Saturday, November 25, 2006

"Caring" is Caught, Not Just Taught

As reported on

Kohl's Offers Classic Dr. Seuss Stories to Benefit Children's Health and Education

Just in time for the holidays, Kohl's Department Stores is bringing classic stories to customers nationwide. Kohl's is excited to offer exclusive collector's editions of the following Dr. Seuss books: The Sneetches; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Green Eggs and Ham; and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Kohl's is also offering the corresponding stuffed animals.

As part of its Kohl's Cares for Kids program, Kohl's stores across the country will feature the exclusive items for $5 each with 100 percent of the net profits benefiting children's health and educational opportunities in Kohl's communities nationwide. The items will also be available online at

In addition to supporting children's health and educational opportunities, the Kohl's Cares for Kids program features a gift card fundraising opportunity for local schools and nonprofit youth groups; the Kohl's Kids Who Care scholarship program, which recognizes kids who contribute through volunteerism to their local communities; and the associate volunteer program, which encourages volunteerism to benefit local youth-focused nonprofit organizations. For more information on these programs, visit
This report encourages volunteerism, a character trait we all appreciate and value. Sometimes it seems that cooperations do a better job instilling that value than we do as parents. I'm glad that Kohl's has this program, but I encourage individual families to look at this time of the year for ways that they can volunteer in their own communities. Maybe you can participate in a toys for tots drive, or somehow serve the homeless children in your community. Maybe you can make donations in your family's name instead of giving gifts. If children are going to learn to stand up for the needs of others, they have to learn by watching how we do it.

How can you show you care for kids this holiday season?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Shot in the Arm

Childhood vaccines have been a touchy subject with many parents for decades. Some even refuse what that AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) tout as necessary for public safety. Why? There are those who refuse due to their religious beliefs, but for many the issue is more complicated.

The HPV vaccine is the newest to cause an uproar amongst parents. It has been determined that the Human Papillomavirus Virus, a sexually transmitted disease, may cause cervical cancer. In June the Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine designed to protect against cervical cancer. Parents must now decide whether to vaccinate their adolescent daughters against the STD.

If you are a parent of an adolescent girl, or will be in the near future, you will have to decide whether or not to immunize her against this STD that can potentially cause cervical cancer. Religious conservatives have voiced the loudest concern at this recent health initiative. The fear is that is will undermine their own message of abstinence to their daughters. I think it is much more complicated than that, but every parent should have the power to make the decision for their own child.

One of the first steps of advocacy is to be informed. Do your homework! Make sure you educate yourself to all sides of this issue so that you can speak with an educated voice for or against this practice for the sake of your daughter(s).

National Politics & Policy FDA Announces Approval of HPV Vaccine Gardasil
Vaccinate Before You Graduate
Press Release from the FDA
Do Religious Conservatives Really Oppose the HPV Vaccine? (great blog post)

Media Coverage
Several broadcast programs reported on the FDA approval of the HPV vaccine:

CBS' "Evening News": The segment includes comments from Ursula Matulonis, a physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a U.S. woman diagnosed with cervical cancer (Kenniff, "Evening News," CBS, 6/8). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.

NBC's "Nightly News": Robert Bazell, science correspondent for NBC, discusses the costs and benefits of the vaccine (Bazell, "Nightly News," NBC, 6/8). The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.

Let us know your thoughts on mandatory vaccines or specifically the HPV vaccine.