Thursday, May 23, 2013

DC Teddy Bear Drive!

Helping bring a hug to the kids of the Oklahoma City area!

When I heard the news about the tornado in Oklahoma, it really hit home for me. Even though I’m in DC, a good 1300 miles from the devastation, it brought back so many memories. I grew up in the Oklahoma City area – not far at all from Moore. My parents, daughter, and two grandchildren are still there.

Thankfully they were spared the worst of the damage – this time. Just a few years ago during a 2007 tornado, my parents’ lost their garage and a dog (temporarily thank goodness –she came back muddy and scratched up but glad to be home). It was on my birthday, but I’m sure they don’t blame me….

My 17 year old granddaughter started talking about what she could do to help even before the first rescuers got to the scene. There’s such a family spirit that blooms in times like this. Living in tornado alley, everyone pulls together after a storm. They understand that nothing but the random path of a tornado is determines whose home is standing and who has to start over. As someone who grew up with tornadoes as a fact of life, I really wanted to pull together with my fellow Oklahomans.

As publisher of Washington FAMILY Magazine, my job is to support local families so it was a natural extension for us to sponsor an outreach program that benefits the kids affected by the Oklahoma tornado victims. We have coordinated an effort to gather stuffed animals for the kids displaced by the storm. We are calling it DC Teddy Bear Drive.

Losing everything is unimaginable for an adult. We can’t conceive of how lost and confused the kids are. To have a Teddy to hold and to know folks as far as DC are thinking about them will make a real difference.

Washington FAMILY Magazine is working with many great partners (94.7 Fresh FM, 99.1 WNEW, Navy Federal) to get the word out about the Drive and many are serving as drop off locations. UPS has offered to collect teddy bears at their local stores – and ship them for FREE. We love the synergy that’s building to help the kids.

We know you want to help. Donating a Teddy Bear is a great way to talk to kids about the tragedy and help all of us feel less helpless. It’s a long distance warm hug….

We will be collecting the Teddy Bears at various locations in the area through Memorial Day. Click the link below for convenient drop off locations near you. Share the link with as many folks as you can. The more bears the better!

Washington FAMILY Magazine DC Teddy Bear Drive Drop off Locations

Be sure to check back often – we’ll be adding more locations for drop off. Donation collection ends at 6 p.m. on Memorial Day Monday, May 27.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


A good friend and business partner of mine, Judy Freeman writes a regular weekly blog, and this week I thought I would share. Judy is very motivating - the kind of business coach who really helps her clients focus on the things that can grow their business. If you want to reach Judy, her email is

Guest Blog from Judy Freeman:

Do you ever feel like you are moving forward but not getting results quickly enough?

I hear my clients saying the exact same thing. Yet, we all need to ask ourselves:

• "Are we doing the right things?"
• "Are we using our time effectively to reach our goals?"
• "Are we constantly readjusting our course with new information to get the results we want?"
• "Do we focus on the most important tasks every day?"
• "Do we keep a positive mindset and believe in ourselves?"

Patience is a virtue! If we learn to be patient and positive in our endeavors, it will make the journey much more fun. We will create a nurturing and energetic culture where the team believes in the future. The team will be calm yet happy and optimistic. If you continue to set goals and metrics and ensure that you are moving forward, success will be yours.

Persistence is another key component to success! When you hear no, it simply means not now. We must all learn to be resilient and realize that we must "get back on the horse." Think about famous people who had success later in life: Susan Boyle became a singing sensation @ 48, Ray Kroc started McDonalds @ 52, and Maya Angelou was in her 60's when her books became popular! It was their persistence, confidence and commitment that helped them realize their dreams.

Patience and persistence are a powerful, winning combination!

Wishing you a powerful week!

Judy Freeman