Saturday, February 25, 2012

Help Save Bethesda Centre

I'm going to step away from my regular soap box today, and blog about something that should touch all of my readers hearts (Yep, even the GJ supporters- well, probably not the personal side of things, but the overall gist, I think you might feel compelled to help, or at least I hope so anyway).

The Bethesda Centre is located in London, Ontario.  It's a group home run by the Salvation Army, for young at risk teen moms (and moms to be). It doesn't just serve girls in the London area.  In fact, while I was there, there were three girls from Windsor and one from Chatham.

Right now, they are in SERIOUS danger of being shut down.

They provide the girls with not only a safe place to live, but an education, health care (an OB comes to the centre to visit and see the girls), as well as a list a mile long of life skills that these girls need to learn.

Some of the skills that are taught include

  • Cooking & meal planning
  • Time management
  • How to care for their babe
    • how to bathe
    • how to dress
    • how to feed
    • how to bond
  • Responsibility
  • Respect (for themselves and others)
Of course, this is just a short list. They also provide the girls with an entire host of real life experiences as well as an education.  They have an onsite classroom, and an onsite child care facility so that the girls can continue attending school.

I was 18 when I found out I was pregnant. 6 months pregnant by the time I moved into Bethesda.  You see, my son's biological father wanted nothing to do with us, and I had no where to go.  I lived for a month in a homeless shelter before I moved into Bethesda.  The program director, Cherilyn, was almost like a mother to me during this time.  
Normally, their cut off age is 18, but under certain circumstances, they will take us older girls in as well. 

Cherilyn was with me when I gave birth to my son.  She held my hand, encouraged and supported me.

Not just through my labour and delivery. During my pregnancy and in the months and now years to follow.  
You see, I still visit Bethesda, I still talk with staff from Bethesda.  I take my kids old clothes and gear, and donate it to them, so that they can pass them on to the new girls who live there. 
The student who was there while I was there, actually acted as doula for the birth of my last son, Martyn.  

Of the girls that lived at Bethesda at the same time as I myself, there are only 4 that I haven't stayed in touch with.  
The others I talk with on a fairly regular basis. 

(All of the above photos were taken in my independent living apartment that was onsite.)

Bethesda wasn't just a program for me.  It was home.  For me and Matthew. 

You see, Matthew has always had sensory issues. From the time he was born.  He would scream and scream and scream.  He hated the sound of the vacuum.  Bethesda was given tickets to see Disney on Ice, ya, we didn't actually end up watching the show. I stood in the hall way with Matthew while he screamed because of the lights and noise.  Of course, Cherilyn spelled me off a couple of times, so I could at least see part of the show.  Or what about that time we went to the circus when he was just a few weeks old, he slept during the show, but he screamed for hours (and hours) that night when we got home. 
They supported me through all of this.  They taught me coping skills and techniques to deal with it. They showed us love and compassion. 

I moved into Bethesda a scared and lost young woman.  I moved out a capable young mother.  I have no clue what I would have done without Bethesda.  

If Bethesda Centre closes, it will be a significantly huge loss to the community. There is no other place for these young at risk girls to go. 

Please consider LIKING this facebook page (linky-do), and signing this twitter petition (linky-do) and showing your support.  

These young girls and their babies need us.  They need this home.  

Here are two other blog posts about this that I have come across so far. 
Linky-do, and another from one of my best friends that I met at Bethesda (pictured above holding Matthew- sitting on a couch, and they're looking at each other), Linky-do

Here is an article in the local paper with comments from citizen in the London Area
(those Bethesda babysitters were amazing!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Muffins and Orphanages

So, I've seen comments left on the blog about how being a registered non stock corp and being a non profit are two different things.

Seeing as I don't live in the US, and that I don't have much (any) knowledge about how non profits are formed, I was in some pretty unknown territory.

I turned to google, without much in regards to results or clear answers.

Enter Jillsmo.  (You know that speck on shit on a bigger pile of shit trying to figure out which piece of shit gave birth to her?)

She's pretty knowledgeable about the non profit sector. (As an aside, she has an amazing blog. She is also effing hilarious. Linky-do )

Initially, I asked for her to explain to me the difference between a non stock and non profit like I was a 5 year old.  
That kind of worked, but I was still lost on a couple of points, so I asked her to dumb it down a little more, and explain it to me as if I were a 2 year old. (This is NOT to say that I believe 2 year olds are stupid!!!)

This was the conversation we had, copy and pasted from facebook chat. 

MonkeyMama: I'm still confused.  lol, maybe, explain it to a 2 yr old? lol I over estimated my abilities to understand lol
Jillsmo: Okay. Mommy makes muffins and sells them in the neighborhood
MonkeyMama: gotcha
Jillsmo: all the money she makes goes into her pocket and she uses it to buy more toys for you. her company is privately owned, but then mommy's muffins got REALLY popular and she started making a TON of money so much money that Daddy, or even other people in the neighborhood, wanted a part of it
MonkeyMama: okay
Jillsmo: so they gave mommy some money to make her muffin business grow, in exchange for a percentage of the money she makes from selling muffins
MonkeyMama: (also known as stocks, right?)
Jillsmo: they work out a deal: I'll give you $XX.00, and you'll give me X% of your muffin sales. Yes! Stocks. exactly. If mommy keeps all her muffin money herself, she is a nonstock company. If she makes deals to sell parts of her profits to Daddy, or to her neighbors, she is a stock company
MonkeyMama: okay, gotcha. But how does mommys muffin sales relate to a non profit?
Jillsmo: okay! If mommy sells muffins for the sole purpose of making money, she is a for profit corporation, regardless of whether or not she does well at muffin sales
MonkeyMama: right
Jillsmo: However, if her purpose is to raise money for the kids in the orphanage, and she has no plans to keep the money for any other purpose, she could qualify as a nonprofit organization. So mommy goes to the IRS and says "I want to give money to orphans and I will do this by selling muffins" and they decide if that's cool (the irs, not the orphans. I'm sure the orphans would be cool with it)
MonkeyMama: okay, so mommy doesn't want to keep her muffin sales, she wants to help the kiddies. So she has to register as a non stock (because she doesn't want to have shares with the neighbours because it's not to line peoples pockets with money). Then she goes the IRS and they like her muffin idea, and tell her she is a non profit
Jillsmo: well, first the irs is going to ask "are you stock or nonstock?" if there is stock, meaning if she has promised her profits to anybody else, she will not get her nonprofit status
MonkeyMama: So JUST because someone has a registered NON STOCK corp does not equal them to being a NON PROFIT/NOT FOR PROFIT, Correct?
Jillsmo: all she has to prove to the IRS is that the ONLY reason she sells muffins is to give money to orphans
MonkeyMama: right because it wouldn't be helping the kiddies. it would be helping the neighbours, if there were shares.
Jillsmo: NO. Nonprofit is determined by the IRS. Nonstock is determined by the STATE
MonkeyMama: Right, but it doesn't make them one and of the same.
Jillsmo: RIGHT! Mommy needs to have a "Mission statement," which is "we want to give money to orphans, and we do this by selling muffins." as opposed to "we sell muffins and if we have any left over, orphans can have some, I guess"
MonkeyMama: Okay, so what exactly does having a NON STOCK certificate from a STATE mean? just that it's a "business" that doesn't share it's profits?
Jillsmo: it means only what the state says it means. it means that you don't share your profits with anybody except whoever owns the company
MonkeyMama: right. Gotcha.
Jillsmo: and now I want muffins
MonkeyMama: okay, SO NOW i get it. lmfao. thank you for the muffin talk  now i do too!
Jillsmo: LOL!

So, there ya have it folks, for those of you who didn't understand the difference between a non stock corporation vs non profit.

Basically, registering a non stock corporation is only a step in the process of filing to become a non profit. Which is why the terms have somehow become interchangeable.

A4CWSN's sister "charity" (that really isn't a charity right now) is at step 3, as far as I can tell.   (Linky-do )

Filing as a non stock corporation in the State of Connecticut gives him this pretty little certificate, which gives him the ability to file with the IRS. The IRS designates the non profit status.  Really, it's just a certificate that makes him look more important than he actually is. A sycophant will think that's cool.  It still doesn't make their donation tax deductible. 

The above certificate allows him to file with IRS. As far as I can tell ( I do have people in the know), filing with the IRS has not yet happened. However "it's in the works!"  Again, just because it's in the works, doesn't make your donation tax deductible either!

So, that's what VSP is.  A non stock corporation, in the state of Connecticut. It cannot give tax deductions on donations.
It is at this point, not a non profit.

Here's your sign.

EDIT: To be clear, this doesn't have anything to do with what A4CWSN is.  A4CWSN is nothing more than "a man and a computer" who is running an illegal charity through a facebook page. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Step by Step


For some reason while chatting with some other "hatters" today, this song popped into my head, and I cannot.stop.laughing.

We got "Step 1" already (Linky-do), we're still waiting on "Step 2" Which was supposed to happen, well, awhile ago.

(He really does seem to like Lois best, I'm kind of partial to her myself!)

Of course then, he made the post about coming to Canada "soon". 

Two of us live in Canada, EH!

And last night, he made a tweet about how it's oh so cold in Canada!

I laughed.out.loud.   It's actually been a very mild winter here, and we've only had snow a handful of times (at least where I am!)
In fact, I'm pretty sure the weather here has been pretty similar to that of the weather over in Connecticut!  #Intimidation FAIL! 

Still, the questions begs to be answered, what happened to "Step 2" ? None of us have gotten anything. Certainly none of us have stopped on our quest to bring truth and honesty to what is A4CWSN.

(Tweet edited at request of tweeter).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm so confused?!

Please, quick, someone, halp!!!!  I can't make sense of this!!!!

I also have this copy and pasted status.  At the time, no one grabbed a screen shot, and well, almost every single status update that A4CWSN posted on December 26th, 2011 has been deleted. (No joke, go look).
"A4CWSN  The sad part id I am struggling just like the rest of you, i can't make my mortgage, i can't keep up with my car payments, I'm in debt well past what my wife brings home, but you know that will take care of it's self because I am still going to help those who need it for as long as I can."
If the above three statements are true, that A4CWSN's Gary James' family is struggling every month to pay their bills, then why is this taking place? Or better yet, how is this taking place?

How can he afford to travel to Canada, and then deliver iPads in the US? How can he afford to give a away a cruise, paying for it out of his own pocket?

Another question, if this family is struggling so much every month, why would he give away $30K in iPads, spend all that money to travel and deliver iPads, etc over the last year? He easily could have had the iPads shipped for free (except the used ones, but I know he didn't pay shipping on the used iPad that my family got from another family). He has claimed that his family cannot pay their mortgage or make their car payments  (not that I believe this for a minute, but let's pretend).

If his followers and supporters really cared and supported him, then why is his family struggling so much? Why aren't they telling him to stop, and only to use the donations he's received? That greedy? So focused on getting an iPad at any means it doesn't matter?

For crying out the loud, that man says he can't afford his mortgage! He has *6* children to care for ! (Yes, I know only *4* actually live with him).

But hey, why not give away a cruise and take a vacation to threaten woman in Canada.  Sounds like a fantastic idea to me!

(Ya, that last line? It's called sarcasm).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"You hacked my online newspaper!"

Seriously.  This is what I'm being accused of.

Do you really think it's okay to accuse me of a FEDERAL OFFENSE?!

(Saw the opportunity, had to throw it in there...yes, these have been tweeted at myself and my "cronies/clan/group", and yes, I'm serious. With those spellings... moving on now..)

Apparently, an A4CWSN fan has been creating and sending an online newspaper with  I had no clue.  Unlike some followers and supporters think, I really don't spend all my time following the going ons of this group.

I got a tweet yesterday morning,

Under her tweet, you can see my WTF are you talking about?  Seriously. Had. no. clue.
A couple of private messages later between myself and an un named source, and my email was quickly filling up with a paper generated by that this A4CWSN fan had generated and sent out to the mailing list.
Multiple attempts and papers were sent out yesterday.

Here's where it gets funny...

My blog was the feature article in all of them! (Yes, I snorted).

I had nine emails forwarded to me with different variations of this newspaper.  The tenth email was this. describes itself  as a "content curation service". Basically you allow it access to your twitter/facebook account and it creates an online newspaper of the content you tell it too.  

I'm going to go out on a limb an just guess that she allowed this paper access to her twitter stream, and suggested it looked for @ mentions of A4CWSN or use of the hashtag. 

Here are some handy linky-do's about this service. 
Seriously.  Get a grip on reality folks. No one hacked your twitter newspaper, quite frankly, I don't know a soul interested in your paper (not to be confused with that there are people who may be, I just don't know them- and frankly, not interested in knowing them either).

Our names are attached to the paper because picked up our streams.  Most of us have pretty decent klout scores- which means we have a good audience and we influence people. We get a lot of retweets and shares on the information we put out there. (snark- sorry- this I had to throw in for a friend- really, just don't worry your pretty head about it).

She had the ability to edit the content of the paper (as you can clearly see she tried to do to no avail)

We didn't hack your newspaper.
Mistakes happen. We all can't be perfect. 
Sad, I know.
  End. Of. Story. 

Oh, by the way, I'll give you a free pass this time. Next time though, be prepared to shoe me the proof and have your lawyer ready. I'm going to sue you!!!!!

As an aside: please note that I did cut and paste the forwarded portion of the emails, to protect the identity of the person forwarding them to me. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Write my Name By Injini

Yay! Another App review!

Those who know me, know my obsession with Project Injini Child Development and their apps.  They have a reputation that is stellar, and they're known for high quality apps.

As soon as Injini started posting sneak peak photos on their facebook page wall, I knew I HAD to have this app. Heck, I even posted on their wall saying, I don't know what this is, but I want it!

Here's the Linky-Do for their facebook page.

Yesterday evening, I had to go out to buy new glasses (another story, for another day!), and I was checking out facebook on my iPhone while I waited. My newsfeed was being spammed, finally! Injini's new app had been released and was hitting iTunes Stores!  I was *frantic*.  First, it wasn't yet available in Canada (yes, this gave me a panic attack. I wanted this app bad!!!), then I realized, I didn't have enough in my iTunes account to get it! AHHH! These heart stopping issues were soon put to rest. The app became available in Canada, and a friend gifted me the app!

Let's get down to business though, let's talk about the app, Write my Name, by Injini.


Really? Did you expect anything less from them?!

It's a simple, fantastic app.

There are three different activities within the app, Write my Name;

  • Name Tags
  • Word Cards
  • The Alphabet Book

Within the Name tags setting you can customize 36 tags to any word or phrase you wish.  Phrases or names that are common to your child(ren), change them according to seasonal holidays, anything.  You can also add a photo and a voice recording.

Word Cards is just like it sounds.  You can change between upper and lower case letters. Its has a selection of over 100 sight/dolch words, that kids can practice spelling and printing.
Trace it the first time, the card comes to life with animation. Trace it a second time, and the child gets a star stamp in their word journal.  (Who doesn't love getting a stamp for work well done?!)

The Alphabet Book with ABCs is also just as it sounds, it focuses on tracing the ABCs.  Again having the ability to switch between upper and lower case letters.

In the Settings function, you can switch the app to have a "fingerpaint" mode. It will show a true reflection of what the child is writing.  You can also reset the the Alphabet book, and Word Cards. You can also turn the music on or off.

Of course, you can expect a clean user interface, that is very user friendly (Again, did you really expect anything less?).

Here's a video of my 5 year old, Nathan using the app.

It's currently in the iTunes store for a low intro price of $1.99 ! Get it before the price goes up!

In a future update, I would love to see the ability to have different users within the app.  We have four kids, and all of them will use this app. Tracking progress for each of them would be a wonderful option.

Bravo Project Injini Child Development!!! You've got what one can only expect to be another huge success of an app on your hands!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crossing lines

This, apparently, is a forte for A4CWSN.

Tonight, on twitter, for no apparent reason (well, other than he's a notorious --fill in the blank--your choice), A4WSN posted this picture

OMG! OH NOZ! HAPPY KIDS POSING FOR A SILLY PICTURE!!!! OMFG!!!! Oh yes.  Please, someone call CPS !!!! Give me a friggin break.  Its clear those boys are smiling, and this is a posed picture.  Anne is a self admitted paparazzi mama, and you will never see her gone too far without her camera.  

A4CWSN, would have gotten this picture off of Anne facebook page.  Anyone who knows her, knows that it's pretty locked down. She did some serious pruning and blocking.  All of A4CWSN's accounts are blocked. Which means- he can't ever search her, and find her from ANY of his accounts.  (Yes, he has a few.)

So, for in order for him to have gotten this picture, he would have had have been using someone else's facebook that is somehow connected to her, or had one of his loyal supporter who is somehow connected to Anne, get this picture. 
Regardless, even if she didn't have her account locked down, why are people creeping her page for pics of her kids? You have nothing better to do with your time than stalk us on the interwebz?
Also, just because it's a public picture, unless you were given her permission, it's not yours to share with the world. 

And hey, why did she get this tweet from A4CWSN just the other night?

Hrm.... makes one wonder right?


PS, if you've had the a4cwsn twitter blocked, when he comes back in a day or so, you'll want to make sure you reblock him. 
Also, Unlike other bloggers, I do have permission to use this photo :) - I did edit it to protect her children.  

Just some random tweets that make me LOL

A selection of random tweets that just make me giggle.  Figured I'd share :)

If you have any that you'd like to share... please feel free to upload into the comment section or send me an email (linky-do).