News Releases

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Seminole Post Office Goes Above and Beyond in Service

Graci sending out her first care package for Operation: Miltiary
Matters in January 2016 at the Seminole Post Office.

I never use to think the post office was a place where you could go to meet people so many nice people, but it is. It’s not too often you hear about postal employees going above and beyond and being extraordinarily nice, so when it happens it’s worth writing about. That’s why I must let you know about our post office at the City of Seminole. They are a wonderful group of people and I believe it stems from their Postmaster Theresa Painter.  

I am in there quite a bit with my 12-year-old daughter, Graci, helping her mail hundreds of care packages to the military overseas with her nonprofit Operation: Military Matters.  

We have been doing this for more than two and a half years now, so the clerks and postmaster know us by name. But they don’t just know us by name, I notice them calling others by name too. Sometimes it reminds me of the 1980’s television sitcom “Cheers” with the theme song “Where everybody knows your name.”

So many people these days think if it’s not in my job description, I don’t have to do it, so I won’t. That’s not the case when I go to the post office. They go out of their way to help. Sometimes I have a bunch of packages to load into the cart and the clerks are right there asking us if we need help.  

It’s not just us though. The other day I was there checking my P.O. box right about the time the post office was closing. There was a man was walking in at 5:01 p.m. He needed a check mailed and needed an envelope to mail it in and was pleading to be able to mail the check. The clerk said ok and he even helped him get an envelope. I know he didn’t have to do that, but I am sure it made that man’s day.  

When the employees are nice, it makes for nice customers. I can’t tell you how many times I have met wonderful people at the post office. It’s not that I am talking to everyone when I go there, they just seem to talk to me or overhear my conversation and start talking. One day I was there and met a lady who was mailing a package to someone overseas and I told her about my daughter's nonprofit and that she would mail a package also if she wanted. The lady ended up telling us how she and her husband are Mr. and Mrs. Claus during the holidays and deliver toys to the kids who have parents in the military. She gave me her number and it was a wonderful connection.

Another time, I met a nice young man who was in line, who was in a wheelchair and started talking to me about how he got hurt playing soccer years ago and caused brain injury to him. He just brightened my day by just being so pleasant.

I’ve met others who have given me their business cards to help with my daughter’s nonprofit and others who have just given us money to help mail a package while we are there. We’ve also been able to send care packages overseas to friends of people we’ve met while in line.

Next time there’s a line at the post office and you are waiting, strike up a conversation or at least say hello to the person you’re in line next to and if you get a worker who is a veteran (most of them are) thank them for their service to our country.   You never know how you might just brighten their day and make your trip to the post office worthwhile experience.


Safe sitter program teaches safety and life saving skills teens should know

Instructors Kristi Dahl and Iris Merryweather with Graci and Randi Tubbs


My two girls Randi 14 and Graci 12 are at the age where they can stay home alone and  now babysit. My sister just had a baby boy and has a two year old little girl, but before they can start babysitting for her kids they thought it would be good to take a babysitting course.

We heard from a friend about John Hopkins All Children's Hospital and their one day Safe Sitter Essentials program at their Education & Conference Center 701 4th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. It is offered several times a year from 9am to 4 pm for $55. The program is limited to 16 students, so you need to register early. The spots fill up fast. The class is offered to boys and girls from 11-14.


My girls recently took the class and loved it. They both told me they feel so much more confident about working with young kids after taking the class. As a parent, it eases my mind knowing they feel this way so when they are offered a babysitting job they will be able to handle it.

The two instructors Kristi Dahl and Iris Merryweather have been teaching the course for years together. At the end of the day parents were invited to a short ceremony to hear what the kids learned and to see them receive their certificates .

After the instructors went over what they learned  and hearing my girls tell me all about their day at the class, I was so happy my girls attended the program. It's something I wish I would have had as a teen. They learned how to change a diaper, feed a baby, not to warm a bottle in the microwave or it could burn a baby's esophagus, what to do with kids if they are having temper tantrums, how to do CPR on a child and infant and what to do if a child is choking. These are great skills everyone should know.

What's great about this course is they got hands on instruction and practiced on CPR manikins CPR and the choking rescue. What a great way to learn and feel confident so if you ever needed to perform CPR you would know how to do it. My girls know how important CPR is as a little over a year ago their grandpa had sudden cardiac arrest and the man who performed CPR helped save his life. That man had just learned CPR, so it can happen and you need to be prepared.

The instructors also had an infant simulator to show what happens to the brain of the baby when you shake a baby for just a few seconds. They also went over some reasons babies and children cry and what to do. And if you feel frustrated  or can't calm the baby to put the baby in the crib or playpen and to call the parents.

These skills are not only for kids who want to babysit, but they are life teaching skills and lifelong skills. The next class is September 29, 2018. To see a list of all the upcoming classes or to sign up your child for this class go to their website at HopkinsAllChildrens.org/safesitter or email at kdahl4@jhmi.edu.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What's your child's playlist when it comes to social media?



Andrew, Charles, Graci and Randi at Playlist Live Orlando
It's summer and that's means most kids are out of school, on vacation and have more time to be on their phones or other electronics. It's the age we live in and we can't do too much about it. As a mom, I try to keep up with my kids and what they are doing on their electronics. I have two daughters ages 12 and 13, so as you can imagine they are on either their phones and iPads quite a bit. What's interesting is what my kids do on their phones and iPads. Most of the time they are watching videos made by YouTubers. YouTubers are people who create videos and usually star in the videos. These videos can be anything from their everyday life to do-it-yourself (diy) videos. These YouTubers or video creators have a fan base. It's incredible when you really start learning about this whole new world of  social media stars.

These YouTubers are like Hollywood actors and actresses, most of them though aren't on the big screen or on television. They are on social media sites mainly YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Musical.ly. And yes, they do make money, some of them make millions of dollars.

I recently went with my girls and my friend's twin boys to a convention called Playlistlive in Orlando. It's a place where fans and YouTubers meet.  I took my older daughter Randi by herself the year before and she loved it so much that my other daughter Graci wanted to go this year. It's the eighth year the convention has gone on and it truly was an eye opener to me. I had no idea what it was all about until going the first year and this year I learned even more about this whole new world of social media from how my kids are influenced to how companies are marketing.

This convention had all types of YouTubers and Creators. There are about 500 of them and more than 13,000 fans from all over the United States. The convention sells out every year. It is three days long and brings in fans from all walks of life and ages mainly from 13-25 with about 80 percent who are female. The event includes concerts, panels, meet-and-greets and fan convention.

My kids have their list of YouTubers they watch daily and some of them were at this convention. They also met new people who they now follow. When you buy your passes you can purchase meet-and-greets with the YouTuber or creator you want to meet. These meet-and-greets are great for the fans. The fans get to talk to their favorite celebrities, take photos and get autographs. The YouTubers are wonderful and really take time with each fan. Most of the kids I saw and talked to loved this part of the event. Some were even star struck.

It's funny as a parent to watch some of the YouTubers who have a huge following go in the lobby of the hotel and have kids yelling and chasing them down the hall. It's as if the Beatles were there. I am not kidding! There's lots of security at this event, so not to worry too much, but still you have to watch your kids.

I found there was plenty to do throughout the three days. My kids had meet-and-greets and we watched some of the concerts. One of the concerts my daughter Randi loved was with Scotty Sire, a YouTuber who does daily vlogs and some music. She actually had been practicing one of his songs on piano "Mr. Glassman" for a few months prior and when she heard he was coming to Playlist, she was so excited to see him live. Yes, she even got a photo with him when he was walking down the hall.

During the convention they have an area where they sell merchandise. This year there were more vendors. I always like to ask the vendors how the YouTubers help them with their products. One of the vendors was trying to launch their makeup website called Wheesearch, where they help people find the right makeup products. They were looking for a vlogger to help them out. I interviewed the founder of the company and she told me by the end of the convention it looked like they had found someone.    

Another company Crofter's Premium Spread, sells organic jams and they were there because last year a YouTuber  Thomas Sanders, said in one of his videos, "This is the only jelly I'll put in my belly," and their jelly sales skyrocketed. They ended up making him a spokesperson for their jelly and even came out with a special jelly called "Logan's Berry" named after one of his characters on his YouTube channel. They were giving out samples at the convention and of course my daughter had me buy it.

Yes, YouTubers are huge influencers on our kids of today. It's important to know who your kids are watching.

To see behind the scenes videos and interviews from Playlistlive go to Kadi's Facebook page www.facebook.com/mom2momwithkadi