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Parenting in the Park
Tips and ideas for the traveling family
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Adrienne Krock, editor
UPDATE - The Magical Summer Memories Program

7/30/01 - Again this week we found MousePlanet's mail box full of envelopes from our readers, along with more notes:

(On a MSEP Farewell Season Note card): "Bless you all at MousePlanet for taking the time and effort to do Magical Summer Memories. Since I couldn't use the free tickets, I had desired that somehow they could be used for children that couldn't otherwise go to a Disney Park, but didn't know how to go about it. Magical Summer Memories provided the answer!

It's wonderful to be able to "give back" and know that some children will be able to experience the magic and joy that I've been so blessed to be able to enjoy. Enclosed are four tickets from my partner and myself."

"I wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know how wonderful this Magical Summer Memories Program idea is! Even though I couldn't use the two tickets myself, for some reason I kept them. I had a feeling they would be useful somehow - and now they will be!"

"I am 15 and have been reading the DIG for a long time - way before MousePlanet. I am the only AP in my house, and I am happy to donate these two children's passes to DCA. I hope they enjoy the Electrical Parade as much as I do."

With the donations already received from MousePlanet readers and staffers, we have enough tickets to allow over 200 children to visit Disney’s California Adventure this summer. You have surpassed our most optimistic estimates for ticket donations! On behalf of the entire MousePlanet staff, thank you. Your generosity has been overwhelming, and we know the children appreciate it more than we can say.

Our most critical need now is to provide chaperone tickets and meals for the children’s organizations that are receiving these tickets. One area restaurant has offered a discount on children’s meals, and MouseShoppe has donated funds to pay for fifty meals. Your donation through the Amazon Honor System will help stretch the organization’s food budget even further.

Some readers have asked if monetary donations are tax deductible. When using the Amazon Honor System you can choose to make your name and e-mail address available to us. If you do so, we will be able to send you a donation receipt for your tax records. Thanks to everyone who has donated to the Amazon Honor System account so far. If you would like to contribute to this program, there is still time. Just click on the link below to send your donation.

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Give Learn More

Readers have also asked us about the organizations that are receiving the donated tickets. When we introduced the Magical Summer Memories program two weeks ago, we told you about the Los Angeles area schoolteacher, a MousePlanet reader, whose idea sparked the program. We are happy to report that as a result of your generosity, we have been able to fulfill her elementary school’s wish for 72 children’s tickets.

This week, we would like to introduce to you another of the agencies benefiting from the Magical Summer Memories program. Crittenton Services for Children and Families is a shelter dedicated to helping abused and neglected children right here in Orange County. Your donations will make it possible for 45 Crittenton children, along with chaperones, to enjoy a day at DCA this summer. Marilyn B. Salzman, Director of Development, shares with you the following message:

Crittenton

To all of our friends at MousePlanet.com,

THANK YOU!

You really are helping to make Magical Summer Memories for us.

For the severely abused and troubled boys and girls who, through no fault of their own, are placed in our care, this summer will be an exciting and happy one. Thanks to you, the children will know there are people out there who really do care about kids. People who want to make a difference – people who want know they will be smiling, laughing and experiencing the true joy of childhood – perhaps for the first time ever. Thank each of you for making that possible.

Like to know more about us? Find out who we are and what we do? Visit us at www.kidsmatter.org or write us at: Crittenton ·  P.O. Box 9 ·  Fullerton CA 92836-0009

Again, on behalf of the 200 children who will benefit from your donations, thank you. We’ll bring you a final update next Monday, and then trip reports in August as the children visit the park.


7/23/01 - Readers respond generously!

DCA children's passes

This past Saturday, MousePlanet staffers had the happy task of opening envelopes full of DCA children's passes donated by our loyal readers. Tickets arrived from California, Arizona, Utah, and even England! While some readers have remained completely anonymous, others enclosed notes:

"Thanks for doing this. It was bothering me that these tickets were going to waste. We're in Arizona and will not be back before Sept. 4. Good Job!!!"

"Thanks to you and your readers for coming up with an alternative plan for the comp tickets.... Enclosed, please find our 6 tickets which my wife, 6- year- old daughter, and I gladly donate to the Magical Summer Memories Program."

"I hope that the kids these will go to will have a great day! Thanks for caring about them!"

"I was so glad to read about your program to use these tickets for children who could use a wonderful summer memory. I was going to contact someone on my own to try to do the same thing."

"I am so happy to be able to send these to you. Hope you can fulfill some kids wishes."

So far, our generous readers have donated sixty eight tickets. Added to the tickets donated by the MousePlanet staff, we already have enough passes to enable over one hundred children to enjoy a day at Disney's California Adventure. This program would not be possible without our wonderful readers and we say in return: Thank you!

We have received a lot of mail on this program, and here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

1. Some very giving readers encountered difficulties using the Amazon Honor System to make a monetary donation to the program. The system is now fully operational so, if you had any trouble last week, please try again. Thanks to everyone so far who has donated to the Magical Summer Memories program. For every adult chaperone ticket we purchase, we receive another child ticket free through Disneyland's Southern California Resident Salute program!

2. The Amazon Honor System allows you to donate anonymously or make your contact information available to us. By choosing to make this information available to us we can send you a donation receipt for your tax records.

3. Several generous local readers have volunteered to help chaperone the children. We appreciate your enthusiasm and care - MousePlanet readers are the best! For legal reasons, however, the agencies will provide their own staff members to chaperone the children.

Just six days into the program, and MousePlanet readers and staff have made it possible for over one hundred children, along with almost a dozen chaperones, to visit DCA this summer. Readers have let us know that even more tickets are on the way!

If you would like to participate, there is still time. Read below for full details about the program, and how you can help. Remember: tickets and donations must be received by August 3, 2001.

Thank you, again! And thank you for reading MousePlanet!


7/16/01 - In an effort to help promote its new Disney's California Adventure (DCA) park, the Disneyland Resort recently sent a mailing to each Two-Park Annual Passport holder that contained two free children's tickets to DCA. While this gesture was much appreciated, many annual passholders found that they had no real use for the tickets, because they either had no children of their own, or their children already had annual passes.

The desire not to waste the unused tickets sparked discussion on our MousePad message boards, and prompted MousePlanet reader Kathy to write us about her idea. As an elementary school teacher in a low-income area of Los Angeles, she decided to use her and her husband's four free tickets to reward four hard- working students from her class, who could not normally afford special outings, let alone visits to a brand new theme park. Kathy told us that other teachers at her school would be happy to accept any additional tickets we could find. In no time at all, MousePlanet staff had donated enough tickets for her co-workers. In fact, we even had a few extras!

With Kathy's unselfish plan still fresh in our minds, and with those few extra tickets still in our possession, our thoughts turned toward other, less fortunate children whom we felt we could help.

Of all the children in the world we wanted to embrace, we came to realize that those who are abused and neglected by the very people who should love them the most, might at least for one day be able to forget about their sadness if we could share with them the joy of a Disney theme park.

There are several non-profit agencies in Orange County that care for such abused and neglected children. These agencies would love the opportunity to take the children in their care to DCA for a day: to laugh, to play, to ride attractions, and to even see Disney's Electrical Parade. But all too often, these agencies have tight budgets and can rarely, if ever, afford such extravagance as tickets to theme parks.

We are thrilled that we can help these children enjoy a day at Disney's California Adventure, and we are certain you would jump at the chance to turn your passes into a real gift to help brighten the day for an abused and neglected child. Thus in celebration of MousePlanet's 1-year anniversary, we have created the Magical Summer Memories program. This is a wonderful, caring way to create a special Disney memory for a child who will appreciate it more than you can know.

How can you help? Consider donating your complimentary tickets to MousePlanet's Magical Summer Memories program. Please mail your unused tickets to:

MousePlanet
Attn: Magical Summer Memories
13681 Newport Avenue #8
PMB 110
Tustin, CA 92780

Not a Two-Park Annual Passholder, or already used your children's tickets? You can still help. The agencies need to provide one adult chaperone for every four children, as well as meals for the children while at the park. Your donation of any amount will help pay for chaperone tickets and meals for the children. We have created an Amazon donation account solely for this program. If donations exceed ticket and food expenses, any excess funds will be donated directly to the non-profit organizations involved. To donate, click here:

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Give Learn More

Since the complimentary tickets must be used before September 4, 2001, we must receive your tickets by August 3 in order to distribute them to the agencies in time. The Amazon donation box will be open until August 3 as well.

We will bring you reports from this program as the summer draws to an end. As we celebrate our first anniversary through giving and we hope you, our faithful readers can help! Thank you in advance for your generosity, and for being a part of MousePlanet for the past year!


Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Adrienne here.

Magical Summer Memories Program

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Give Learn More


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adrienne gathered experience taking children to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job: being Matthew and Spencer's mom.

Adrienne, Matthew and Spencer visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy.

Besides Matthew and Spencer, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain the award-winning Happiest Potties on Earth here at MousePlanet.

You can contact Adrienne here.

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