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Opening Doors for Children & Families

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The Oil Kings 6th annual Dodge Teddy Bear Toss presented by Global Edmonton and Shaw TV is set for this Friday, December 7th against the Calgary Hitmen. The event works like this; when the Oil Kings score their first goal fans get to throw teddy bears on the ice with all these furry friends being donated to Santas Anonymous. Last year a record 8000 bears were donated, they are hoping to beat their record this Friday. It is an amazing thing to watch that much generosity fill the rink.

Years ago when I was living in our rival city, I was given tickets to the teddy bear toss. Well actually my...

Warning: This blog is heavily concentrated with the word 'awesome.'

Last night, something awesome happened in a trendy little coffee shop downtown Edmonton. I arrived at The Roast Coffeehouse greeted by an army of Edmonton philanthropists wearing pink shirts that read "I'M WITH AWESOME." This was my first time attending a "pitch party" and I didn't know what to expect. The atmosphere was fun and full of excitement, the coffeehouse filled with hopes to hear how people planned to make Edmonton more awesome.

The event was held by the Edmonton Awesome Foundation. The Foundation is made up of a...

For close to 18 years I lived in the same house. My parents bought the farm I grew up on when they were 19 years old. For me and my two siblings it is the place we grew up and have always lived until we moved out on our own. My brother and his wife and two boys now live in that house. And although they've done some renovations it still feels like the house I grew up in. If you look closely at the ceiling in what is now the toy room which was once our living room, you can see a dent. That is from my brother shooting an arrow into the ceiling when he was about 10 years old (I swear we had...

My Grandma Anne was one of the greatest seamstresses I had ever met. She would sit down at her sewing machine, pedal her foot like crazy and come out with some of the greatest creations. Somehow this gene skipped me. I can't sew. I mean, I really really can't sew. I attempted to sew a button back on a shirt once, I honestly COULD NOT do it! My mom is probably rolling her eyes while reading this and sighing, "Come on you can sew a button back on." No Mom, I can't.

When I was about 4 years old, my Grandma made me a blanket. Disclaimer: Not only can I not sew, I have no knowledge of the sewing...

I was surfing around good ol' Facebook when I came across something interesting. The Agenda with Steve Painkin shared the image seen here and commented: We want to know: What does poverty look like in your community? I studied the chart, looking through the details several times. Working with families living in poverty for the past 7 years I can't say this was particularly surprising.

"Poverty affects 3 million Canadians, 1 in 5 of those being children."

Before I started working at ABC Head Start I don't think I really realized the impact of poverty in the community. I also didn't realize how...

I was visiting one of the ABC Head Start classrooms yesterday. Although most ABC Head Start classrooms have a high number of children who are learning English, this classroom has more than the average. I walked up to the "house" centre and peaked my head through the little window. "Hello!" I said, "Can I have some chia?" The little girls in the house all looked at each other and smiled, one shrugged. I said, "Can I have lunch?" Trying again hoping to get a verbal reply. Nothing, just smiles.

Then one of the girls handed me a frying pan full of fake vegetables. I took it from her and when I did...

Halloween is in ONE WEEK! And if you are like me you have nothing ready. But I'm sure you are not like me and are far more organized and certainly don't procrastinate as much. Yesterday I was poking around the good ol' internet looking for some interesting Halloween ideas. Nothing too complex or complicated, just some things to make the day a bit more fun.

Here is a list of my favourite Halloween ideas for this year:

1. The first one came from my Mom. One thing you must know about my Mom is that she is a festive freak! She loves to decorate for holidays most people don't even know exist. God...

My sister recently came for a visit with her two children. Her oldest is five and her youngest three years old. The three-year old is fascinated with three things right now: superheros, letters and numbers. After he dons his favourite superhero costume (this weekend Hulk was the stand by, complete with puffy muscles), he likes to get on the iPad and play letter/number games (seems like a natural superhero activity.) I got so much joy out of watching his excitement. He would jam his little Hulk finger onto the I and yell "I! I FOR EYES CEEEEEEEM!!!" That's three-year old speak for Ice Cream. He...

This weekend is the finale of the Scarecrow Festival. For 20 years the Scarecrow Festival has been supporting ABC Head Start. To put on a festival of this size it takes countless hours and most of all countless volunteers. The festival is organized by a committee of volunteers who work year round to make the festival a success. The amount of hours the committee puts in during the year is truly unbelievable.

I spoke with our Community Coordinator, Ann Babb, who estimated there have been nearly 20 000 volunteers in the lifetime of the Scarecrow Festival. Many of these volunteers come back year...

The wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving is this weekend. Well it is if you live in the land of the true north strong and free, or as my Australian friend likes to call Canada (insert loud booming announcer voice here) "THE LAND OF GIANT SHOPPING MALLS," OK maybe that's more specific to Edmonton. I digress; THANKSGIVING! My favourite holiday! A time to share good food and gratitude with friends and family. And that's all that is expected! No gifts to worry about, or extras, just a good meal and a chance to reflect and say, "We are pretty lucky aren't we?"

I hope everyone gets a chance to do that...

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With the support of volunteers, ABC Head Start Society is able to support vulnerable children and families throughout the year. Volunteers contribute by sharing their ideas, talents and energy to events, on our Board of Directors and fundraisers, and in providing direct support to children, parents/caregivers and families.

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