart-wrenching story of Kevin Pearce demonstrates just how vital the family is to that discovery. The Crash Reel will be airing all summer on HBO.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

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Infantino and Step2 Want YOUR Child for Their Ad Campaign

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Everybody Plays casting call

“We’re all different. And we think that’s beautiful.”

If you agree with that statement (and we’re guessing you do!), then you’ll appreciate the “Everybody Plays” campaign from Infantino and Step2, the companies whose baby and kid products you’re sure to have in your home. Everybody Plays promotes acceptance and inclusion for all children, everywhere, and is supported by the National Down Syndrome Society.

Today, as part of the campaign, the companies have kicked off a casting call for kids ages 3 months to 5 years of all backgrounds and abilities. Fifty lucky winners will be invited to take part in a two-day photo shoot with author/photojournalist—and friend of Parents—Kelle Hampton for an upcoming ad campaign. Infantino and Step2 will award an additional grand prize-winning family an all-expenses paid trip to San Diego to join the other winners for the photo shoot in September.

Infantino brand manager Colette Cosky and Kelle Hampton are both proud mothers of children with Down syndrome. Colette guest-blogged for us a few months back, describing her wishes for her son, Dexter. And Kelle, creator of the wildly popular blog “Enjoying The Small Things”, appeared in Parents back in 2010 when she shared the incredibly moving story of the birth of her daughter, Nella.

Think your child could be the next face of Infantino and Step2? Check out the official rules and fill out the entry form at the Everybody Plays Facebook Page. Good luck!

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