Each month we choose a cause. We share stories and needs. Then, we gather to take action, enjoy good company and to remember how fortunate we are to be able to help - one small act at a time.

Just Cause Pool Party Monday, July 28, from 5-9 p.m.

Friends, family, pizza, pool & helping area foster children prepare for the new school year with confidence. What could be better?

We’re having a POOL PARTY benefitting Kids to Love (http://www.kidstolove.org/) on Monday, July 28, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.!! Grab your kids, your spouse & your friends - and a BACKPACK OR SCHOOL SUPPLIES and head on over to Piedmont Pool (Homewood Drive 35801). I hope you can make it! Food Fighters Bustaurant will be there, too, so you don’t have to cook dinner that night!

Just Cause members and their friends and families can get into the pool (without a guest fee) with a donation of a backpack OR bag of brand-name school supplies OR monetary donation.

Children are often apprehensive about their first few days of school and for foster children, who may be starting the school year in a new home, with new friends and teachers, the first days can be even more nerve-racking. Having a new backpack and the same school supplies as their peers gives them the confidence to start the school year with fewer first-day jitters. 20 percent of foster children are more likely to drop out of school and twice as likely to repeat a grade. Programs like the Kids to Love Pack the Backpacks School Supplies initiative help them excel both in school and through the rest of their lives.

Feel free to drop off backpacks or school supplies on my porch (415 Homewood Drive 35801) if you are unable to attend the party but still want to donate. Thank you so, so, so much!!! See you soon!

Here is our needs list:
pencils
pens (blue/black/red)
paper (college and wide rule)
erasers
scissors
rulers
markers
colored pencils
crayons
glue sticks
pocket folders
3 ring binders
notebook paper (college and wide rule)
one-subject notebooks
backpacks

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JUST CAUSERS RAISE $2064.86 FOR COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER!

Thank you to EVERYONE who baked, bought, worked & donated online. We had the most successful year ever. Thank you!!!

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Book delivery!

All those books you donated made it to schoolchildren on Friday!

Read about it here.

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Nearly 600 super runners supported the National Children’s Advocacy Center at April 12’s Superhero Fun Run! We had a ball!

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April Recap: National Children’s Advocacy Center

"It works." 

Those are the two words I take away from this morning’s meeting. 

Catherine Hereford, our speaker from the National Children’s Advocacy Center, says that the Center focuses mainly on sexual abuse cases. She sees despondent, sad, hurt children come to the Center - and after treatment, children leave hopeful, strong, and optimistic about their future. How amazing is that?! 

The NCAC uses a multidisciplinary approach to work a case from disclosure to prosecution. The Center has a child-friendly area where victims only have to tell their story one time. From there, the medical professionals, therapists, district attorneys, DHR, and police agencies work together to get justice for victims. Children no longer have to bounce from sterile office to sterile office telling their story over and over again, reliving their trauma.

Huntsville’s NCAC is the first of its kind. More than 800 centers in the U.S. and around the world model themselves after this CAC here in our town!

The NCAC also has several prevention programs, such as SCAN (Stop Child Abuse & Neglect), where children in our schools learn about personal safety, Internet safety, and bullying. There is so much information on their website. I personally plan to explore the Parents section: http://www.nationalcac.org/prevention/for-parents2.html.  

For all the horrible real-life traumas out there, we have hope. “Children are resilient,” Catherine says. But they need our help. It is everyone’s job to look out for our children. And I thank God that there are people who choose to work in this field every day. With their daily dedication - and donations - we have the power to change the course of the future. 

The NCAC relies HEAVILY on the community for volunteers and donations. The NCAC always needs volunteers. It can be something as easy as face painting at the Fun Run or a larger commitment such as 3 hours a week in working with the SCAN program. They always need clerical help - or help planning events. 

Some of you have asked what you can do if you could not attend today’s meeting or April 12’s Fun Run. Here is the link to donate: https://27490nationalcac.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298. One hundred dollars pays for a therapy session. Twenty-five dollars pays for all the snacks during a child’s entire treatment. You can feel good about every dollar you donate to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

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Pay it Forward

Did you see us on the news? I can’t thank Donna enough for nominating us!

Check it out!

http://whnt.com/2014/03/03/womens-group-helping-those-in-need-just-cause/

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Look at all the dresses and Tupperware you donated! (And I found more on my porch today - yippee! Thank you!)

And guess what?! … We bought $684 worth of beads last night!!!! Can you believe that??

I want to welcome all the new folks to Just Cause: WELCOME! We are so glad you are here!

And I want to send well wishes to Amanda and Angela, who begin their journey to Uganda next week! We will be thinking of you.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE for making this quick month so successful & so fun & relaxing. THANK YOU!

http://www.aggiesarts.org/

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FEBRUARY RECAP:

Oh my heavens. Kids (and a few fabulous grownups) across Huntsville have loomed!!!

Message of Hope will deliver these gifts of love to kids all across the country!

And check out the stacks & stacks of books! I have been notified that there are more on the way, too!

I can’t wait for local kids to get their hands on these fabulous books. Thank you, Ride for Reading Huntsville!

Thank you for your wonderful donations! Thank you for a beautiful morning with friends. And thank you for always making every month a huge success!

(Did you hear what happened this morning?!?!?! Clarissa from Channel 19 surprised us with its Pay it Forward segment! Oh my goodness. They interviewed me, but all of YOU are the ones who make it HAPPEN every single month. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!)

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BREAKFAST, BOOKS & BRACELETS

My friends, you are going to LOVE February. We have the opportunity to spread love locally and nationally with 2 different causes this month. 
See?! LOVE it!

First up, RAINBOW LOOM! I know, right?! The bracelet craze that has consumed the nation (and my son’s free time) will be used to lift the spirits of children undergoing treatment in children’s hospitals. So enlist the help of your children and loom away! We will be collecting bracelets for Message of Hope Foundation. This nonprofit’s goal is to collect and distribute thousands of bracelets in 2014 - and spread hope to children across the U.S. I know we can help.

Second, we have the opportunity to fill local elementary school libraries with BOOKS! Browse your bookshelves at home - or visit the local bookstore or thrift store. We are collecting used or new preschool & elementary-age books in preparation for the Ride for Reading Huntsville event that will donate books to Ridgecrest Elementary and other schools. Ride for Reading’s mission is to promote literacy and healthy living through the distribution of books via bicycle to children. Check out the local Ride For Reading: Huntsville, Al.

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JANUARY RECAP:

On this bitter cold day, I want to thank all of you who donated coats & clothes & blankets & socks to people in our community. I have thanked some of you personally, but others of you remain anonymous - or are friends of friends I have not met yet.

I wanted to let you know that you donated LOADS of heavy coats to MLK Elementary. You donated coats, scarves and mittens to Highlands, University Place, and Farley elementary schools. You also donated many items to RiahRose Home for Children. Lots of you donated, many of you helped with drop-offs, and SO MANY people were touched by your generosity. I cannot thank you enough for reminding me of all the love out there in the world.

Thank you for literally warming so many people in our city.

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