Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Villages and Colts...Champions for Children

by Sharon Pierce, President and CEO

The Colts are on a roll…and so are The Villages’ Families. Thanks to the gracious support of Indianapolis Colt’s Head Coach, Jim Caldwell, The Villages has dynamic TV, radio and print ads urging people like you to consider being a heroic foster or adoptive parent!

Coach Caldwell and Villages' children who starred in our new commercial!

Check out our upcoming Information Nights at www.villageskids.org. And there are countless other ways to help Indiana’s most vulnerable children…you can donate to enrich children’s lives…volunteer…provide new books…purchase some gift cards….provide personal hygiene supplies for our older youth! Join The Villages’ team today!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank You to Our Sponsors!!!

As we're really starting to gear up for our 2009 Golf Classic(September 17th), we would like to thank our generous sponsors! Our sponsors have made the Golf Classic poswsible through their generous contributions, and unending support! Without our sponsors, we wouldn't be able to run the Golf Classic, our largest fundraiser of the year, and we wouldn't be able to meet the needs of the hundreds of kids who are directly helped by the Golf Classic. Thank you so much for all your help and support!

Title Sponsor:
Holladay Properties in partnership with AmeriPlex Indianapolis and Purdue Technology Center

Children's Champion Sponsor:
Don and Jen Knebel

Children's Hero Sponsors:
Ice Miller, LLP
Katz, Sapper, and Miller, LLP
Westport Homes

Champs FORE Children Sponsor:

Box Lunch Sponsors:
Baker and Daniels, LLP
Crosser Family Foundation
Sams Club
Monroe Bancorp

Beverage Cart Sponsors:
Venture Logistics
Wells Fargo Advisors

Matt Breman Memorial Awards Sponsors:
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Bose, McKinney, and Evans, LLP
Sharp Business Systems of Indianapolis
Shelbourne Knee Clinic at Methodist Hospital

Prize Sponsors:
Circle City Millwork
Dealers Wholesale
K-Squared Consulting
MBAH Insurance
Michael Binder/Frost Brown Todd, LLC
The Sherwin-Williams Company
Timberland Lumber

Hole Sponsors:
Aspire CPAs, P.C.
IKON Office Solutions
Kinder Electric Co., Inc.
Krieg DeVault, LLP
M&I Bank
Pellegrino & Associates, LLC
Postlethwait Family
Reese Wholesale
Steve Pierce, Sunbelt Indiana Business Resources
Tabbert Hahn Earnest & Weddle, LLP
Vectren Energy Delivery
Venture Logistics
Weber Concrete Construction
Zink Distributing Company

Banner Sponsors:
Linda and Skip Adams
Stephen Becker
Century 21 Diversified Realty
Citizens Gas
Classic Concrete Co, Inc.
First American Title
Henry Poor Lumber
Jupiter Leasing
Kerman's Fine Flooring
Kyle Trick

Check out our facebook page to see some of the cool items that have been donated for the Silent Auction at www.facebook.com/villageskids!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Helping Handbags!

Here at The Villages, we’re getting into the swing of a new idea from one of our donors, Elaine. She thought that it might be nice for kids to be able to give their grandmothers or other female guardians a handbag filled with goodies. We thought this was a GREAT idea too! From this idea came Helping Handbags. The Villages is collecting gently used handbags, so go ahead and clean out your closets ladies! In order to make the gift giving a little more even, we are asking that you do NOT donate expensive designer bags (Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, etc). It would ruin the atmosphere a bit if one woman got a Guess bag, and the woman next to her got a Prada bag. If you have any questions about whether a particular brand of bag is okay to donate, give Alex or Katee a call at 317-273-7575. As a general guideline, steer clear of anything you can purchase at Saks. We’ll take bags of all different shapes, sizes, colors, patterns etc! The more styles we have, the more fun it will be for kids to pick out a bag that they think their grandma/aunt/etc will really love!

We are also collecting small (think travel size) items for the kids to pick out to put in the handbags. To start you off with some ideas, I thought I would start a challenge. I challenge every woman who reads this to look through her purse and pick out the 5 things she couldn’t live without. Then I want each woman to go out and purchase these items and bring them to The Villages’ Girls School Road office along with their old purses to donate! To start you off, here are my 5: Chapstick, lotion, hand sanitizer, advil, and gum. I will also put a list down at the end of this post with things that would be great to have for the bags!

You can drop off the bags and items at The Villages’ Girls School Road office ( 652 N Girls School Road Indianapolis, IN 46214). Thanks for your help ladies!

· Mints
· Travel size lotion
· Hand sanitizer or wet wipes
· Tide To Go Pen
· Lipstick in a neutral color(like the kind you get at the make-up counter in the “Spend This, Get This “ gift bag)
· Chapstick
· Lip Gloss
· Mini packs of Tissues
· Pack of gum
· Change Purse
· Anything small that you find in your purse!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Teen Trend: Sexting

As technology becomes more and more prevalent in our lives and the lives of our children, we often find ourselves wondering what the next big trend will be. Currently, the new trend for high school age adolescents is something called “Sexting”. I’m sure your kids know what Sexting is, but for those of us that are a little older, I’ll explain. Sexting is the sending of sexually explicit text messages or pictures by cell phone. In an article presented by the Indiana Youth Institute, research showed that 20% of teens have engaged in Sexting, and that older teens are more likely to have engaged in Sexting than younger teens. This is a very disturbing trend, as some courts have decided to prosecute children who engage in Sexting as sex offenders.

It’s up to parents like you to monitor your children’s use of cell phones. Unlike phone calls, texts are saved on the phone, and can be sent to anyone else the owner of the phone wishes to send them to, even without the original sender’s permission or knowledge. Help protect your teens from making a mistake they might come to regret. I’ll put the link to the Indiana Youth Institute’s website at the end of this post, but for those of you who are busy, and don’t have time to read the article right away, I want to share some of its tips with you.

I know it can be difficult to ask your child to see their cell phone, or even to monitor their use of their cell phone, but this is the best way to prevent your children from sending Sexts. At night, when it’s more difficult to monitor cell phone usage, ask your children to charge their phone in your bedroom, or in a common room such as the kitchen. Ask your child to turn their phone off while they are at school, another difficult time to monitor cell phone usage. This also encourages your teens to focus more on class, and less on texting during class. Remember to set guidelines for cell phone usage with your children, and if they break those guidelines, have punishments in place, and stick with your punishments.

For more tips, and more detailed research on the subject, visit the Indiana Youth Institute’s issue Brief on Sexting at http://www.iyi.org/resources/doc/Issue-Brief-SEXTING-Aug09.pdf.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prevent Child Abuse Indiana

By: Sandy Runkle, PCAIN Program Director

Typically, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana does not comment about specific cases regarding violence against children. However, sometimes situations arise that are so horrific, they require not just a comment, but rather a call to action. By now, most people in Indianapolis are aware of the killing of an eight year old boy during a domestic disturbance. After reading the story in the newspaper, I continued by reading the comments submitted by readers. Of course there was understandable outrage, as there always is after this type of tragedy. Predictably, many of the comments were directed at the perpetrator, and what type of consequences he should face. Although any type of violent act should have appropriate consequences, our question…one which we often ask, is what could have been done to prevent this act from occurring in the first place? The real issue is, when our children do not have the opportunity to grow up in healthy and safe environments, we all suffer, and potentially put our own futures at risk. These tragedies do not just impact the families and friends of the victim; they impact our society as a whole. We invest in our children, and if we do not protect those investments, we face a far more dangerous type of “recession”. By encouraging families to seek help when they are overwhelmed; by paying attention to children in our neighborhoods; by knowing community resources to be able to assist friends and family; by investing in education, appropriate childcare, early childhood programs…these are just a few of the things we can do for our children and families. We can also educate ourselves about policies that impact children, and contact our Legislators when we are concerned about these policies. In the time it takes to write a “Readers comment” at the end of a story, an e-mail or phone call could be made to a policy maker or community resource. If we mistakenly believe that all problems involving violence toward children exist within the family, then how can we, at the same time, believe that all of the problems can be solved within that same family?

These tragedies occur in all ethnicities and socioeconomic realms. Even if there are some out there who do not believe that statement, and unfortunately there will be, then without argument it can be said these tragedies impact all ethnicities and socioeconomic realms. In other words, we all have a stake in helping children. Despite what people have been led to believe, very little spending has been done on programs for children. In fact, over the last 20 years spending has decreased, and that trend is expected to continue.

I want to conclude by mentioning that one reader’s comment in particular struck me. They commented, and I’m paraphrasing, that because of the environment in which that child was growing, that he probably would one day grow up to be violent. However as research shows, he would have just as likely grown up to be a teacher, or police officer, or bus driver, or perhaps the doctor who finds a cure for cancer. We’ll never know will we, because any future possibilities were ended for him a few nights ago.

(Prevent Child Abuse Indiana is a division of The Villages and is committed to preventing child abuse in all its forms.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Night at Victory Field presented by BKD

What is your favorite childhood summer memory? Did you and your family load up the station wagon and travel the country in search of family adventures…did you go to a summer camp where you camped under the stars for a week…did you stay up late and at a slumber party watching scary movies? Well if you were a child in foster care these very normal summer activities are much different. You have to get approval to travel out of state, to stay away from your foster home and spend the night at a friend’s house.

At The Villages we want all of our children to have great summer memories so for the past four years we’ve partnered with the Indianapolis Indians to have Family Night at Victory Field. Our annual event is a fun-filled evening with plenty of hotdogs, nachos, and cotton candy…and of course great baseball!! This year’s event is presented by BKD, LLP and will be July 23. Through the generosity of donors and sponsors hundreds of Villages children and families will attend the game for free and create treasured memories.

Devon threw the first pitch at last year's game!

Do you want to help create wonderful childhood memories for an abused or neglected child? You can purchase tickets to the July 23rd game and donate them to a Villages’ child. Tickets are only $9…and $4.50 of every ticket sold will be donated back to The Villages to fund additional enrichment activities for our amazing, resilient children. To donate your tickets today visit http://www.villageskids.org/.

Go Indians!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An Introduction to The Villages of Indiana

“Championing Families for Children” is the core of The Villages of Indiana’s mission. Founded in 1978 by Dr. Karl Menninger, The Villages’ services embody a foundational premise that children grow, develop, and flourish best in a family!

The Villages’ hope is, always, that a child can be nurtured and loved by his or her own family. If this is not possible, our organization actively supports and sustains grandparents and kinship caregivers. When relatives aren’t available, The Villages has dedicated well-trained foster and adoptive families to nurture the child in need. Additionally, The Villages provides numerous services and programs that strengthen families and help parents be the best they can be for their children. Our organization also has child abuse and neglect prevention services available.

Thank you for visiting our “Friends of The Villages” blog! Here you will learn more about our agency and how you can get involved. The Villages’ need for volunteer assistance is endless…stay tuned to learn more about how you can be a CHAMPION for a CHILD!