Honroing Our Frontline Heroes: Kid’s Food Basket

Did you know that 1 in 5 Michigan children go hungry every day?

As I continue the series “Honoring Our Frontline Heroes,” the organization I am featuring today holds a special place in my heart as they serve my local community in Michigan. Kids’ Food Basket (KFB) is a non-profit organization that is working to change the above-mentioned statistic by providing nutritious evening meals to kids, and engaging the community through volunteering and education.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many citizens are suffering from unemployment, which causes the crisis of hunger to grow. There are many vulnerable families that are not able to go to the store or get the resources they need, which is why Kids’ Food Basket is critical.

KFB has created an Emergency Response Program. They have divided their volunteers into three teams. On a team’s designated week, they will be the only ones to enter the KFB building to assemble the meals. In this way, they lessen risk and should one of the teams go into quarantine, the other teams will be able to continue assembly and distribution.

According to Bridget Clark Whitney, the President and Founding CEO of Kids’ Food Basket, “What both launches me out of bed in the morning and keeps me awake at night is the unimaginable number of 75,000 local kids experiencing food insecurity who didn’t have what they needed prior to the crisis. While the Shelter in Place policy is a critical step to stop COVID-19, the ramifications to vulnerable populations will be incalculable. There were 75,000 children across our four counties that were qualified for federally subsidized breakfast and lunch, now, with Shelter in Place, healthy food resources, which were already expensive for struggling families, have become that much more difficult to access.”

In just two weeks time, KFB packed and distributed 73,302 healthy meals to over 60 sites across four counties (Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa & Allegan).

Bridget goes on to say, “Over the last two weeks, I’ve felt a constant duality in my personal response to this crisis – it guts me knowing how many of our community members are struggling, and we’re just at the beginning of the impact. At the same time, I’m energized and encouraged by the prospect of deep growth. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of humanity, and collectively, we are at war with a virus. This war will force us to dig deep, build grit, discover tenacity, and problem solve…when things are at their worst, we have the opportunity to be at our best.”

Thank you to the volunteers of KFB who are on the frontlines continuing to provide meals to children through this worldwide crisis. You are heroes.

Donations can be made on their website (https://www.kidsfoodbasket.org) or text KFB to 56651.

Check out the article by Bridget Clark Whitney called “Food distribution for kids during COVID 19” for more information. (https://www.rapidgrowthmedia.com/features/kids_food_basket_covid19_response.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2JW2fLXw08y_RmIGDBdHzwylABph0PiIfcARbDvHC5DAyy5kOwxDyiGSk)

#CovidCantStopGOOD

~Written by Catie Cordero (A Diverse Global Article)

Giving Tuesday and Making An Impact

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world…24-hours of giving!

On this day, please consider supporting Family Hope Foundation and our Therapy Scholarship Program. What better gift can be given than Ability? Your donation this Giving Tuesday, in any amount, will be a priceless gift to families in need.

Here is a story one child we were able to help…

Like a little baby bird—skinny and cute—Aidan Wood said hello to the world. The only thing large on his tiny frame was his head, but since big brother had a good-sized noggin, no one was the wiser. It wasn’t until much later that the Wood’s discovered that Aidan’s head circumference at birth was in the hundredth percentile…for three year olds.

The baby years progressed with joyous bliss. Aidan slept great and rarely cried. He didn’t need to be held constantly, in fact, he preferred his swing. This too was an early indicator of things to come. Nearing nine months of age, the babyhood simplicity began to fade.

Delayed milestones weren’t near the forefront of the Wood’s minds until bronchitis became Aidan’s frequent, unwanted friend. An allergist surmised that he was likely aspirating on his formula, causing the respiratory distress. At the same time, she asked if his head size and disjunctive gaze had ever been discussed. Those questions led to CT scans, swallow studies, feeding therapy, thickened liquids, patching eyes, and then two eye surgeries. The Wood’s now knew they were in the elite club of being special needs parents.

Early-on services and Ken-O-Sha schooling helped Aidan move forward in his learning and development. While this season of schooling had it’s huge victories, it also came with its harsh challenges. Aidan’s behavior became more reactive and aggressive. His ability to control his bowel movements (Encopresis) caused bad episodes of soiling in his diapers. On top of that, he was still non-verbal, so he couldn’t communicate his needs.

Around age five, the Woods decided to try a different facility for Aidan’s PT and speech therapy. This is when they met their miracle worker René Manker at BRAINS. She used some of her Feldenkreis training with him in physical therapy, and his coordination and balance improved; and so did his toileting skills. However, when René left, they were worried. What would they do without her?

The following years brought more tests and evaluations. The diagnoses added up—Dysphagia and Reflux, malformation of cortical development, Strabismus (which led to the eye surgeries), Hypotonia/Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy (low or diminished muscle tone), Dysarthria (delayed or poor motor planning in the speech and articulation process), chronic constipation and Encopresis, Mood Regulation Disorder, and then at age seven came a new diagnosis—Sensory Processing Disorder, which was considered the culprit for Aidan’s up and down behaviors. Thankfully with help of occupational therapy, Aidan had more tools and coping skills.

By age ten, Aidan’s therapy services were being limited by insurance. The Woods were no longer seeing increasing results with therapies. Aidan’s behavior was growing more volatile at school and at home. Remembering how much progress they saw with René, Aidan’s mother, Amy, decided to try Google. And yes, Google proved helpful. Amy discovered Senses In Motion, a company in which René owned! Unfortunately, she noted that insurance wasn’t accepted there. She knew they couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket.

At this time, Amy had been volunteering for Family Hope Foundation for a couple of years at the Celebration Cinema sensory show times. She hadn’t applied for a scholarship before, but figured it was time to try. The Woods were thrilled when Aidan was awarded funds for ABM (Anat Baniel Method of Neuromovement) therapy with René. This form of therapy has been pivotal in helping Aidan with Dyspraxia. Aidan’s brain struggles to organize the information needed for his body to carry out even simple tasks. With his brain struggling to appropriate information, he finds himself oftentimes frustrated, triggering emotionally reactive behavior. But with ABM therapy, he is making strides in both conceptual and sensory processing and behavioral responses.

After one full year of ABM, Aidan has fewer meltdowns, aggressive behaviors are on the decline, his processing speed is growing, and he is able to learn easier. But most importantly, his silly personality is returning.

Through all the trials, hardships, and diagnoses, Aidan has pressed on. It hasn’t been easy for him or his family, but they have all chosen to see the glass full and not empty. They count their blessings, not misfortunes. If the Woods could be summed up in a word it would be—optimistic. It is because of this that Aidan is blooming, and his hilarious nature is shining once more.

 

Aidan is one of the amazing kids we have been able to support. Join with us in giving the Gift of Ability to more children.

http://bit.ly/GivingTuesdayFHF

 

Our Contact Information

Family Hope Foundation

7086 8th Avenue
Jenison, MI, 49428

616-729-8833

www.familyhopefoundation.org

Monday Memories: A Journey of Pictures

The mission trip in 2003 where I met, my would-become-husband, Jonathan for the first time.
Visiting a reservation in Escanaba to work with the children. They blessed me more than I ever could have blessed them.
The day I married my best friend.
Our first real Christmas tree.
Hosting our First Halloween Party
Touring England for the second time with my British sister, Joanna.
My first baby, Isabella Joy.
Experiencing Seattle, Washington with family, Connie and Christian.
Attending my first Murder Mystery Party in character.
Our first two chickens we adopted, Tiffany and Lily. The coop wasn’t finished so they lived in our downstairs bathroom for two days.
Yearly camping trips with the family in a tent!
Dressing up and trick-or-treating with my sister, Carmen, and our kiddos.
Remembering my two babies in Heaven, Shiloh and Selah, born after Isabella.
A healthy boy, Gabriel Jonathan born in 2010.
First time to Pentwater and touring Storybook Village.
My first interactive story lesson where I taught children how to use their imaginations and write a story with me.
The first performance I have done with my husband. We were Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.
The release party for my first published book, The Magic Snow Globe.

So many fond memories and many more pictures I couldn’t show today. These are simply highlights of the many blessed years God has given me so far.

Family Fun Nights

 

Nothing screams family fun like nerf guns.

In our family nerf wars, there are plenty of laughs and squeals. Those darts can really sting, and I’m an easy target. Probably need to amp up my cardio.

Each week, we strive to have at least one family fun night, but oftentimes we have more than that. With media and technology trying to replace personal contact, my husband and I strive to set up boundaries and have dedicated family time. Children need to know they matter to us. We communicate their importance by having regular time together. Oftentimes our designated family fun night is Friday. Generally, it consists of pizza, games, and a movie. Our game of choice is typically Connect4. It might seem like a simple game but trust me, we have serious tournaments. After the blood, sweat, and tears shed during Connect4, we switch gears and eat pizza. We set up a table by the couch and watch a movie, while we eat. We look for a family movie that we can all enjoy. Oftentimes, we’ll rent something online or find a release on Netflix. There’s also another great Christian movies site called, Pure Flix. They offer a wide range of good family films too.

So what about you? What do your family fun nights look like? Do they consist of games, movies, or maybe even nerf guns?

 

11 Creative Activities to Combat Summer Boredom

Parents, Grandparents, Babysitters, etc: Summer Break is Around the Corner. Kids will be looking to you to help fill their days. So before boredom hits, here’s ELEVEN creative activities/ ideas to combat a pout fest.

#1 Dress a Cat Up Like a Woman

Tigger Is Looking Quite Fashionable in His Spunky Beret and Gown

#2 Take a Flower Smelling Tour

#3 Glue Googly Eyes on Pictures of Bugs, Then Cut Them out as Paper Dolls

You Can Draw the Bugs or Print Them From a Computer

# 4 Create Prehistoric Scenes Surrounding a Pet

Henry Whiskers Never Saw This Coming

# 5 Make Potato People

#6 Catch and Play with Frogs

 

# 7 Make a Starship Out of a Box

 

#8 Visit a Farm and Pet Animals
There are several farms that you can visit for free in Michigan. A couple we like the best are: Orchard Hill Farm and Critter Barn.

 

#9 Make an Animal Home out of a Shoe Box

#10 Develop a Runway Show With Your Own Clothing Line

We Call This Line: The Wanna Be Flappers

#11 Teach a Guinea Pig to Walk on a Leash

Spring Break DIY

DIY. Do it yourself. Sounds enticing, but be careful. Pick a project wisely or it might cost your fingers several pricks and your neck to feel like it’s kinked.

My daughter wanted a stuffed animal unicorn and asked if I could make her one. I said I’d try. After working on it for close to an hour, it didn’t look like it would turn out, so she told me not to bother finishing. In that moment, my competitive nature kicked in. Admit defeat? Never! Using old clothes and whatever else I could find in the house, I made that unicorn. She’s lopsided and a bit awkward. But I did it.



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She now loves her unicorn. Blemishes and all.

Blast From the Past: My First Christmas as a Mrs.

I have always loved Christmas! Luckily, I married a man who loves it just as much as me. On our first Christmas, we hunted for the perfect tree at Doumel Tree Farms. Then we cut it down and brought it back to our tiny home in Bay City, MI. Check out these photos from eleven years ago! We looked so young.

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Opening gifts at my parents’ house. My Dad always give his own”special” presents. Usually a lot of white elephant trinkets from the dollar store. It’s a blast!

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In the Trenches: Another Day on the Farm

Today we tackled the big project of replacing the perforated drain tiles. Finding the old tiles and digging the trenches is no little feat, let me tell you. It’s takes a strong man, (a.k.a my husband), and a tough assistant, (a.k.a me). It also takes a big butt trencher that we rented. And with all these factors added together for success…eight hours later, the project still isn’t done.

Our land has a natural spring that runs under our house, so when we built two years ago, the builders directed the water toward the back of our property. We then dug a small pond for the water to flow into for our flock of chickens. However, the pond would be fuller if the builders hadn’t used perforated tiles. Hence, today’s project.

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We have blisters. We have sore backs. And our feet ache. But what can I say, it’s just another day on Cordero Family Farm. And it will continue again tomorrow.

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Merry Christmas from the Cordero Family and Our Elf

Today is Christmas!!! Last night, our elf prepped the other animals by reading Twas the Night Before Christmas. I think they really enjoyed it.

My family wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Blessings to you all.
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Loving Dairy Cows

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Today, we visited my friend Diane at her dairy cow farm called Indian Trail Farms. Touring her barns is like therapy for the soul. No moos about it…I’m in love. I could let those sweet cows lick my hands and nuzzle my face all day. They’re adorable.

I was so impressed with the magnitude of the operation at Diane’s farm. They have cows being born every day! Number #20 pictured below was born the morning of our visit.

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My son Gabriel thought he entered cow heaven.

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For more information on Indian Trail Farms, and the beauty of running a cow farm visit my friend Diane’s blog at http://www.afarmwife.com. She is an amazing blogger and gifted farm wife. Diane’s blog is both entertaining and poignant. Also, she has a farm store with great products via her web page. Some of those products include: her own t-shirt line with fun farm sayings and a children’s book she wrote called “Where’s Charlie?”

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I love this shirt, and it’s incredibly comfortable material.
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This book is one of my daughter’s favorites. In the story, Diane’s grandchildren go on a quest to find the dog Charlie, and they travel all around the farm in search of him.

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