Build-a-Bear Huggable Heroes Program

… but first, a happy 9th anniversary to our very own Jodi Skulley! And Happy Groundhog’s Day to everyone else. I can never remember which way I want the shadow to go … but some warm weather would be nice. As last year summer started in April and went til November, I feel greedy asking for no more winter.

Anyway, on with our regularly scheduled programming. -Jessie, Resident PL Blogger

Build-a-Bear wants to recognize kids who are making a difference in this world through their Huggable Heroes program. Kids 8 to 18 can be nominated or nominate themselves on the Huggable Heroes website.

The nomination form asks questions about the hero’s volunteer activity, impact and accomplishments for their cause, and how much money they have raised.

Eight heroes from the United States and Puerto Rico and two from Canada will receive an amazing prize package to honor their accomplishments. Each winner gets:

  • A $7500 scholarship
  • $2500 for their charity
  • a video camera
  • and a three-day trip to meet the other Huggable Heroes!

Nominations are being accepted through the end of the month online and at Build-a-Bear Workshop stores.

Do you know any kid heroes you could nominate?

Extra June Events

Be sure add these two events to your June calendar. Enjoy shoes and dessert … while helping out two great causes!

Purchases with a Purpose by Pediped

Pediped.jpgBeginning June 8 through July 11, pediped® footwear will host a Purchases with Purpose fundraiser.   Fifty percent of the purchase price will be donated to the Make-A-Wish® Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. During this period, select styles of both Originals and Flex shoes will be marked down as much as 40 percent. So if you love to shoe shop, check it out, knowing that your purchases will serve a wonderful purpose!

Father’s Day Frosty Weekend

Frosty.jpgWendy’s is celebrating the fourth annual Father’s Day Frosty Weekend by satisfying Dad’s sweet tooth and giving the whole family the satisfaction of helping the more than 123,000 children in the U.S. who are waiting for the love of forever families. During Father’s Day Weekend, June 19–20, Wendy’s will donate 50 cents for every Frosty sold to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA).

There are several additional ways customers can get involved and raise money for the DTFA. Visit or for all of the details.

The money raised online in the weeks leading up to Father’s Day weekend and in-store during the holiday weekend will directly support Dave Thomas Foundation’s signature program – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK). The program awards grants for adoption agencies to hire recruiters to aggressively work to place foster children into adoptive families.

Does your family have big plans to celebrate this Father’s Day Weekend? How will you celebrate Dad?

March Events & Happenings

Life feels so busy! Sometimes you just have to make time to slow down and get away to gain a new perspective on life, marriage, and parenting. Check out the following great options for the month of March.

evI_fireproof_my_marriage_210x90.jpgFireproof My Marriage

Friday, March 19-Saturday, March 20
First Baptist Church North Mobile in Saraland, AL

Friday, March 26-Saturday, March 27
Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, FL

evI_Living_Proof_Live_2010_570x200.jpgLiving Proof Live with Beth Moore

Friday, March 26-Saturday, March 27
Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, AZ




You and Your Girl with Vicki Courtney
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Longview Heights Baptist Church in Olive Branch, MS



And check out these fun ideas for you and your preteen to spend time together!

skillettobymac.pngThe Awake Tonight Tour with Skillet & TobyMac

Sure to be an evening of pure adrenaline and energy, the tour will hit over 20 cities throughout March and April, kicking off tonight in Indiana. TobyMac & Skillet pairing has created the ultimate concert EXPERIENCE. With two headliners on the same stage, that have this much energy to offer night after night, all I can say is go get a ticket. You don’t want to be the unlucky person that spends the rest of his life wishing you were there.

RWRS_OKC_WebFlyer.jpgThe 2nd Annual Rock and Worship Roadshow

The stellar cast includes the talents of MercyMe, David Crowder Band, Family Force 5, Francesca Battistelli, Fee, Remedy Drive and Sidewalk Prophets. Last year, the Rock and Worship Roadshow drew more than 170k fans to major cities across the U.S. This year it hopes to continue to attract people by the thousands providing them the best entertainment along with a meaningful message. The 25-city tour will kick off March 18 in Indianapolis and will carry through to April 25 in Columbia, SC.

discoveradventures.jpgThe Ultimate Summer Field Trip Contest

Discovery Student Adventures launches the "Ultimate Summer Field Trip" online sweepstakes on its Facebook Fan Page for a trip to Italy and Greece this summer: July 5-19, 2010.  Students ages 10-18 and teachers of grades K-12 are eligible to enter.  Winners will go beyond typical tourist places to experience climbing and camping on Italy’s Mt. Etna, tour through the Vatican and watch a Greek tragedy in Athens. The contest ends on April 15, 2010.

And what do Beth Moore, TobyMac, and Skillet have in common? Besides having great events you can attend in March, they have all been featured in ParentLife of course! Don’t miss Skillet’s John and Korey Cooper on the April 2010 cover of ParentLife!




February Events & Happenings

Check out these exciting events and contests taking place during February!

  • LifeWay’s Valentine’s Retreat Weekend (February 12-13, Ridgecrest, NC) — Picture 2.pngValentine’s Day is approaching quickly, but there is still time to register for this great marriage event featuring Tim and Darcy Kimmel, Kenn Kington, and Warren Barfield.
  • Picture 1.pngKohl’s Kids Who Care® Scholarship ProgramKohl’s Department Stores will award more than $410,000 in scholarships and prizes, ranging from $50 Kohl’s gift cards to ten $10,000 scholarships, recognizing students who make a difference by volunteering in their communities. Nominations for kids ages 6 to 18 will be accepted from now until March 15 at
  • Boba Baby Carrier Design Contest — Do you have a flair for design? Then you might be interested in this contest! – together with Spoonflower, is holding a new contest from February 18-25. Everyone is eligible andBobaBabyCarrier.jpg encouraged to submit one new fabric design per person for NAP, Inc.’s backpack-style Boba baby carrier. The theme of the new design submitted should be “nature.” One winner will receive $500 in cash and the opportunity to work with NAP, Inc. to name the winning design. The winner will be selected based on the highest number of votes received from online voters. Voting begins online on Monday, March 1 through Sunday, March 7.  The winner will be announced on March 9. Visit the Spoonflower blog for more details and to enter the contest!


Picture 3.png

Planning Ahead to March? Be sure to check out information on HomeLife’s Love & Marriage event happening March 6th in Austin, Texas!


A Better Bedtime

Fall is finally here, and with fall comes chilly weather. If you are like me, you’ve already packed away the summer clothes and brought out the warm ones … especially warm pajamas.

Unfortunately, not ever child has the luxury of having warm pajamas. In the U.S. foster care system, alone, there are more than 500,000 children. Every two seconds another child enters the system. Many have been abandoned or abused and have never enjoyed the simple comfort of putting on a cozy pair of pajamas and having a mother or father tuck them in at bedtime and read to them. But now … thanks to the non-profit Pajama Program, thousands of children in orphanages, group homes, and shelters are being given new pajamas and new books.

pajamaprogram.jpgSince its founding in 2001, Pajama Program has donated nearly 600,000 new pajamas and books. Recently, the Pajama Program launched its 2009-2010 awareness and fund-raising campaign — A Better Bedtime

A Better Bedtime aims to focus the nation on a crisis facing far too many of America’s children during “Danger Season” — the block of six cold months between October 1 and March 31 in which it is especially dangerous for a child to be without warm clothing at bedtime. At the Official Pajama Program A Better Bedtime Facebook page visitors are encouraged to share their favorite bedtime stories (from published or original works) on the group’s wall and discussion boards; to offer memories of their own childhood bedtime routines; to upload photos of their favorite pair of pajamas; and to share ideas, stories, and photos from their own local events that support Pajama Program.

To learn about local chapters of Pajama Program and to participate in events, visit

To make a financial contribution to Pajama Program, visit or donate via Facebook at .
To learn about donating new pajamas or new books, to conduct your own local Pajama Program Drive or event, or to become a beneficiary receiving organization of The Pajama Program, visit  

Have you participated in a Pajama Program event? Tell ParentLife readers all about it by leaving a comment.

Speaking Louder Than Before Tour — Coming This Fall

66a_JeremyCampTour.jpgIf your family loves great music and opportunities to minister to others, you’re going to love Jeremy Camp’s fall 2009 tour!

Making his passion known this past year with the release of Speaking Louder Than Before, BEC Recordings artist Jeremy Camp is introducing his fall tour named after the recently released CD and with a purpose at hand. As his first headlining tour in almost two years, Camp will be joined by reigning Dove Female Artist of the Year Natalie Grant and label-mate Bebo Norman. The Speaking Louder Than Before Tour is sponsored by Compassion® International and is kicking off in Florida on September 10th.

Tickets for the anticipated tour went on sale Friday, July 10th in addition to a special iTickets / iTunes promotion. Those who purchase tickets via iTickets from July 10th until July 24th will receive a code for two free downloads at iTunes ("Beyond Measure" by Jeremy Camp and "Never Saw You Coming" by Bebo Norman).

Earlier this year, Camp and his management company began a ministry called Speaking Louder Ministries. The purpose behind Speaking Louder Ministries is tri-fold:

  1. Bringing a raised awareness to the local outreaches in the cities that Jeremy Camp performs
  2. Helping equip the church body and local community to get involved in ministry together
  3. Impacting the needs of the community/organization with physical goods.

Visit for more information.

Jeremy is thrilled about this 30+ city tour. "I’m really looking forward to the tour and to what’s being planned with Speaking Louder Ministries," shares Camp. "We’ll have unique opportunities in each and every town that we play on this tour to be a part of local ministry. I’m hoping to see the body of Christ engaged and fired up to help local ministries in need. This will be more than just a typical concert experience, we will be working and worshiping together for the Kingdom of God."

For tour dates and additional information, visit

Don’t miss Jeremy in the July 2009 issue of ParentLife as he talks about how God has been faithful to Jeremy and his family. And make a note not to miss our January 2010 issue, featuring Natalie Grant on parenting twin toddlers!

Family Golf Month


During the month of July, golf facilities nationwide will offer free and affordable activities for families during the fourth annual Family Golf Month.

Golf is a great way to spend quality family time together, especially during the summer months. Throughout Family Golf Month, participating courses will provide activities such as golf clinics, family scrambles, parent/child golf camps and play days.

SticksforKids.gifTo find participating facilities in your area, go to, and click on Family Golf Month. The Play Golf America site also highlights other programs available to families, including the Sticks for Kids program, providing kids the ability to play golf and learn the game who may not otherwise have the ability to participate.

Do you ever play golf together as a family? What are some other great family summer sports that you like to participate in together?

How Do You Make a Difference?


Can your child make a difference in your community? Of course she can! That’s why Red Robin® Gourmet Burgers is launching its first-ever “How Do You Make a Difference?” kids’ poem contest on April 13.

Kids ages 5 to 10 can submit their poems (100 words or less) describing how they make a difference in their communities. To enter, have your child complete the entry form and submit her poem online at
The deadline for submitting a poem is May 17th. The grand-prize and first-prize-winning poems will be featured on Red Robin’s Web site. There are lots of fantastic prizes, like Red Robin iPod® Nanos, Red Robin gift cards, and Coca-Cola prize packs. Check out the “Official Rules” for more details.

March for Babies

Today more than 1,400 babies in the U.S. will be born prematurely. Many will be too small and too sick to go home. Instead, they face weeks or even months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

This topic is very close to my heart, because my little boy, Jack, was actually born four weeks early and spent almost a week in the NICU. We are so thankful that Jack was able to make a complete recovery!

36_MarchofDimesLogo.gifThe March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers, and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birthweight.

And now … you can help the March of Dimes by participating in their March for Babies — America’s favorite walking event! When you walk, you give hope to the families of babies born too soon or sick. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the serious problems that threaten babies. The March for Babies started in 1970 and since then an incredible $1.8 billion have been raised to benefit all babies.

March for Babies takes place in more than 900 communities across the country. If you participate, you’ll be joining 1 million people walking with their families or co-workers.

To join a team, start a team, or find an event in your area, visit

Have you participated in the March for Babies? Tell us about your experience.

March’s Giveaway Winner

centri-kid.pngCongratulations to Anne Melancon — the winner of our March 2009 Giveaway!

Anne won one free Crosspoint or Centri-Kid camp registration this summer!

Thanks to everyone who left comments in March!
Be sure to watch for our April 2009 Giveaway … coming tomorrow!