Day of Action (Figures) & Baby Bundles

Every year on or around June 21, tens of thousands of people across the globe volunteer with United Way to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way Day of Action is an opportunity for volunteers, donors, and advocates who seek to change lives and communities to be part of the solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives. – United Way Worldwide

This year on Day of Action, approximately 100 volunteers, along with United Way of the Brazos Valley (UWBV) staff, put together 4,000 Baby Bundles. What is a Baby Bundle? I’m glad you asked!

What’s in a Baby Bundle?

  • A board book so parents can start reading to the baby right away
  • Reading tips and ideas
  • Resources on developmental milestones
  • Information on community resources and services
  • A small tactile toy
  • Available in both English and Spanish

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Why?

It all started in 2015, when UWBV completed a Community Impact Study to assess the most pressing needs of the Brazos Valley within the areas of health, education, and financial stability. From this study, the Board of Directors developed the United Way’s 2020 Regional Bold Goals to create measurable impact in the Brazos Valley.

  • Education Bold Goal: Prepare children, youth, and young adults for career achievement through educational success
  • Health Bold Goal: Maximize health and well-being across the Brazos Valley
  • Financial Stability Bold Goal: Empower individuals and families towards financial stability

Findings from the Community Impact Study highlighted the importance of kindergarten readiness. A study by the US Dept. of Education (1996) showed that, on average, low-income children have four children’s books in their homes; however, nearly two thirds of the low-income families studied didn’t own any children’s books. Access to printed materials is essential in creating an environment for children to thrive. Children who grow up in homes that have access to educational activities are more primed to begin kindergarten than their peers who do not.

United Way of the Brazos Valley saw this as an opportunity to create an impact for every child in the Brazos Valley starting from birth. In 2015, United Way of the Brazos Valley committed to provide each newborn in the Brazos Valley with their first children’s book, and to serve 20,000 children by 2020. And thus, the Baby Bundle project was born!

How?

Each year on Day of Action, volunteers assemble Baby Bundle tote bags, which are then delivered to the Labor and Delivery Units of local hospitals as well as one birthing center.  A Baby Bundle is given to every newborn, regardless of race, religion or socio-economic status, and is available in English and Spanish. Baby Bundles are designed to give parents everything they need to begin their child’s love of reading early!

Help us end bedtime without story time! Support United Way of the Brazos Valley through my Over The Edge page and make a difference in a child’s life today!

$10 supports two (2) Baby Bundles for newborn children

Donate

OR TEXT RAPPEL12 TO 71777

Pick My Rappel Character!

Last year, I went Over The Edge for my community and rappelled 11 stories (110 feet) as Spider-Man! This year YOU decide the character!

I’ve assembled a team of 4 of my favorite superheroes to choose from. Vote by donating to United Way of the Brazos Valley through my Over The Edge fundraising page! Whichever character raises the most money for the community will be my rappel character for Over The Edge!

Who do you want to see rappel 10 stories for the community?

IMG-7151Captain America – Total Raised $6.25

  • Alter Ego: Steve Rogers
  • First Appearance: 1941 Captain America Comics #1
  • Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
  • Powers: Enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, durability, healing, agility
  • Quote: When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — No. You move. – Captain America, Civil War I

IMG-7150Captain Marvel – Total Raised $6.25

  • Alter Ego: Colonel Carol Danvers, U.S. Air Force
  • First Appearance: 1967 Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (Captain Mar-Vell), 1977 (Ms. Marvel)
  • Hometown: Boston, MA
  • Powers: Super strength, flight, energy absorption, energy blasts
  • Quote: They are a peaceful people, but I am a woman of war. If you move against them, you move against me. I am willing to die here today, for this cause. I have made my choice… now you make yours.” – Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Further, Farther, Faster and More Vol. #1

IMG-7148The Flash – Total Raised $56.25

  • Alter Ego(s): Barry Allen, Wally West, Jay Garrick
  • First Appearance: 1940 Flash Comics #1
  • Hometown: Central City
  • Powers: Super speed, which also allows for: accelerated healing, phasing through objects, “throwing” lightning, manipulating time
  • Quote: My mom once told me that “Life is locomotion… If you’re not moving, you’re not living. But there comes a time when you’ve got to stop running from things… and you’ve got to start running towards something, you’ve got to forge ahead. Keep moving. Even if your path isn’t lit… trust that you’ll find your way. – The Flash, The Flash (New 52) Vol. #1

IMG-7149Supergirl – Total Raised $56.25

  • Alter Ego(s): Kara Zor-El, Kara Danvers, Linda Danvers, Matrix
  • First Appearance: 1959 Action Comics #252
  • Hometown: Argo City, Krypton/ Midvale (Earth)
  • Powers: Super strength, super speed, flight, laser vision, telescopic vision, freeze breath, invulnerability
  • Quote: I would never abandon anybody! Do you all truly not see that? Compassion means not picking and choosing who you care about. Even if you fear them. You all taught me that when I came here! – Supergirl, Supergirl (Rebirth) Vol. #3

After you make a donation via my Over The Edge fundraising page, send me a message, comment, bat-signal, etc. to let me know which character you want your donation to go to! Every week I’ll update the roster so you can see how your favorite is doing! The winning character will be selected mid-September for Over The Edge Brazos Valley on October 12, 2018!

Stay tuned for new videos, blogs, and more about this year’s capes!

Donate

OR TEXT RAPPEL12 TO 71777

I Don’t Mind

“We need to start speaking up and sharing how we’re really feeling because if we can do that, I think as a group, we can shift the way the world views mental health,” Christopher Wood, actor on the CW’s Supergirl, said in a live Instagram video earlier this week. October 1 kicked off Mental Health Awareness Week and the launch of the I Don’t Mind campaign.

“It’s a campaign where our goal is to essentially fight the shame and fear that surrounds mental illness and bring hope to people that need it. And we’re trying to do that with a common phrase, which is ‘I don’t mind.’ Because I don’t mind sharing how I actually feel and I don’t mind, you know admitting to you that I need help, because I get sad sometimes and I have a tendency to be obsessive and a bit ADD,” said Wood.

For the next two weeks the I Don’t Mind website is selling t-shirts with the proceeds benefiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Started in 1979, NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States. NAMI works in several capacities such as Education, Advocacy, a Toll-Free NAMI Helpline, Public Awareness Events and much more. The organization has hundreds of chapters, including NAMI Brazos Valley which serves our local area. According to NAMI:

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year
  • Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year
  • Mood disorders, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults, aged 18-44
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10-14, and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-24

I don’t mind admitting that I’ve struggled with depression since I was thirteen. But there’s always a way through it and there’s always someone ready and willing to listen. You just have to know that you don’t have to be ashamed,” said Melissa Benoist, best known for her lead role on the CW’s Supergirl.

On the I Don’t Mind website you will also find a number of ways to get involved and show your support. They have a social media kit and a printable I Don’t Mind logo page available. Show your support by posting a selfie with the logo to your social media with #idontmind and share your story!

I don’t mind sharing.

I don’t mind supporting.

Your mind matters. Talk about it. I don’t mind listening.

**UPDATE 10/18/2017 – The first I Don’t Mind campaign received 6,652 orders and raised $115,603 for NAMI in only two weeks!**

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Your mind matters. Talk about it. Support @IDONTMIND and @NAMIcommunicate at idontmind.com #IDONTMIND

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