In its 10 years of existence, They're Our Kids has gone through several transformations in an attempt to make it easier for Villagers to find the information that they're looking for on the website.
I've collected information on so many resources available to Hendricks County parents over the years, however, that it's become pretty unwieldy and cumbersome to list them all in the way I've been listing them.
It's also incredibly difficult for me to keep all of the buttons on TOK up-to-date. Websites change, organizations come and go, and just as I get one page cleaned up on TOK, another one turns up several dead links.
So to solve the problems of Villagers having difficulty finding what they're looking for, as well as links going dead, They're Our Kids unveils its new membership program for businesses, organizations, sports leagues and other entities that serve the children of Hendricks County!
The Plainfield Community School Corporation and Into the Light Recovery hosted a community forum on October 28 called "Continuing the Conversation: Prevention, Action and Hope" which was about saving OUR KIDS from heroin and other drugs.
This was a perfectly-timed forum right on the heels of the Steered Straight, Inc. presentation in Danville last week that prompted me to write a blog post, alerting Villagers that we have a serious heroin problem in Hendricks County.
(On a side note, that blog post went "viral" -- at least by They're Our Kids standards -- garnering 9,412 unique page views as of this posting! Thank you SO MUCH, Villagers, for spreading the word about this incredibly important topic!)
After attending the "Continuing the Conversation" forum in Plainfield, I want to offer a few general impressions of the event, as well as highlight some of the things that especially caught my attention.
On October 20, Michael DeLeon from the not-for-profit Steered Straight, Inc. out of New Jersey came to Danville to discuss the drug epidemic that is sweeping our nation and leaving no stone -- or small community -- unturned in its wake.
During his 90-minute presentation to parents at West Bridge Church, Mr. DeLeon sought to bring awareness to the drug problem by way of his perspective as a recovering addict and violent felony offender who served more than a decade in prison in New Jersey.
Since I have 15 years of past experience as a probation officer -- 12 of those years were here in Hendricks County -- I want to reinforce some points that Mr. DeLeon made in his presentation and offer my own local perspective, lest his message be lost on those who dismiss it based on his criminal history or the fact that he doesn't live here.
Easter is right around the corner (Sunday, April 5), and if you're looking for Easter egg hunts for the kids, we've done the research for you.
Here are the Easter egg hunts in Hendricks County that we're aware of in 2015 (and if you know of any hunts that aren't listed here, please contact us so that we can add them!):
We conclude our week-long series on Hendricks County spring youth sports programs with open registration by taking a look at the youth softball programs around the area.
(To learn about youth soccer programs, click here.)
(To learn about youth flag football programs, click here.)
(To learn about youth baseball programs, click here.)
(To learn about youth running programs, click here.)
Here are the youth softball programs in Hendricks County that are currently open for registration (listed in order of registration closure dates):
As we continue our series on spring youth sports programs in Hendricks County that are currently open for registration, we take a look at youth baseball programs in the area.
(In case soccer is your sport, click here for our list of youth soccer programs in Hendricks County that are currently open for registration. Click here for our list of youth flag football programs in Hendricks County that are open for registration.)
Without further ado, youth baseball programs, in order of registration closure dates:
Believe it or not, spring is right around the corner, and several youth sports programs around Hendricks County currently have open registration.
Over the course of the next week or so, we'll take a look at a variety of youth sports that are open for sign-ups, giving Villagers the information they need to get OUR KIDS registered for the spring sport of their choice.
Let's start with soccer.
The inaugural Hendricks County Youth Sports Fair is right around the corner! Make plans to be at the Danville Community High School auxiliary gym this Saturday (Jan. 24) between 1 and 5 p.m. to see me, Meghan Stritar from Macaroni Kid-Hendricks, and all of these great vendors!
I have a few New Year's resolutions for They're Our Kids in 2015, so let's start in the most logical place: No. 1. My first resolution is to get more help with TOK in the form of additional bloggers to cover more of Hendricks County for The Village.
Are you a Villager who likes to write? Have you thought about trying your hand at blogging but don't have a platform?
Well, let's see if we can help each other out.
One of my many activities in the community is serving as Lieutenant Governor of the Circle City Division of the Indiana District of Kiwanis.
Yeah. Try fitting that on a business card.
Basically, it's a fancy way of saying that I oversee eight Kiwanis clubs in three counties. Four of those clubs are right here in Hendricks County: Avon, Brownsburg, Danville and Plainfield. My home club is the Kiwanis Club of Danville.
For those who may not be aware, Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Basically, we do a lot of really cool stuff for OUR KIDS, and 2015 will mark the 100th year that we've been doing really cool stuff for OUR KIDS.
I'll be getting into more detail about Kiwanis in an upcoming guest column for Hendricks County Home magazine, so stay tuned for that. For the sake of this post, though, Kiwanis clubs raise money and complete community service projects in support of OUR KIDS in their community -- usually working closely with the community's school corporation -- across the state, and around the globe.
Were any of you ever in Key Club in high school? Or Circle K in college? Ever heard of the K-Kids Club, Builders Club, or Bring Up Grades (B.U.G.) Program? That's all Kiwanis.
Ever been to the Easter egg hunt in Ellis Park in Danville? That's Kiwanis. Ever bought an elephant ear at the Hendricks County 4-H Fair or at the Hendricks County Ribfest? That's Kiwanis. How about a strawberry shortcake at the Ribfest? That's Kiwanis. Ever heard of -- or attended -- Masquerade Mayhem in Avon? That's Kiwanis. I could go on and on, but you get the point: Kiwanis is doing a lot of things in a lot of places that you may not be aware of.
One area where Kiwanis is not serving, however, is anywhere within the North West Hendricks School Corporation. And that's a situation I aim to fix.
To that end, I'm starting a new Kiwanis club in northwestern Hendricks County. I haven't determined if it'll be located in North Salem, Lizton or Pittsboro yet, but its focus will be to serve the school corporation there. In fact, superintendent Rusty King has already signed up to be a charter member of this new club!
Here's what I'm looking for at this point: people who are interested in joining Mr. King as charter members of this new club. I need at least 15 people who are dedicated to making this happen. Thirty people or more would be even better.
Once I get the Kiwanis applications from at least 15 people, I'll set up an organizational meeting where these new Kiwanians -- not me -- will decide what to name the club, where to meet, when to meet, how often to meet, and what community service projects would best meet the needs of that area of our wonderful county.
Are you interested in learning more? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's set up a time to meet. I'll come to you.
Let's get this new Kiwanis club up and running by the end of September so that we can start serving OUR KIDS of North West Hendricks School Corporation as soon as possible!
(Oh, and Mill Creek parents? Don't think that I haven't noticed that there's no Kiwanis club serving OUR KIDS in your school corporation. I'll be coming to you next!)
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