Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Letters from Santa

Every young child wants their own letter from Santa! Get your child or grandchild a unique and memorable gift this year (and support Ambassadors for Children in the process).

Click here and purchase a personalized letter from Santa for your special little one. Ambassadors for Children will receive 30% of proceeds from each letter that is purchased. This special gift will allow us to continue our work to ensure the needs of local foster children are met this holiday season. Thank you KringleTalk.com and Merry Christmas to all!!

Back to Work

My baby girl was born just 9 days after my last post! After 10 weeks of maternity leave, I'm back at work and getting caught up on many things. I have several Project Self-Esteem requests to process, as well as 3 new child referrals for our Tutoring Program! That is very exciting news. I will be spending the next weeks (and time into the new year) searching for more volunteer tutors to meet the growing needs of the Tutoring Program.

We also have quite a need for The Kid's Clothes Closet! In October alone, we had over 80 appointments and are struggling to keep the Closet stocked with clothing to meet the demand. It is difficult to see the foster children visit The Kid's Clothes Closet and leave with very little because we do not have their sizes. This is especially hard as they try to find a winter coat. We don't want any child to be cold this season. You can help by donating brand new children's clothing and coats of all sizes to The Kid's Clothes Closet, located at the Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks (949 E. Primrose, Springfield, MO 65807, 7 days/week from 9am-9pm). Thank You!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bump Watch

That's right! We are watching my growing baby bump each day now, waiting for my baby girl to finally arrive. This is a very exciting time for my family.

Ambassadors for Children is essentially a 1-person agency. As the Director, I do not have an Assistant or other staff to ensure our programs continue to run smoothly and efficiently while I am on maternity leave. Therefore, I will continue to monitor all programs and perform necessary functions from home for 10 weeks following the birth of my daughter (until I return to full-time work). All of the Ambassadors for Children programs will continue during this time, and we will continue to accept donations, referrals for Project Self-Esteem, referrals for our Tutoring program, and Volunteer Tutor applications. We will also continue to monitor data for all programs.

The great work we do must continue as we strive to ensure quality services and supports for local abused & neglected children!

Big Thanks to Many!

We would like to thank Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation for a $6,000 grant award in support of our Project Self-Esteem program. This gift was desperately needed, as Project Self-Esteem has experienced an explosion of growth in 2009. This is already a record-breaking year for this program and we are excited to be serving more foster children!

A huge Thank You as well to James River Assembly Cherish Kid's Ministry, who donated $1,500 in gift cards to Walmart and Target for our Kid's Clothes Closet program. This is a great blessing, as the Kid's Clothes Closet is also heading toward a record-breaking year and we are struggling to stretch our funding to meet the increased need.

Price Cutter Charity Championship 2009

This year was a great success for Ambassadors for Children as we participated in the 20th annual Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr. Pepper! We sold over 260 raffle tickets this year and smashed our record of 108 set in 2008. As the Ambassadors for Children Director, I once again joined the Charity Auction Committee and am happy to report that we estimate the Auction made about $10,000 more than it did in 2008.

Times are difficult, but the local giving spirit lives on to ensure the most vulnerable folks in our area continue to receive the services they need.

Thank you to everyone who helped sell raffle tickets, purchased raffle tickets, volunteered at the Auction, and donated items for the Auction. You are appreciated so much!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Smiles for Saving" Fundraising Event

"Smiles for Saving"

Free Food & Fun for a Good Cause

: Ambassadors for Children Fundraiser & Old Missouri Bank 10th Anniversary Celebration

OMB will donate $1 to Ambassadors for Children for
every person that attends

Featuring: Food, Bounce Houses, Face Painting, Drawings, Coloring/Drawing Contest with Prizes, Chance to Purchase Raffle Tickets for 2010 Camaro

When: Friday, July 24, 2009 2pm-6pm

Where: Old Missouri Bank 3570 S. National (National & Primrose) 1535 W. Sunshine (Sunshine & Kansas Expwy)


visit http://www.bankwiseonline.com/smilesforsaving.asp for coloring/drawing contest forms and more information

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Raffle Ticket Mania!!

We are currently selling raffle tickets for the Marlin Network Charitable Fund Charity Sweepstakes as part of our participation in the 20th Annual Price Cutter Charity Championship golf tournament this year.

Each ticket is only $25 and includes a 4 day tournament pass and enters you to win a 2010 Camaro or $10,000 cash and one of four hundred gift certificates valued at $25. We are one of forty-three other local charities trying to sell a maximum of 4,000 tickets, so competition is steep! Each ticket has a 1 in 10 chance of winning a prize. Ambassadors for Children receives 100% of all proceeds for every ticket we sell. Please help us continue our mission of serving local abused & neglected children.

To purchase a ticket, click here and complete the order form and listed instructions. Or simply mail your check (payable to PCCC) to Ambassadors for Children at 627 N. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65802.

Thank you for your support!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Dinner

'Tis the season for annual banquets!! The Ronald McDonald House annual Volunteer Dinner will be held Thursday, May 7th. Ambassadors for Children operates The Kid's Clothes Closet program in collaboration with the Ronald McDonald House to provide free brand new clothing items and shoe gift cards for children in state custody in Greene County jurisdiction.

This event provides an opportunity for Ambassadors for Children to acknowledge the efforts of Ronald McDonald House volunteers throughout the year to help organize The Kid's Clothes Closet and facilitate appointments with foster parents and foster children. I will also be sharing some exciting upcoming changes to the program to allow appointments to run more smoothly and be more time efficient.

The Ronald McDonald House has a special place in my heart, as I worked there from 2001-2004 and have continued to volunteer 3 hours/week since. My son was also born 4 weeks premature and spent nearly 1 week in the Intensive Care Nursery a couple years ago, so I more than appreciate the special services they offer in addition to being a partner with Ambassadors for Children.

Thank You Ronald McDonald House Staff & Volunteers!!!

Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner

The annual Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner will be held on Thursday, May 7th at First Baptist Church in Springfield. This event honors foster parents from Greene County and their willingness to open their hearts and homes to local abused & neglected children.

This event is organized by a variety of area agencies, including Ambassadors for Children. The event will feature free food, entertainment, guest speakers, and child activities for the kids. Area agencies also donate "theme" baskets for giveaways to each foster family. This year, Ambassadors for Children is pleased to donate a "Game Night" theme basket. I hope the receiving foster family has as much fun playing with these games as I had picking them out!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sweet Success!

We had nearly 80 attendees at our Adopt-a-Caseworker orientation luncheon on March 31st. This event provided community members the opportunity to interact with Caseworkers served by this program and to hear from several guest speakers. So far, we have 4 new confirmed Partner groups who have "adopted" a Caseworker after attending the event. We have at least an additional 6 potential Partner groups pending following the event.

We also now have 22 active Adopt-a-Caseworker matches in Greene County! This is spectacular success considering we just started making matches 1 month ago and our goal for the entire year was 25!!

Caseworkers have already been making requests and lives are already being changed by this tremendous program. We are so thrilled and recognize this success would not be possible without the dedication of each Partner group and the teamwork established with their "adopted" Caseworker.

"The Adopt-a-Caseworker program is supported by grant #2005-VF-GX-K009 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, in cooperation with HALOS. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of HALOS or the U.S. Department of Justice."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Please Join Us!!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
St. John's Cancer Center 2nd Floor Auditorium
(2055 S. Fremont, just South of Fremont & Cherokee)
Free Lunch Provided
RSVP Required by March 24th to Sondra Uzzell
417-862-3586 or suzzell@ccozarks.org
To learn how you can make a difference in the lives of local abused & neglected children in a direct and positive way, please reserve your seat today! This fantastic program matches local community members & groups with a Child Protective Caseworker to fulfill the specific needs of children on the Caseworker's caseload. You can be an Ambassador for Children through this program! RSVP today--Seating is limited!

"The Adopt-a-Caseworker program is supported by grant #2005-VF-GX-K009 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, in cooperation with HALOS. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of HALOS or the U.S. Department of Justice."

KGBX Women's Show

Ambassadors for Children will have a booth at the Annual KGBX Women's Show in Springfield on Saturday, February 28th from 8am-4pm at the E-Plex (Ozark Empire Fairgrounds). Admission is $5.00 and parking is Free. Please stop by and learn more about our Adopt-a-Caseworker program and the difference you can make in the lives of local abused & neglected children.

We will also be inviting folks to attend our 2nd Adopt-a-Caseworker Orientation event on Tuesday, March 31st from 12-1pm at the St. John's Cancer Center (see more details above).
"The Adopt-a-Caseworker program is supported by grant #2005-VF-GX-K009 awarded by the Office for Victims oice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, in cooperation with HALOS. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of HALOS or the U.S. Department of Justice."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Adopt-a-Caseworker Begins!

January is FINALLY here and that means the program begins this month! After 10 months of planning, procedures, guidelines, policies and forms are all complete. A program manual has also been completed (30 pages long).

We currently have 17 Partner groups to match with local Caseworkers. One group is adopting 2 Caseworkers, so we will have 18 matches in month #1. That is a very strong start to this amazing program and we look forward to recruiting enough groups for the remaining 54 Caseworkers. I have completed training for Caseworkers and the Primary/Secondary contact persons for each Partner group. I look forward to making matches by the end of this month!

The Web Exchange is up and running. I finished entering in all Caseworker emails today and will be listing our first item before the weekend. The Caseworkers are very excited about this resource. It's a great way to provide resources for the Caseworkers who are still waiting to be adopted. Please visit the site at www.ambassadors4children.org/xchange

New Gifts to Support the Kid's Closet!

The Kid's Clothes Closet recently received generous funding from the following organizations. We are so thrilled to receive this funding and look forward to using these funds to purchase new clothing, coats and shoe gift cards for local foster children. Thank you so much for your wonderful generosity!

The Musgrave Foundation: $1,000.00
The C.W. Titus Foundation: $10,000.00
Pauly Trust: $5,000.00
The Gannett Foundation: $2,500.00

Kid's Clothes Closet Update

The numbers for 2008 are in! The Kid's Clothes Closet program saw nearly 350 appointments from Greene County foster children in the pursuit of new clothing. The program served just under 300 total foster children in 2008, which is slightly less than the past few years.

As I've been training Caseworkers for our Adopt-a-Caseworker program, I've discovered that there was a great deal of foster care Caseworker turnover in 2008. That likely explains the decline in children served this year, as the Caseworkers are not aware of the program. To address this problem, I created a Kid's Clothes Closet flyer and emailed it to all Greene County foster care Caseworkers. They were all encouraged to make copies and distribute the flyer to foster parents. I also plan to pursue having the flyer included in all new foster parent training materials. My next shopping trip is Friday, so the Kid's Clothes Closet will be well-stocked for the weekend!