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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mother's Day Tips from the FTC

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the Federal Trade Commission is offering an online matching game celebrating moms at ftc.gov/mom. Win the game and get consumer tips to send your mom. In return for all the great advice she’s given you all these years, the FTC’s tips can help your mom shop wisely, improve gas mileage, stay secure online, avoid identity theft, and manage her money. Plus, you can send the game and consumer tips to your mom via an e-card.
Play the game at ftc.gov/mom and share some Mother’s Day love from America’s – and Mom’s – consumer protection agency. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Momtourage: No Parent Can Do It Alone

About momtourage.com

"No mom should have to do it alone."

That's our mantra at Momtourage.com.

We know first hand from the women who come to iVillage that every woman needs a Momtourage. What's a Momtourage? The people that provide you with support, help you get things done, and allow you to be the best mom you can be. You know, those wonderful people who make the journey more fun, more understandable and more sane. The kind of folks who, when you're thinking of running away to join the circus, remind you that you're scared of clowns.

We created Momtourage.com to be the place to go when you need advice, or want to share your epiphanies--day and night. We've got real voices from the trenches, from experts with fancy letters after their names, to moms whose on-the-job training has made them experts second-to-none.

Just like any good Momtourage, we hope you will share your stories, comments and ideas with us. We want you to be a part of our Momtourage. And we hope you'll let us be a part of yours.

Join me on April 28th.  Click here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Than Sad: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), a 501(c)(3) organization, has been at the forefront of a wide range of suicide prevention initiatives in 2010 -- each designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. We are investing in groundbreaking research, new educational campaigns, innovative demonstration projects and critical policy work. And we are expanding our assistance to people whose lives have been affected by suicide, reaching out to offer support and offering opportunities to become involved in prevention.

We are increasing the number of community-based chapters, now at 39, with two-dozen more in development. And we have a growing list of friends and supporters leading a grassroots constituency that can advocate for the policies and legislation at the state and federal levels to advance suicide prevention.

With a suicide attempt estimated to occur every minute of every day in the United States and over 34,000 lives lost each year, the importance of AFSP's mission has never been greater, nor our work more urgent.

Visit www.asfp.org for more priceless and educational information. More Than Sad offers valuable information on teen depression, suicide and other tools to help you parent  your children through difficult times.

Read more about the recent suicide pact of two teens.  Click here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Couchsurfing - Expanding Your Travel Experiences Economically

CouchSurfing.net
If you're in college, you might have stayed with your friends from high school in their college towns, or perhaps visited a friend from college who departed for a job or graduate program in another city. Despite lacking some of the comforts that come with having your own space in a hotel, the experience has always been fun and you didn't have to spend a lot of money to see a new place.

With CouchSurfing.net, a relatively new phenomenon utilizing online social networking to connect fellow travelers, you can make new friends throughout the world, surfing from couch to couch as you explore new places and cultures. Conceived by a former American college student who wanted to lower the cost of his trip to Iceland, the site was founded in 2003 and has grown rapidly over the last few years, attracting 2.5 million users. Searching for a new adventure this summer? Want to host someone else's new adventure?

Read more. <10 Reasons why college students consider couchsurfing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Poor Economy Has Delayed Teen Driving for Many Families

Many families across the USA are delaying the “rite of passage” teens eagerly await – getting licensed and beginning to drive.  A survey* conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nationwide Insurance surveyed almost 1,500 parents with teens of driving age early this year.
 
The survey revealed the following surprises:
  • The cost of teen driving is the number one concern, second only to worries about distracted driving.
  • The average household spends over $3000 per year to support their teen driving.
  • On average, parents pay around two-thirds of the cost of their teen driving, with about two in five parents paying the entire cost.
  • The cost of auto insurance heads up the list of concerns about expenses, with over half of parents expressing worry about even greater costs should their teen be responsible for a damage accident. About 70 percent of parents insure their teen on their own policy at an average uptick in premiums of around $800 per year.
  • About half of parents say they have had to make cuts in the family budget to afford teens driving, with entertainment, eating out and taking vacations getting the brunt of the impact.
  • Some one-third of parents say their teen has had to get a part-time job to help pay the costs of driving
Larry Thursby, Vice President of Auto Product & Pricing at Nationwide Insurance observed, “Today, households with teen drivers are paying a substantial amount of money each year to allow their teens to drive. And, as such a large number of parents taking the financial hit for their teens driving, many families of teens are realizing that, as a result of the economic downturn, adjustments and sacrifices are necessary to help allow their teens to drive. 
 
“Adding a teen driver to your policy is a great opportunity to have a discussion with your agent or insurance company to make sure you have the right coverage and a price that’s right for your family. Invest the time to talk about your insurance, because it can save you money not only on auto, but all of your insurance coverage.”
 
We’d like to add to Thursby’s advice: This is also a good time to talk with your teen – especially if they’re still in the Learner’s Permit phase and are not driving solo yet – about the free Safe Teen Driving Pledge. Statistics show that 58% of new  teen drivers crash the car in the first year.  Sitting down with your teen to establish driving rules, expectations and penalties is far more effective than just “talking about” safe driving.  The Safe Teen Driving Pledge memorializes the conversation by putting rules down in writing.  Get your free copy here.  
 
And while your’re at the site, check out the Spotlight on Safety product of the month, the Tracker XP.  It's a brand new parenting tool that lets you watch over your teen whenever he or she is driving – when you’re at work, at home or anywhere you can get cell or Internet service. Just plug it in to the OBD port under the dashboard and it begins working. There's no installation, no wiring. Simple, quick and easy. Keeping watch over your kids when they're behind the wheel has never been easier or more economical. 

 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Children's Health Fund

Children's Health Fund, co-founded in 1987 by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/child advocate Irwin Redlener, MD, is committed to providing health care to the nation's most medically underserved children through:
  • the development and support of innovative, comprehensive primary care programs,
  • reducing the impact of public health crises on vulnerable children, and
  • promoting the health and well-being of all children
The Fund works specifically to:
  • Support a national network of pediatric programs in some of the nation's most disadvantaged rural and urban communities;
  • Ensure support of its flagship pediatric programs for homeless and other medically underserved children in New York City;
  • Advocate for policies and programs which will ensure access to medical homes that provide comprehensive and continuous health care for all children; and
  • Educate the general public about the needs and barriers to health care experienced by disadvantaged children.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Library Week 2011 - 50 Ways To Get Involved

Visit your local library today!
National Library Week is April 11 this year, and this week-long celebration gives individuals a chance to truly recognize all the great things these ancient institutions have to offer. From free books to career courses, libraries are a source of information and inspiration for young minds and can be a lifesaver for those facing tough economic times.

Whether you choose to honor your college library or one in your community, here are a few ways that you can use this week to promote, appreciate and praise your local cornerstones.

Personal
Here you'll find some ways that you can celebrate all the things libraries have to offer you and the ways they've shaped your life.
  1. Head to your local library. Your first step in celebrating? Head down to your library to pick up a book, get some peace and quiet or find help with research.
  2. Have a book buffet. If you can gorge yourself on food, why not books too? Check out a ton of books at the library and spend the whole day looking through and reading them.
  3. Compile a booklist. You can share your love of literature with others by creating a booklist. It can be of your favorite books overall or in a specific genre, year or language.
  4. Do some writing of your own. Write out a story or essay inspired by your experiences with libraries.
  5. Organize your own bookshelf. Pay homage to the beauty of the Dewey Decimal system by organizing your own library in the same way.
  6. Check out a banned book. Libraries have been fighting against the banning of books for decades. Honor that work by checking out one of those blacklisted reads.
  7. Take a trip to a beautiful library. Always wanted to see the nation's biggest, best and most beautiful libraries? There's better time than National Library Week to appreciate the true beauty of library architecture.
  8. Figure out how much money your library can save you. Do the math and see just how much your library has saved you through not having to buy books, movies, magazines and more.
  9. Follow a book blog. There are loads of librarians, libraries and book lovers who are blogging. Start reading one of their blogs or even start your own.
  10. Study. The library is the perfect place to have the quiet, distraction-free study you need.
  11. Sew your own book bag. Tired of lugging around stacks of books in your arms? Sew your own commemorative book bag to haul your library loot in instead.
  12. Learn about something new. How many times have you wondered about something but never bothered to look it up? This week, use your time at the library to learn something you've always wanted to know.
  13. Create your own library story. The ALA asks library patrons to take part in Snapshot Day. Patrons can take photos of how they use the library and put together their own stories.
  14. Just enjoy a day at the library. Clear your schedule and relax at your local library for a day. With loads of reading material, resources and a comfy chair, you won't need to leave. Library Resources
    What better way to appreciate your library than by taking advantage of all the services it has to offer? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
  15. Visit a bookmobile. If you don't live by a local library, take advantage of this amazing service provided by libraries.
  16. Take advantage of the free wifi. Libraries are great places to plug in and sign on to the web, giving you access to a whole other world of information.
  17. Download an e-book or audio book. Many libraries around the nation now offer free digital book checkouts online. Patrons only need to sign in and download materials to listen to or read books on the go.
  18. Delve into alternative library collections. Your library might be home to more than just books and magazines. Many offer access to art, maps, video games and other forms of media you might not have even known was available.
  19. Check out a picture book. For most, a love of library started as a child. Relive that experience by checking out your favorite picture or children's book.
  20. Find an old or new favorite movie. Why head to Blockbuster when you can rent movies for free at the library? Check out your library's collection of DVDs to see movies new and old.
  21. Get help with your resume. Many libraries offer career services programs that can help those who are looking for work or advancement get the help they need. Check out your local branch's schedule to see what kind of activities are coming up.
  22. Take advantage of interlibrary loans. Live by a small library? You may not be limited to just their collections. Many will offer you books from other libraries as well, all you have to do is ask.
  23. Check out library-related social media. Libraries are reaching out and connecting with patrons in a variety of new ways. Follow their Twitter, Facebook or blogs to support the work your library is doing to stay current and engaged in the community.Librarians Librarians often work very hard and don't get a lot of thanks for it. Remedy that by trying out some of these ideas.
  24. Thank a librarian. It's a simple and effective way to show them that you care about and appreciate the work that they do.
  25. Get to know the staff. If you're a regular at the library, make it a point to get to know more about those who work there.
  26. Ask questions. Librarians are there to help you, so take advantage of their knowledge. They may be able to point you to resources you wouldn't have found on your own.
  27. Write a letter. Did a librarian make a difference in your life? Write him or her a letter of thanks. You'll more than likely make their day.
  28. Recognize a star librarian. The many national and local library associations have a program that lets local communities pick out librarians or teams that truly stand out, giving them the recognition they deserve.
  29. Sponsor a party for your local library. What better way to show your appreciation than by helping your librarians have a good time? Donate money, treats or time to help arrange a party.
  30. Take advantage of library celebrations. Don't be a no-show when it comes to library celebrations. Do what you can to always make those who work in your library feel like the community is behind them.Community
    Spread your love of libraries to the larger community by giving these ideas a go.
  31. Read a story to someone. Whether it's a child or someone who can no longer read to themselves, share a wonderful library book with someone else by reading it aloud.
  32. Enjoy a community program at your library. Libraries offer a wide range of community programs, from those that encourage kids to read to those that let you listen to famous authors speak. Take advantage when you can, especially during National Library Week.
  33. Spread the word about libraries. Get the word out about what libraries have to offer the community and become an activist for the work they do. Even a small contribution can make a difference.
  34. Meet a friend. Libraries aren't just places to get books but can be great places to meet a friend, study with a group and spend time with the family.
  35. Bring someone new to a library. Have a friend that's never been to the local library? Take them along to introduce them to what the library has to offer.
  36. Volunteer at a library. Sometimes libraries need help with programs and events. Volunteer your time to help.
  37. Tweet it. Get the word out about the benefits of libraries through great sites like Twitter.
  38. Get someone to sign up for a library card. Spread the wealth of libraries by getting a friend or family member to sign up for their own library card.
  39. Share a book. Expand the impact libraries have had on your own life by sharing one of your favorite reads with someone else.
  40. Like it on Facebook. The ALA, National Library Week, Librarian Appreciation programs and more all have Facebook sites. Like these sites to support them and keep up with the latest news.
  41. Join an online book social network. You can connect with others who love literature and libraries through joining a reading-focused social network site like Goodreads.
Support and Advocacy

Extend the impact of National Library Week well beyond April by getting involved with libraries in some of these great ways.
  1. Write a letter to your local representatives. Funding for libraries has been a contentious political issue as of late. Write to your local representatives, whether at the city, state or federal level, to let them know how much you appreciate library services and their continuation.
  2. Help promote your local library. There are loads of materials you can buy that will help you spread the word about your local library.
  3. Make a donation. Libraries can always use your financial help. Make a charitable donation to one that's special to you, even if it's small it can help.
  4. Help your library win funds. There are a number of contests out there that you can enter to help your local library win funding. Have fun competing and battling it out to get those winnings for your library.
  5. Donate to a literacy program. Help ensure that everyone in your community can take advantage of your library by sponsoring a literacy program.
  6. Join a group that supports libraries. There are loads of local organizations (usually Friends of such and such Library) that are dedicated to supporting your library. Join to help them in the work that they do.
  7. Donate books to a school classroom. Many local schools are struggling to make ends meet. Help the kids get the education they deserve by making a donation of books to the library or a classroom.
  8. Wear a t-shirt. Spread the word about National Library Week through your apparel by wearing a shirt supporting your local library.
  9. Celebrate reading holidays. Finally, never miss a reading-related holiday. Use author's birthdays, library celebrations and more as a chance to honor the great things books have done for the world.
Special contributor:  Carol Brown of OnlineCollege.org

Read more.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents

Order today!

More than 60 highly accomplished literary writers and poets explore the timeless realities and contemporary challenges of becoming -- and being-- a grandparent in the 21st century. Read what others are saying. . . "The generation that didn't trust anyone over 30 has gone grandparental, and this wide-ranging anthology explores new paradigms and timeless bonds. Shunning traditional 'greeting card verse,' the editors offer emotional, wise, and surprising works by more than 60 seasoned writers." --Chronogram Magazine "To read Child of My Child is to come to a deeper realization of the meaning of being a grandparent, and a parent, and a child. Maybe at some level that's what all literature is about." -Susan Adcox, About.Com


A perfect Mother's Day Gift!

Order on Amazon today.


CHILD OF MY CHILD: POEMS AND STORIES FOR GRANDPARENTS is not your grandparents’ collection of poems and personal essays about grandchildren. There’s no greeting card verse in this book. Instead, this new anthology from Gelles-Cole Literary Enterprises (www.LiteraryEnterprises.com) is a showcase of poems and stories on the theme by more than sixty highly accomplished literary writers who explore both the timeless emotions and the contemporary realities of becoming and being a grandparent in the 21st century.

Learn more:  Click here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

National Public Health Week 2011 - April 4-10th

This year, the theme is Safety is No Accident: Life Injury-Free. With the recent increase in the reports of bullying, we are also incorporating it as part of our focus this year.

Safety is NO Accident
 
It only takes a moment for an injury to happen – a fall on a stair, a moment’s glance away from the road, a biking or sports-related injury, a medication mix-up. But it also takes just a moment to protect against injuries and make communities safer. The potential for injury is all around us. Each year, nearly 150,000 people die from injuries, and almost 30 million people are injured seriously enough to go to the emergency room.

Injuries are not "accidents", and we can prevent them from happening. Taking actions such as wearing a seatbelt, properly installing and using child safety seats, wearing a helmet and storing cleaning supplies in locked cabinets are important ways to proactively promote safety and prevent injuries.

During National Public Health Week 2011, the American Public Health Association (APHA) needs your help to educate Americans that "Safety is No Accident". Together, we can help Americans live injury-free in all areas of life: at work, at home, at play, in your community and anywhere people are on the move. We all need to do our part to prevent injuries and violence in our communities. Join us as we work together to create a safer and healthier nation.

APHA is taking NPHW on the road with the Injury Prevention Road Tour. Road Tour schedule.

Learn more - click here.