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.

It’s Opening Day!

Family Care begins our first season in the RTP Softball league today! If you notice everyone wearing the same thing at our office today, its because we have Family Care jerseys now!

If you want to come out and support our team, we play the NCREN Bears at 5:45pm on RTP Field 3. This will also be the first ever softball game for a couple of our employees, so should be a fun time. We have a great mix of players from different teams that Ryan has played with in the past and think we have a decent chance at the championship!

Play Ball!

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!


The Durham Diabetes Coalition

During Diabetes Awareness Month, we are featuring topics and resources that can help our patients diagnose, treat, and manage their diabetes.

The Durham Diabetes Coalition is “a partnership of Durham County health and community organizations, faith-based groups, local government and universities, and community members.” They have helpful resources for managing your diabetes and host webinars to educate the community about diabetes online.

To help raise awareness for their good cause, we have listed a few of their upcoming webinars below, including two that are scheduled for this afternoon, if you’re interested in checking them out.

Tips for Traveling with Diabetes – Thursday, November 12, 2015; 2PM-2:30PM; Click HERE!

If you have any difficulties registering for the webinars using the links in this document, please contact Willa Robinson Allen at 919.560.7771 or via email at at least 15-20 minutes prior to the start of a webinar.  Please note, the confirmation link will be sent to the email address you included in your registration.  So, make sure you are able to access that email address prior to the start of the webinar.

Pre-diabetes – Thursday, November 12, 2015; 3PM-3:30PM; Click HERE!

Diabetes is a serious disease.  While there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways to live a healthy lifestyle and properly manage diabetes.  This webinar will go over four steps to help those with diabetes understand, monitor and manage their diabetes.

Vegetarian Eating and Diabetes – Things You Should Know – Tuesday, November 17, 2015; 10AM-10:30AM; Click HERE!

Eating fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy diet for most everyone.  While they are low in fat and high in fiber, there are still considerations that must be made if you have diabetes.  A dietician specializing in the area of diabetes will facilitate this webinar to help you learn how smarter food choices assist in diabetes management.

You can check out the full event schedule here.

Durham Promise Zone Meeting On October 15!

From the NC Cooperative Extension, a partnership between NC State University and NC A&T University:

Dear Friends and Community Partners,

I would like to invite you to join us on Thursday, October 15 from 8:30AM-12:00PM to be a part of the development of a Durham Promise Zone.  The event will take place at the Durham County Human Services Building at 400 E. Main Street in Conference Room A.  A light breakfast will be provided.

What is a Promise Zone?

The Promise Zone Initiative is a federal program created by the Obama administration to designate high poverty communities as “Promise Zones.”  The designation creates a partnership between the federal government and the local community to address priorities within the zone.  A Durham Promise Zone would not supplant existing initiatives and efforts; it would reinforce this work.  The Promise Zone designation will enhance our ability to act in concert with federal and state agencies and garner resources that can support local work and improve quality of life in the zone.  There is a competitive community-based federal application process to request a Promise Zone for Durham.

What is my role?

Durham County Cooperative Extension has been asked to shepherd the federal application process for a Durham Promise Zone on behalf of the City, County, and Durham Community.   Essential to this process is community input, investment and commitment from partners who are the implementers of community based programs, initiatives, practices, and strategies in Durham.  We are inviting YOU to participate and become one of the “Pillars of Promise” because you and your organization are deeply engaged in the community and the goals of the proposed Promise Zone.  On October 15, you will learn more about the Promise Zone application process, review the proposed zone map, and have direct input into the five goals for the zone:

  1. Create Jobs
  2. Increase economic activity
  3. Improve educational opportunities
  4. Reduce violent crime
  5. Promote health and access to healthcare

Through your participation, you and your organization will have the opportunity to become an Implementation Partner for the Durham Promise Zone.

What do I need to do?

Please RSVP using the link below and join us on October 15.  There is a space on the RSVP form to indicate your interest if you cannot attend and to recommend other potential partners in this process.  You can also send someone else to represent your organization. Please contact Donna Rewalt, Community Outreach Coordinator, at (919)560-0538 or durhampromisezone@dconc.govif you have any questions.


What are the benefits?

If designated as a Promise Zone (a ten-year designation), the benefits for Durham include:  preference for certain competitive federal programs and technical assistance, federal staff to assist in implementing goals and navigating federal programs, potential tax incentives, and the expertise of five (5) full time AmeriCorps VISTA members to manage volunteers and increase capacity.  The Promise Zone designation propels our collective ability to address multiple community challenges and has the potential to expand and strengthen the good work you are already doing in the community.

We look forward to meeting with you on October 15 and sharing more about the potential for a Durham Promise Zone.  Together we have an extraordinary opportunity to be the catalyst for ongoing collaboration and to serve as the pillars of change, growth and prosperity for a greater Durham.