Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 14

Tomorrow, May 14, is probably the easiest day all year to donate food to the hungry because the post office will literally come to your house and pick your donation up for you! Every year on the second Saturday in May, the USPS partners with several different food banks across the country to host the “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive. Just leave a box of non-perishable food items next to your mailbox tomorrow to help out a family in need!

Here is the full write up from the USPS:

Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 24 years.

Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved.

The United States Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, AFL-CIO, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), United Way, Valassis and Valpak Direct Marketing Systems are all supporting this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

To donate, just place a box or can of non-perishable food next to your mailbox before your letter carrier delivers mail on the second Saturday in May. The carrier will do the rest. The food is sorted, and delivered to an area food bank or pantry, where it is available for needy families.

With 49 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 16 million children, this drive is one way you can help those in your own city or town who need help.

Donate to the Durham Rescue Mission!

For the last two years, our office has been selling small items like styluses, sunscreen, and hand warmers at our checkout desk to raise money for the Durham Rescue Mission. We are able to get most of the items online for about $1-$3 each and sell them for $2-$5 each, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale donated to charity. For just $2.05, you can help sponsor a meal for a homeless member of the Durham community, so every item we sell basically provides a free meal for someone in need.

While providing meals for the homeless is obviously important, the Durham Rescue Mission is also in need of toys and games for low income families, who may not have enough money in their budgets to buy presents for the holidays. If you donate your presents before December 18 this year, your gift will help make this year’s holiday special for some little kid who may not have received anything without your donation.

Last year, we used the “12 Days of Christmas” theme to buy presents to donate – you can view the details of our 2014 list at the bottom of the page. It was a lot of fun fitting the toys into the theme of the list and the budget allowed, so I decided to do the same thing again this year. I changed the theme slightly to “Family Board Games” and tried to find games that would be help bring a family together over the game. We hope these games get picked up and enjoyed by the family that receives them for many years.

These games are all a lot of fun, so maybe you can use the list as a gift giving guide for someone you are having trouble shopping for. Each game cost between $5 and $25, so they would make good presents. I have listed the games we were able to donate this year, with a brief description of each game from BGG. Enjoy!

Items Donated in 2015: 

12 Days of Christmas – The holiday-themed 12 Days takes the familiar “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and twists it into a quick-playing card game. Over twelve rounds, players try to re-gift unpopular cards while keeping cards that are strong enough to win the day, while also keeping a careful eye for bonus scoring at the end of the game.

11 Decks of Cards – A million games in one deck of cards.

Phase 10 – A rummy-type card game where players compete to be the first to finish completing all ten phases. Phases include collecting runs of numbers, collecting certain number of a given color cards, etc. The first player to finish completing the 10th phase wins. In case of ties, the player with the fewest number of points wins.

7 Ate 9 – From the box: “Fast and Fun Number Crunch’n! Players add, or subtract, 1, 2, or 3 to the number the top card on the pile to determine if they have a card that can be played next. Sounds simple, but with everyone playing simultaneously, the options are constantly changing.”

Eight Minute Empire: Legends – A quick game that implements the Civilization/Exploration theme using card-driven area control (by placing armies and cities in a small map) and set collection (by getting abilities from the cards). Players spread through the map in order to collect points at the end of the game by having majorities in regions and continents.

Red7 – The rules of Red are simple: Highest Card Wins! But Red is just one of seven games you’ll be playing. If you’re not winning the current game at the end of your turn, you’re out! And the last person standing wins the round.

6 Word Memoirs – In Six-Word Memoirs, teams use SMITH Magazine’s famous storytelling form to guess the names of famous people, places, and pop culture icons. Teams use imagination and quick word-writing wit to create and identify six-word descriptions on more than 1000 different topics. Can you describe George Washington, Lindsay Lohan or the City of San Francisco in exactly six words?

Five Crowns – Five Crowns is rummy with a five-suited deck and a twist. The set collection aspect of rummy is basically the same, with groups of three cards in either runs or denominations making a valid meld. The twist is that in each hand the number of cards required to create a meld increases, from three cards in the first hand to thirteen in the last. The game, therefore, consists of eleven hands.

Connect 4 – Connect 4 is a well known vertical game played with “checkers” (it is more akin to Tic Tac Toe or Go Moku). The board is placed in the stand to hold it vertically and the players drop checkers into one of the 7 slots, each of which holds 6 of the “checker’s” men, until one player succeeds in getting 4 in a row–horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Tales & Games: Three Little Pigs – As a little pig, your dearest wish is to build a strong and beautiful house in which you can spend your long winter evenings. But you won’t need trowels nor scaffoldings, as only dice will allow you to construct your dream home. Beware the wolf prowling around, whose only thought is to literally blow down your comfy house!

Two Rooms and a Boom – A social deduction/hidden role party game for six or more players – there are two teams: the Red Team and the Blue Team. The Blue Team has a President. The Red Team has a Bomber. Players are equally distributed between two rooms (i.e., separate playing areas). The game consists of five timed rounds. At the end of each round, some players will be swapped into opposing rooms. If the Red Team’s Bomber is in the same room as the President at the end of the game, then the Red Team wins; otherwise the Blue Team wins.

Uno – Players race to empty their hands and catch opposing players with cards left in theirs, which score points. In turns, players attempt to play a card by matching its color, number, or word to the topmost card on the discard pile. If unable to play, players draw a card from the draw pile, and if still unable to play, they pass their turn. Wild and special cards spice things up a bit.

 

These are all really fun games, so I hope you get some good board game gift ideas – you should definitely consider trying them out for your own family!

Happy Holidays from Family Care!

Items Donated in 2014:
12 Decks of Cards
11 Crayon Boxes
10 Stacking Cups
9 Matchbox Cars
a Magic 8 Ball
7 Chess Sets
6 Harmonicas
a Size 5 Soccer Ball
Connect 4
3 Baseball Gloves
2 Chutes and Ladders
and Uno!

 

PinWHEELS For Prevention Family Fun Day is April 19

If you need any plans for the weekend, the Exchange Family Center is hosting PinWHEELS For Prevention Family Fun Day on Sunday, April 19, 2015. The event is at the Wheels Fun Park in Durham and is designed to help prevent abuse and neglect for children in the Triangle. For $12, you can get unlimited access to the skating rink, skateboard park, and jungle gym, as well as two go-kart rides, two batting tokens, and a round of mini golf. Families or groups can even get a $10 discount by purchasing 5 passes for $50. For an extra $3 per person, you can also participate in a 1 mile fun run. I feel like I could probably run a mile for free on my own, but the $3 goes to a good cause and you are still getting a great deal on the fun stuff to do at Wheels. For more information, check out their website. Have fun!

Brain Awareness Week 2015 is March 16 – 22

Brain Awareness Week is a concept developed by the Dana Foundation. Here is the description of their goal for Brain Awareness Week, according to their website:

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Every March, Brain Awareness Week unites the efforts of partner organizations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages. Activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations and include open days at neuroscience labs; exhibitions about the brain; lectures on brain-related topics; social media campaigns; displays at libraries and community centers; classroom workshops; and more.

Read moreBrain Awareness Week 2015 is March 16 – 22