At this time of the year and all year round, pre-teens and teens served by Pasco Kids First ask for the basics such as underwear and bras for Christmas. This is something that gift cards can assist with so that those teens can shop at local stores such as Marshalls, Ross, TJ Maxx, Walmart, Target etc for these personal items. Some single moms who are working two jobs could use a gift card as well for Walmart to buy food, cleaning supplies, paper products (all not covered by food stamps). We ask, in order to fill these requests for basic necessities, that anyone who would like to give, donate a gift card.
Pasco Kids First volunteer and donor Mary Ann Robinson was honored by Congressman Gus Bilirakis during his 3rd Annual Heroes Among Us event. The Congressman recognizes those in our community who go above and beyond, to serve others. Mary Ann, a retired teacher, spends over $250 each month to purchase books and bags to give to our new families in the Pasco Kids First Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando child abuse prevention program. She provides for age appropriate books and delivers them every month. Mary Ann has donated more than 5,000 books since 2016 and spent more than $6,330.
The holiday season can be full of triggers for adults and children. For many, all of the festivities may be too much for those with a history of trauma. Children who have been neglected or abused may especially struggle during this time. Likewise, parents whose children are no longer in their care may feel an overwhelming sense of loss and trauma.
Understanding how difficult this time may be for foster children is vital for caregivers and child welfare professionals to support them.
Here are a couple tips to help children & families cope during the holiday season:
• Give children space for difficult emotions. They may show an increase in negative behaviors when they are feeling upset. Adults can help by recognizing their feelings and normalizing that it is ok to feel upset.
• Set aside time for the child’s needs. To cope, some children need downtime to relax with quiet activities. Other children may need to stay busy by being outside or participating in an activity.
• Routines and predictability are very important to children, especially in times of high stress. The holidays are filled with parties, recitals and events that interrupt their daily routine. Efforts to maintain their routine as much as possible will help minimize children’s feelings of stress or becoming overwhelmed.
Article Credit: Florida’s Center for Child Welfare at USF
Purchase your Stop Child Abuse specialty license plate today. Proceeds from the plate directly benefit local kids served by Pasco Kids First as one of Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Drive the Mission Home You can drive the fight against child abuse. Purchase your Stop Child Abuse tag online at www.eztagfl.com or visit your nearest motor vehicle tag office.
New Port Richey, FL – Pasco Kids First is excited to announce the 12th Annual Family Fun Day presented by AdventHealth, taking place at Sims Park and Orange Lake on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be full of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Hosted by Pasco Kids First, this year’s Family Fun Day combines good old fashioned fun while promoting the health and wellness of today’s family and interaction with first responders.
The Pasco Health Department is partnering with New Port Richey Public Library to hold a Trails & Tales Family Fitness Walk around Orange Lake all day with large pages of the storybook From Head to Toe by Eric Carle will be placed around the lake. Once a child has completed the ¼ mile lap around the Lake, they will fill out a ticket and be registered to win one of two bicycles donated by Firefighters Charities of Pasco which will be given away to one girl and one boy at the end of the event. Also taking place at Orange Lake, the Florida Suncoast Safe Kids and Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando will be fitting more than 500 children with new bicycle helmets which are first come, first served, free of charge.
This year’s event once again includes a partnership with the Pasco County’s Sheriff’s Office with several units present, including Forensics, Victim Advocacy, Child Protection Investigations, Safety Net, the Mounted Posse and the Missing and Abducted Children’s Unit (MAC Unit), will be on-site to provide information on these vital programs to our community.
Pasco Kids First Family Fun Day has also partnered with the City of New Port Richey’s Fire Department for a fire hose shoot from 10am – 12pm, and the City’s Police Department for a K-9 Demonstration in the afternoon.
Additionally, Pasco Kids First is excited to have the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Rolling Thunder with games and giveaways from 10am – 12pm and several other favorite characters, such as the Chick-fil-a Cow, Spiderman, Snow White and super heroes will be roaming Sims Park. Ignite Dance Academy will be performing on the big stage at 11am and 1pm with music from Vaya DJ and PCSO Deputy Ashley will be making an appearance to lead his famous Git Up Dance Challenge.
For the third year, Family Fun Day will include a Touch-a-Truck activity including SWAT and Rescue vehicles, ambulance, school bus, police car, dump truck, excavator, tractor, larvacide truck, argo, fogger, motorcycles, Vac Con, tow truck, dental van, Bloodmobile and more.
Children will also enjoy participating in multiple fun crafts and games provided by the 50+ vendors in Sims Park and at Orange Lake. In addition to these activities, kids can have fun with the “all-you-can-bounce” in the three inflatables and 18 foot inflatable slide for $2.00 per person and four food vendors will be available to fill their bellies.
“The idea is to promote a healthy family from the inside out,” states Becky Bennett, Director of Development of Pasco Kids First. “By having all of these interactive activities for the entire family, we are promoting the family being active together.”
Pasco Kids First’s mission it to keep kids safe, strengthen families through empowerment and enhance our community by preventing child abuse and healing children from trauma.
Pasco Kids First Family Fun Day is sponsored by AdventHealth, Trinity Rotary Club, AllPro Direct Marketing, Ferman Automotive Group, Simply Healthcare Plans, U.S. Water Corporation, Kemp Ruge & Green Law Group, and the City of New Port Richey.
For more information or a complete schedule of events and activity times for the 12th Annual Pasco Kids First Family Fun Day presented by Advent Health, please visit the Pasco Kids First website at www.pascokidsfirst.org, check us out on Facebook at Pasco Kids First Family Fun Day, or call 727-967-7509.
Pasco Kids First was one of four nonprofit organizations who were selected to receive a grant by the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Group. Brandy Weber, President of the Young Professionals Group presented the checks at the Chamber’s September membership breakfast. The other recipients included Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Angelus and Youth and Family Alternatives. The funds will allow Pasco Kids First to purchase Advanced Tac/ AudioScan devices to be used by the Trauma Treatment Team while treating children who experienced trauma as part of EMDR, an effective therapy for many issues including those with PTSD and anxiety with quick results.
Lucas Stiber with Boy Scout Troop 246 and his mother Heather toured Pasco Kids First and presented Pasco Kids First President and CEO with a check for $600.19. For his Eagle Scout Project, Lucas set a goal to raise $4,000 to coordinate a Christmas in July event for 31 kids in the Pasco Kids First Healthy Families Program with the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity. He raised thousands of dollars to purchase and wrap gifts of backpacks, school supplies, new clothing, and shoes for the first day of school. Each child also received a stuffed toy. The check was for the remaining funds as a donation to Pasco Kids First to support their work to keep kids safe and strengthen families.
Meet 7 year old Maia Walker, one of Pasco Kids First’s youngest and sweetest donors. She volunteered with her mom at Trinity Church of Christ organizing items for adults new in recovery. Maia asked “Mom, what about the children?” So, Maia coordinated a toy, book, school supply donation drive to give to other kids in need. She collected several items from friends at World of Knowledge Montessori School along with $135 to purchase items to give to Pasco Kids First to give to kids in need.
Dr. Todd Bodanza and his team from Champion Wellness Center/ Conforti Crossroads Chiropractic, Inc. in Trinity held a back to school event to provide 50 kids and teens receiving services from the Pasco Kids First’s Trauma Therapy Program with backpacks full of school supplies. The chiropractic office held a Christmas in July event with their patients and the community with free adjustments and assessments when they adopted from the list of children in need provided by Pasco Kids First. The total donation was approximately $3,000 of supplies which was a tremendous relief for caregivers and tremendous way to start the school year off.
New Port Richey – The Rotary Club of Seven Springs Rotary presented Pasco Kids First with a check for $2,165.00 as part of their community grant programs from the year’s successful fundraising efforts. The grant will allow the agency’s Trauma Therapy Program to purchase new research based psychological assessment tools to be utilized with children who experienced abuse or neglect. The Trauma Treatment Team provides victim advocacy and specialized therapy for child victims of trauma, sexual abuse, physical abuse and community trauma.