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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Important Things

I have lived most of my life trying to be a good person. Trying to do the right thing as much as possible. Trying to get through each day with integrity and honesty. Mostly I think I have succeeded. Not perfectly, unfortunately, but I have always tried. But what I haven't done is been a part of something that is bigger than my own little world. I have worked hard, raised my family to the best of my ability. I have never really gone out of my way to do something for the greater good, though.

An opportunity has arisen for me to help, if even in a small way in a project that is one of those bigger than me things. My friend Dawn, is trying to start a Children's Living History Farm in St. Louis, Mo. We are both grammas now and she wants to do something to better her community. She has a plan and possibility of a land donation. Funds are what she is missing out on right now. She has submitted a proposal to the Pepsi Refresh project. What she needs right now are VOTES.

The idea behind the project is to give children a hands on experience with farming through the last 200 years. She is modeling it after our Living History Farms here in Iowa. But she wants to put it in an urban area, St Louis, because many children who live in cities do not understand the hard work put into growing the food they eat every day. Many believe that hamburger magically generates in the back of fast food restaurants. Vegetables come in cans. Many play Farmville on Facebook but have never seen an actual cornfield. She wants to get kids off of Facebook and out on a real working farm if even only for a day.

We have that here. Do you remember the last time you went to Living History Farms? Was It as a child? Do you remember having fun planting potatoes? Or maybe it was the tractor ride? Was it as an adult, getting to take your child there? Maybe chaperoning a class field trip? Point is you had that opportunity. Dawn wants to do the same thing for the children of St. Louis. It may be even more important there then here. We grew up, even around Des Moines, seeing corn crops and cows. We know how hard the family farmer works and how he is the mainstay of the American economy and even the American experience. Without the family farmer our country would not be what it is today. Children growing up in an apartment in a large city may never know this without a learning experience such as this.

Here's what you can do to help. Please vote for my friend Dawn's Project. go to this link and see what it's about.

It will take about 2 to 3 minutes of your time. Vote every day. Today she is ranked around 250 out of 1344. She needs to be number one or two to receive this grant. Please help. It will bring fun and laughter to children's faces. It will teach them new things and let them play in the dirt. It will teach them important stuff. It will get them out of the house and away from the video games. Maybe planting a few veggies will help them to eat a few veggies.

Childhood obesity is epidemic. Type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes) is being diagnosed in 10 year olds. We need to teach our children and grandchildren to get outside and to eat better foods. What better way then letting them play on a farm all day.

Fun and learning, now there is a supersized combo we can all live with.

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