Posts Tagged ‘ military ’

Spreading the Military Love at Build-A-Bear with the USO

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Creating a furry friend at Build-A-Bear Workshop is already an enjoyable activity, but it’s even better when the animal-making is for a good cause!

On May 14, elementary school students from St. Aloysius in Harlem, along with area military families and their children, gathered at New York City’s flagship Build-A-Bear store in partnership with the USO. The group made bears on behalf of the organization (who will send the stuffed animals to additional families) and got to take home some furry friends of their own, as students and families received store gift cards from Build-A-Bear and the USO, respectively.

Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, the 2009 “Huggable Heroes” and founders of the nonprofit Cell Phones for Soldiers, were also present at the event. “We provide cost-free communication tools so that the military members can call home for free,” Robbie says. “To date, we’ve been able to provide more than 204 million minutes of free talk time and have been able to raise more than 12 million dollars and recycle over a 11 million cell phones.”

Their organization does not send actual phones overseas; rather people can donate used devices at over 6,000 locations across the country or via mail. The brother and sister pair then receives funding from a recycling company that allows them to purchase calling cards.

The Bergquists began this initiative in 2004.”We have two cousins who are active-duty military,” Brittany says. “At the time we founded this organization, our cousin, who’s a chaplin, was deploying into Bagdhad, and we had an incident very shortly after where we had no communication with him,” she explains, noting they did not hear from him for several weeks. “We had no idea if he was safe or not.” She adds, “We realized that we never wanted to go through that ourselves and we never wanted any other families to have to go through that either.”

Want to nominate a Huggable Hero of your own? As Build-A-Bear notes, “Our annual Huggable Heroes program supports a wide range of causes and champions un-bear-lievable efforts of young people who are making a difference. The 2014 Huggable Heroes will each receive a $5,000 educational scholarship and $2,500 to be donated to the cause of their choice.” The deadline for nominations is June 12, and more information is available here. “Working with Build-A-Bear has been a dream,” Brittany said. “The platform that they give to young people who are doing good in their communities is amazing, and this new ‘Every Moment Counts’ program and recognizing and celebrating heroes is right up our alley.”

It’s easy to support the USO’s efforts–for every message of gratitude that includes the hashtag #babwUSOthanks, Build-A-Bear will donate $1 to the organization until June 30.

(Photo courtesy A.E. Fletcher Photography) 

Got a bear lover in your family? Try out this cute craft!

How to Make a Pom-Pom Polar Bear
How to Make a Pom-Pom Polar Bear
How to Make a Pom-Pom Polar Bear

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Is Early Potty Training Harmful?
Many experts’ recommendations to get children out of diapers before age three can be dangerous for some children. A child’s bladder, which continues growing to its standard size until age three, grows stronger and faster when it’s filling and emptying uninhibited. You interrupt that process when you train early, one expert claims. (via ABC News)

US Panel: Improve Child Custody Rules for Military
A national legal panel that works to standardize state laws wants to simplify child custody rules for military service members, whose frequent deployments can leave them without clear legal recourse when family disputes erupt. (via Associated Press)

Lack of Exercise Is a Global Pandemic, Researchers Say
Lack of exercise causes as many as 1 in 10 premature deaths around the world each year — roughly as many as smoking, researchers say. This global pandemic is largely due to four major diseases: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer. (via TIME)

Study Reveals How Some Kids Can Overcome Egg Allergies
Giving children with egg allergies small, and then increasingly higher, doses of the very food they are allergic to may eliminate, or at least reduce, reactions, a new study shows. (via MSNBC)

Mothers Who Use Fertility Drugs May Have Shorter Kids
A new study from Australia found boys whose mothers used fertility drugs were on average 1 inch shorter at ages 3 to 10, compared with boys of mothers who did not use the drugs. (via Fox News)

Breastfeeding Tied to Kids’ Nut Allergies in New Study, But Not All Agree
Australian researchers claim children who are exclusively breastfed for their first six months have a greater risk for developing a nut allergy than those given other foods or fluids, either exclusively or in combination with breast milk. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Unruly 3-Year-Old Child Kicked Off Alaska Airlines Flight
Alaska Airlines ordered a screaming, squirming toddler off a plane over Memorial Day weekend when he would not stay buckled in his seat.

Youngest Speller Trips Up on ‘Ingluvies’ at National Spelling Bee
Lori Anne Madison, the 6-year-old who became the youngest-ever competitor in the National Spelling Bee, did not qualify for the semifinals but still made history.

More Questions on Antidepressants During Pregnancy
When moms-to-be use antidepressants, their babies may be more likely to be born early or have a seizure soon after birth, a large U.S. study suggests.

Military Mom ‘Proud’ of Breast-Feeding in Uniform, Despite Criticism
National pride, or disgrace? A photo gone viral of two servicewomen breast-feeding their children while in uniform has added a new layer to the debate over nursing in public.

Fighting US’s Worst Teen Pregnancy Rate in Mississippi
Mississippi’s teen birth rate declined modestly over the past decade as rates around the country fell. But Mississippi still has 55 births per 1,000 15- to 19-year-old girls, compared to a national average of 34.3, according to the most recent figures from the federal government’s National Center for Health Statistics.

8-Week-Old Baby Sickened by Dry Dog Food, Lawsuit Claims
A New Jersey father who claims his 8-week-old son was sickened by salmonella-tainted dry dog food is suing the maker of the recalled product and Costco, the store that sold it.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Study: 1 in 8 Low-Income Parents Waters Down Formula
Many low-income parents feel they must resort to “formula stretching,” to keep their infants fed, even with government food assistance programs, a new study shows.

Missing Toddler’s Mom Unable to Complete Polygraph
The mother of a toddler reported missing from her father’s home in Maine a month ago says she was unable to finish a lie detector test because of a medical condition.

Parents Fret Possible All-Harbaugh Super Bowl
As sure as a parent would find picking one child they love more than another impossible, they’d struggle watching one succeed at the other’s expense. And that’s in any situation, let alone the Super Bowl.

Heartbreak Brings these Military Families Together
Two heartbreaking deaths were able to bring two military families together for healing.

Video: Year Of The Dragon
A baby boom is expected in China in 2012 — the Year of the Dragon. Many parents consider it good luck for their kids to be born now: across Asia, the dragon symbolizes wealth, wisdom, and good fortune.

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Daily News Roundup

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Goody Blog Daily News RoundupMany breast-fed babies lack Vitamin D - Although breast milk may be the best source of nutrition for babies it is low in Vitamin D. Newborn babies need 400 international units of Vitamin D a day, and can not get that from breast milk alone. Mothers who have breastfed should also give their child a Vitamin D droplet.  This is a simple solution however, only five to thirteen percent of breastfed babies receive these supplements according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  [MSNBC]
Cute naked photos of tots pose dilemma for parents - It seems that the days when parents could take photos of their baby taking a bath are now over.  They have the potential of getting arrested themselves for the exploitation of a minor if they post the nude shots online or in public. [MSNBC]
Kids get an eyeful of fast food marketing – According to researchers from Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity there has been a substantial increase in fast food adds bombarding child audiences, and it seems to be working. Forty percent of children ages 2 to 11 ask their parents to take them to McDonald’s at least once a week, and 15 percent of preschoolers ask to go every single day. [Washington Post]
Mental health visits rise as parent deploys – As multiple deployments become a norm there is a need to investigate their effects on military families as a whole.  A new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics including more than half a million children, released information suggesting that it is harder on their psyche than anticipated. Visits for mental health concerns, like anxiety and acting out at school, were the only kind to increase during deployment; complaints for all physical problems declined, the study found. [The New York Times]
In efforts to end bullying, some see agenda – Angry parents and religious critics agree that schoolyard harassment should be stopped, but are charging liberals and gay rights groups as using the anti-bullying banner to pursue a hidden “homosexual agenda.” [The New York Times]

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Spankin’ New Headlines

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Lice! How panicked parents get help. The New York Times

The nurse/doctor distinction may soon mean less in many states. Yahoo! News

Spanking backfires, making children more aggressive, finds a new study. Time

What it’s like to be a pediatrician in the military. The New York Times

Why working at home doesn’t necessarily translate to quality time with your kids. USA Today

South Carolina kids are 4 times more likely to get kidney stones than they were a decade ago, according to a new study. Reuters

Original photo via

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