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.

Helping HEALS one shoe at a time

It has been exactly one week since our Just Cause meeting, and one story keeps popping back into my mind: Our speaker, Pam Clasgens, told us the story of a little boy who was given a brand-new toothbrush after his visit with the dentist. He then asked the HEALS worker if this brand-new toothbrush was for him - or for his entire family. 

Pam says that this is not an uncommon question they heard from kids. (HEALS now gives out toothbrushes and full-size toothpaste tubes for the student’s entire family at the end of dental visits.)

HEALS provides school-based medical care and dental care to economically disadvantaged schoolchildren as well as social services to families. They see about 2,000 children a year. Clinics are at Morris, Madison Crossroads, University Place and MLK elementary schools.

I love that HEALS was started because a couple of people saw the need and acted on it. Transportation is a huge obstacle in children receiving medical attention. HEALS changed that. Genius.

HEALS sees patients birth to 19 years old because they see students’ siblings. And once you are a HEALS patient, you can remain a HEALS patient until you are 19. They are often teaching parents as well since so many of them did not grow up receiving regular medical and/or dental care. HEALS often refers students to other services they might need as well. 

Thank you, you generous Just Causers, for all your donations!!! HEALS relies heavily on community donations, and children LOVE their new shoes. Wearing new shoes that fit - without holes - is awesome. And new shoes are also an incentive for parents to get their children to the office for their well checks. It is a win-win.

I appreciate you, and I know HEALS appreciates you. And all those proud children do, too. THANK YOU.

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SCHOOL SUPPLY DONATIONS OVERFLOW COLLECTION BOXES!!

Thank you for coming to the Piedmont Pool party benefiting Kids to Love. We had a great time with fun friends, yummy food & delicious sno-balls!! Thank you for making this an awesome event, and thank you for supporting our kids in our community.

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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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