The first day of school

Nobody took a picture of me on my first day of the school year and posted on Facebook for all of my family/friends to see. Not in 1961. In my early elementary years, no one really explained what was going on. Back in those days, it was one moment at a time and not much forethought was counseled a head of time. Just go and do. I was terrified of school until fourth grade. All I remember about the first days of kindergarten is my father dropping me off and meeting my school teacher, Mrs. O’Brien, at Thomas Hoyne School, her last year before retirement. And that made her wonderful because she was the Grandma I didn’t have at home and she had a way treating her students with kindness, patience, and one that encouraged early talents in special ways.

My own children followed the same tradition since they did not have social media. And my son began to cry as he was coerced to ride the kindergarten bus. Thankfully, back then, kindergarten was only a half a day.

As an assistant in the kindergarten classroom this year, I also help in the main hallway, while students from ages kindergarten to second grade, enter for the beginning of the school year. And I am excited… not only meeting new students today but hugging those that I have known the last two years. The buses begin to arrive before 8:00 am and at 7:40 we open our doors. Some run to me with new outfits, backpacks, and,of course, I am amazed how tall they are. One kindergarten student is crying and does not want to let go of Mom, and one first grade girl that I had last year, stops, gives me a hug and helps me with the new student.

As the day continues, I had forgotten all about the exhaustive first day episodes in kindergarten. Some runners, some criers, lots of trips to the washroom, constant classroom reminders to raise your hand and learn how to form a straight line. I had forgotten about the numerous questions when lunch was scheduled after morning snack, how many times they wanted to play on the playground, and when was it time to go home…they missed their brother, their sister, or their new pet. I had forgotten the need to be pushed on the swings. I had forgotten that I needed to increase my dose of Aleve for the day as a result of my continued mobility.

But at the end of the day, some gave me more hugs, beautiful smiles, and one young gentleman gave me a dandelion on the playground; thanking me for tying his shoe. Nobody missed their rides or buses home….not that I am aware of anyway. And most of all, they remembered my name which is something I am still working on as far as their names are concerned.

And as we send them off to after school programs, Mom’s, Dads, babysitters and Grandparents, I know this will be a wonderful school journey for all of us.

Year after year, many of us, as educators repeat the rituals of going to school. Though academics are certainly important, the best lessons that we can teach our students is love and understanding that eventually builds trust to sustain them for a lifetime. We owe it to their future; giving them the caring time and genuine attention they need everyday.

As an educator, parent, grandparent or friend, never underestimate the power that you have to make a difference in one child at a time.

Never underestimate the gift of a child……right back at ya!!!

Chicago stockyards

I visited the stockyards one time since a friend of my Dad’s worked for Swift in 1959-1960 and I remember just a few brief moments of smell and memories of cattle carcuses hanging from the ceiling. I don’t remember any other area because I was only about 4 or 5 and my Mom said we walked through pretty quickly to meet my Dad at an office where he was visiting. At first, the major meatpacking companies resisted change, but Swift and Armour both started surrendering and vacating their plants in the Yards at this time.

My Dad was several years older than my Mom and his father worked at the stockyards during the early 1900s and my grandfather was working there during the time of the fire. The fire, which broke out at Warehouse 7 of the Nelson Morris Company at the Chicago Union Stock Yards on the 4300 block of South Loomis Street, was first reported on December 22, 1910 at 4:09 am. It resulted in the death of twenty one Chicago firemen.

Dad also had friends that worked at the stockyard in 1934 and on May 19th, another significant fire took place destroying over 80 acres of land and 50 were injured though most were fireman. The fire had blazed for over 4 hours and many home owners and renters that lived in the surrounding areas were asked to evacuate. Over 2,200 firefighters battled the blaze. All the telephone lines, electric lines, and gas mains in the vicinity of the yards were put out of commission and some people were homeless around the Halsted area though there are no specifics at that time.

In 1921, the stockyard employed over 40,000 people and Americas center for meatpacking.Once refrigerated trucks and highways came into play, the processing plants, no longer dependent upon the proximity of the railroads, decentralized and moved west. The Union Stockyard and Transit Company closed its doors in 1971.

The Union Stock Yard Gate, located on Exchange Avenue at Peoria Street, was the entrance to the famous Union Stock Yards in Chicago. The gate was probably designed by John Wellborn Root of Burnham and Root around 1875, and is the only significant structural element of the stock yards to survive. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1981.

The Good Old Days: Rain

I love rainy days; especially weather watching for storms. I get so excited checking weather reports and the radar; technology that we have today versus the good old days. Though Alexa and Weather Underground do make mistakes. But even back then, everyone loves a rainy day…. napping, reading, playing a game or spending time with your own vehicles of nostalgia though for many that may be on our computers, phones and visiting social network sites.

Just the other day there was a morning rain storm and for many in the area, electricity was lost for hours. Today’s people could not survive with the loss of power during a rain storm and unfortunately attics are not made for snuggling. Right before the storm really began, I took my usual, summer morning walk and loved watching the clouds formulate while the raindrops slowly fell and it felt beautiful. The winds picked up as soon as I reached the house.

At the elementary school I work, grades kindergarten – second, no one…no one… liked to get rained on. We would always have extra umbrellas available if we were escorting a student from a car or bus. One of my jobs was to help manage kindergarten recess and generally it was outside. The kindergarten classes would eat lunch first and then all 100+ students would head out one door to the playground. I would open that door, always checking the grounds first before releasing them.  One spring day, the air was heavy, a little cloudy but none of the other recess supervisors had rain indicators on their phones saying that rain was on the way. Our phones did not lie about weather alerts today, but I was hesitant when I opened the door.Well, we let them go and they were all out less than ten minutes, when there was no thunder, lightening…. but pouring rain. I blew the whistle to have them line up early and I was shocked how well they managed. Some screamed but for the most part, they didn’t run slamming into the one door we always used that entered the building. They lined up in their five class lines, facing one of the other supervisors and the wall of the building, who always stood there. As I passed the lines to open the door and let, them in, some were actually holding their hands out, smiling, looking up at the sky as the rain continued, quietly stamping the puddles already forming, but each line gracefully walked into the building.

Some had spring jackets on and they didn’t complain after hanging their coats and heading into their classrooms. Some did ask if they could change their shoes since they had an extra pair of tennis shoes for P.E. The main office had video cameras and watched them come in; hoping there would not be a mob and there wasn’t. Those adults viewing the cameras were surprised at the smiles of fun on their faces.

Oh, boy how good their bare feet would have felt in the rain that poured most of the afternoon….just like the good old days.

Morton Salt: 105 years old and still the one

The only costume for Halloween that I ever one a prize for was dressing as the Morton Salt container at a college party.  I spent hours taking my time painting the poster board and iconic logo; the little girl dressed in a yellow raincoat with a yellow umbrella carrying an open salt container. I dressed as the actual girl with a yellow dress and umbrella when I was younger but my mother would not let me carry the salt opened continuing to say the Morton salt slogan, When it rained, it poured.

Morton Salt’s logo features the “Morton Salt Girl,” a young girl walking in the rain with an opened umbrella and scattering salt behind her from a cylindrical container of table salt, and is one of the ten best-known symbols in the United States. The company began in Chicago, Illinois, in 1848 as a small sales agency, E. I. Wheeler, started by the Onondaga salt companies to sell their salt to the Midwest. In 1910, the business, which had by that time become both a manufacturer and a merchant of salt, was incorporated as the Morton Salt Company. It was named after the owner and founder, Joy Morton, the son of J. Sterling Morton.

Currently, Morton Salt is owned by German fertilizer and salt company K+S and has always had facilities in the Chicago area closing the Elston plant in 2015 but now Morton Salt and R2 Companies have established an agreement in which Morton Salt will retain its highly recognizable branded rooftop and relocate its Research & Development (R&D) Center to the site from its current location in Elgin, IL. Morton Salt is also the sponsor of the Morton Arboretum, a 1,700-acre (6.9 km2) botanical garden in Lisle, Illinois.

Everyone asks who was the girl or what was her name underneath the umbrella. She was called the Umbrella Girl but no name was ever given and an ad agency came up with the idea because they wanted to let customers know that this salt in the new cylinder would pour easily just like rain. The ad was published in Good Housekeeping in 1914 and though she changed the first few decades, her last changed was in 1968.

DuPagePads 15th Annual Run 4 Home

WHEATON, ILLINOIS – You can end homelessness one step at a time at DuPagePads Run 4 Home. The 15th annual run/walk will be held Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 8:00 am, beginning at 703 West Liberty in Wheaton. The 10K and 5K CARA certified race and USATF certified course appeals to serious runners, casual joggers and walkers. Your whole family will enjoy the event with a 1K Family Walk and Kids Corner featuring games, prizes, face painting and more.

Following the race, enjoy music, refreshments and the award ceremony. These special recognition s include King/Queen of the Hill, Largest Participating Group, Top Fundraisers and more! In addition to the award, the Largest Participating Congregation will also receive a complimentary table at our Wake Up Your Spirit Breakfast on November 6th, featuring Chris Norton, professional speaker and author.

“We are incredibly thankful for our supporters. From our sponsors to attendees and volunteers, all funds raised make an impact on our mission. This year, we are thrilled to announce our Diamond Sponsors: Continental Motors of Naperville and Mike Lifts 100 Tons, who have amazed us with their generosity,” said Carol Simler, DuPagePads President & CEO.

In addition, other generous sponsors for DuPagePads Run 4 Home include: Exelon Generation, First Trust Portfolios, Innovator ETFs, Invesco, ACCESS Community Health Network, Mitchell Swaback Charities, Ostrander Construction, The Schulte Wealth Management Group of Benjamin F Edwards & Co, Tuk Tuk Naperville, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Daily Herald Media Group, DynaCom, Kindred Coffee Roasters, Naperville Running Company, Professional Wealth Advisors LLC and Jim and Kathy Schlesser.

Registration is available at http://www.padsrun.org. For additional event information, visit www.dupagepads.org/events or contact Carrie at 630.682.3846 ext. 2290 or CFlick@dupagepads.org.

***

With over 30 years of experience, DuPagePads is the largest provider of services to those who are homeless in DuPage County. DuPagePads’ solution to ending homelessness is housing, coupled with support services and employment to transform lives. The administration office is located at 601 West Liberty, Wheaton, IL 60187. Additional information can be obtained by contacting DuPagePads at 630.682.3846 or at http://www.dupagepads.org.

Archie forever

Archie teenage comics were popular during my pre-teen years and Veronica Lodge instead of Betty Cooper was always my favorite. When I would grab one and read, they would make me day dream about what it would be like when I started high school in 1969. There was a store called Cozy Corner on the south side of Chicago by South Chicago Hospital where we bought penny candy but there was a store across the street who sold the best selection in magazines and comics. That is where my Archie Andrews and Jughead came from; only costing about 12 cents. Comics were not just titled Archie but Jughead was titled along with Betty and Veronica; having their own issues.Though the hospital is still there and has expanded, the stores are gone.

Riverdale is the fictional small town where the characters grew up and attended Riverdale High. I moved to Dolton in 1971 and Riverdale was a suburb next door…still reading Archie and Archies’s rival Reggie in my teenage years.

Though there was no kissing…it was pure fun and jokes.  Archie drove an old fashioned car convertible from the 1920’s and would occasionally make a call from a phone booth. They would do everything together; bowling, going to the beach, shopping for new clothes.They actually went to Als pizzeria and would get two pieces for the price of one. Archie was always in trouble with their old teacher, Ms, Grundy or the principal, Mr. Weatherbee. There were times they would dance, walk close, staring at each other with the printed red hearts floating about; sometimes Archie with Veronica…sometimes with Betty. The publishers would keep you guessing until issues # 600–602. The story features a futuristic look into the life of Archie in the years that follow his college graduation when Archie makes his ultimate decision to marry Veronica instead of Betty Cooper in 2009.

Archie proved to be popular enough to warrant his own self-titled ongoing comic book series which began publication in the winter of 1942 and ran until June 2015. A second series began publication in July 2015, featuring a reboot of the Archie universe with a new character design aesthetic and a more mature story format and scripting, aimed for older, contemporary teenage and young adult readers. The printed comic book format is different from the previous publications.

I miss the wholesome lives of the Riverdale comic characters and wish I had saved at least one copy for times like these.

The most valuable Archie comic book ever known to have been sold went for more than $140,000. Archie made his first appearance in a comic book in 1941, in the issue “Pep No. 2”; that’s the one which made the big money.

Amazon offers an amazing copy from 1966.There are several Ebay copies for purchase as well. Maybe just one….it is a Betty and Veronica from 1968…no longer 12 cents but under $15.00?

 

The best nutrition for premature babies

Born December of 2018, baby Saybie could fit in the palm of your hand; described as the size of a large apple. She was 23 weeks and two days old. The worlds smallest baby girl was able to go home in May. Saybie, who was born at just 8.6 ounces, or 254 grams, is the tiniest baby ever to survive. A true miracle because of the compassion, treatment and nutrition she received. Premature babies need the best in protein, minerals and other nutrients building their energy to grow. Sadly, many do not survive or if they do, experience long-term health issues.

Thanks to advances in NICU technology, survival for premature infants as young as 24 weeks is now feasible. What also seems to have made a big difference in baby Saybie’s survival is that Saybie received a first-of-its-kind nutritional fortifier made from 100% donor breast milk instead of cow milk.

To achieve the needed catch-up growth in preemies weighing less than 1,500 g, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends adding a human milk fortifier (think of it as a preemie protein shake) to mother’s milk or pasteurized donor milk to provide the needed protein, calories and fat to support growth.

Many NICUs presently have several options in a fortifier, but it’s a good idea that parents ask for one made from 100% donor breast milk. It’s called Prolact+H2MF and is the world’s first and only human milk fortifier made with 100% donor breast milk instead of cow milk. Until the introduction of this fortifier, the only fortifiers available to NICUs were made from cow milk—known to trigger feeding intolerance and increase death due to the risk of severe complications, including late-onset sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) — the #1 cause of death in preemies.

In contrast, the use of a 100% donor breast milk-based fortifier is proven to improve health, reduce mortality and complications and to get preemies home faster than cow milk fortifier. Many hospitals have both options—but most parents aren’t aware of the differences.

But parents should also know—the term “human milk fortifier” is a generic product name that can cause confusion. Some mistakenly assume that “human milk fortifier” may imply that the product is made from human milk, which is not the case. It’s important that parents specifically request a 100% donor breast milk fortifier.

Many health experts agree that parents should know all options available and are encouraged to ask many questions during a NICU stay.

The picture is courtesy of Alexis Rain Frazier

For more information, please visit www.prolacta.com

Green Dot launches the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

A Savings Account paying a 3% Annual Percentage Yield

Green Dot has launched the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank. With what is believed to be the richest cash back Visa debit card in America, an integrated high-yield savings account and a tech-forward, branch-less approach to banking, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank is intended to be the best value bank account in America for all consumers who appreciate convenience, extraordinary value and great mobile technology.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank pays customers a 3% cash back bonus on all online and in-app purchases and comes with a high-yield savings account that pays depositors a 3% Annual Percentage Yield on their savings up to $10,000. All deposits are insured by the FDIC. Additionally, the account features a free ATM network, the ability to make free cash deposits at leading national retailers where Green Dot Bank products are featured, no minimum deposit requirements, no overdraft, bounced check or penalty fees of any kind, and a low monthly fee that is easily waived.

“Everyone knows that it’s smart and responsible to save up money for the future, but we also know that, for most people, saving up money is hard to do,” said Steve Streit, Founder & CEO of Green Dot Corporation and Founder & Chairman of Green Dot Bank. “Whether it’s saving up for that summer vacation, a down payment on a car, or just having the peace of mind knowing there’s money in the bank for a rainy day, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot Bank makes it possible to build up savings using the bank’s money, as the unlimited cash back bonus money can really add up fast as customers buy the things they would normally buy anyhow online and through apps. That’s why our slogan for this bank account is Spend like normal and Save up like crazy!'”

In addition to offering industry-leading value, Green Dot, renowned as an innovative financial technology leader, has designed the Unlimited mobile app and the linked Visa debit card to easily integrate into the lives of tech savvy customers. The app offers many popular features and services that make the account easy to use, including mobile check deposit, an easy way to transfer money from other bank accounts, the ability to send money to friends and family with P2P, the ability to pay anyone with free electronic bill pay, and a fun and intuitive design that allows customers to easily track their spending, track their savings, and track the amount earned in cash back bonus money with every online or in-app purchase they make. The Visa debit card that is linked to the account is EMV protected for security and ready to be set up for Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Americans are in a savings crisis. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, 4 in 10 Americans said they do not have adequate savings to cover an unexpected expense of just $400. In addition, recent research by Deloitte found that the total net worth of millennials under the age of 35 is down 34 percent since 1996 to less than $8,000.

Millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, offers some great advice to become financially free!

  1. Shop Smart: When shopping, check the store’s price match policy before making large purchases, such as appliances or technology. Internet pricing is often less expensive and most stores will match the lowest price you can find!
  2. Get a Bank Account that Lets You Save: Sign up for an account that provides rewards on your purchases and stretches your saving and spending capabilities. The new, Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot gives a 3% cash back bonus on almost all online and app purchases. With an account like this – you can shop like normal and save up like crazy!
  3. Conquering Student Loan Debt: Student loans are a scary thought, but learning how to navigate them is the best defense. Most borrowers are eligible for the Revised As You Earn (REPAYE) plan, which calculates payments according to 10 percent of your discretionary income. With REPAYE plans, there is no set maximum on payment amounts, so if there is an increase in income your payments will go up too.
  4. Loan Payments: If you have multiple loans and feel overwhelmed, try the snowball method. Choose one loan to pay extra on every month—typically starting with the smallest loan amount—until is paid off and then move on to the next loan you want to tackle.

Unlike most traditional bank accounts, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account has no overdraft fees and no bounced check fees, no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fee when the customer spends $1,000 or more using the Unlimited Visa Debit Card. The account also includes access to a nationwide network of FREE ATMs and the ability to make FREE cash deposits at participating national retailers.

“The rewards associated with the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account rival those of the best credit cards, but this Visa card is a debit card; not a credit card. As such, Green Dot doesn’t require a certain minimum credit score to open the account. Plus, consumers can benefit from the account’s rich cash back offer without needing to incur the risk of getting into credit card debt, which is a common concern associated with using credit cards,” said Streit.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account’s Unique Features and Benefits:

  • Unlimited 3% Cash Back Bonus: Every time you make an online or in-app purchase with your Unlimited Visa debit card, Green Dot Bank will add 3% of the purchase amount into the customer’s cash back bonus balance.
  • Integrated High Yield Savings Account with 3% Annual Interest: The Green Dot Bank High Yield Savings Account is an FDIC insured savings account that pays a 3% annual interest rate (3% annual percentage yield) on deposits up to $10,000.
  • ASAP Direct Deposit: No need to wait for payday. Green Dot customers receive their pay up to 2 days before payday and government benefits up to 4 days before benefits day with Green Dot’s ASAP Direct Deposit.
  • Free ATM Network: Customers can use thousands of free conveniently located ATMs nationwide.
  • No Overdraft or Penalty Fees: Green Dot has no overdraft fees, no bounced check fees and no minimum balance requirement.
  • Deposit Cash for Free: Make free cash deposits at participating national retailers that feature Green Dot Bank products.
  • Free Online Bill Pay: Set up one-time or recurring bill payments with Green Dot. You won’t have to make any extra stops, write checks, or pay for stamps just to pay your bills.

Consumers can learn more about the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account and open their account at Greendot.com. Or, consumers can go to any one of 100,000 major national retailers that feature Green Dot Bank products and pick up an account starter kit with a starter debit card inside. The account can then be registered online at Greendot.com.

About Green Dot

Green Dot Corporation, [NYSE: GDOT], is a financial technology leader and bank holding company with a mission to power the banking industry’s branch less future. Enabled by proprietary technology and Green Dot’s wholly-owned commercial bank charter, Green Dot’s “Banking as a Service” platform is used by a growing list of America’s most prominent consumer and technology companies to design and deploy their own bespoke banking solutions to their customers and partners; while Green Dot uses that same integrated technology and banking platform to design and deploy its own leading collection of banking and financial services products directly to consumers through one of the largest retail banking distribution platforms in America. Green Dot products can be acquired through more than 100,000 retailers nationwide, thousands of corporate paycard partners, several “direct-2-consumer” branded websites, thousands of tax return preparation offices and accounting firms, thousands of neighborhood check cashing locations and both of the leading app stores. Green Dot Corporation is headquartered in Pasadena, California, with additional facilities throughout the United States and in Shanghai, China.

Promoting compassion, confidence and solutions

Its almost 20 years that Hope’s Front Door has been open to clients seeking assistance in the six communities of Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Westmont, Willowbrook and Woodridge. Many have no idea that there is an urgent need in the Western Suburbs for emergency assistance for families and individuals in crisis. DuPage County is considered economically rich in salary and property value but over 6.7 percent live below the poverty level evaluated in 2017. According to recent statistics, homelessness has improved, but the need for help with other living expenses is greater. Hopes Front Doors  continues to provide relief; helping assist in transportation, food and medical/dental vouchers and, most importantly, they try to emphasize how clients can make long-term, sustainable changes for the future.

Hope’s Front Door programs include the Pathways to Financial Health that provides budget counseling and handling financial crisis. Volunteers from several local banks meet one-on-one with clients to mentor and educate them on such issues as saving and debt management. Their Pathways to Employment program provides recruitment events and job coaches; the latter that will help structure your resume or provide interviewing tips. Information about local job openings is available by signing up for the HFD Weekly Job List. Their Health and Wellness program gives clients the chance to receive emergency dental care or special housing for medical purposes. Prescriptions and eye exams, or even eye glasses can be obtained with help from Hope’s Front Door.

Hopes’s Front Doors annual school supply donations fundraiser has begun this summer with the great partnership of the Downers Grove Junior Women’s Club. Backpacks are needed. Look for donation baskets at the following Downers Grove drop-off locations now through August 12th:

Drop Off Sites:

*Important reminder: Hope’s Front Door can only accept new (not used) supplies.*

In September 2020, Hope’s Front  Door will be celebrating 20 years of serving our neighbors in need. Cocktails for a Cause Kick-Off Event will be held September 14th to fund Hope’s Front Door’s emergency/immediate assistance services, education/empowerment programs and upcoming 20th Anniversary Campaign activities. There will be exciting raffles and silent auctions as well as sponsorship and underwriting opportunities. Larry Mowry, ABC7 Chicago News meteorologist, will MC this fun-filled evening.

We hope you can join us!

Saturday

September 14, 2019

6:30 p.m.

At the home of Rhonda & James Gaw

8738 Ainstree Lane, Burr Ridge, IL

$75 per ticket

To purchase tickets go to the Cocktail for a Cause website page http://www.hopesfrontdoor.com/cocktails-for-a-cause/

Hope’s Front Door 1047 Curtiss Street, Room 610 Downers Grove, IL 60515 Phone: 630-322-9803 Fax: 630-241-3224

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, 10:00am-11:45am; Monday evening, 6:30pm-8:00pm

CLOSED ON TUESDAYS

Send an email: info@hopesfrontdoor.org