Each year, on March 31st children and adults alike, pick up their favorite colors for National Crayon Day. Opening up a box of crayons opens up a world of imagination and hours of fun.
Wax and chalk-based crayons have been used by artists around the world for centuries. Edwin Binney created the brightly colored crayons we are familiar with today. He was part owner of Binney & Smith, a company that produced products such as paint, pigments, and slate pencils for schools.
In 1903, Binney & Smith created the Crayola Division and produced colored wax crayons for children for the first time. Then in 1904, they presented their An-Du-Septic chalk at the Colombian Exposition in St. Louis winning a gold medal. The chalk was designed to be dustless at many teachers’ requests and was an immediate success.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL CRAYON DAY
Get out your crayons and color away! We’ve provided three color pages for all age levels for you to download and print. We would love to see your final creations!
Post them to our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages, and we’ll definitely respond.
A privately-funded program to provide basic income to 100 California homeless people aims to study how the cash—plus one-on-one social support—can be potentially life-changing.
‘Miracle Money: California’ is being funded primarily by a $1.15Mil donation from Google.org and is being evaluated through a randomized control trial led by researchers at the University of Southern California. The pilot, organized by Miracle Messages, will distribute $750 each month for 12 months to 100 individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County, San Francisco, and Oakland.
In addition, each participant will be matched 1:1 with a caring trained volunteer phone buddy for weekly calls and texts—and scores of volunteers are already participating from around the world. Miracle Messages has received over $2 million to launch Miracle Money: California.
The precursor, Miracle Money, first launched amid the pandemic in December 2020 as one of the first basic income pilots in the US to include social support. In its proof of concept study from the Bay Area, 66% of unhoused recipients (6 of 9) were able to secure stable housing as a result of $500 a month for 6 months. Recipients overwhelmingly used their funds toward food, housing, transportation, savings, storage, child care, medications, debt reduction, unexpected family emergencies, and other essentials.
In total, over $1 million will be distributed to the 100 individuals chosen for the new pilot, with the first cash payments currently underway. Miracle Money: California will then track multiple outcomes including housing stability, food security, mental and emotional health, and relational poverty.
Dr. Benjamin F. Henwood who directs the Center for Homelessness, Housing, and Health Equity Research at USC will lead the randomized control trial in order to evaluate the impact of social support with and without basic income.
“20 years ago the idea of providing ‘housing first’ to people experiencing homelessness and mental illness was not widely accepted; today ‘housing first’ is national policy based on rigorous research including a randomized control trial that demonstrated the model worked,” explains USC Professor Ben Henwood, PhD, MSW.
“Based on promising but limited pilot data, my hope is that science will again demonstrate that there are person-centered interventions that can address homelessness and alleviate suffering; to that end we will let the data speak for itself and be our guide.”
The mechanics of disbursing funds to recipients who often do not have bank accounts or mailing addresses is being overcome by utilizing AidKit, a technology company focused on “delivering direct cash with dignity”.
“When we invest in our neighbors experiencing homelessness, offering even modest financial resources and supportive relationships, problems get solved and people get housed,” says Kevin Adler, the founder of Miracle Messages. “Miracle Money: California hopes to demonstrate that a little bit of love and financial support can transform lives, restore dignity, and help people get off the streets.”
AidKit will also save time for the Miracle Messages team, so they can focus on the critical relationships they are building with the unhoused communities they serve.
The Miracle Messages nonprofit has won awards for its unique work reunifying homeless folks with their families. To date, founder Kevin Adler and his team have helped reunite over 700 families. Caring volunteers have also been matched with over 250 unhoused friends, to provide calls and texts of support—more than 10,000 so far.
A giant cat has gotten so big it is now 4.27 feet long, the average height of a nine-year-old (1.3m). The enormous Maine Coon has often been mistaken for a dog, leaving many people stunned.
Owner Natalie Bowman adopted Finn in 2017, when he was just three and half months old. The cat’s stupendous size makes him an expensive pet to maintain. Finn gets fed three or four times a day and Natalie spends $150 a month on his food. The 32-year-old often walks Finn through their neighborhood on a leash, and he has now become a local celebrity.
“It’s really funny, they think he’s a dog, and then when they get closer they say oh my god it’s a cat and they love him.”
When Natalie has visitors to her home in San Carlos, California, they are often spooked by the enormous feline whenever he appears. “I’ve had service people come around to fix things, it’s always fun to see grown men get shocked by my cat,” says Natalie. “They say he looks like a bobcat or a wildcat.”
Despite his size, Finn is a gentle giant, which is typical for Maine Coons, and he gets along splendidly with Natalie’s other cat. “Finn is really docile and curious, he is so funny and affectionate. He loves cuddles and to be spooned.
He is also quite needy, and Natalie sometimes brings him to the office when he’s exhibiting separation anxiety. It’s not the best option because, although the tabby Coon is sociable and loves to talk, he’s “very loud”.
The Maine Coon is a large domesticated cat breed—one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, and one that originated in the U.S. state of Maine. Predominantly known for its size and dense coat of fur which helps the large feline to survive in the harsh climate of Maine, the Coon is often cited as having “dog-like” characteristics.
Get a better sense of his size in the video from SWNS…
AND, Don’t Forget to Share With Cat Lovers on Social Media…
National Take A Walk In The Park Day on March 30th each year encourages us to stretch our legs on our favorite trail or at our neighborhood park. After a long busy day, a calming and therapeutic way to relax would be a nice, leisurely walk in the park.
Taking a walk at a local park is an excellent way to clear one’s mind from the stresses of the day, re-energize, and at the same time, improve health.
During a walk, the opportunity to capture a beautiful photograph, compose an original poem, or have an uninterrupted conversation may arise. The chance to lose track of time and run into a familiar face could occur, too. When taking a walk in the park, all sorts of pleasant surprises could blossom.
HOW TO OBSERVE TAKE A WALK IN THE PARK DAY
Go out for a walk in the park. Enjoy nature’s beauty and being outside.
Are you staying indoors? As an alternative, you can still take a walk in a park. Take a virtual walking tour. Stand up and walk along the Swiss Alps or just about anywhere in the world.
However, we suggest finding a trail somewhere and taking a hike in the fresh air.
When March 30th arrives, so does National Virtual Vacation Day, reminding us all to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate no matter where we are.
Vacations restore our minds, bodies, and souls. For example, studies show that taking a vacation lowers the risk of heart disease. They also help hone our problem-solving skills and promote overall brain health. Furthermore, we’re more satisfied with the money spent on vacations than material goods.
However, virtual vacations do not require money, packing, or transcontinental flights. All you need to achieve a virtual vacation is your imagination and free VR apps or a VR headset.
If you can dream it, you can achieve a virtual vacation. Enjoy an exciting African safari. Or hike the exotic Amazon rainforest. Then hit the beach in Bali, or join in the festivities at Mardi Gras. Explore a space vacation if you dare! Adventurers to armchair travelers thrill at the possibilities.