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July Is Time For Picnics

Try to remember your favorite picnic. Maybe it was the perfectly grilled hot dogs, the challenging bocce ball game, or that cold drink while sitting in a lawn chair doing absolutely nothing.

“A picnic is a meal taken outdoors as part of an excursion – ideally in scenic surroundings” says Wikipedia. Maybe your favorite picnic was in your backyard with little kids shouting for joy, or perhaps it was just you enjoying the view of your newly planted geraniums while sipping a glass of chardonnay.

I treasure the memories of when our kids were young. We headed to a nearby lake early each 4th of July to stake out our spot for the day. We laugh remembering the time we brought fried chicken, potato salad and baked beans but forgot the silverware. My favorite game was tossing a big beach ball which soon became an invitation for others to …
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Fathers of 1900 and Fathers of Today

(Photo: Creative RM / Getty Images – Article from liveabout.com)

In 1900, a father came home from work to find his wife and children at the supper table.
Today, a father comes home to a note: “Jimmy’s at baseball, Cindy’s at gymnastics, I’m at the gym, pizza in the fridge.”

In 1900, fathers could count on children to join the family business.
Today, fathers pray their kids will soon come home from college long enough to teach them how to work the computer.

In 1900, fathers shook their children gently and whispered, “Wake up, it’s time for school.”
Today, kids shake their fathers violently at 4 a.m., shouting: “Wake up, it’s time for hockey practice.”

In 1900, a Father’s Day gift would be a hand tool.
Today, he’ll get a digital organizer.

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Class of 2019

A painter, a teacher, and a barber are a few of the career aspirations of these amazing kindergarten graduates. Filled with kindness and pure joy, they will make our dreams of a better world come true!

After receiving their diplomas, students at Partnership Academy in Richfield, Minnesota celebrated with a special dance and, of course, some cake and ice cream.

A very thoughtful teacher, Mrs. Alexis Gerrish, had each kindergartener autograph a beautiful flower pot, which is a gift I will always treasure. I’ll miss their smiling faces, but will never forget the memories they gave me!





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Super Stars

The school year is ending much too quickly for this volunteer. I’ll surely miss welcoming hugs every Monday morning and helping to spark a love of reading among some amazing kindergarteners.

Today we talked about how every person is like a star. Smiles shine brightly to light up our world. I hear sparks of  kindness every time someone calls another “friend.”

Kudos to Alexis Gerrish, a kindergarten teacher who lives her passion for teaching kids what’s really important in life.

While already looking forward to seeing these super stars walking in the halls next year, I’ll always treasure the wonderful memories they have given to me.

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Celebrating The Power Of Kindness

Submitted by Ada Alden who is a grateful grandmother

My granddaughter, Abigail Mahony participated in the Annual Kindest Kansas Citian Contest in April. Students are asked to write about someone they have observed being kind. Abigail won the competition at her school. She read her essay during an all school ceremony during which time the students heard why and who Abigail had observed being kind to her brother, our grandson. Each year Synergy Services celebrates the power of kindness to create safer and stronger families and communities by recognizing community leaders alongside individuals nominated by students from throughout the metro area.

Abigail wrote this essay and was selected as the Sunset Ridge Kindest Kansas Citian award winner. She read her essay in front of all the students while standing next to beaming Pete.

To me, Pete is my Kindest Kansas Citian because he helps my brother Jack every week. He …
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To Honor Motherhood

To honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children, Anna Jarvis organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in West Virginia in 1908.

While arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. Jarvis also established the Mother’s Day International Association to promote her cause.

Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. By the time of Anna Jarvis’s death, over 40 countries observed Mother’s Day.

Big hugs and thanks to Moms everywhere!

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Why Teens Volunteer

More than half of American teenagers and young adults are volunteers. We might think people of all ages volunteer their time because they want to support a cause they care about. However, teens and young adults volunteer regularly if and where their friends do, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

DoSomething.org mobilizes young people to get involved in social change.  One of their studies revealed the most common form of support by volunteers was assistance with fundraising. If you combine social networking skills with teens who are passionate about a cause, you might find a surprising amount of funds being raised.

Interesting findings:
• Young people who reported sending out frequent text messages were 13 percent more likely to have volunteered.
• Students in private high schools were 25 percent more likely to volunteer than those in public schools.

What Increases Volunteerism
*Offer a chance to socialize. A top …
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Scattering Easter Eggs

Imagine the delight of someone finding the egg you filled with little surprises. They probably smiled when they saw the chocolates, jelly beans, or the note saying “you are special.”

Scatter some plastic eggs in places where they will likely be found, like on park benches. Then all that’s left is imagining the delight!

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What Can You Do With One Shiny Penny?

A shiny penny is said to bring good luck. But have you ever considered using that one shiny penny to bring joy to someone?

When I was young, my brothers and I would gather up our pennies and rub them on the living room carpet until they glowed. Then we would stash them away to buy some penny candy. Those were the days!

Today I still save my shiny pennies until there is a nice stack. I discovered a fountain at the Mall of America where kids need only a penny to make a wish. After scattering pennies on the ledge, where they are sure be found, it’s fun to sit back and watch what happens.

One day a little guy came along, and I heard his Mom explain how to make a wish. She wouldn’t budge on him having to close his eyes or it wouldn’t come true. Next …
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